Search & Win

No dryer needed

I am happy that sunny and breezy days are here. Hopefully to stay. It's supposed to be nice for the rest of the week.

Which means the heat is off and the dryer can get a break from hard work. I have 2 loads of laundry on the line at the moment. Some are dried already.

While I was hanging the clothes, our neighbor came by for a chat. We were talking gardening. He'd like us to help him start his garden this spring and summer. We have always shared our harvest with them and he, especially, loved the fresh tomatoes. So he'd like to plant some. He asked me what should he do? I said we were going to start the seedlings this weekend since the greenhouse tower is here. We'll start extra seedlings for him, too.

His son hasn't been around much; college and house sitting for a church member. But he will till our garden when the time comes. We expanding again to accommodate 3' space between the planting rows.

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It's payday. Time to sit down and get the utilities bills taken care off.

The telephone/internet and satellite bills are the same every month. Nothing exciting there.

The exciting part for me was the gas and electric bills. These two are combined in one bill every month. A few entries ago, I wrote about having DTE Energy coming over to analyze our energy usage. I guess he wasn't kidding when he said he couldn't suggest an improvement for us to save energy.

I was looking at the bills and here's what we have for the last three months:
November $95
December $120
January $130

I am not bragging. Just stating the fact that this house has a big open layout on the ground floor. We thought it would take a lot to heat it up. I guess we are pleasantly surprised!

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Carbon footprint

I did one last year. I don't remember what we our score was but it was about half of the nation's average.

I just did another one from 1/1/09 to 1/1/10. I put in 5 people in the household, including our housemate. We scored at 9.30 tonnes of CO2. It's slightly less than half of the national average but I am sure we could better than this.

Just have to try harder at reducing our waste.

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Energy efficient

We had the gas company come over and do gas usage analysis for our house. DTE Energy has a program where they will come in, change the thermostat to a newer model, check the house and give suggestions on what a homeowner could do to make the house energy efficient. It's usually $50 for the service, including the thermostat and energy kit, but this month they're doing it for free.

Anyhow, the service man just left. He inspected the whole house, changed the thermostat and set it for me, and left a box of goodies.

The outcome from his analysis was he couldn't really give me any suggestions on what to improve on the house. He said the house is in good shape; good insulation, good windows, etc. Good to know. At least we won't have to deal with fixing the house to keep the warm air in.

In the box of goodies he left, there were 5 energy efficient light bulbs, 1 LED night light (cost $0.03 a YEAR to leave it on night and day all year round), a low flow shower head (which we've been meaning to get but never get around to do it), a couple of faucet aerators for the kitchen sink faucet and one for the bathroom, a few outlet covers that could stop drafts coming through, a pipe insulation and a weather strip. All the things that we've talked about getting but never did. We don't have to buy it now, except for replament light bulbs.

I wish I had known about this program a couple of years ago. But at least we got it done now. Our gas and electric bills have never passed $150 during the coldest months so I guess we aren't doing too badly.

If you live in Southeast Michigan and have DTE Energy as your gas company, call 1-866-796-0512. Go to DTE Home Energy Survey and read about this program.

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