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    Entries in numbers (4)


    SRP Slays Energy Vampires

    The SRP (Salt River Project), who delivers power to the Phoenix-Metro region has posted a website of simple things that you can do right away to combat Energy Vampires. They are well known energy vampires and ones that everyone should be fighting against in their home, because they are simple fixes, many which have been talked about before on this site. Something very cool though, is a energy vampire calculator that tells you just how much energy and its cost is being drained from your home. Well worth the visit to hear there advice and plug some numbers into the calculator!

    Energy Vampires link on SRPNet


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link provided by Katie Ray)


    Ecological Footprint Calculator via Derek Sherwood

    Ever wonder how much your carbon and ecological footprint really is? Now from the Center For Sustainability, you can take this quick quiz that asks you questions about daily habits. Everything from food, to housing, to travel. It seems to be a a pretty good estimator of where we stand, and helps to show you where you stack up against the rest of your country.

    Here is the link:

    Ecological Footprint Quiz

    I took the quiz in about ten to fifteen minutes and here are my results:

    My carbon footprint is 68.45 global acres and the average American's is 91.43. My food footprint is 38.46 global acres compared to the average American's of 65.74. My housing footprint is 16.61 global acres compared to the average American's of 31.58. My goods and services footprint is 16.98 versus the average American's of 57.66 global acres. I found these numbers to be interesting. Living in a fourplex and my home garden helped a lot with these footprints. Overall my global acres consumption is 140.5 global acres versus the country average of 246.61. Also, for those that are interest in what exactly a global acre is, here is what I found at FootprintNetwork:

    global hectare (gha) : A productivity weighted area used to report both the biocapacity of the earth, and the demand on biocapacity (the Ecological Footprint). The global hectare is normalized to the area-weighted average productivity of biologically productive land and water in a given year. Because different land types have different productivity, a global hectare of, for example, cropland, would occupy a smaller physical area than the much less biologically productive pasture land, as more pasture would be needed to provide the same biocapacity as one hectare of cropland. Because world bioproductivity varies slightly from year to year, the value of a gha may change slightly from year to year.

    Interesting stuff indeed. What did you score? Share with us and lets see what we can do together to reduce our numbers!

    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Derek Sherwood)


    What is a kilowatt-hour?!!!??! via Karen Stucke

    Let's talk about some definitions here. We are trying to save energy at our homes and trying to reduce that magical kW/h number. It's an easy concept, the number goes down over time, you are reducing your cost and increasing your efficiency. Here is the real question though, what exactly is you impact. What exactly is a kW/h?



    Now, a kilowatt/hour is 1000 watts of usage in one hour or 3.6 megajoules! Wow! That's a lot of megajoules right? Or is it a little bit of megajoules? What is a megajoule? What is a watt? Right, it is all confusing that can get to a bunch of scientific definitions, which I could go into with you, but that doesn't save you energy right? No. Not really. We want to express ideas into reality and real life applications. One 60 watt light bulb used to 1 hour is equivalent to .06 kilowatt/hour (i.e. (60W/1000)/1 hour, and 60 Watts being .06 kilowatts, because there are 1,000 watts in a kilowatt. So it would be 60/1000). You would have to leave that light on for about 16 hours and 40 minutes to get one measurable kilowatt hour (which is most if not all electricity companies charge you for).

    Now, I just gave you a bunch of math, and still it probably doesn't help you with day to day operations of how much energy you really use. So here is further research. Thanks to one of our readers out there, Karen, we have been supplied with an awesome link to see how equivalent energy is being used in your part of the country versus an amount of kilowatts. The Green Power Equivalency Calculator comes from United States Environmental Protection Agency, and is a quick and easy way to see how much Coal, Gas, or CO2 would be used with your kilowatts that you enter (you can pick any number that you want). The Calculator is supposed to figure out how much your "green" energy purchase through the EPA saves from going into the environment, but can be used as a reverse calculator of also telling you how much of the equivalents you just put into the environment.

