Put one’s energy house in order and score one for the environment – an update

Hot water heater
Hot water heater

On Nov. 30, 2012, I posted: “Put one’s energy house in order and score one for the environment.”

Now four months later, two new developments.

First: A new clothes washing machine. The previous one quit working properly.

Second: Winter arrived, temperatures fell.

Both, no doubt, have affected home energy usage.

On the matter of the new appliance, it is an energy-efficient model and washing clothes should now be easier on the wallet.

Affixed – but since removed – to the washer front was a sticker. Part of the content on that sticker reads as follows: “‘United States Government Energy Guide,’ my ‘Estimated Yearly Operating Cost’ is $15 (when used with a natural gas water heater),” which I have. As for the “Estimated Yearly Electricity Use,” this is estimated to be 208 kWh (kilowatt-hours), with the following conditions:

  • “Cost range based only on STANDARD capacity models.”
  • “Estimated operating costs based on eight wash loads a week and a 2007 national average electricity cost of 10.65 cents per kWh and natural gas Cost of $1.218 per therm.”

The number of wash loads I have done since purchase I can’t exactly say, but it has been no more than two dozen.

On the matter of winter weather, what this means is one more appliance – the home heating system – entered the picture. Not only this, but the shower temperature is hotter. What this means, presumably, is increased demand on the electricity supply. The bimonthly home energy report – not to mention the monthly utility bill – should reflect this.

Reflecting on the past, the reporting period reported on in the Nov. 30th post was Sept. 11, 2012 to Nov. 7, 2012. Since that time, I have received two more bimonthly home energy reports – Nov. 8, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013 and Jan. 10, 2013 to Mar. 12, 2013 which I received a few days ago.1

As expected, home energy usage went up from an energy index of 630 to 1,310 (Nov. 8, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013) to 1,156 (Jan. 10, 2013 to Mar. 12, 2013).

In an area of the report referred to as “Personal Comparison,” indicated is that home energy consumption in Jan.-Feb. 2012 was four percent less than in Jan.-Feb. 2013. There could be many reasons for this, but I would think the weather during this time, 2012 versus 2013, was the main determining factor.

At any rate the energy usage of my home is less than both comparable similar homes and comparable efficient similar homes, according to the home energy report.

Summer being just around the corner, the clothes dryer won’t get used nearly as much compared to colder times of the year. I let clothes air dry inside the house.

I try to use less energy where I can which places less demand on the energy supply and results in a lower utility bill than had more energy been required. It also may mean less impact on air quality.


  1. “My Home Energy Report,” Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Nov. 8, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013 and Jan. 10, 2013 to Mar. 12, 2013.

– Alan Kandel