It is more difficult than I thought it would be, but looking into my energy usage has taken me to a higher level of enthusiasm. I realized that I don’t have any proper method of recording how much I was spending on electricity, water and petrol. But I am happy that I was able to get all relevant payment data from online bank statements.
It was a long exercise; I collected last year’s data for electricity and realized that there is a huge variation in the monthly bill amounts. In summers, I am paying more than double what I pay in the winter. This also means that this coming summer, I need to look at the energy efficiency of my air-conditioning system.
I also realized that I am not paying for the water based on usage, at least not directly. Apartment’s housing welfare society has a fixed amount for water per flat, and that is part of monthly maintenance charges we pay. So I can’t actually measure how much water we are using, but again the objective here is not to just lower down the bill amount, but to reduce usage of water.
My next steps to reduce electricity usage:
- Count CFLs and incandescent light bulbs, replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs. I know that I have two bed-side lamps with dimmers and I can’t use CFL with those. It will be a hard decision to make what to do with those.
- I also have three roof-top light bars, each has six bulbs connected to a single switch. Either I will take a few bulbs out or increase the quantity of switches so that I have few bulbs per switch. It will not be an easy ride — while writing this, I am already seeing myself standing on that folding stair I have and spending an afternoon doing this. In reality I always wanted to do this, it’s good I have the 360º Energy Diet to remind me of all this long-forgotten stuff.
- Read all wattage rating on CFL and validate if a few can be replaced by lesser wattage rating CFL.
Steps taking to reduce water usage:
- Lowered down one of the shower heads
- Replaced regular hand showerhead with the one with faucet to control the flow
- Have improved decision-making in place before selecting the wash cycle
- To plan what to do with waste water which comes out of the RO system installed in our kitchen. May be I will use it to water plants.
Currently I drive a car which is not very fuel efficient and last year I drove around 20,000 kilometers (12,427 miles). Public transportation in this part of the country is not very dependable. But I will try to jump in to some shared rides and share my experiences in my coming posts here.
A man sits in his car at the traffic lights, waiting for them to go green. -Michael Frayn
Nature is now waiting for you and me to go green.