Have you stated an "Energy Strategy?"

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iGary, May 8, 2006.

  1. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #1
    I was just talking to Rob this morning and said that we need to come up with an "Energy Strategy," which kind of caught him off guard.

    I explained to him that since the state deregulated our local utility, our usual $100 a month electricity bill will most likely turn into almost $200.00, and that we should look to see where we are being wasteful. I also told him that we ought to talk about getting him out of his Saab and into something more fuel efficient (yes, we're thinking of a Hybrid, as there are no viable E-85 stations here)...

    With the rising costs of energy, has anyone started to, or thought about changing daily behaviours?
     
  2. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    #2
    As a matter of fact, yes! Around our house, we try to not be that wasteful. In our home we have sprinklers for the yard and there is always some sort of light or something else that is always on. Usually in the morning all the lights go off unless absolutely needed. Water is conserved as much as possible. I measure the moisture content of the soil every few weeks to check if I need to cut down on the water being distributed on the lawn. We don't drive as much as we used to. We also plan our outings to not waste gas. I'm not driving as fast as I used to on the interstate, it is amazing how much gas you can conserve just going the speed limit on the interstate and reducing your speed on in town roads. My wife drives an economical car, a Toyota Camery with a 4-banger. I myself still drive an SUV with a V6, a Nissan Xterra. I don't get the gas mileage I wish I had but it isn't as bad as all the other folks around here that use trucks. We checked into hybrid vehicles, but the technology behind them is not that good. I'm concerned with the batteries and replacement cost if something in the electrical system of the vehicle goes out. Hybrids are very complex, electrically speaking, and I think over time if something were to happen to the vehicle it would cost a lot more then an extra 10 bucks in gas over a long period of time, compared with that of a honda civic.
     
  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #3
    • Do get a BMX, not a car, especially if you live in a city. Only hire a car when you need one.
    • Do use energy saving bulbs.
    • Do turn lights off.
    • Do turn stuff off, videos, tv's everything that isn't in use.
    • Don't leave your Mac in sleep, when it could be shutdown.
    • If you drink coffee, tea etc, don't fill the kettle to the brim, only the amount needed.
    • Don't use coffee machines, and the type.
    • If you've got an electric garage door, use it manually.
    • Don't use a toaster, use a gas grill.
    • Buy clothes that don't require ironing. (I do not own an iron)
    • Take showers not baths.
    • Take cold showers not hot.
    • When cold, pull on a jumper don't turn up the thermostat.

    etc etc.

    (P.S. I do all of the above, with the exception of the garage as I can't afford a place with a garage) ;)
     
  4. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #4
    I'm honestly pretty good - Rob, on the other hand left (I'm in my office) and left the kitchen, desk and living room lights on. My car gets good mileage, so we'll hold onto that, but he commutes 60 miles a day, so...
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    I walk/ride/run rather than use the car, except when I'm working and absolutely have to drive. It's part of the job, I'm not just commuting.

    To be honest though, I do this mainly for my own fitness rather than for any environmental benefits. I guess it helps both though. :)
     
  6. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #6
    I concur with the adding clothing, but when you say cold showers, do you mean no heat at all or just less heat?
     
  7. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #7
    I shower at the gym everyday. Might as well use their hot water.
     
  8. Oryan macrumors 6502a

    Oryan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #8
    I've been trying to avoid driving as much as possible. My dad just traded in his Suburban for a smaller car. He was pretty excited because he more than doubled his gas mileage.
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    Oh, adjust as required in winter, a good gauge though if your water is too hot in winter is if you step out of the shower and the mirror is steamed up, if it is, it's too hot. ;)

    Regarding summer, cold water from the tap is pretty mild in the summer months so you shouldn't need to use heat at all.

    If you're fortunate tp live in and area that has good water pressure, you shouldn't really even need a power shower.

    Personally I find cold showers invigorating... where as hot showers induce a level of lethargy in me.

    To further save energy... you could always shower with girlfriend/boyfriend I used to do that... a lot. :D
     
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #10
    I bike everywhere or use mass transit, follow the "let it mellow" rule (don't make me explain this, think about it first), and use a Mac Mini which has a very low power drain! :D

    I don't pay for utilities, as it's included in rent, but I still try to turn off lights as well, keep heat low, and use low-wattage bulbs.

    Every bit counts!

    Edit: Oh, and as for water-useage, since my benevolent landlord decided to only allow the hot water to come out as a trickle (and to ignore my requests that he remedy the situation), I use little hot water, and little water in general when I shower!
     
  11. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #11
    We try to keep electrical items (computers, stereo, shredder, printer, lights, etc.) turned off when they're not in use. I will opt to try opening a window before turning on a fan or the A/C (assuming the downstairs folks aren't on the porch smoking). I also don't turn on the water in the shower to full blast, which reduces the amount of hot water that gets used.

    As for our transportation, the hubby takes the train/metro into work. We don't drive unless we have to, and when we do we'll try to get as many errands done as we need to in the areas that we're going. We have only one car (sold the second one to reduce our monthly expenses--and it's helped a lot) which gets about 30 MPG in the city. We try not to speed excessively (usually stay under 70 MPH on the highways) since fuel efficiency rapidly decreases the higher above 60 MPH you go.

