All of the strategies and techniques that makes a home a “lean, green, energy efficient machine” play together like an orchestra. Whilst there are key components that make big differences, if one section is slightly out of tune, it affects the overall performance.
I speak frequently about energy efficiency appliances, home design efficiency to suit the climate zone however today I’m going to become a little bit more poetic. Today I’m going to talk about the most important player.
That is, the player that has the potential to make the biggest difference in your energy efficiency symphony. I’m talking about you. Specifically I’m talking about what you do in your home. I’m not talking about what you do some of the time, I want to focus on what you do most of the time.
I’ll let the following poem do all the talking.
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus, the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am a HABIT!
The author is unknown however the beneficiary is everyone who has ever lived.
What I specifically wanted to focus on from this poem were these words
“Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically”.
You may have the most efficient everything money can buy operating in your home that either meets or exceeds the highest thermal performance rating possible, but a few bad habits may be “white anting” your attempts to reduce your households electricity bill.
Remember, an out of tune violin can seriously reduce the performance of an entire orchestra. Your habits, in this scenario, are in reality the conductor of this orchestra. Can you imagine the havoc that can be played out should you have a rogue conductor controlling even the greatest musicians the world had to offer.
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Your electrical usage habits have a great impact on the size of your electricity bill. Leaving the flood lights on in your backyard all night or leaving the iron running while you talk at length on the phone are not the habits required to be energy efficient.
Being wasteful with electricity or being efficient with your electrical consumption is merely controlled by your habits.
A power bill for two different people living in identical homes, with identical appliances but with totally different habits, will most certainly be different, in fact that will most certainly be significantly different. If you consciously make the effort to reduce your energy consumption through good practices, within a very short time you will automatically engage in those practices and you will reap the rewards accordingly.
It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. If you put in the effort in the beginning, you will reap the rewards in the end.
Do not underestimate the value of having good electrical habits. Do not think that a cleverly designed home containing energy efficient appliances will compensate for your bad practices. A motor vehicle with a capacity for impressive fuel economy will not deliver if you do not drive or operate it economically.
Consider making the effort to identify and list all of your households poor electrical habits.
Put in the effort to develop good habits and after a few weeks those good practices will just happen automatically. There’s nothing economical about wasting electricity and one of the biggest wasters of electricity is a household’s poor electrical habits.
It’s always best to have everyone in the household/orchestra, in tune and playing the same song at the same time. Most bills have a comparison of how much the household spent at the same time last year on electricity.
Reward yourself and family members with whatever you think is applicable when the next bill has been shown to have been reduced.
Suburban Off Grid Living