Monday, July 11, 2011

Energy Audit

Energy is a commodity very much on everyone’s mind; between the proposed pricing of carbon emissions and the ever increasing cost of all forms of energy, we’re facing an ongoing challenge paying for our high energy lifestyles.

One thing we can be sure of is that the price of all fossil fuel based energy will get more expensive. Even if there’s no ‘carbon tax’, if the form of energy we rely on requires oil as an input, it will get more expensive as the competition for oil supplies heats up.

So, what are our options? Well, unless you’re in a position to put a photovoltaic array on your roof, (which I’m not) then you’re going to have to learn to live with a lot less electricity.

I’ve kept an eye on my electricity use (Kilowatt Hours not $$) for a number of years and for most of that time, it’s averaged around 7 kilowatt hours per day. It has recently climbed to a little over 8 per day. The time has come to find out where the ‘leak’ is and fix it but not only that, I’m setting myself the challenge of reducing my usage by at least 25%.

In my home, electricity is used for heat, light and small appliances. I use natural gas for hot water and most cooking. I also have a wood burning combustion heater in the main living area. That means I have a few options for reducing usage but nothing that will show a sizeable reduction, quickly.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be tracking my usage via the meter and taking note of which appliances are being used and for how long. Hopefully that will point out any obvious power drainers and also, if there are some bad habits that have snuck into our daily routines. 

It also means I’d better get the block splitter out and get some more firewood sorted!

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