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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Electricity Update

When I installed my programmable thermostats back in January, I expected to see some modest change in the amount of electricity I used over the coldest and darkest winter months. With three of the main rooms in the house (bedroom, tv room, and living room) now on programmable thermostats and many of the electronics in the house on power bars that cut off a lot of the phantom power (aka vampire power), I was hoping to see something real almost right away. Well, this morning the bill arrived by e-mail.

Comparing November - December 2007 to January - February 2008 saw a 9.4% drop in total daily electricity use, despite the fact that it was dramatically colder during the latter months and my house is heated by electricity. This represents an overall savings of 1205 kWh - that's more than 1 MEGAWATT! Granted, electricity is still pretty cheap, so my total cash savings is only about $128 (over two months), but that still means all three thermostats have paid for themselves with enough left over for any power bars I would have had to buy if I didn't have them laying around. Since I'd also converted a number of bulbs to CF, this would have helped the savings as well.

This encourages me a lot as return on investment (ROI) is the way we can justify the high initial cost of buying CF bulbs, thermostats, solar heaters and so on. Knowing that these items will eventually and actually pay for themselves means that I've made a good investment and will be likely to put more money into it as time goes by!
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