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    Our household electricity consumption peaked at 24,500 kwh in 2000.

    In 2008 we had lowered that number to 12,100 kwh!

    Here's a list of many of the steps I've taken over the last few years

    to reduce my electricity use(there's no gas service in my neighborhood):


    Weatherizing and lighting:

    * I had 12" of cellulose insulation blown into the attic
    * Replaced the windows with Sears dual pane windows. Very
    expensive, but made a huge difference.
    * Keep the sun off the windows at all cost - plant a tree or hang
    up shade cloth. I got really lucky with our home's layout and didn't
    have to do anything about this - but I did just build a shade pergola
    to keep the sun off my bedroom wall and grow a garden.
    * Removed most of the carpeting and painted the concrete floors.
    The concrete keeps the house much cooler in the summer.
    * Weatherstripped and replaced the thresholds on all the doors
    * Caulked all the gaps and cracks in the exterior I could find.
    * Installed a "Solatube" skylight in a dark bathroom(off the dark
    main hallway) that helps reduce the need for artificial lighting
    during the day.
    * Replaced all incandescent bulbs with either CFL or LED bulbs.
    * Experimented with lower and lower wattage bulbs in different
    fixtures and removed/reduced extraneous lighting.
    * Installed one and replaced 3 ceiling fans with energy star models.

    Major Appliances:

    * Replaced our rooftop heat pump with a 14 seer unit summer of
    '07. Not sure what the old one was, but I was disappointed in the
    savings from this expensive purchase...

    * Bought a much smaller energy Star Refrigerator with freezer on
    top - our old sidw-by-side was too big for our family and pretty
    inefficient. This made a BIG difference.
    * Bought a top loading clothes washer and use cold water almost
    all the time - these save a ton of water, too.
    * Turned down the water heater to 120, and put it on a timer. Our
    water heater is in our garage, which is over 100 degrees for most of
    the summer, so it only needs to run for maybe 2 hours while the
    weather is hot, especially if we time our showers and dishwashing
    * Our dishwasher broke a few years ago and we decided not to
    repair/replace it. Hand washing may or may not save electricity and
    probably uses more water, so I'd eventually like to get a really
    efficient dishwasher the energy labels are really handy for these big
    appliance choices.

    Small appliances:

    * I imagined I lived in a tiny apartment and rethought the whole
    kitchen experience: I shut off the wall oven at the breaker and only
    use it for holiday baking.
    * We use a convection toaster oven, a microwave, and a single
    "burner" induction cooktop for most of our cooking(pressure cookers
    and crock pots are efficient too).
    * I disconnected an instant hot water dispenser and use an
    electric kettle instead to boil small amounts of water.
    * Our coffeepot brews into a thermal carafe.

    Electronics etc:

    * My home theater gear was using ridiculous amounts of power, so I
    returned the Cox DVR, replaced the receiver and dvd player, gave away
    the vcr we never used, unplugged the xbox, and put everything on a
    smart power strip - it cuts power to several devices when the receiver
    is turned off. These are great for computers, too.
    * Replaced my tower computer and CRT monitor with a Mac Mini and
    LCD monitor.
    * Get ruthless with phantom loads aka vampire power. Anything
    with a standby light or an AC adapter that feels warm to the touch is
    wasting energy. Unplug them, put them on switches or timers - this is
    really cheap and could make a big difference depending on your
    * Disconnected a hardwired alarm system - this saved money in 2 ways.

    Water Conservation:

    * Replaced my old 6(?) gallon per flush toilets(2) with 1.6 GPF. Tempe offers up to a $75 rebate on these.

    * Installed a 1.5 gallon per minute(gpm) showerhead.

    * Stopped watering my grass/weeds.

    *Installed 1.5 GPM aerators on bathroom faucets.

    I would love to buy a pool cover to slow water loss through evaporation. Suggestions welcome.

    These measures have reduced our annual water consumption from a peak of 250,000 gallons in 2000, down to only 57,000 gallons in 2008.