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Conserving Energy in the Home

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by rohto, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. smanches

    smanches New Member

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    There are so many ways to conserve energy it's unbelievable. And most of them do not require any sacrifice of living comfort at all.

    Use the microwave for as much of your cooking as you can.
    Turn off the computer when you're not using it.
    Put in a waste water heat exchanger to preheat hot water.
    Put in double curtains for additional insulation for your windows.
    etc, etc, etc.

    Wake up at dawn so you get the maximum benefit from daylight. This one I love as everyone is always bitching about daylight savings. What do you think it's for?

    Lights are the least of anyone's worries when it comes to household power consumption.
     
  2. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    yes I'm running my C2Q 2.5 GHz processor at 1.6 GHz and at 1 V instead of 1.25 V and with it being colder now I'm thinking of reducing that, I have 8 GB of RAM which mean no page file required so less disk accesses, I though have a rather powerful PC (ahem 4 HDDs 3 of which in raid0) but run it quite efficiently and still have lots of performance, another example is I have the one program that constantly access the HDD installed on the single drive rather than the raid, (this also increases system performance).

    another thing is driving, how do you drive ? I roll quite often, my Mondeo will roll in town at 25-30 mph on an almost flat ! I certainly make use of this
     
  3. smanches

    smanches New Member

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    I have a 1800 square foot house and live by myself. The lowest monthly electricity usage I've gotten down to is 389 KWh last summer. All summer it was right around 400 KWh. I was pretty proud of that. :)

    Driving is another good one too. Fortunately, my house is right next to a shopping area that has almost any store I could need, including a Home Depot. I only drive to work and back; a total of 7.6 miles round trip. I fill up my 1988 Ford Ranger once a month. I feel fairly good about that too. :)

    Always competing with myself to see if I can lower the usage even more. This winter I have a new hot water heating system, and almost enough firewood to last all winter. Should be interesting to see what my electricity usage is.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. BrownOut

    BrownOut Banned

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    Smanches, I'm in the same boat as you. It always seems such a waste to try to control my whole house, while I use just a portion of it. And so I use space heaters, or just try to dress for the climate. My friends always complain about the interior temperatures. I think they whimped theirselves out by never adapting to the seasons. The other advantage I have is living in a very temperate region, so I don't have to heat or cool much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  6. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    when I lived on my own I kept the heating off until right into the winter, my PC was enough to warm my room, as it is I keep my radiator off and let the pc warm the room, I do have 40 W of solar power and that will run my pc monitor most of the time if we get some sun, naturally the inverter is here on my desk (battery is in the loft above my room) so the 10 % of heat it losses converting 12 v to 240 again goes to heat my room.
     
  7. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    When I was a worker I saved my money so now I in retirement don't worry about spending.
    My home is heated with inexpensive natural gas that comes from the ground.
    Electricity is also inexpensive because it comes from Niagara Falls and nuclear generators.
    Water comes from the huge lakes nearby.

    I spend my money on the finer things in life, not on the basics.
     
  8. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Hydro-electric may be cheap, but nuclear certainly isn't - isn't it supposed to the most expensive method all in all.
     
  9. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    My electricity is provided by waterfall and by nuclear. It is inexpensive.
    Other people complain that their electricity is expensive. Why?
     
  10. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    What do you pay per KWH?.
     
  11. smanches

    smanches New Member

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    Audioguru, what do you pay for your electricity, including transmission fees?

    Here is Augusts bill for me. This is all "green" power. (hydro, wind, geo, solar)

    Cost Of Basic Service $6.50
    Delivery Charge 0.0274800 x 420KWh $11.54
    Energy Charge: Summer 0.0399600 x 420Kwh $16.78
    Total: $34.82
     
  12. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    we pay about 20-25 pench/KW in the uk, nothing to be proud about at all and too exspensive to think its just a cheap comodity
     
  13. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I think the UK government (or the Queen) makes a huge profit on electricity or petrol sales over there.
    Here in Canada the government is not allowed to ripoff people like that.
     
  14. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    oh no not at all, the UK gov are the biggest short sighted idiots on the planet, they sold it all off ! all this money is going to PRIVATE comapnies making huge profits whilst telling us a sob story of how much raw fuel prices have risen. Most of these companies are not even UK owned so yea there you go, the english economy is in trouble ? I'm not suprised, I think thre rest of the world has more stakes in this country than the english people (privatly or gov owned), now they are getting ready to sell off more state assets, so they are going to get a few pounds today which will make to differencde to the national debt and loose future profits.

