Well, sometimes this blog is just a chronicle of failure, and this time it is our electricity use. I just got the bill, and we used more than this time last year. More! And what is even worse, there is a new little widget on the bill which compares usage to average households. We are using more electricity than an average household of six! Oh, the shame. Here I am, trying to be green, thrifty and responsible, but clearly most other people are better at that than I am..
The Man is going to get a gadget to measure the wattage from individual appliances. We have a suspicion that the pool filter is using a lot of electricity, but there's not a lot we can do about that, as we're not that keen on water-borne diseases.
I have been a bit slack over the summer with bulk cooking. The girls have done quite a bit a of baking on a whim - but really, it's very cheap entertainment, a lot cheaper than laser tag, bowling, or going to the aquatic centre, so I'm going to let that slide, and try to be on my best behaviour now.. cooked double dinners Thursday night, and The Girl made a couple of dozen macaroons with some egg whites loitering in the back of the fridge. And now I have a menu plan for the week, and only plan to turn the oven on once.
And thoughts about other electricity use? The TV has been on, well, a lot over the summer. No one person watches a lot of TV, but we have three, yes three TVs, and we are serial TV watchers, watching different shows in different rooms at different times. And computers - four laptops and an ipad, all plugged in or being recharged continuously. And all those other gadgets.. every night Posy goes to sleep with a lamp on (she is afraid of the dark), listening to audiobooks on her CD player.
In the kitchen? It's not just the oven, it's the blender, the food processor, the kettle, oh my goodness, it's on all day... and I guess that's a clue. Maybe the 'average' household is empty all day. Maybe their electricity use is externalised, at work, at childcare, in the ready meals factory. Maybe my food bill is lower? Maybe.
Still, there must be ways to save some electricity somewhere. Maybe we will be revisiting our television use. Maybe we don't need to use all the appliances. Last week we had our own 'black swan event' - when one flew into the substation powerlines and shut down the power to half of town at breakfast time. I couldn't blow dry my hair! And I made an amazing discovery - my hair looks exactly the same whether I blow dry it or not. So there is one instance of redundant electricity use.
The most disturbing discovery of all. Fully a third of our bill is for hot water. We may have to... think about... shorter showers. Noooooo!
7 hours ago