Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great News! Home Energy Usage Update.

Great news, my home now consumes two thirds of the electricity of the average American home.

As you can see above, my usage over the last year shows that I have dropped below the two thirds of the average mark.  I'd have to do some statistical analysis to see how many households are using more or less than me, but I'm not even sure that data exists.

Just a reminder as to how I am able to do this, and how I am able to steadily continue lowering my consumption rate, I have made some improvements to the house.  I removed a window, replaced a window, and replaced a door.  I added radiant barrier insulation to the attic as well as adding eight or so inches of cellulose insulation.  I use an on demand electric water heater with a one gallon per minute shower head.  We wash clothes in only cold water, we use all CFL or LED light bulbs.  We have a programmable thermostat that automatically drops the temperature in the house by ten degrees at 9:30 PM in the winter time, and we open the windows at night in the summer time.  We use ceiling fans and usually keep the air conditioning at 78 degrees.

Other than the insulation, we haven't really done anything out of turn to increase efficiency, though at times we'd like to.  We have simply replaced things as they have burned out or broken.  As you get the chance, just do things the best way possible, it will add up in the end.

Ultimately, we'd like to build our superinsulated dream house.  It doesn't even have to be all that big, I just want it to be really efficient and really utilitarian.  It is my goal to build a home wherein I can keep the temperature around 75 year 'round and have virtually no heating or cooling bill.  That's not to say that it won't have to be heated or cooled at all, just very little and in ways that are cheap or free like wood heat and solar hot water and hydronic heating.  Making a good investment in home efficiency will hopefully produce a house that pays off in the long run and lasts for generations.  As you can see on my spreadsheet, I make a comparison to the Passivhaus standard in Germany.  Though I use two thirds the electricity, the Passivhaus standard calls for one fourth of what I use, and that's all energy included.  I still use a few gallons of propane every year.

Here's to goals,

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