At the mid-point each month, I look forward to getting our energy bill to see if any of our energy-saving measures are starting to pay off. So far, I’ve only seen small improvements. This month, however, the improvements are noticeable. I’ve received feedback from readers who are much more knowledgeable in energy use reduction than I am that looking at month-over-month changes is not nearly as telling as looking at year-over-year changes, since usage patterns vary considerably based on seasonal factors. Looking year over year, our electricity usage is down by 15% and our gas usage is down by 45%. Since our furnace is by far our biggest user of natural gas, I credit reprogramming our thermostat and keeping the temperature at 68% as being the reason behind the improvements. I do think we can squeeze out a bit more efficiency by continuing to optimize the thermostat programming, primarily with trying to move the “away” temperature down more to see if we can do so without causing any problems. In spite of these improvements, it is clear we have a long way to go in improving our electricity usage. Our current usage, 920 KWHs a month is still pretty high considering that we are actively working to bring this down. Although a bit dated, here’s some really useful data about KWH usage, based on geographical region.
In other news, I am sad to report that we’ve lost a chicken. A few mornings ago I realized that there were only five chickens in the coop/run. I looked all around but didn’t see the sixth chicken. We’ve been letting them free range a bit during the day and I think the chicken jumped over the fence and couldn’t get back in. When I closed them into their coop that night, I think I closed one chicken out of the coop. We found a pile of feathers in our yard, so we know for sure it is gone. The lost chicken was one of our Buff Orpingtons, the one we named Blondie. So RIP Blondie. I hope you went quickly.
In final chicken news, no eggs yet. The chickens are getting mild threats of heading to the stew pot if they don’t produce soon. These are empty threats, but it sure would be great to start getting some eggs from them.