    I used my last month's electricity bill and entered my 477 kw/hs for my region (region 21 ERCT according to the map on the page). I was then informed that my 477 kw/hs is equal to 242 kilograms of CO2 emission. Or equivilent CO2 emissions of 27 gallons of gasoline, .563 barrels of oil, 10.1 propane cylinders for BBQs, .001 railcar worth of coal, and .029 of the average American home in one year. Interesting stuff I say. It makes you get a better grasp of how much Carbon-Dioxide you are giving off into the air. I am not sure if I ever really answered what is a kilowatt-hour, but I hope I gave you a fun tool that can help you grasp it more...


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Karen Stucke)


    Energy Useage and Goals. AKA Justin looks at his energy consumption!

    I have spent the past couple of days of compiling my families energy usage since moving to College Station, TX almost a year ago. I decided to do this because if I am going to talk about being eco-friendly and saving on electricity, I need to start setting goals.

    Our Apartment!Laura and I live in an apartment, which makes our options fewer than owning a house (obviously we can't change out Windows, redo insulation, weather strip, and change our washer and dryer). Yet, the options we do have, are cheaper and probably can be done quicker and we should be able to see a faster impact. We have yet lived here for a whole July, and I haven't seen the whole June energy report yet (our current energy usage is through 325 days), but I do think that I can start making estimates and still setting goals of month by month. My over all goal is to cut back our energy by 15% and our gas by 10% the first year. I will start the year at the end of July for measure, but will start looking for energy saving practices during the month of July, so in reality, that last July of next year should be the hardest month to save on, unless I have come up with some great ways through the previous six months. 

    So far this year we have used 3922 KW/h for an average of 12.06 KW/h a day (I stated earlies this was through 325 days). Which means by the end of July next year I will want our average to be down to 10.251 KW/h a day for a total use of 3741.615 KW/h for the year. That is already less energy used than we've used in 325 days this year. I will start taking the proper steps to correct this immediately and let ya know what I am doing. Something that might surprise you that I am not going to do immediately. Like, switch all my light bulbs to CFLs. The reason for this is the following. I am going to wait for the light bulbs that are non-CFL to burn out before replacing them with CFL lights. The energy cost to make a CFL light outweighs using a normal light to the very end. Yet, as soon as the lights go out, a CFL will go in!

    The next thing I will conquer is my gas bill. I only have the stove, heater, and hot water heater hooked up to the gas line. This process will be more about conservation and use more than changing out products (even though I have a nifty piece about the new GE Water Heater coming out in a few days, thanks to a tip from Kevin Fretz, who was tipped by Jay). My current gas usage over 10 months has been 18.8 MCF (MCF for 1,000 cubic feet, M denotes mil, thousand). That is an average of 1.88 per month. My goal is a 10% reduction for 1.692 MCF per month or 20.304 MCFs per year. 

    I will keep everyone updated on my progress, and am open to any suggestions you might have no or along the way. Any little help I can get, I think I will need.


    ---Justin J. Stewart

    P.S. An aditional bonus will be the money we save by doing this! Per average this past year would have cost us 595.04 in energy cost alone (not counting other fees, but just pure KW/Hs). If I meet my goal it should cost me 505.04 dollars. That's one hundred dollars for small changes that I can probably make for free, plus it should in tern lower taxes and what not. For my gas is currently would cost me $164.36 just for delivery of the gas (no taxes and other fees). After it should cost me $147.92. That is only almost twenty dollars, but if I exceed my goals by just being aware for free, it could save me more, and honestly in today's economy every penny helps!


    **edit 7-2-10: The reason we are not tracking water consumption is because, unfortunately we have no date on water consumption. Our complex owners take care of our water through the city of College Station. When we get our utilities bill that would normally also include water, it says our useage is 0.0. As great as that would be from a conservation stand point, I just don't think it's true...**