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A Year of Energy Use 2009-2010

Here is a chart to illustrate our energy use over the last year.

Hagar Energy-Use7-2009-7-2010

Hagar Energy-Use7-2009-7-2010


According to the Dept. of Energy, the average U.S. household used 920 kWh a month in 2008. Our data (2009-2010) reveals that we have some “energy detective work” to do in comparison to the 2008 DOE data. There are data points to the DOE statement that do not apply to our home such as, we do not heat or cool our home mechanically and, we have a propane on-demand hot water heater.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2011 12:19 am

    “-” I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information .;~

  2. October 20, 2011 3:26 am

    If you aren’t tracking your energy bill each and every month, you don’t know what is getting past you that you are paying needless dollars for. Wouldn’t you prefer to have money for food and not have to worry about the heating bill? Consider making your home more energy efficient. Turn off any electrical item that is not in use including anything that is plugged in. Monitor how your energy bill changes with each item you unplug–not just turn off. The energy pigs are the electrical items that only get turned off but still draw power. This is costing you money. Just like we did, make a spreadsheet showing your data and make notes where the usage drops considerably or is far and above 1,000 kwH (kilowatt hours). Ask for an energy audit from your local utility…some are free. Then, take steps to lessen your energy usage and put that money back into your pockets. Let me know if you find this info helpful too.

  3. clay permalink
    January 16, 2012 3:12 am

    If you are not using electricity for heat I don’t understand why you are using nearly 2k KWH in January? This is more than I use to cool my house in Texas using standard AC.

    Surely you can’t be using that much electricity on lighting?

    • January 18, 2012 2:44 am

      Clay….Thanks for being observant! We moved into our home at the end of 2008 even though the east end of our home was not technically complete. What I mean by that is that the ceilings were not totally closed in and we had no window coverings on nearly 15 east end windows except for 1-inch blue foam which we put up at night and on cloudy days. We also discovered that the roof design–a 2-inch gap on both north and south sides along the entire roofline was actually allowing a LOT of energy to escape whenever we had strong winds. (This roof design is popular in Europe on homes that have issues with ice dams with snow/ice buildup.) We get strong winds up here a LOT! And so was our journey of discovery and as you see on our power bills. We learned the lessons the hard way as most humans do.
      Another factor in January 2010 was a really windy, snowy and cold winter. We ran the Hydro-seal (sealed oil) baseboard heaters for heat a lot all the while keeping our wood stove burning too. With all of the snow we had, of course, we had our heavy equipment plugged in a lot and those suckers really BURN the electricity!
      So, lessons learned from the period in the charts that you were looking at Jul 2009 thru July 2010 were these:
      1) seal some of the roof off but not all of it–we’d have too much moisture buildup inside since these types of structures hold in humidity;
      2) don’t run the baseboard heaters unless we absolutely have to–like days and days of subzero temperatures or several cloudy days–remember, our home is a thermal mass, so no heat put in=no heat put out;
      3) don’t keep the heavy equipment plugged in all the time–we plug it in about half hour before we need it or all night if the temperatures stay at subzero;
      4) the last thing we learned is that we needed and wanted to pay ourselves, so we installed some solar panels, which has cut our electricity bill by more than two-thirds. We also took advantage of state rebates for this and Federal tax incentives.
      I invite you to take a look at the latest charts to see how our energy use has changed since then.
      Good question.

      • clay permalink
        January 18, 2012 3:14 am

        Thanks for the info. I asked because I am contemplating attempting to build a small tire bale house but this seemed to contradict the claims they were energy efficient!

        Still trying to find information on sources of tire bales and likelihood of even being able to get a building permit here in Dallas

      • January 18, 2012 3:45 am

        Clay Give me a call sometime and we can talk about some things you might need to get started….like finding someone to get those tire bales from. send me an email first…invision AT ecentral.com

        Would a tire bale home work there in Dallas? Absolutely! You might also try contacting Mike Shealy to see what he recommends for your area. mikey@touchtheearthranch.com

        Laura

  4. January 18, 2012 3:06 am

    Sorry to be tardy.
    Will take a bit of time to sort through weather station data with comparisons to utility bills and netmetering notices. sorry will be a bit more time.

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