Friday, September 4, 2009

On the road to becoming less energy dependent and carbon neutral

Before jumping to solar panels, our goal is to first reduce our energy consumption. We replaced all our old appliances, boiler and air conditioners with energy star rated ones or energy efficient units, all done before the wonderful rebates were available, but which dropped our energy use by 20%. We are also replacing all our light bulbs with compact fluorescent low wattage bulbs from energy star which use 2/3 less energy than normal incandescent light bulbs and can last about 5 years. This year we installed a Power-Save capacitor device on our home electrical system, which is reported to reduce energy consumption up to 25%, but we haven’t seen any savings yet.

Although we individually don’t have wind or solar, we joined PECO Wind for all our electricity needs which costs an additional $60 on average a month but you can join for as little as $2.54. This amount makes our energy use at least more carbon neutral except for heating, which is our next focus. We plan to install a wood pellet burning stove insert into our fireplace to reduce our reliance on propane based heat. What else could we be doing? Ideas?


  1. this is important for people to know. the information on how solar and wind power can replace carbon-based fuels doesn't even take into account improved efficiencies likely to come esp for solar power. i've read that the investment in solar required for the U.S. to become free from carbon fuels for the power grid is approximately the cost of the Iraqi war from 2003 through last year. If the national objective for that war was at least in part (largely?) to ensure access to middle eastern petroleum then the wrong investment was made at the cost of a great deal of human life.