After figuring out our baseline electricity consumption, we were mortified to see how much electricity we use. I had honestly thought our usage was about half of that amount.
So, where are we wasting electricity?
We have over 30 50 watt halogen downlights throughout the house. They use a lot of electricity, and we’re pretty slack about turning them off when we’re not using them. We also often leave a couple on as night-lights for the kids, in case they wake up and need to go to the bathroom or something.
Our hot water system uses a lot of electricity (10-15 kWh/day). Sure, it’s cheap off-peak power, but it’s still a lot of electricity.
We have an old fridge down in the garage. It’s mostly used for storing milk, juice, beer and wine. Given its age, it’s probably not very efficient.
We don’t turn off appliances like TVs, videos, computers, etc at the wall. I’ve read that standby power use can be significant, so maybe they’re contributing. We also often end up with multiple TVs turned on and nobody watching.
The kids often use the high-power bathroom heater lights instead of the normal light. They often forget to turn it off when they leave the bathroom, too.
We don’t use the clothes dryer very much at all, and we only run the washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full. We don’t have an air conditioner, and we use gas for heating and stove-top cooking.
I can’t think of anything else that would be using significant electricity at the moment.
From the above list, it’s pretty obvious there are several things we can do to reduce our electricity use. I’ve begun investigating alternatives to our halogen downlights, and we’ve already started replacing normal incandescent bulbs with CFLs. Turning off lights in empty rooms needs to become more of a habit. I’ve also got a power meter, so I’ll start measuring how much electricity various appliances are using.