Sunday, February 06, 2011

Energy Efficiency

My habits have changed, with the extreme spike in power costs. That's thanks to Pacific Power and their greed. I've heard from a lot of people angry over their increase in rates who wonder how they could do such a thing at such a time and how the utility board could approve such a huge increase.

That aside, I now live in the dark for the most part. I use a headlamp flashlight given me by Kate, thank you Kate, for Christmas.

I rarely use my dryer, throwing clothes and towels over doors to dry. I wash every load in cold water.

I take even shorter showers every other day now. I never took long showers to begin with.

I have my tv, and this computer, hooked to a power strip I turn off at the power strip when either appliance is not in use. I use a battery powered alarm clock now.

I hope the new thermostat also helps. I also learned from the HVAC guy, how to use a heat pump combined with a furnace for maximum savings, i.e. never change the thermostat more than two degrees up or down at a time, to keep the furnace coils from kicking in, and, if it is under 30 degrees outside, and the heat pump is staying on too long, to change to emergency heat for small degree changes at a time, for short periods. He also advised never to turn the system off, as getting the house back up to heat costs more than keeping the system on, at say 65 degrees.

Same if it's hot out. Don't turn the "cool" setting off when I leave because cooling a house from 80 or 85 degrees, back down to 75 is far more expensive than keeping it at a lower temp while you're gone, say at 73 or 75 degrees.

I don't know how much my new habits will save, if any, given the rate increase. The less power everyone uses, the less money the power company makes which causes rate hikes. It's a losing battle unless one finds a way to make their own power.

I also learned not to ever leave chargers plugged in, even if the unit you are charging, like batteries or a cell phone, are not connected, because they still suck power. I learned that one of the latest biggest power suckers out there is a plasma screen TV. I don't have one and I'm glad.

My TV is 12 years old and my DVD player is slightly older and I can't believe either one still works. The TV has something caked into the vents on the sides. I'm not sure what that is. It's been through some moves. I think a cat may have at one time coughed up a hairball atop it. Sometimes the DVD player won't play, so I shake it, dust it, blow on the CD tray, and then often, it will magically work.

This computer's function has slowed to a crawl, most days. As long as I can check e-mail and post cats for adoption, I don't care much. I don't do much web surfing anymore.

I do not have a working music system. That's ok too. I have one CD I play in my car. Yes, it gets old, the same songs, but oh well, it's not that bad.

Things could be far worse and probably they'll get worse. But, I don't mind my new habits. I love the little headlamp. Sure I look like "the constant miner" but who cares? The cats don't. My brother who owns this place is struggling too, with the economy so bad, and has to lay off a lot of his workers, who now are also struggling hard. I felt guilt over the broken thermostat but he got it fixed and I am grateful. Everyone is struggling that I know. So, you do what you have to do.

Soon, I can start some seeds, for growing my vegees again.

I get the paper now. Every single morning. Some mornings I forget to pick it up but I like reading the paper with coffee in the morning. How'd I luck into getting the paper every morning. Well, that was Jim's fault, in Corvallis, who signed me up, under some special and it cost him an entire penny, to sign someone up for a year.

That's right. A penny!

I get the paper every day for a whole year for a penny's cost to Jim. I know. What a deal. And I'm making the best of such a gift, that really is a gift from the Gazette Times. No paper can produce a copy a day and deliver it for a penny. Thank you, for that deal offered to newspaper readers like Jim, which resulted in my morning sinful pleasure.

And thank you Jim, for signing me up, instead of someone else. I love my morning paper.

No comments :

Post a Comment