$50 Energy – Is It Possible?

This is the first status post of the WAVE-B $50 Energy Project. I want to lay the foundation of where the starting point is and the general direction of the project. The people I have spoken to doubt the $50 per month usage in electricity is possible. Of course I have some doubts but, I figured if I set the goal high I would have to get creative to strive for the goal. Often when limits are pushed on what you think is possible what you learn in the process of pushing the limit is worth more than the end result.


Living Under A Rock

Power Up – The EMC Board Game

You don’t have to live under a rock to realize if you reduce your energy your cost of living will be reduced. There are challenges to hitting the goal of $50 of electricity per month. The first challenge  is the Electric CoOp’s playing board. The rules of the board game of energy usage are set by the EMC.  The EMC charges $21 per month just to be hooked up to them. That leaves me only $29 dollars to be the actual energy usage per month. The rates vary after the first 900 kWh . Rates increase after 900 kWh. In the winter the second rate is cheaper than the summer’s second rate The current parameters are as follows:


According to the EMC, winter is defined as November-April and summer is May-October. For the first 900 kWh the rate is fixed as the same in summer and winter. So the first goal is to get each month under 900 kWh per month. So far up to this point I have been only able to keep it under 900 once. This was due to a two week vacation and everything was turned off.


 The player score card  from November 2013 – October 2014

This is after we installed a new central air system on the 22 of November of 2013. Until that time we had natural gas heating in the central air system. It was an inefficient system and we were spending average $200 on gas and $200 on electricity per month. Ironically the service fee from the gas company was $30 per month with the $21 per month service fee on electricity is $51 per month which is higher than the ultimate goal. There are a couple of abnormal occurrences in the 2014 card. July had a two week vacation with stuff turned off/down. September had a 12 hour outage which lowered that month abnormally.


The player score card from November 2014- October 2015

There wasn’t anything of big occurrence other than a week away in July and the installation of instillation in the end of October. The combined look at the bottom line of two years worth of data is worth taking a look at. A comparison of the two years is below:


Low Hanging Fruit

The stage is set to start improving on the baseline. I also had some low hanging fruit which was completed in October 2015. Most lights were changed to LED bulbs where possible in the house. The breakdown was a total of 28 light bulbs which 26 were changed out. (60 watts to 9 watts). The savings is minimal on the total picture but it really is one of the quickest things that could be done and the quicker it is done the quicker the savings starts. ($185.66 per year savings) The savings of ten years just on bulbs is like getting one years worth of electricity free. (Electricity 2015: $1,887.74 vs 10 year bulb savings: $1,856.60)


 The next goal is to get electricity under 900 kWh per month, when that happens is to be determined….


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