Sunday, June 15, 2008

If Only and Energy Efficiency

I was thinking today about what I would like to do to help the energy crisis and the family budget if only I could afford it.

1. Change the windows that are not double glazed ( and rotting away slowly but surely ) . About 1/2 our windows are not done.

2. Change car to a new Hybrid model or much more fuel efficient.

3. Install a solar or wind powered energy system.

4. Increase the insulation and in some cases put insulation in place ( will do this year as within our budget.

Things we have done

1. Less visits to shops and better organised using a list ( still slip up and buy extras )
2. Get cars serviced to make what we have more fuel efficient
3. Very little use of the truck only when it is needed for specific task
4. Dropped the temperature down 2 degrees on the thermostat in the winter
5. Replaced most light bulbs with the new style lower wattage bulbs
6. Turned of spare computers off when not using them.
7. The family in general has become much better at turning TV's , Lights and other electrical goods off when not in use.
8. As we have replaced appliances have been much more conscious of energy efficiency for new appliance.
9. Replaced old 100 year old furnace with more modern energy efficient model.

Are there any other ideas for things we could do in budget or out of budget and what would you do if you had the money to be more energy efficient.


Pony Girl said...

Definitely a hybrid if I had the budget...those smart cars are cool but seem too little and dangerous for me.
I try to hit the dollar store for some of my essentials...I spent $15there the other day and brought home two bagfuls of items. At the drugstore, those things would have cost me $40 easy! Although you do have to shop selectively at the dollar store, luckily we have a pretty nice one here.
I need to change out the lightbulbs. Those energy efficient ones are more pricey to buy, but they last forever!

kdwhorses said...

I think we all are having to cut corners and watch every penny! It is really crazy what things cost. I do not make unnecessary trips to town at all. I too have bought things at the Dollar Store as well. Name brand things they are lots cheaper and we have a nice dollar store close. If we had the money we need all new windows in our house. We live in a older farm house. I do keep the window units turned up higher during the day and then turn them down at night while we sleep. Any events we haul too, we are pooling together with others to help with the fuel costs. I keep forgetting to buy the new lightbulbs.
Great ideas, It is scary to think what it is going to be like in the future.

cdncowgirl said...

* unplug appliances when they are not being used! Even turned off they will "leach" electricity if they are plugged in.
* keep vehicles "topped up" on fuel. Less is lost to evaporation. (not to mention it doesn't hurt as much to spend $20 to fill your tank as opposed to much more if it is really low!)
* programmable thermostats! I LOVE ours. Have it progammed for daytime temps, evening temps and nighttime temps. That way you can have the temperature lower when no one is at home or at night when you're sleeping.
* collect rainwater for watering gardens. We have a rain barrel at every downspout on our house and garage. For the last two years I haven't had to use the garden house to water any of my flower beds! Also the plants seem to like this water better. To prevent mosquitos add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the barrels.

Anonymous said...

I would love to put solar panels on the south facing roof of the indoor arena. All that empty tin roof spot just waiting for panels. Use it for lights etc in the barn and then sell the rest back to the electric company. From what I understand though, installation is pretty expensive so this isn't on this year's list. Someday maybe...

Grey Horse Matters said...

Everyone has such good suggestions. I was thinking of getting insulated drapes/shades for the winter to keep the room temps consistent.