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Energy: Household Electricity

by pkline — last modified Oct 05, 2013 03:53 PM
Every day, in every home, we turn on lights, switch on computers, video games, toasters, dishwashers, dryers, the list goes on. In terms of household contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and global climate disruption, our electric use plays a big part. This first step in our focus on energy will ask you to consider your own habits and patterns of electric use.

Understanding electricity

In 2011, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,280 kWh, an average of 940 kilowatthours (kWh) per month. US and Canadian househeolds use more than any other households on the planet.  But we can change that! To see how your electric footprint compares to those in other countries visit ShrinkThatFootprint

Preparation

Take this on line quiz on carbon emissions and how to reduce them

Read this great article about one family's  effort to conserve energy

Take stock

  • Know where your energy household comes from. Check your energy bill. Who supplies your energy? What percent (if any) comes from renewable sources?
  • Make a list of your appliances and their ages. Note the energy star rating.
  • Count the number and type of light bulbs you use. Indicate the bulbs that are turned on most frequently and for the longest period of time each day. Target these for replacement with compact flourescent bulbs and the newer LED bulbs.

Take Action

  1. Get an Energy Audit. One recommended auditor is Drew McDowell.  He can be reached at 484-319-5970. If possible schedule your audit before the August 17th meeting and bring the results to make a plan with our guest speaker, Paul Spiegel of Practical Energy Solutions. When looking for an auditor, ask to see a sample report. Be sure they give you practical information that will guide your decision making.
  2. Consider switching to a greener electricity provider. You can compare your options at PennFuture.  You can either buy clean electricity and have the price added to your normal electric bill or you can buy renewable energy credits (RECs) and pay the company that generates the electricity. Many of us have switched to the Energy Co-op: Sustainable Energy Community Powered
  3. Consider Solar, More and more Friends are shifting to solar panels for electricity and water heating. Call Anil at Sumintra, LLC to get an evaluation of your solar generation potential. Some state and federal subsidies can lower the costs of the installation. Phone: 267 241 7975 Email: anil@sumintra.com
  4. Complete the switch from conventional light bulbs to compact flourescents and LED bulbs. Make a calendar and set a date to make the switch. This will reduce your energy consumption and your monthly bills. Westtown school has LEDs for sale. Contact: judy.asselin@westtown.edu
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