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Energy Champs: How One MN Family is Saving Big

29 June 2011

One thing I love about running the Minnesota Energy Challenge is all the great success stories I hear from Minnesota families who are walking the walk and reducing energy waste in their homes!  So, with his permission, I’m sharing Eric‘s story on how his family is using less than HALF the average electricity use of the average Minnesotan home!

We averaged 382kWh per month last year, with about 240kWh at the lowest point. We don’t live in a cave, we do have computers and microwaves and washers and dishwashers and TVs and all that. 2 (small) fridges, even! But what we did do:

  • CFLs everywhere
  • Hang out laundry in the summer (this is a BIG one!)
  • Set all computers to go to sleep (every 100W you leave on is 73kWh/month, or $7.30!)
  • Replaced the old fridge in the basement with a CEE Tier 3 Energy Star model.
  • Religiously turn off the stuff we’re not using (vampire loads – although we still have about a 180W base load)

Line-drying is the only time-consuming things, and most other changes above are cheap or free.

The other thing that helps is seeing your historical usage; if you’re an Xcel customer, https://oam.xcelenergy.gridpoint.com/ will give you two-year graphs, and you can see if you are going up or down in your use!

I love the mix of easy, practical solutions and new technology – great job, Eric!

:: Eric’s Blog

One Comment leave one →
  1. 29 June 2011 8:02 pm

    Thanks for posting this! One other thing that surely helps is that we don’t have central AC, and we only use window AC when it’s really needed. Tomorrow, with a heat index over 100, may qualify as “really needed” 🙂

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