June 22nd, I moved into my first apartment. For the last few years I've been renting rooms, and there was a 6 month period where I was "renting" a house from a friend while it was for sale and unoccupied. This is the first time in my life when I've really had to be "responsible" and act more like an "adult." (I'm in a quotation mark mood right now)
This apartment is costing me about twice what I was paying for the last room that I was staying in, and I'm thinking about picking up a second job to help offset that cost, and pay down some other bills (car) a lot faster. I'm reluctant though, because I think right now a second job would probably kill me.. but we'll see how things turn out. One of the biggest benefits, and this offsets the cost quite a bit (but not nearly enough), is that I'm now less than 2 miles from work, and closer to my family, whereas before I was about 30 miles away. 4 miles vs. 60 miles saves a lot of gas driving to and from work, and then there's the bike, that saves even more when I can manage to wake up before the last minute.
The first thing I did when I moved in here was try to reduce the energy usage as much as possible. The first step was compact fluorescent bulbs. Here's a breakdown of what has been replaced:
- Bedrooms (x2) – 2 60watt bulbs (each) replaced with 20watt CF [240watts to 80]
- Bathroom – 6(!) 60watt bulbs replaced with 4 13watt CF [360watts to 52]
- Kitchen (just replaced this morning) – 5 60watt replaced with 3 20watt and 2 13watt [300watts to 86]
- Dining room – these are on a dimmer, but i'm thinking of replacing the 3 60watt bulbs with 2 40watt incandescents.. unless I can find some decent (and cheap) dimmable fluorescents
- Living room – no lights in room, added 2 20watt lights
- Hallway – 1 60watt bulb, unchanged
- Water heater – reduced the temperature considerably, done by maintenance so I don't know the actual temperature change
My first utility bill was for $65.. but both of the meter readings were estimates, and pretty far off. There was a charge for 11 therms of gas (the meter shows no change,) and 399kWh (the meter puts me at about 198kWh.) After re-figuring my usage, when an actual reading is done, my bill for last month should end up being around $33. Not bad, but I think I can do even better this month.
Any good energy saving tips that you think I could try out? That's what the comments are for.