Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sticker Shock

I am usually not afraid of the mail man (although Tater loathes him) but I think this week I have changed my mind. Tuesday, right in the middle of me blissfully soaking up the peace and quiet of all my kids back at school, the kind mail man slides the BC Hydro bill through the slot. I was expecting it. I knew it would be high with the Christmas season and all. But, when I saw the numbers 6-2-5 with the decimal point after the five I became weak at the knees.(We are billed two months at a time.& everything in the house is electric. Heat, hot water etc.)When I announced the number to Grant he thought I was kidding. I wish I was. Apparently my kids think the power bill is a contest...the highest one wins, I think we are in the running. I'm definitely NOT a tree hugger, but even I have to admit that we have wasted energy and need to make some drastic changes.

After the initial Sticker Shock wore off, we had a rather intense family meeting with our "power piggy's"(the eye rolling was hard to ignore)....We came up with the following rules/ideas to lessen our power consumption.

-5 minute showers, strictly enforced
-one towel a week, one outfit a day
-one TV on at a time (our kids have a habit of watching all 3 TV's simultaneously, usually on the same channel)
-leave the light on in your bedroom- lose your light bulb (H&B have already lost theirs)
-wash all laundry in cold, run full loads only...teenagers have this annoying habit of washing one pair of jeans and a hoodie, ignoring the mountain of laundry sitting there
-I also discovered that electric base board heaters should be vacuumed out at least twice a year, dust build up lessens their efficiency (who knew?)
-Turn down the heat in bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry and storage rooms and leave the doors closed
-shut all blinds and curtains at night, can cut heat loss by 30 %

-I also discovered that BC Hydro offers a BC Hydro Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP)They will send you a kit that will help make your home more energy efficient, and if you are lower income, its free. You can also apply to have a technician come and install all the stuff for you, for free...but the kit is faster and less paper work

I am hoping we can get our power bill under control or my power piggy's can pay the next bill :)


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