Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Open Thread: Favorite Energy Efficiency

This is Maria Energia's first open thread, which means a question or comment is posed and you discuss or answer however you like. Start your (hybrid) engines!


Maria Surma Manka said...

I have two!

1) The CFL light bulb because it's so smart and easy
2) Growing my own basil.

The basil might not seem so revolutionary, but this summer I found it was a huge money/energy/waste saver. I figure I saved nearly $100 from not having to buy herbs from the store (I started making pesto), plus I wasn't buying them in the plastic packaging that gets tossed in the garbage.

Tim Hurst said...

I've got lots, but here's two:
1. Hanging my wet laundry on the clothesline to dry.
2. Having my electricity provider switch me over to a time-of-use (TOU) meter which keeps track of what times I used electricity and charges me accordingly. I've had it for four months and I estimate that so far I'm trimming 30-40% off the cost of my bill (I need better time-series data to compare my KwH usage, but it also has dropped).

Maria Surma Manka said...

Is a TOU something available in every state, or does it vary by your electricity provider?

Tim Hurst said...

Time-of-use meters have been around forever but people don't really know about them. Why? Basically, I think utilities just don't advertise them. I belong to a rural electric co-op that just began offering these last spring; but I found out about the program because I was doing some research and I came across it by accident -- not because they advertised them. I do not believe that TOUs are available everywhere, but people should contact their provider and ASK them nicely. If the utility says no, DEMAND that they offer them nicely!