Our daily average for last month, December 2012, was 17.35 kWh. That's a little more than November's 15 kWh per day average, but compared to last year, it is an amazing difference. Last December, we averaged 47 kWh per day. That's a 63% decrease one year later.
We continue to do all the electricity saving measures I mentioned in my November kWh report. A space heater likely accounts for the increase from November. For the most part December was fairly mild, until the temperatures took a nosedive the weekend after Christmas. It was rainy too, which meant I used the electric dryer more than I like.
I credit the decrease from 2011 primarily to our wood heat stove and wood cookstove (for both cooking and heating.) In addition to not having to use the electric range and heat pump much, we also no longer have to use the electric heater in the kitchen bathroom, because the cookstove heats the back of the house so beautifully.
Last year I tried to figure out a way to balance using the heat pump and the wood heater, but our electric bills were still way too high. This winter, we have been using wood for heating and cooking, and you can see the difference.
Our electric heat pump is our biggest energy gobbler. In 2011 for example, we used the heat pump during both summer and winter. During the spring and fall of that year, when it wasn't used, we averaged about 18 kWh per day. That was before we installed the wood cookstove, so usage of my electric stove is included in that average. In summer, with the air conditioning and thermostat set at 82° F, average usage jumped to about 30 kWh per day. In winter, with the heat pump on and thermostat set in the low 60s, we averaged about 50 kWh per day. And that's with an energy star qualified unit! And as if to rub salt on the wound, we were still cold!
I do not do all my cooking on the cookstove. "Big" baking is done with the electric oven. Friday night pizza for example, because my pizza stone does not fit in my cookstove's small oven. Also baking projects where I have two baking sheets in the oven at the same time.
I admit I don't expect January's average usage to be so good. This will mostly be due to keeping a space heater in the hall bathroom while we work with things like wall paint, stain, ceiling tile adhesives, thinset, floor tile mortar, etc. All these materials require a minimum temperature that the room cannot achieve without a heat source. Still, this is an example of choosing to use electricity as a tool, not as a necessary dependency. Because of that I'll feel like it was money usefully spent. I'll also be please with whatever savings we can manage.
December kWh Report © January 2013