As a matter of conservation, I try to use as little power as possible in my home. I turn-off lights when I'm not using a room. I use a clothesline as long as the weather isn't inclement. I've been switching to LEDs. However, I now have another reason for cutting power: I want El Paso Electric Company to get as little from me as possible. They want to raise our rates and they want to destroy the rooftop solar industry in El Paso. I say that all of us boycott their product (electrical power) as much as we can.
So, I asked a friend who knows the utility industry better than anyone and has been at it probably longer than Edison and Tesla how to really, really slash electrical costs. Because he is well-known in the industry, he wants me to refer to him as "Silent Running". So, here are Silent Running's recommendations to all of us:
1. Use the clothesline as much as possible. This will be a solar clothes drying campaign. Let the El Paso Electric Company put a demand charge on that one! LOL!
2. Replace all lightbulbs with LEDS. Lighting is 8 to 11 % of the average person's annual bill. However, if everyone had LEDS, they would lose over a 100 megs or so of load at night. Conservative figure based on 240,000 residences and apartments with 500 watts on each estimate equals 120 megs. Also replace out doorway 60 watt lights or those 150 watt spot lights with LEDS That will reduce the draw down to the 22 to 13 watt range depending on what you replace them with.
LED's reduce wattage around 78% from incandescent lights is a good rule.
3. Get solar chargers for all cell phones and computers. This would hurt more than people think in the aggregate. It's HUGE!
4. Make coffee with a gas percolator type coffee pot if you have a gas stove. If you have to use a Mr Coffee, make the coffee and then unplug it and reheat in microwave. Coffee makers draw something like like 1,500 or 1,800 watts more when on warm. Or, just buy a good thermos bottle.
5. Try to turn the heater down by 2 degrees. Every degree usually saves 3 % so give it a try.
6. STOP VAMPIRE POWER LOSSES. Unplug large electronics when not using so you reduce the Vampire power usage. Some of these TV's and other entertainment devices draw power when they are off. It's called vampire power loss. Some studies say it's 10 to 15 % of power usage in the modern entertainment center type of home. This is true of computers also. So there are now circuit switches that can be hooked up between the device and the wall power socket and they can cut the power draw. The big box hardware stores have them. Some of the Energy Star rated appliances have this feature built in now. People have to ask the store people or go online to the manufacturers as some are responding to the need to limit Vampire power draw. This would cut off El Paso Electric's gravy train of energy sales from refusing to feed the Vampire!
1. Lower house shades to keep the sun rays and heat out of your home.
2. Wash clothes at night since there is less heat in the house. Then dry outside on your clothesline with good old solar rays. If you have to iron, do so at night when it is cool.
3. Get a solar oven and have solar powered barbecues with no air emissions or pollution. Invite your friends and start block parties so people don't use electricity or gas to cook in summer months - also less heat in the house too. Solar cook out parties could grow into events and people could get other ideas about using solar in different ways to bypass the meter.
4. If your refrigerator is movable, pull it away from wall and clean the dust buildup so the coils are clean. Then keep jugs of water in the refrigerator when food volume is low. That way there is less empty space in the refrigerator and it cools off the objects and works less hard. Then as you buy more food remove the jugs as needed. Keep it full is the concept. It helps.
5. Get Solar powered battery chargers and run your radio and stereo off batteries. A couple of solar panels at 300 watts each hooked up to some batteries could probably store enough power for 5 or 7 hours of TV and computer time. This would really cut into their gravy train.
6. Use the money you save to buy a DC powered refrigerator and hook it up to some solar panels and bypass the meter.
As long as something isn't connected to a meter, El Paso Electric can't meter it! No special rate for these lifestyle habits.
Let them conspire to have lifestyle special electric rates to seek even more profit from the people.