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Old 05-30-2008, 04:56 AM   #1
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Since you asked...

Insulated and sealed the ductwork in the basement (it was open and bare).

Hot water heater blanket.

Added more insulation to attic and basement, putting in radiant barrier when the delivery arrives from mail order.

Installed CF?s in pretty much every socket except two immediate use/short duration lights

Set the thermostat to 80 during the summer weekdays when we?re not home and 75 when we are home in the summer, with corresponding reductions in winter for heating.

Isolated phantom loads and put many of them on power strips with a switch on the wall to turn them off when we?re not home. Going to hook some of the more forgetful strips to an X10 controller as my kids are not quite at the "remember anything" stage of life yet.

Use a late model iMac instead of a PC whenever possible (which is most of the time), as it consumes only 25W of power as opposed to the 450W demon PC consumption. There is no good reason why World Of Warcraft has to cost so much in energy consumption!

Installed ES ceiling fans in all of the upstairs bedrooms, useful for both summer and winter heating/cooling cost reduction.

Installed weather stripping on ALL of our windows. Added insulation behind every light switch and plug in the house which drastically cut down on the draft we?d feel in winter or when running the AC.

Reuse our plastic bags like they were going out of style.

Started a 3x3x3 compost pile (1) in the back yard.

Gotten a push Reel mower (me-powered) and electric weed wacker and dumped the old gas mower and gas trimmer.

Ride the bicycles to close destinations weather permitting. Also have a motorcycle (55 mpg) and a Vino 125 cc scooter (75 to 85 mpg, and it goes 55 mph if on a downhill slope, heh) we try to use instead of cars whenever possible.

Drive cars only when necessary. Combine tasks to conserve fuel by doing as much in a single trip as possible. Driving in ways I've noodled combined with new techniques I'm learning on this site.

Started recycling plastics (it?s not mandatory in our area).

Setting up a rain barrel/rain water collection system for the garden next week. If I prove to be a handy plumber type of person with this project then I will expand it to a more grand scheme of a thousand or two thousand gallon collection system based under our deck (homeowner?s association has a thing against large projects being visible, and yes, I hate them).

Our house faces directly south. Directly. And we have two very large windows in the front of the house. I?m buying retractable awnings and installing them along all of the windows in the front for summer time use. The amount of heat generated by these windows is enormous, we?ve known this for a while but didn?t think to get awnings (busy kind of people the last few years) until recently.

Working on a ventilation scheme for the garage so it doesn?t heat up so much in the summer, preferably a small solar powered arrangement from a small 10W or smaller panel.

Put ourselves on the list for a 2009 Prius, which is rumored (by Toyota) to go up to about 80 mpg when its released next spring. Even if it doesn't, it still will get better mileage than my Matrix.

Our energy consumption was slashed by more than half on the things we've done already (verified through stacks of electric/gas bills kept from the past few years). The rest I'm about to do should add quite a benefit as well. Our neighbors constantly complain about utility costs and how they're going through the roof, while ours have actually lowered.

Since you (this forum section) asked.

More in the works as well, at least until I start seeing diminishing returns. Would like to eventually move part of our lighting/appliances to a small solar panel/wind genny setup, but that's long term.

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Old 05-30-2008, 05:01 AM   #2
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Kudos to you! Just think if just half of the people in this nation would do this.


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Old 05-30-2008, 05:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TomO View Post
Kudos to you! Just think if just half of the people in this nation would do this.
No kidding. Unfortunately at this stage in our history it is only the fringe obsessed kooks like me and a few others who do these kinds of measures (if they were not built into the home at construction). That may be changing, but it is ever so slow a transition. If it weren't for my absolute fascination with energy consumption efficiency I doubt I would have been arsed to do this, so I can see why others don't (in a theoretical sense anyway). Too bad really, as it helps not only for some nebulous philosophical "green" reasons that most don't care about, it also has a very real and practical payoff in net energy reduction which translates into less cash spent on utilities. Plus the house just *feels* nicer in every season.

Thanks, btw.
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