Jeff Sullivan wrote:We're also in the Northeast and use natural gas for cooking and heating, so when I'm looking at our energy picture, I convert those therms in kwh and add it together with the electricity. Since so much of the US uses electric for heating, I think leaving that out biases your estimates if you're looking at a truly nationwide average.
Our household of seven uses 4,000 to 7,000 kwh of gas + electric per year, but the mix varies a lot over the year. This summer, with two window A/C units running as needed, sometimes our energy was > 50% electric, while in winter months it can hit 98% natural gas.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Thanks!
Well, my natural gas usage is much worse. I've decided to turn my heat all the way down in my room again this year and borrow the massage chair butt warmer, if that's OK with my housemates.
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but as I recall it was 2 therms a day for the house (5 people) in summer, and up to 16 a day peak in winter. I'm gonna make a really rough average of 10 therms a day, times 365 days/5 people is about 700 therms, x 29 kWh/therm = 20,300 kWh.
Jeff Sullivan wrote:If you're dealing with radiators and very few heat zones, you might want to look into thermostatic valves: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermostatic_radiator_valve
They operate on each individual radiator, essentially giving you more heat zones without having to replumb the house.
Rebecca Norman wrote:As long as we're comparing ourselves to "other Americans," I'm an American and my daily life uses very very little energy.
My house is passive solar heated, with a seasonally attached greenhouse that gives me green vegetables all winter, too. For 20+ years my only back-up has been a hot water bottle kept on my feet in bed, heated on the gas stove.
In my new house I installed 400 W of floor heating cable in the living room, which I might use as a temporary bedroom if the upstairs bedrooms get too cold in January, but I think it might not be needed, because my new house has better insulation and weatherproofing that my room at the school did.
The hot water in my new house is a simple thing on the roof, evacuated wall glass tubes with an insulated tank attached, a popular model here. It gives me scalding hot water, even in the morning or on a cloudy day. I'm in the high desert so I've got the ideal solar situation. It came with a backup electric element which I haven't plugged in yet, but I haven't spent a winter with it yet.
I cook on "liquified petroleum gas" using 2 or 3 14 kg tanks per year, so that's not much at all.
My car is a compact Japanese car, but I drive it very little, probably 200 - 300 km per month.
Now that I'm living in a separate house from the school where I lived for years, I have a fridge, so that's a solid usage. The power goes out for hours or days at a time frequently.
I lift water with a 6 hp pump, about 15 minutes every two days in summer, less often in winter.
My lights are all LEDs, so lights, phone and computer are minimal loads.
My grid supply (such as it is!) is from a fairly benign hydro dam in our region, that didn't submerge any habitations or even any significant habitat. At the school our electricity is off-grid solar, so I didn't have a fridge when I lived there, and the water there is lifted by solar panels and an electric pump.
My biggest energy use is probably international air travel, once or twice per year. Phooey! Probably dwarfs all the rest of it combined.
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