Sunday, April 5, 2009

POWER BLITZ

I am on a power blitz. Mr Gadget is very interested in solar power especially with the rebates on offer - solar panels are a gadget to him and he does get mighty excitied about them. He almost blew me away when he suggested it. After a lot of research we have decided to go ahead and get solar power but first I want to see how much we can reduce our power usage. After all it is definately cheaper to reduce our use power use than to make it.

I started off with basic changes.
Turning lights off when we leave a room. All our light bulbs are the more energy efficient ones now.
Turning power off at the wall. Now this sounds so easy but I have been met with such resistance from Mr Gadget and the boys. They argue that it is too hard, not necessary, messes up the settings, doesn't save on power use etc. But really it is just laziness! Slowly they are coming around though. In the mean time I continue to go from room to room switching off power points. Some of the power points are really hard to get too -behind havy furniture but there is a power point gadget you can get with a remote control. Thinking this might be a good idea but I have resisted buying one because a) its another gadget and B) I have a bad relationship with remotes!
I have discovered that some powered items don't need to on continually such as the filter to the fish tank. I used to leave it running all the time, then decided to turn it off at nights and back on during the day. The fish were still active and alive, the tank was still clear. So now I have turned the filter off completely and it has now been over a month and all is nice.
The electric toothbrushes were always plugged in but now once the blue light is on indicating they are fully charged I turn them off and they don't get turned back until they are flat.
The pool filter I cautiously reduced the running time - just by a small amount at a time, and then watched making sure the pool didn't turn green. I think I have it worked out to the smallest running time to keep the water clean and blue.
We use appliances differently now too. I only turn on the oven when cooking a batch of things. I am using the gas bbq and cooking top more than the electric oven.
Our hot water is gas so no problems there.
The phones are cordless and rechargable and were once always turned on. Now I charge them up and turn them off.
So all these changes have resulted in lowering our power usage.

There is one area that is really wasting a lot of power and that is our fridge/freezer set up. We are a family of five and a few years ago found we never had room in our fridge so we brought a cheap small bar fridge for drinks. Then we began buying meats in bulk for freezing and making pasta sauces, stewing apple and freezing other produce. We ran out of freezer space in the freezer attached to our main fridge so went out and brought an electricity guzzling small chest freezer. So with our fridge/freezer, bar fridge and the chest freezer they add a lot to our power usage. I am in a quandry as to what to do since all three are working really well. Our best option is to make the cash outlay and buy the one fridge/freezer that is the right size for our needs rather than running the three we have now. I just dont like the idea of getting rid of perfectly good items and buying new. In the mean time we have emptied the bar fridge and turned it off. Mr Gadget is all for buying a new fridge/freezer but he is all excited about fridges with ice and water dispensers and the fridges with a mini pop open door to get out milk/drinks. Oh, he loves his gadgets! Me, I just want the most energy efficient basic design that meets our needs.

I will be standing my ground on this one too.
Stay tuned.

1 comment:

littlefarminthecity said...

It is challenging to get into the habit of turning things off. Has it made a difference yet to your power usage?
We noticed a big difference with our usage when we started turning off 'things'
Emily

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