One of my goals since last fall has been to consistently use less energy---both electricity and natural gas. I've been successful in this, although on the electricity side my bill was larger last month than it was a year ago----not because I used more energy (I used less) but because the per-Kilowatt price increased.
This just means that I need to decrease my energy usage even more, in order to make up for the increased price of electricity. How can I do this?
- Unplug appliances when not in use: I've been trying to unplug the microwave and the TV/DVD when not in use, but I think I'm going to start also unplugging the coffeemaker and possibly the computer (this makes me nervous, for some reason) when I'm out of the house.
- Lower the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees: I've been meaning to do this for ages. What's stopping me is that my water heater is under the house, in the crawl space. Along with hundreds (I'm sure!) of cobwebs and spiders and who knows what else. I need to bite the bullet and just climb down there and DO IT.
- Take short showers instead of baths: Wow. This one is hard. Especially in the cold months, there's nothing I love more than a hot bubble bath, with a good book and a glass of wine. I'm going to try to limit my baths to a few (3) times a week. I'll search the Salvation Army for an egg timer to limit my showers, too.
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs: Happily, I already do this. I had my local utility provider come to my house last year for an 'energy audit', and unbeknownst to me, this included about ten free CFL bulbs (he would have given me more, but I felt guilty!) as well as low-flow showerhead and faucet for the kitchen sink!
I'll start these new habits on April 1st, to see if this makes any difference in my April/May energy bill, compared to last year.