Habit changes for reducing electricity use

CrealCritter

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It is interesting to observe the different cultures, and a big reason that I like to come here - as there are many things you guys have done for generations (ie canning) that arnt wide spread here. By the same token, I forget that there are things not done over there that have been drilled into us here from a young age, especially to cope with the sun.

For example -No Hat, No Play - don't go outside without a hat
Slip Slop Slap (Seek Slide) - Slip on a shirt, Slop on suncream and slap on a hat (more recently added, seek shade and slide on sunglasses).
Between 9 and 3 sit under a tree - a rhyme we are taught to avoid the UV (some places say 11 and 3, but where I am it can be well past 35C with extreme UV by 9am) I've been sunburnt at 6pm. Skin cancer is very common.


I used to be fine working outside in 100F temps through my 20's. Organised activities and sports are now cancelled above that. It's just too hot. We've had an increase of people dying on camping trips and hikes in the last couple years, unprepared for the heat. I can't tolerate it anymore, moved south, but it still has its warm days here. I burnt my barefeet extremely badly last year walking to the beach on a 30C day! I didn't think it was hot enough to do that much damage. I am still recovering from it. Many of us grow aloe vera plants as it is fantastic for sunburns.


To save electricity, Air conditioners should be set no lower than 24C/75F in summer and put on early. It is easier (and cheaper) to keep a house cool than it is to cool a house down once it is hot. If it is over 40C/104F , then I'll tend to put the air con on 27C as it's still blowing out significantly cooler air than outside and doesn't have to work as hard. My house rabbits would die without air con, and I'd be in hospital if a heatwave (4+ days over 40C) struck. I dread the possibility.

I'd like to utilise more solar power down the line, but it's not economically feasible at this time for me. Some homes "sell" their solar power back to the grid, but it is so widespread now, I am unsure if this will continue. I have a solar pump for the pond and will start with small solar projects like charging batteries etc.

Pick food from the garden in the cool morning after watering. Lettuce leaves and herbs keep for the day between cool or damp tea towels. Berries can sit in a bowl of ice water. Cooking in heat is a fools game, stick to salads, cold meat sandwiches and fruit which can help with fluids and electrolytes. Drinking too much water can be as dangerous as not drinking enough (see @baymule thread on good salt bad salt!).

Fires are banned here between October and May but BBQs are permitted, that's if you want to fight off the mosquitos, flies and birds hehe. I have many stories of kookaburras stealing sausages off grills and even out of my sister's hands. Chips at the beach with seagulls can also be tempting fate. 🤣
Where is it you live? Almost sound like you live in LA (Lower Alabama).
 

Daisy

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Where is it you live? Almost sound like you live in LA (Lower Alabama).

Western Australia. We are heading into summer now, so that's why it is on my mind.

There are also personal habits that I am in because of the climate conditions. They probably don't significantly impact the electricity bill and are as much out of ease as they are frugal. Things like, washing my hair in the morning and letting it dry naturally rather than using hair dryers or straighteners. Using mens disposable razors instead of electric (mens are cheaper than womans brands, I got 50 for $1 about 2 years ago and have 46 left in the pack). Using an esky/cooler box to transport cold perishables from the shop to home and trying not to open the fridge in the heat of the day (only one room in my house is air conditioned). Charging batteries for tools and running the washing machine or dishwasher outside of peak electricity hours. My neighbour and I usually compare bills, but due to covid 19, everyone in the state currently has a $600 electricity credit :)
 

flowerbug

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for me the small difference i like the most in the summer is not having to run the AC all the time. when i was living in TN for a few years i had a small fan that i would use instead and that only was running when i was there. since i was often outside swimming or hiking i was barely there. my upstairs neighbor ran his AC almost all the time and his electricity bill would run up to $100-150 a month and mine would be $5-10.

here Mom needs the AC on so we run it and i'm not a big fan of that, but it just is how things are and i accept that.

in the winter i am more tolerant of the cold so when Mom was away during the week being a nanny i could put the heat at 55F and mostly be ok. i just put on more clothes and i can type with my hands under the covers. if i got too cold i could get the small electric heater and just heat this one room which is off to the side of the main area. that would save a lot of electricity and propane.

i don't need a shower each day. in the winter i can go three or four days without a shower. my main way of knowing i need a shower is if my scalp starts getting itchy. then i use that as the sign. if i'm otherwise stinky, then yes, i'll scrub some or take a shower, but i usually don't get that gross. Mom is like me in that she really notices smells so when i get whiffs off myself then i start scrubbing more. :) i'm pretty sure i could switch to where i was just using small amounts of water and hot water if i really had to (i've done it camping or when travelling) but the luxury of a hot shower is nice once in a while.

the other way to save a lot of electricity is to only run the hot water when you are actually going to use it. Mom has this bad habit of running the hot water even when she's not goint to use it. that probably costs us about $100 a year in wasted electricity. one way to improve that here would be to put an in-line electrict water heater and get rid of the big tank water heater, but she doesn't want to make any big changes here. the same thing could be said for adding solar hot water heater as that would pay for itself within a few years. dunno if i'll ever be able to do that. we'll see. :)

the other thread mentions turning off the hot water heater for time periods when you won't be using it. that does help quite a bit if you are able to coordinate things well. here it just doesn't work all the time, but if we are going away for a day or longer i'll flip the breaker before i take my shower and then it's off until we get back home. i also like to release the pressure on the plumbing and turn off the well pump so that if there is a leak it won't be too bad.

for those with well pumps, collecting rain water for garden use. would save some $ each year.

washing/drying, don't do small loads unless using cold water and hanging to dry. otherwise wash as much in a single load as you can fit that still will all get clean. Mom does a zillion loads of laundry. wastes a lot of $ that ways and also soap besides the hot water. she's very stuck in her ways and just doesn't think about how to do things more efficiently. we got a new washer recently and that's been "interesting"...
 

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We shut off the hot water supply line to the utility sink and washing machine. ;)
 

tortoise

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How do you train children to turn lights off? They know better, but don't remember. I'm correcting them every day and turning lights off constantly.

Sometimes I turn circuit breakers off (such as to their bedrooms), but that doesn't work for me for living areas.
 

FarmerJamie

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What about unplugging things (if you have them) like coffee makers and microwave ovens? Or putting electronics on power strips that can be flipped off when not on in use?
 
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baymule

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How do you train children to turn lights off? They know better, but don't remember. I'm correcting them every day and turning lights off constantly.

Sometimes I turn circuit breakers off (such as to their bedrooms), but that doesn't work for me for living areas.
Every time you find a light on, take out their lightbulb for X amount of hours, even if it’s not their room they left the light on.
 

Hinotori

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The power strip thing works very good. Just do NOT plug a heater into them. It can overheat the cord and start a fire. And it often will not cause the burning powerstrip to trip off so just keeps burning everything.
 
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tortoise

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What about unplugging things (if you have them) like coffee makers and microwave ovens? Or putting electronics on power strips that can be flipped off when not on in use?
The microwave annoys me so I started unplugging it. Plugging in the microwave annoys DH so he put in a switched outlet!
 

Britesea

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How do you train children to turn lights off? They know better, but don't remember. I'm correcting them every day and turning lights off constantly.

Sometimes I turn circuit breakers off (such as to their bedrooms), but that doesn't work for me for living areas.
What about motion sensors on the lights?
 

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