energy saver CFL shrineImage by thingermejig via Flickr

Lately I have heard a lot about your “Carbon Footprint” and “Going Green”…

So in our family’s endeavors to save money and live debt free we have decided to focus on energy consumption and reduction.

I pulled up our account with the electric company and downloaded our history, including: usage (KWH), bill amount ($), actual payment amount ($, we participate in a consistent bill amount plan). I could pull up history all the way back to when we first moved into the house 2 yrs ago. Below is a graph of the usage history (Figure 1).

As you can see from the trends above, the usage spikes during the coldest months of the year in our area, December – March. The plan is to make all the changes, improvements, etc. at the same time and prior to the peak usage months. This leaves me with a couple of weeks in November to get everything implemented.

Here’s the action plan:
1 – Turn down (way down) the thermostat while on vacation for a week
2 – Install a programmable thermostat
3 – Turn down the temperature of the electric hot water heater (it was too hot already, not safe with a toddler in the house)
4 – Install a insulated blanket on the hot water heater
5 – Install a dimmer switch, if possible, for the recessed lighting in our kitchen
6 – Replace all high usage light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

One last note, we are also committed to making future purchases with "going green" in mind. Examples: purchasing only Energy Star appliances, all further buld replacements will be CFLs (even if we don't like the way they look), etc.

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