Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The first Step Toward Energy Independance

I have talked to quite a few people lately that express an interest in energy independance for their homestead. We too are interested in becoming independant of the big companies. Sometimes in the excitement and rush to get solar or wind power people miss a very important and basic step. Unless, one can afford a very large and very important system it is unlikely that solar or wind can support the average energy use of a home. I know, when I looked into getting enough solar panels 2 years ago to support the energy consumption of our farm the cost would have been around 25,000.00 dollars. That is a very large chunk of change. What I needed to do was to reasses our energy consumption and cut it down. So for these past two years we have cut down our energy usage, little by little. Go a little longer during the year without aircondition, add extra insulation to the deep freezer and water heater, use as little lighting as possible, cook outdoors, hang clothes on the line, things such as these make a big difference. Then there are a few little things such as turning off power strips so there are no little blue lights drawing minute amounts of power. When I my coffee is finished brewing I will place my coffee in a thermos and turn off the coffee pot so that it is not on for several hours. We are working on cutting down on our refrigeration needs which will also lower our needs. We wash laundry in cold water and wear some clothes twice before they get washed, cutting down on the number of loads. We have assigned shower days, so that there are not multiple showers being taking every single day. We are also seeking to make our home more energy efficient, which can be a difficult task as it is quite an old home. We have caulked windows and stopped leaks around doors. Little by little we have reduced our energy use 1400kW per month. We are still seeking to reduce that number further. We will be putting solar on the chicken and rabbit house this summer, just enough to power a light and a fan. That will be the first victory for us and the first reward for all our hard work to reduce our needs.

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