July Results Are In – Ugh!

by Amy on August 4, 2016

UtilityTrackerPhiladelphiaAugust 2016











It looks like the heat has caused us to use the air conditioner and ramped up our month-to-month electricity use but overall for the year we are only slightly higher than last year.  That is a bit of surprise given we have done a lot of air sealing to better control comfort.  We have also been using our computers at home more often which may be driving our plug load – time to bring out the plug meters to see where the draws are coming from.  The trend should be down NOT up!

Gas use is even with last year but down for the year.  The house was very comfortable over the course of the heating season and gas was still down for the full year.  On average it was 3 degrees warmer than last year but on average for the months January-March it was 9 degrees warmer. That reduced our demand for heating but also maybe the air sealing did have an affect!

So what do we do now? Follow our own advice – raise the temp on the A/C and lower the temp on the heater.  Insulate the duct work that we can reach and keep going with air sealing.  This will mean actually doing something I have been putting off because it means messing with trim and paint – examining how the windows are installed to seal up the gaps.  After that measure, measure, measure.

Even though month-to-month water use is even, our annual water use increased significantly. At first I thought that this might be due to watering our new roof deck garden.  There is no rain barrel up there so we have been using domestic water – for shame! But on closer examination, I think this is because our daughter graduated from college and was home for three and-a-half months.  During that period of time (late winter/ early spring) we used 11,221 gallons of water or 68% of our year to date consumption for 42% of the year.

So what do we do? Well, follow our own advice again.  Install a rain barrel on the roof for the plants.  Change all the WaterSense shower heads to low flow units, the faucets to low flow aerators, and put timers in the showers. And then measure, measure, measure.  That means for the first month or so we will watch the water meter to monitor daily usage and see where there are spikes.

Also, it looks like we need to pay a little more attention to keep getting reductions in consumption.


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