Energy efficiency delivered via USPS

This little ditty came in the mail the other day. Do you get something like this where you live? 

It's our personalized electricity report from our power company, and it tells us important things... how much on-peak energy we use. On-peak times are those that the demand for energy is highest, typically during daylight ours. For example, in our area current peak summer hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., but in the winter the peak ours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Basically, the more energy you use during peak hours the higher your bill will be - especially if you are on a time-of-day billing plan, like us. 

A time-of-day billing plan is offered by many power companies as an incentive for customers to save a lot of money on their power bill by encouraging off-peak use. Our power company gives us a 40% discount on all off-peak use. We still pay the same rate for on-peak power, but of course we want to save more money (!), so we try to conserve energy during those peak times, hence saving tasks like laundry, running the dishwasher, and showers until the late evening or in the early morning when we wake up for work. 

We've been on a time-of-day plan for several years, and it really works for our lifestyle. We wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, so it's really easy to do a load of laundry while we are getting ready. Also, our dishwasher has a timer so we can load it and set it to run while we are sleeping. 

I think we're doing pretty good at only spending $2.19 a day on electricity.

And our power company suggests some other ways to conserve energy as well. Things like practicing energy-smart habits (microwave instead of stove, turning off vampire electronics, washing clothes in cold water, unplugging everything, using CFLs, replacing old appliances, and using rebates when purchasing new).

Rebates are pretty handy. John and I are big fans of rebates. Big fans! And we excited to find one for CFLs and LED bulbs on the back of our personalized electricity report.

One energy-smart habit that I am pretty stoked about (but John tends to detest) is strategically programming our thermostat. In the summer, I rarely turn on the AC. When I say "rarely" I mean that we have the AC on for a total of about 5 or 6 days in the summer. We sweat in the summer. A lot. The average high temps for June through August range from 78 to 87 degrees (according to our personalized electricity report!), so it wasn't too stifling. When we do use our AC, it is set to about 78 degrees or higher during peak times, and a few degrees cooler in the evening during off-peak times.

In the winter, we use a lot of blankets. And we wear thick socks. And hoodies. Because it's winter, and a person shouldn't be strutting around barefoot in a tank top and shorts. It ain't natural, people! So I set our thermostat to what some would call a chilly temperature - around 62 degrees. Yes, I am serious. Put on some damn pants - you'll be fine. And, we only heat the rooms we use. It's no use to heat our spare bedroom when no one uses it, so that door and the vents stay closed unless a guest arrives.

John hates that his home's temperature isn't maintained at a perfect 72 degrees year-round, but he doesn't pay the electricity bill. So there.



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