Saturday, September 5, 2009

Using Less Power

Seems that we, as a nation, are cutting back every where.

According to this article demand for electricity is down, which means that we should see a drop in our electric bills.

I won't complain.

But I'd still like to install that small solar array so that, when we lose power in the next winter storm, we can power our computers ... for work, yeah, not for blogging ;) ... and save the generator power for the more important stuff, like the freezer full of chicken (and the deer Deus Ex Machina is going to get this year ... but no pressure, babe ;).


  1. I've been in power down mode for a year. I finally realized that all the tiny changes I made don't hold a candle to the hot in my basement, the hot water heater. Since hot water is one of the things I truly and deeply adore we're not going without but I may have a way to fix it in a year or two. Solar just isn't in the cards for us but I'll be very interested in hearing how you do it!

  2. I have a laptop that doesn't work fabulously, but that I keep around in case of such a situation where we're on a generator but still want to check online. I have also seen a few ads here and there for a small solar panel that will power a laptop and recharge cell phones and such for relatively little money (I remember one being around $140 or so online somewhere). You can stick them in your car window on a sunny but winter day and recharge the laptop with it. I'd also like a solar array when we finally buy our own home (we rent right now) and also do some wind turbine work. I know a few people who only have a solar hot water situation (and when I say "only", naturally I would be happy with "only" that!) and they're quite happy with it! I figure start small and work up if neccessary.

    This year I'm going to partially "berm" the north side of our house we rent with hay bales. We found some old windows free on the side of the road a couple years back, so where there is a window in our house, I'll pile haybales under the window, then stick the window a couple inches out from the original window and surround the window with bales on each side and then bales above to about maybe 5 feet high. That way light can still get into the window, and if there's a fire, we simly open the original window and kick the second one out from the haybale and out we go.

    I'll update everyone as to how much energy is saved on heating by "berming" my north side this way. I figure it will cost approximately $50-$75 for all the haybales I'll need, but I am convinced this will pay for itself in energy savings!