Monday, July 28, 2008

July Update: Cooling Off Sumer Energy Use

Ouch. Ater a strong start, our latest electric bill is a big step backward. The mid-July bill shows we used 334 kWh in the invoice period, a big increase from 2007. I knew we might be up a bit since I was out of town for a couple weeks this time last year, but I still thought it would balance out with a lot of nights that were cool enough to do without the a/c. Moral of the story: it’s useful to have an independent confirmation of energy usage, since one’s own perceptions may not be accurate.

Here’s where we are
. Meter readings and dates (better month bolded):
  • June 2007: 276 kWh / June 2008: 179 kWh
  • July 2007: 236 kWh / July 2008: 334 kWh
  • August 2007: 476 kWh
  • September 2007: 232 kWh
  • TOTALS: Summer 2008: ???? / Summer 2007: 1220 kWh
So far we’re almost exactly almost exactly the same as last year at this time (513 kWh this year, vs. 512 kWh at this point last year). Not good news since we’re moving into the hottest part of the summer. If anyone has tips, send ’em on over!

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Walk in the Woods said...

I don't do AC. Perhaps I'm blessed to live in southern New England where - really - the summer temps are quite moderate. Though - most folks I know seem to keep their homes cooler in summer than they deem comfortable in winter.

When the heat gets to me, I wear a cool, damp washcloth around my neck. I sit outdoors in the evening and fan myself - with an old-school hand fan. I sip cool iced tea with mint. I remember that sweating is good for me . . . and I enjoy it!

:) Stay cool!

Hops said...

Don't get too down on yourself. I used an embarrassing 374 kWh last month. My willpower just disappears during a blistering heat wave.

As for tips, umm... don't spend that much time at home on hot days. Shut up your windows and blinds during the day, but put fans in the windows to let the cool night air in. Fill a squirt bottle with ice water and mist yourself. If your layout allows it, go for the wind tunnel with windows on opposite ends of a room.

jen x said...

WitW, I went to college in New England and I don't recall ever living anywhere with a/c either. I'm not sure if summers are getting hotter of if I'm just getting wimpier!

Hops, awww, thanks for making me feel better! We don't have any cross-ventilation, just windows on the east wall. I think I should take your advice and try to work outside the house for a couple hours a day (all my summer school classes are online so I'm here waaaay too much).