    We may try investing in those dryer balls since they're supposed to help reduce clothes drying time by about 20%. We also only do laundry about every two weeks (and yes...we both have enough undies and socks to last us that long without reuse :D)

    EDIT: We also use our toaster oven instead of our stove when we can. We also use Tide Cold Water detergent, too, so we don't have to pay for extra heating of the water.
     
  12. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #12
    Our biggest problem is although this is usually the cheapest time of year for most people, Rob as severe allergies and I have to keep this place buttoned up and air conditioned all day.
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #13
    The stuff I do doesn't require any particular extra/noticable effort.

    If you're not already using energy saving light bulbs, then you'll notice a big difference in your next electricity bill by using them, especially in the winter months. Of course they're more expensive than normal bulbs, but you have to look at the bigger picture.

    The kettle one is kind of moot for me, I don't drink coffee, or tea... but I have friends that do, yet a kettle with a cup full of water in it takes about 60 seconds to boil on a stove, I go to friends houses, they make a coffee fill it to the brim and it can take the best part of 8-10 minutes to boil... It's just silly.

    Stuff like switching off electrical equipement to me is just common sense, most modern tv's/videos/dvd's etc etc are auto tune, and can usually store settings for 24+ hours of downtime so they shouldn't have to retune when you use them the next day.

    The little things add up... but they become habit. ;)
     
  14. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #14
    I added extra insulation to my house that I just built 2 yrs ago.
    I have a Honda CRX HF (1989) avg 48mpg. (use company car now honda in storage)
    I use mostly compact flourescent lights.
    I have my HVAC on programed thermostats that focus on using it mostly in the morning and late afternoon.
    I put special film coating on my entire homes windows, reduces solar heat drastically.
    I used lightly colored roof shingles on my house to reduce solar heating of attic.
    I use ceiling fans when possible, instead of AC.
    My daughters and wife are programed to cut off all lights when leaving the house.
    I have a 3900 sq ft home, I use elec for my HeatPumps vice natural gas, but do have a NatGas HotWater heater. My elec bill last year was 1542.00, or about $140.00 a month for a family of 5. The worst part of my house is I have 1000+sq feet with ceilings from 12-15-22 feet high and that kills my heating bill in the winter.
     
  15. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #15
    Our whole house has the low-draw fluorescents. Probably the worse offender is the frequency with which we do laundry (not always necessarily full loads), running the dishwasher, and the Thermonuclear Reactor (G5 in my office.
     
  16. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #16
    What kind of film do you use on the windows? Is it something you get at the home depot? I think I've seen it, but I just want to be sure I'm thinking of the right thing. Depending on how our bill ends up with the deregulation I may put it on our windows....
     
  17. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #17
    I'd replace the dishwasher with a gimp, that should save you a few quid. ;)

    Also... stick a brick in your cistern, won't save on your electricity, but it will help with your water bill. ;)
     
  18. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #18
    LOL! :D
     
  19. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #19
    I will be commuting from Avalon NJ (30 mins south of Atlantic City) into Philadelphia by train and use public transit inside of Philadelphia, so I don't get shafted on gas and parking
     
  20. iTwitch macrumors 6502a

    iTwitch

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    East of the Mississippi
    #20
    Ah, degegulation aka screw the consumer.

    On a more positive note, isn't it closer to a 75% increase. Also, our wonderful politico's fought to have the increase phased in, you know +20% this year, +35% next and the rest the year after. Of course you have to opt-in to get the increase phased in. :( I'll stop here because I'm starting to get po'd thinking about this mess.
     
  21. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #21
    Yeah, it's 75%, but it's almost the same hit as doubling it.

    We can opt in to the slow increase - I have to look at it.

    Yeah, it's effed. Fair profits are fine with me, but gouging is another.
     
  22. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #22
    With us already being upwards of 95° here, we're preparing for a high power bill for spring. We're trying to conserve by keeping the house at 78° or so, and with my wife being off during the summer months (she's a teacher), she's quite comfortable at that temperature. She'll put maybe 100 miles on her truck thru the whole summer, which saves us fuel costs. My commute is only about 15 miles round trip, but I have a leadfoot... I try to minimize that as much as I can in the summer. :eek:
     
  23. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #23
    I guess I may be a little out of the loop on that, but where is the info on opting in? Our last electric bill talked about the deregulation (in a positive light full of crap, of course), but only said that information would be coming soon. May have to check the BGE website?

    Ah, found this news release.
     
  24. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #24
    I'm from Yorkshire so these things come naturally to me ;)
    All sound advice - to the extent that I'll sit in the in the dark with my coat on rather than turn on the lights or the heating :D
    I boil water for pasta in a kettle rather than in the saucepan. I also worked out it's more economical to buy fresh pasta (more expensive) and cook it for 1- 2 minutes than cheaper dried pasta that needs 15 minutes (this is for UK gas prices mind)
    And if you can, get a stove. It'll burn any newspapers you might have. Leave a large pan of water on it to give hot water for the washing up. It also provides the most secure way of destroying confidential information.
    And it looks good and makes a nice cosy alternative to the central heating.
    And turn off radiators in rooms you don't use very often.
     
  25. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #25
    Can any of the more scientific-minded members enlighten me on the feasability of a plan that I have for this summer?

    I was thinking of installing Solar Shields in all the windows. Basically, cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil on one side. Foil out in the summer to block heat, in in the winter to retain heat. Can this work - and will it be cost effective (nevermind the problem of getting the proposal through the wife subcommittee)?
     

Share This Page