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Being Green Pays Off In Hydro And Gas Savings

Ha! So it is worth wearing an extra sweater and weaning myself off my old "light junkie" habits ;-)

I wonder if it makes any difference some days, when I can't seem to get warm, and I can't summon the energy to get up off the couch to turn off the bathroom light left on by one of the kids, but then... our bills arrive, bringing with them renewed inspiration.

First, let's look at hydro. (This would be me chasing after the kids, sending them back to their rooms to turn lights off. "Who's watching that TV? No one? OK can we turn it off please?") Turn off, unplug, turn off, unplug... you get the picture.

This month is the third month in a row that we've had a credit balance on our bill, and we'll probably get one more credit month as well. This of course is pre-paid hydro from being on the equal payment plan, and ideally the money could be in our bank account earning interest, but the fact that our credit this year equals about four months is evidence of our decreased consumption.

Confirming this is the "Daily Average Comparison" featured on the bill, which reads as follows:

Jan 2008 58 kWh
Jan 2009 30 kWh

This year we are using just slightly more than half of the hydro we used last year, all from unplugging things while not in use, and turning off unnecessary lights.

Next let's look at gas, which we use for heating and cooking.

We recently installed new windows, and I think they are the main reason that our gas consumption is less. I do try and use the toaster oven when I can instead of the gas oven, and I've been hanging most of our clothes to dry as well. According to our bill, the weather has been colder this January than last, and yet our gas usage has been less:

Jan 2008 Average daily temp: 4C; Average daily gas usage: 0.52 GJ
Jan 2009 Average daily temp: 0C; Average daily gas usage: 0.37 GJ

Our monthly installment payment has gone down from $147.00 to $127.00.

You wonder (at least I did) when you turn off that extra light or turn the heat down that half degree if it really makes any difference. Apparently so!

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Damon said...

Shock horror! 30kWh/day!

Until the arrival of the newborn in November we were on less than 6kWh/d, and we're only doing about 1 extra right now.

(Yes, we heat with gas.)

It turns out, BTW, that the energy we save with our new A+ fridge/freezer exactly compensates for the extra washing of the baby's clothes... What dark secret of the universe have I uncovered? B^>



JEANNE said...

Wow!! That's amazing.

I wonder if your house is better insulated than ours? I keep an electric baseboard at 18C in the basement when the kids play down there, otherwise they'd need jackets (the gas furnace doesn't warm our basement very well).

Great job - you're a good example to follow :)

Damon said...

It's better insulated than it was: our roof was one of only 3 in easy view out of (say) 20 that had a full covering of unmelted snow when I got home last night after our recent 4 inches of falls and then a day just above freezing...

(See some of our improvements at but not all of those are just insulation and draft-proofing of course.)

I'm still thinking about more interior and exterior wall insulation for heavily-used rooms though, maybe for next year...