In a prior post, Going Green to Save Money, I outlined our action plan to reduce our electricity usage.

So how did we do and what are the real tangible results

Nov_UsageImage by FFL-LRG via Flickr1 – Turn down (way down) the thermostat while on vacation for a week Did it help? YES
In November we took a family vacation with some friends to Disney for a week. While we were out of town I reduced the temperature on our thermostat to 65o. The results: 60% reduction in our electricity usage, 2631 KWH to 1063 KWH. This is on a year-to-year basis, i.e. Nov 07 versus Nov 08. I expected at least a 25% reduction but not 60%. Cost: $FREE

2 – Install a programmable thermostat Did it help? YES
I installed the thermostat in December, but I did so toward the end of the cycle and on top of that I made some errors wiring it up which meant it didnt wasnt running as it was intended. Because of that, I have Jan_UsageImage by FFL-LRG via Flickrwaited until January to evaluate the comparison. There are few things to note. The local paper just had a clip mentioning that the electricity usage over the last month hit an all time high on the Friday morning when it reached 5o. While the above November usage may have been helped by warmer temperatures in 08 over 07, it is a fact that Jan 09 was colder than Jan 08. But all in all, this much colder weather would have only been captured in the last week of the monthly cycle. This means I will need to closely evaluate February as well. So now, the results: 14% reduction over 08 and a less than 1% increase over 07. Cost: $99

3 – Turn down the temperature of the electric hot water heater (it was too hot already, not safe with a toddler in the house)
The first time I turned the temperature down I went too far. According to wife. Prior to lowering the temperature, we would have the shower about 50% toward the hot water. After this first adjustment we basically went to 100% open hot water. I re-adjusted the temperature and now we have settled at about 80% toward the hot water. Cost: $FREE

4 – Install a insulated blanket on the hot water heater
We purchased an insulated blanket from Lowes and wrapped around the hot water heater, plus put some scrap insulation on the top. The hot water heater is in the garage, but it did feel warm on the outside to the touch so I felt that the blanket could conserve a small amount of energy. COST: $20

5 – Install a dimmer switch, if possible, for the recessed lighting in our kitchen
It was possible to install a dimmer switch. I don’t’ believe there was much of an impact because it just isnt practical to dim the light as much as I thought we could. COST: $10

6 – Replace all high usage light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
Installed 7 CFLs in our most commonly used lamps. I did not replace the lights in the kitchen that I mention above due to the high cost and number of bulbs (8). COST: $15

Total cost of supplies $144.

Savingswell we did see significant reductions in usage, but with an increase in the cost of electricity we really didnt save much real money. Not yet anyway. Saved $16 in November, but increases made January go up by $26. I would still call this a success due to the usage reduction.

Have you implemented these or other eletricity or green money saving ideas? Any tips you can give?

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