Home Energy Savings For Energy Watchers

47 Reasons Why You Should Save Energy

  1. Saving energy saves you money.
  2. Saving energy feels good.
  3. Saving energy helps keep our civilization intact.
  4. Saving energy helps keep your household organized.
  5. Saving energy helps you lose weight.
  6. Saving energy is a good example for the kids.
  7. Saving energy is just good common sense.
  8. Saving energy is only fair.
  9. Saving energy is just good politics.
  10. Saving energy is conservative. (It’s no coincidence that the word “conserve” appears in both “conservation” and “conservative”.)
  11. Saving energy improves your competitive edge in business.
  12. Saving energy is good for the economy.
  13. Saving energy is good stewardship of the Earth. (“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15).)
  14. Saving energy can lead to significant tax savings.
  15. Saving energy is just good business.
  16. Saving energy is patriotic.
  17. Saving energy makes your machinery last longer.
  18. You'll keep dollars at home instead of sending them to OPEC.
  19. Saving energy now lets you decide – and not the government – when and where and how you will change your energy usage.
  20. Saving energy is liberal. (It’s not just hippies and Democrats who worry about the environment – how we all use energy affects all of us.)
  21. Saving energy helps preserve indigenous cultures.
  22. Saving energy helps save the polar bears.
  23. Saving energy helps save the rain forest.
  24. Saving energy improves your karma.
  25. Saving energy is hip.
  26. Saving energy is nice to everyone around you.
  27. Saving energy lets you feel smug and superior to your neighbors.
  28. Saving energy makes Obama happy.
  29. Saving energy keeps you off the road.
  30. Saving energy ticks off Exxon.
  31. Saving energy makes the most of limited resources.
  32. Saving energy makes you less wasteful.
  33. Saving energy produces less toxic waste.
  34. Saving energy reduces air pollution.
  35. Saving energy reduces global warming.
  36. Saving energy saves massive amounts of water.
  37. Saving energy shows that you’re a leader.
  38. Saving energy shows that you know when to jump on the bandwagon.
  39. Saving energy shows that you’re paying attention.
  40. Saving energy shows that you aren’t a clueless dork.
  41. Dinners by candle light are more romantic than dinners by electric light.
  42. Energy-efficient houses are worth more than energy hogs.
  43. All of your friends are saving energy – why aren’t you?
  44. Energy is the basis of our civilization -- without it, we are poor, hungry, and living in the dark.
  45. The energy – and money – you save today may be useful tomorrow. Why not think about your future?
  46. Our children and grandchildren might want to use fossil fuels for some reason or other – why not leave some behind for them?
  47. You know it's the right thing to do.

February 2010 Utility Bills

My Dearest Family —

The weather continues surpassingly cold and wet, with no apparent end in sight ...

February 2010 was 50% colder than February 2009, with 703 heating degree days (HDD) this year versus 473 HDD last year. I am proud to say that we used only 25% as much natural gas as we did a year ago — our program of adding additional insulation, improving weatherstripping, and programming the thermostat is really working!

Another measure of home energy savings is that our BTUs consumed per square foot over the course of last month rose only 20% year-over-year ...

February 2010 Data

 Electricity, in kWh Cost / Unit Gas, in Therms Cost / Unit Water, in CCF Cost / Unit BTUs / Ft2
This Month 695 $.096 265 $1.29 5 $2.35 8,254
Last Month 827 $.093 408 $1.12 5 $2.35 12,471
Last Year 800 $.095 214 $1.22 8 $1.84 6,898

January 2010 Utility Bills

I complained about the cold last month — it's what you do in December, after all — but January set a new record since we began recordkeeping, with 813 Heating Degree Days (HDD). I am looking back on our $295 utility bill in December with nostalgia because January's bill was $547!

My daughter went back to school, so electricity and water usage came back down to normal. Our sticker shock this month is solely due to natural gas, and the price of natural gas actually came down a little bit. There is some good news buried in the data, however. Although HDD were up 25% over January last year, our natural gas usage went up only by 15% — I think adding the extra insulation in the basement really made a difference!

January 2010 Data

 Electricity, in kWh Cost / Unit Gas, in Therms Cost / Unit Water, in CCF Cost / Unit BTUs / Ft2
This Month 827 $.093 408 $1.12 5 $2.35 12,471
Last Month 1,003 $.092 165 $1.14 7 $2.12 5,695
Last Year 808 $.093 349 $1.23 5 $2.29 10,766

December 2009 Utility Bills

December was colder than usual, by about 25% — 701 Heating Degree Days (HDD) versus 505 HDD last year. This doesn't quite account for the 50% increase in natural gas usage year-over-year, however — that would be my daughter home for college for most of December. I seem to recall that the TV was on most of the time as well, which might well account for the 15% increase in electricity use. Of course, running the Christmas lights didn't help, either. All in all, our utility bills for December came to $295. Ouch!

December 2009 Data

 Electricity, in kWh Cost / Unit Gas, in Therms Cost / Unit Water, in CCF Cost / Unit BTUs / Ft2
This Month 1,003 $.092 165 $1.14 7 $2.12 5,695
Last Month 564 $.101 69 $1.15 6 $2.15 2,523
Last Year 864 $.092 106 $1.26 8 $1.84 3,873

Keep Track of Your Energy Costs

With New Year's right around the corner, it's time to think about your energy-saving resolution for the new year. May we suggest that you start keeping track of your energy costs?

It is vital to know how much energy you are using — otherwise, how will you know if your efforts to save energy are effective? Energy Watcher is happy to offer our free Utility Bill Tracking Spreadsheet as a tool to help you get started.

And if you are one of the hundreds of people who have downloaded our spreadsheet in the past year — please let us know what you think! We are eager to hear how you have used it, and would be extremely happy to share your results with the rest of the Energy Watcher readership.

Go Easy On the Christmas Lights

Use LED Christmas lights for holiday decoration. They can last up to 10,000 hours, are just as bright and twinkly as the old-fashioned lights, and use 90% of the power, which can add up to big savings over the holiday season.

Go Easy On the Christmas Lights

And put your Christmas lights on a timer!

Add Extra Blankets & Turn Down the Thermostat

Add Extra Blankets & Turn Down the Thermostat
Here's a tidbit to think over — it is just as comfortable and far cheaper for us to run electric blankets overnight than it is to heat our house while we sleep.

It'll work for you, too.

If you're cold at night, an electric blanket will keep you toasty and warm without heating the entire house. You can program your thermostat to turn itself down overnight and use an electric blanket to warm up the 18 or so square feet that you are actually occupying while you sleep.

And if you want to really save money, just put a couple of extra blankets on your bed — and program down your thermostat to turn itself down overnight.