    I think this country needs a big turn around because some one does not understand the very very basics of money managing and business management, if this country was ran for the profit of the people (thats assuming the govement still owned all the assets it has sold off over the last 20 odd years or more) we would be a happier couintry and not all debt stricken and making hard work of living decently.

    sorry I went off topic didn't I
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  15. bryan1

    bryan1 Well-Known Member

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    G'day Guys,
    Well people did say I was mad with the outlay of $18,000 for my offgrid array. Now 6 years down the track that 18K works out to about $250 a month. I do know somw people down the hill that pay near double that in power so they can live in comfort. My house batterybank is still in good shape so it will be atleast another 4 years before I need to think about new batteries. By that time the battery industry will have have even better cells for RE at cheaper prices and my PV cells will last 25 years or more, the inverter which is Oz made will keep going strong so for that initial cost I reckon we are on a winner.

    The govt here is pushing for carbon trading so that will benefit me even more as my machineshop is 99% green. With a few wind genny projects in the queue of jobbies to do I reckon the foriegn owned power companies will come knocking on my door asking for the extra power I produce. ( Well thats hoping).

    It's not too late for people to go find a small acreage out of town and be self sufficient and I reckon in the essence of this topic will be one of the best things a person or family could do.

    Cheers Bryan
     
  16. Mr RB

    Mr RB Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Seriously, you pay only 2.7 cents to 3.9 cents per kWh??? :eek:

    What do you mean "green" power? Is that some special rebate price or something?

    Electricity here is 18.8c/kWh, thats about 15 US cents. And 1/11th of that is govt sales tax. My hot water is on a offpeak rate about 10 US cents.

    I'd love to hear what people in other parts of the world are paying!
     
  17. smanches

    smanches New Member

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    6.744 cents per KWH in the summer total (delivery + generation). I think it's a little higher in the winter, don't remember. I'm not sure why they split up delivery and generation charges.

    We can pay a 1c premium to make sure our power comes from renewable sources. Otherwise you get the normal "dirty" power off the grid.

    Our electric company is owned by our city; one of the last few publicy owned. They are very pro-active about securing good sources of clean energy, and since they own about 33% of their needed generating capacity (all green) our prices are pretty damn good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  18. RCinFLA

    RCinFLA Well-Known Member

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    Everyone's situation is different.

    Get a little understanding of things then do an inventory of consumption.

    Generally the priority list is:

    Air conditioning (housing cooling and heating)
    Hot water heating, Clothes washing and drying.
    Refrig
    Lighting
    TV's, misc.

    Heating is best done with gas unless you have a very low electric rate.

    Refrig will consume 1.5 to 4 kwh's per day depending on unit. My 10 year old 25 cu ft (dust cleaned condenser coils every six months) consumed 4.2 kwh per day. New variable speed compressor 25 cu ft draws 2.1 kwh per day.
     
  19. Mr RB

    Mr RB Well-Known Member

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    Funny isn't it that people will pay $400 a week on housing rent but if they are paying $10 a week for electricity then there's all this talk of "energy shortage" and "high energy costs" etc.

    I knwo people who are paying $200 a week just on car loans... And that's basically an entertainment expense, as at the the end of the loan the car is worth 40% of its initial value and the total payback is double the car's initial value. Money down the toilet. Then people complain about "high energy costs..."
    ;)
     
  20. BrownOut

    BrownOut Banned

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    If I paid $10 a week for electricity, I'd be ecstatic. But it's not just about the utilities bill, the US governemt pays hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to keep oil and gas flowing to consumers. Someone is going to have to pay the bill someday, or else someone is going to have to invade the people holding the credit. It will only get worse in the future, if nothing is done to conserve and develop new sources of energy. And by "new" sources, I mean renuable ones.
     
  21. Mr RB

    Mr RB Well-Known Member

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    Haven't you got that the wrong way around? They make billions of dollars on taxing fuel that YOU paid for.

    The end price to the consumer of just about every energy product covers the value of the product you purchased, + profits to the oil/gas/electric companies, + taxes that go to the government.
     

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