Documenting my attempt to cut my energy usage in half.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Half Project - Degree Days

As part of my effort to figure out where I'm at on energy usage and knowing that heating and cooling are a large part of my electric bill, I did some research to help understand what affect outside temperatures have on my electric bills.

In looking at the last three years worth of electric bills I was surprised to find out just how consistent my energy usage has been.  I had less than 5% difference in kwh's used across those three years.  Degree day calculations for those years is a little different story though with an almost 17% difference.  What I found interesting is that the degree days for 2010 were much higher than the previous two years but my energy usage for 2010 was lower. 

When I look at the monthly kwh usage a trend definitely emerges, I spend more to cool my house in the summer than I do to heat it in the winter.  However, when I look at the degree days that shouldn't be the case.

Obviously something else is going on here.   I believe that what's happening is solar heating of the house via the large expanse of south facing windows that have no blinds or shades.  The sun helping heat the house would lower the energy usage during the winter and would increase it during the summer.  Installing shades will be a project for this spring.

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