Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Finding creative ways to save energy

Our electricty rates jumped over 25% this year at our weekend/country house.

We knew last year that rates were headed up, so we took some simple steps last year, like installing efficient/swirl bulbs and installing a solar water heater on the main house. (So far we've been happy with the solar water heater; it works great--although I wish we had a meter telling how many gallons of water it has heated).

The smaller houses each have a small electric water heater which we decided to turn off (at the fusebox) when no one is occupying them. The water heaters have a dedicated fuse so this only effects them and being smallish tanks should heat up quickly. Assuming the houses are only occupied 20% of the year (these are vacation houses), we might save ~ 1/2 the annual power consumed by the water heaters (which is nearly all standby power drain on TVs). Like turning off electronics at the power strip, it may take a little extra thought to turn off (& on) the water heaters this way (until it becomes routine, but given that these are electric water heaters, this is a fairly simple, safe way for us to save perhaps $100/yr per small house.

In fact, I think there may be opportunities to do this in the main house as well...certainly if my parents take a multi-week vacation (which they do a couple times a year). The savings may not be as great, but we will see how it goes.


At 11:38 PM, Blogger tania said...

Yes this way we can save much energy.


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