Still painting. You wouldn't think that one house could have so many surfaces that require paint. And on lots of the surfaces, mainly window frames and doors, we have to take the old paint off first. It is very tedious, and yesterday we managed to blow up the heat gun, so no paint scraping today, just painting....
Well, the verdict is in, or rather, the electricity bill, and we saved ..... 12% on last year's bill at the same time. Not the 20% I was looking for, but a good effort, I think. I'm surprised we saved anything at all really, considering we have had builders here using power tools constantly, and leaving doors open all over the place, and that heat gun has been going pretty steadily, so I have high hopes that we will begin to really save electricity when the building is over, which will be SOON (yes, I have been saying that for the last five years or so).
We haven't done anything drastic to save electricity. The house is warm, we still have unconscionably long showers. I have really only been targeting waste. We realised a few weeks ago that the chimney in Rosy's room was open to the roof space. We knocked the outside part of it down when we put the new roof on, but forgot to block it up, so that any warm air finding its way into her room was going straight up the chimney into the roof space. The Man fixed that up quick smart, and poor Rosy was heard to remark that she feels much warmer at night now. We are such bad parents. We had a damper installed in our living room fireplace a few years ago, which reduces draughts mightily when the fireplace is not in use, and I have been prowling around the house holding my hands in front of every door and window to detect draughts, while The Man prowls along behind with weather stripping and the caulking gun. Fun times. The house definitely holds its heat better this year, with all its new insulation. Last year the cold was unbearable getting up in the morning, and I had to set the heaters on automatic to heat up the house before I got up, while this year I sometimes don't need to turn them on until Posy feels the need for some warmth to get dressed by, and during the day when the sun is beaming in we don't need heat at all.
Half our savings came from heating and hot water, and half from appliances, so using the oven less must be having an impact. The Girl and I are really getting into the swing of using the oven to the full. The other day I roasted two chickens at once, having never thought of doing that before. It's been great, we ate one that night, and have had the other in stir fries and sandwiches all week. It took all of one minute's extra work to do two - cutting up an extra onion for the stuffing. Brilliant. And when I popped my head upstairs from the latest painting job to see how the chickens were going, The Girl had whipped up six dozen biscuits to pop in the oven when the chooks were done. She'd used our basic choc chip recipe for two dozen, removed the choc chips and and added coconut for the next two dozen, and made two dozen plain which she then dipped in chocolate when they were cold. She is such a star.
So for the next three months I will keep targeting waste, and maybe we can work on shorter showers. Maybe. I could live in a hot shower.
Why I had children!
46 minutes ago