Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conserving Resources At Home

Today's Environmental post is about conserving resources in your own home, specifically the utilities of water, gas and electric.  Recently we received our billing statement from Minol which is our provider here on our installation. I was very pleased to see that if we continue on the path of our conservation habits we will be receiving a rebate soon.

I guess the only thing I'm not really pleased about is that we've been here for two years now with no rebate as of yet.  When we signed for this housing we were told about the program with Minol and how we'd be receiving a statement every two months in the mail showing our usage.  If we were going to get a rebate we'd get a check but if we went over we'd get a bill.  This is our first statement.  I'm annoyed.  I'm conserving the utilities as much as possible. 

Our statement was only a mock up.  I'm wanting my rebate.  It showed that in September we had a credit of $27.38 and would have received a check if they had implemented the program.  October we had a credit of $35.22.  November we had a credit of  $32.49.  December we had a credit of $28.49.  Okay where is my money for doing a good job.  We were told two years ago that anything above a five dollar credit we would receive a check.  So far nothing.  I feel like we are being punished for doing  a good job.  I feel as though they owe us for the $123.58 we've saved the government by not using our maximum allowed in utilities.  But what I feel doesn't matter.  The only thing that does matter is that we are helping save the environment through our conservation of utilities.

There was a letter accompanying the statement saying that the mock billing would continue for another two months.  Well that means another two months without us receiving a rebate but my payment is knowing that we are still doing our part to help out our community and our environment by conserving with our utilities.

Utility conservation is quite easy.  Here are some easy things you can do to conserve energy in your housing unit.
1) Turn off the lights as you leave the room.  Turn off the lights in the rooms you aren't using too.

2) If you don't have to do your laundry in the day time switch it out to the night time and you'll save on the cost.

3) Take shorter showers.  Or take a shower with your spouse.  More fun.

4) Unplug all appliance that aren't being used.

5) Use power strips with surge protectors and kill switches on them.

6) Limit the time spent on your computer daily.  The computer does draw quite a bit of energy.

7) Switch to the new energy saving light bulbs.

8)  Replace worn out appliances with energy saving appliances.

9)  Make sure your housing unit is kept in good condition with no drafty windows or doors.

10) Turn your thermostat down to no more than 65 F.  We keep ours at 60-62F at night and 64F during the day.  Warm, dry air is the cause of more colds and sinus infection than you think.  Lower the temperature and turn on a cool mist humidifier. 

11) Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater.  It shouldn't be at more than 110 F. Higher temperatures than 120 F can cause skin burns.

12) Before running the dishwasher turn on the hot water at the sink to let it run for a minute to make sure the hot water is flowing to the dishwasher.  Make sure the dishwasher is actually full before running it and try to set it on the energy saving wash.

13) Keep your refrigerator at about 3/4 full.  If you are running low on grocery items fill bottles or jugs up with water and put them in the refrigerator as it will help prevent the compressor from running too often.

14) When using the oven, don't just use it for warming up or cooking one small dish, use it more efficiently and bake more than one small item.  Ie: not just one potato but say four to six potatoes at a time at least.  You can always freeze the food you don't intend on eating right now and warm it up in the microwave which takes less energy.

Well those are my suggestions.  As some of you are receiving your statements in the mail this week I hope you realize that you can conserve energy whether you have children or not.  Every little bit we save helps our environment.

Go outside and take a walk rather than sit in front of the television or computer today.

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