Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Pledge Suggestions

I subscribed to a e-mail from the Ontario Power Authority, which sent out some power saving tips for the 'festive season.'  As the owner of an old home (1907), here's a review of the their 'tips for the festive season"

• Replace old, incandescent holiday lights with LED lights. LEDs run much cooler, have lasting power and are energy efficient.
Depending on how many 10's of thousand of $s you have spent on upgrading your building envelope, be careful not to freeze to death by buying $30 lightbulbs because you don't realize the heat coming from the $1 lightbulb isn't doing much harm at all.

• Turn off outdoor holiday lighting before bed or use a timer to automatically turn them off when you go to sleep.
Put all your outdoor holiday lighting inside (see previous point)

Hosting a holiday party? Turn down your thermostat when you have a large group of visitors in your home.
This is an important point.  Have people over in order to survive.
Monogamy is great, but survival is great too.  Huddle, huddle, huddle.
Pot lucks are an especially good way to sucker people into coming over - make sure the food is brought into the home already hot.

When your fireplace is operating, turn down your main thermostat
Again with the thermostat!
A thermostat controls when the heating occurs.  If you are cold when you have the fireplace going, consider the possibility the open fireplace is the problem, and not the solution.  If it is 17 degrees Celsius with a fire going and you are happy, set the thermostat to 17.  If you are cold at the same temperature without a fire, find a shrink.

Having company over for dinner? Ensure your dishwasher is full before running a cycle.
This advice may be applicable to some other situations too - like when you aren't having company over for dinner.  Ideally, find a dishwasher, fill it, and program it to come on at 7:01 pm, as daily demand is peaking and off-peak pricing has just arrived.  The next time there's a blackout across much of the continent, you won't have to credit a tree in Ohio - you'll have pitched in!

Turn off other lights while enjoying your indoor holiday lighting.
Yeah.  Turn off the LED's and enjoy your hot outdoor lights - indoors

Turn it off. Remember to turn off the TV, computer, stereo, DVD players and lights when you’re not using them. Install a power bar with an integrated timer to shut off your devices at the end of day.
Do not install power bars with timers until you have first mastered the concept of the thermostat.
End your day at 7 am - to avoid peak usage charges.

A couple of tips I'd suggest for next year.
Get a programmable thermostat - program it and ignore it.
If you feel cold, put on a sweater
Get heat traps for the water heater.

Anybody know where I can find heat traps for the water heater?

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