Saturday, June 12, 2010

1.3 kWh per day

we just got our electric bill for last month - we used an average of 1.3 kWh per day, for a total bill (including $9 worth of miscellaneous fees) of $14.11.

most of the electricity we use is consumed by our very efficient refrigerator (retrofitted out of an old chest freezer). the rest is used by lights, computers, a random battery charger, mp3 player, or other small items. our bill does not reflect the amount we use to do laundry - we take our stuff to the laundromat for washing, and dry it on a clothesline. we don't have a conventional hot water heater - all of our hot water is heated in a black hose and in a black tank on the roof of our bath house (dish washing and bathing is an afternoon activity). fortunately, we live in a temperate climate, so our heating and cooling needs are extremely minimal. that, and all of my studio equipment (sewing machine and sound equipment) runs off of a solar system that cost around $500.

when we move into the papercrete cabin we're building, we expect to be able to run everything we need off of a very small solar system (under $2000). we've mentioned this before, but we really feel strongly that an important step towards getting off the grid is to minimize usage and maximize efficiency as much as possible first, then buy only the smallest system necessary. it can always be added onto later.