~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Energy bill in the balance

While I remain committed to fighting nanny state mandates wherever they rear their hydra-like heads, I'm still a cheapskate who'd like to reduce his energy bill to near zero. Saving Mother Earth is just gravy.

Our utilities expenses aren't very much (with new construction comes new insulation, new code rated furnace and such) but like with stealth technology, now that we have our radar cross section down so low, I can't resist playing around with it.

I'm considering experimenting with the following:

- Compact fluorescent bulbs. Controversial, ugly, mercury ridden, but hey! If it'll knock a few bucks off my utilities, I'll give them a shot. My research is still ongoing, but here's my plan so far. 1)Switch outdoor lights over to CFL, 2)buy several different brands of indoor CFLs and long life incandescents for some home comparison tests. Where we go from there really depends on our test results. Can anyone recommend a brand of CFL you've had luck with?

- Inline water heater. I've crunched the numbers and I just can't justify replacing our current water heater with a new "on demand" unit until the current one reaches the end of its life. But I'm excited by this new technology, and as a stop gap, I want to get a thermal blanket.

- Catch barrel for sump runoff. Our basement was carved out of solid bedrock. We're basically sitting inside a granite bowl beneath the water table. This means that in wet weather, the sump pump collects and discharges a bunch of water... water that just goes to waste in the woods behind the house. Come Summer, I then water the lawn with water I pay for out of the city spout. Surely there's a way to make one source of water pay for the other. Developing...

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