Every month we receive not one but TWO notices in the mail from ComEd, our electricity supplier. The first is the monthly bill, which I always promptly pay. The second is a home energy report. The report sums up how our energy usage compares to 100 nearby occupied homes that are similar in size to ours. While I am happy to see that we rank in the “GOOD” tier, I would feel a lot better if we were doing “GREAT”. The desire to improve nags me every month!
However, I am more irked by the actual monthly report. It is supposed to encourage energy and cost savings, but sending a separate mailing costs ENERGY and MONEY. Wouldn’t it be nice if ComEd could squeeze this info onto the print out of our monthly bill, sparing the trees used for paper, the energy required to deliver the note and the money used for postage?! Please, can someone stop this insanity!
I’m the one cutting the check for the monthly electric bill, and every month I challenge myself to decrease our energy usage. Here are some little things we do as a family:
1. We rarely turn on the AC in the summer. After a long winter full of chills and shivers, we love to soak in all the summer heat. And opening the windows does wonders!
2. I make the kids turn off the lights. If I notice they left the lights on in their rooms on the 4th floor, I ask them to go allllll the way up to turn off the lights. Even if they are on the first floor. They are never happy about it, but it is a lesson they have to learn.
3. We turn all lights off at night. Living in the city means it is never totally dark in our house, so we don’t even bother with nightlights.
4. I hang dry whatever I can. All my work-out clothes, big blankets, cloth diaper covers, fleece jammies – these are just a few things that can always be hung dry with no sacrifice to comfort. And that saves us at least one dryer load a week.
5. We only run full loads with the washing machine and laundry. Might as well maximize the energy being used!
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