Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going Greener

My programmable thermostat is already helping me to save on my electric bill.  The heat pump now runs from 8AM to noon and then doesn't run again until the next morning.  My "smart meter" transmits my energy use information to the electric company, which publishes it on their website so I can track my progress.  In the two weeks since I installed the new thermostat, my overall energy use has gone down and my use of electricity during peak hours has almost completely stopped.  This has encouraged me to go even further.

This weekend I had the ductwork in my heating and cooling system sealed and a solar-powered water heater installed (Arizona is the perfect place to put in solar).  Tax credits and rebates should pay for about half the cost, and I expect to save the rest within the next four years.

I can already feel more air coming from the registers and it's warmer than it used to be; the difference should be even more marked during the summer.  In addition, the duct sealing should cut down on the allergens entering the house, allowing me to cut back on the use of my effective but noisy and electricity-guzzling air purifier.  I'm also looking forward to having more hot water available all winter.

Of course all this energy conservation should be good for the environment, too, but I doubt I would have made the investment if the payoff had been 20 years down the road.  It's great to be able to feel that I'm doing good and will also be saving money in the foreseeable future.  I wonder why Kermit the Frog says it's not easy being green?

"The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun." ~Ralph Nader

No comments:

Post a Comment