Name: Paul

Thursday, December 20, 2007

End of year update

It looks like our energy usage will end up about 5400 Units, which is more than the 5000 Units of the last two years. Bummer.

The first half of the year went really well. We were tracking at or below all other years. But then on the 3rd of October, on a dark and stormy night, we had a baby at home. We ran the heat-pump almost 24 hrs a day for about a week. And, of course, we started washing nappies almost every day. That made October almost as power hungry a month as mid winter June/July.

Once again - it's really hard to tell what effect my insulation efforts have had. There's no blindingly obvious reduction in power. But... we're now a family of three and still we're going to be well under the 8000 Units that the government uses to define a "low user" of electricity. That's not bad considering all our home energy usage is electric - we don't use gas or wood. (Even the lawns are mown with an electric mower.)

We finally switched to Meridian last month. Once we'd transitioned from pre-pay to standard billing with Genesis, it was easy to switch providers - just a phone call did the trick. So now all our home energy usage is electricity generated form "renewable" sources (mostly hydro).

Last weekend I finished putting two 1000 litre rain tanks in behind the garage. The tanks cost $85 each from Pacific Wallcoverings in Porirua. On Tuesday a southerly came through and gave me 500 litres of rainwater. I'll be using this water for the garden over summer.

My next plan is to add another two 1000 litre tanks behind the garage and work out some way to use the water for the toilet and clothes washer. I haven't thought about greywater yet.

Well... actually, I have... and I can't think of a clever/cheap way to do it. It may be one of those tasks that is best left to experts.


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