Thursday, December 13, 2007

Raptors and Energy Efficiency

Just a quick note to all those concerned, the RED TAILED HAWK that Emery and I rescued this past Sunday is slowly recovering at the Raptor Conservancy in Falls Church, VA. There was no good explanation as to why the bird was found in such poor condition, but the good news is that the hawk is recovering and improving. If not for our assistance, I was told that our hawk would not have made it through the night.

In other news, I just got the BGE bill and it's HUGE! $340 for our 3 bedroom rambler. My home's energy efficiency is now severely in question.

Last month we used 715 kWh. That's an average of 24.7 per day! The Haas family is down to 17.2 kWh per day for a total of 550 kWh for this month. That's great, right? Right. But the bill jumped up 20 more bucks!

The difference, I discovered, was in the gas usage. Last fall, I had a useless decorative 'gas light' in front of our home removed. It was costing us over $30 a month! Pulling it out of the ground was a no brainer.

Even still, we went from 48 Therms last month to well over 158!!! What? A jump from 1.7 Therms per day in November to 4.9 in December! Insane. Even if the temperature average in November (59 degrees) dropped in December to (42 degrees), that's too much of an increase in our usage if you ask me.

To better compare, the Haas House used 126 Therms last December (2006), with the average temperature being 48 degrees. To jump 32 Therms, for just a 6 degree temperature drop this year, seems a bit excessive. I'm almost embarrassed by the leap in usage.

What to do?

Well, next week master artist, home renovator and friend Adam and I are going to weather-check the home. Plans are in the works to caulk, insulate and protect this old home of ours from energy loss.

Our next step would be to replace the old HVAC unit. If that doesn't work, we are going to look into installing solar panels. And if ALL THAT doesn't work... knitting.

From now on, we Haases would like to use a lot less energy. At the same time, we would like to pay less money for bad energy while rewarding ourselves with a highly energy efficient home. Thats not too much to ask, right?

I'll keep you posted on my quest.

All the best,



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