Changes in our Household

Posted by Michelle Crawford

For the past few months, my husband and I challenged ourselves to conserve energy. We wanted to see how much we could reduce our overall power bill. I am happy to say that we were able to reduce our most recent power bill by implementing a few things around our household. The major changes we made to our household are as follows.

1. We now keep our thermostat at 61 degrees during the day and night. Luckily for us the weather has been a bit warmer and the transition to this was fairly easy. We use our throw blankets to cover ourselves if it gets too nippy in the evening. We also wear socks and long sleeve shirts.

2. We have replaced most of our bulbs with CFLs. There was initial costs upfront, but the CFL will outlast the bulb for many hours.

3. We have turned off our outside landscape lights. I don't know why we had them turned on to begin with since we never see them based on how our windows are facing.

4. We do not keep our outside lights on. Can you believe we were the only ones in the neighborhood who did keep them on during the night?

5. We keep our master bedroom door shut during the day. Our master bedroom has wood flooring and it seems to take a bit more to heat.

Following those simple steps has saved us around $15 in one month. That may seem like not much of a savings, but that will allow us to keep $180 in our pockets each year.

We have now attempted to get others involved and made aware of the ecomerge and phantom energy sites. We have sent out links to the Portland State's Phantom Energy site to our friends and coworkers and this has seemed to generate some interest. We have found that you need to understand the people you are sharing your phantom energy thoughts with. I have seen a few types of people – the ones that care about conserving energy for the environment, people that want to save money, and then the people that don't care about either of those two things. Those are a bit harder to get motivated. We tailored our message to those types of people and it worked great! A majority of the people that want to conserve energy already are helping with the cause. The people that wanted to save money were really interested in seeing how much their household could save.

Now that my husband and I have empowered ourselves to learn about phantom energy, this has changed our lives. We are very conscious about our energy consumption and how this impacts the environment and our pocket book.