Proving the Worth of Green – Electricity

Kilowatt ImageWe received our electric bill today for the period of 8/5 to 9/4.  We used 2,384 kilowatt hours during this time period.  Our house is 3,501 square feet, which calculates to .68 kilowatt hours per square foot.  This is the most fair calculation I could think of to compare electricity usage in my own informal poll.  During this time period, the average high and low in Dallas were 96 and 76 degrees, respectively.

When I compared our usage to that of some of our friends, the typical non-Green home came in at about 1.3 kilowatt hours per square foot, just about twice our Green home.  It’s also important to note that the other homes I’m comparing to do not have a pool or electronics as extensive as we have…so our home is coming in even more efficient than the raw calculation shows.

Facts about our house:

  • We keep the air conditioner between 73 and 75. 
  • The main house uses two 21 SEER Carrier HVAC units
  • The studio has a highly-efficient Daiken HVAC unit.
  • We have the whole house ventilation system (ERV) on “intermittent”.
  • The pool filtration system is on a timer, and runs 2 hours per day.
  • We keep all of our entertainment electronics plugged in, but we turn off the Blu-Ray, speaker controllers, secondary DVR box, and printer when not specifically being used.
  • Per an earlier post, we have a charging station (for iPhones, iPods, electric toothbrushes, razors, house phones, etc) that is switched on only when specifically needed.
  • Because of all of our windows, we rarely turn on lights during the day.
  • The house has approximately 17% fluorescent lighting, including the primary lights for the kitchen and most task lighting.
  • The outdoor “moon lights” are compact fluorescent lamps.
  • Appliances are Energy Star certified.
  • Washer/Dryer are high efficient Bosch Axxis models.

On a related note, our actual bill this month was $290.62.  We use Green Mountain’s “Pollution Free” plan which charges us 11.7239 cents/kWh.  This per kWh pricing is a bit higher than traditional plans, but we believe it’s worth a slightly higher charge given that it’s supporting 100% Pollution Free energy generation.

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