Remember when I reported that our natural gas usage was going up significantly for our February bills? Well, it turns out there’s more to it.
Our February 2014 bill sure shows a huge increase from 2013, because we had a mini Ice Age in Nebraska last year. (And while most of the rest of the USA is experiencing super cold and super snow volume this year, we are not and feel blessed. We love ya, Boston!) Previous years do show an annual usage increase, too.
But this year, we reduced our usage! Our February gas usage was 185 therms (lift your jaw back up, please), compared to last year’s 225. A big reason for that is my turning the thermostat to 67 degrees and holding it there. We bundled up when I was home during the day, and when we hunkered down for the few hours before bedtime. We slept well in the cooler temperature, also. In previous years, we’ve either set it at 69 and held, or programmed it to increase and decrease. What a difference two degrees makes!
I also replaced weather stripping in January. That stopped drafts at our rickety storm door, at the back sliding door, and at the door to the garage, which really helped keep the furnace from turning on as much. And, finally, we did not use the gas fireplace starter this month, like we usually do in the February billing cycle.
Even better news: the cost of gas went down, too, so the portion of the bill for gas was 33.8% less than last year’s number! WOW!
Going forward, we need to reduce our energy use further. Part of that includes adding more, proper insulation. Since we’re getting new siding on the exposed north side of our house this spring, we’ll be taking care of that side. Our budget only allows that (huge and important) side of the house to be done this year. In the fall, depending on the budget monthly rollover amounts, I might be replacing the gas water heater with a more efficient one, as well. I’ve already got leaks caulked, foam plates behind outlet covers and light switches, outlet covers, and window coverings installed. The air flow issue was addressed in 2012. I’ll be working on some other projects in this area, but don’t have much to spend on solutions this year.
Oh, yes. Creativity. That Mutha of Invention.
Bottom line: We’re doing better than I thought with energy use, but we need to be doing better. Our best available options are now expensive ones.
What one thing have you done to bring awesome energy savings to your home?