The regional utility companies encourage their customers to use less of their product. Rebates for insulation and new appliances are common. Recently, they began sending energy-analysis reports.
I learned that my water/sewer bill cannot go lower than it is. In fact, I could use MORE water for the same price. Therefore, I will be hose-washing both the car and the windows this summer.
Similarly, the electric company explained a new plan in which customers pay more during peak hours and less off-peak. Using their own report on my usage, I determined that paying the same rate during peak hours – the status quo – is best for my bottom line.
Then the natural gas company hit me where it hurts: competition. My home energy report compares La Casa de Tontería to similar homes and “efficient” homes. (The latter have upgraded insulation, water-heaters, etc.) For January, my house was graded as “good.”
This little house may be full of nonsense, but it is sooo much better than the Jones’ (or Los Garcia, as the case may be). The gloves were dropped.
I’m happy to report that for February, La Casa de Tontería rated a “great.” It used 20% less gas than the most efficient homes in my area. Woo hoo! Of course, repeating the win will mean the furnace is off until next winter. Cooking outdoors over an open fire may be less carbon-conscious. And bathing in a sun-warmed tub of water may alarm the neighbors…
But they can take it up with the energy-reduction committee.