Between the middle of July and the middle of August, we installed a few dozen new compact fluorescent bulbs in our house. We’ve been more diligent than ever about turning off lights. As the middle of the month approached, I was getting excited about seeing our energy bill because I thought we’d see a nice noticeable dip in our electricity usage. Then the bill arrived. And here you see it. For our July bill, we used 880 KWH (kilowatt hours), for August it was up to 1040 KWH. That’s an 18% increase. Why, oh, why???
Thinking about the differences between the two months, I can only think of two things. First, we spent a few days during the July billing cycle out of town, so usage was very low on those days. Second, for a week during the August billing cycle, our greenhouse was being built. This required the use of equipment that drew electricity, primarily an air compressor and various saws. Aside from these two differences, our usage patterns were pretty much the same or better in August — except we installed all those compact fluorescent bulbs, which should have helped. Since we’ve also started using the clothesline, I am hoping we see better results in our next bill. We might also buy a Kill A Watt product to be able to measure the usage of our various appliances. And I have to say a real-time home electricity monitoring system is starting to look tempting as well.
On a positive note, our greenhouse was finished on Monday. I’m going to take and post pictures this weekend. Also, we’re going to build the chicken coop on Monday. So, even though our electricity reduction program isn’t going as well as planned, we’re making real progress on the suburban homesteading front.