Dear Seattle City Light:
Thank you for your letter graphing the electricity uses in and around our neighborhood. The visual exercise has been quite eye opening for our household. Someone in your office is very clearly quite an expert on all things ‘graphy’. On your letter you are providing us with very useful information. You provide us with ‘energy efficiency tips’ that you urge us to implement at our earliest convenience. You are tracking our progress and you’ve even gone so far as to compare us to our neighbors. How thoughtful. We find your use of guilt interesting if not sophomoric. Since when did it become standard practice to compare your customers to other customers? We are not the same. We do not compare you to the water department, the garbage haulers or the gas company. I wonder about you and your motives. How much did it cost to send out all of these letters to your customers?
About those efficiency tips. Let me give you a brief explanation as to what we’ve implemented prior to your letter.
- All of the windows and doors have been weather stripped within the first few months of moving in almost 8 years ago
- The outside doors have been weather stripped or replaced for maximum efficiency
- We don’t have an AC so we can’t trim the shrubs around it…unless you mean something else and I’m not going there.
- Not only do we have a programmable thermostat, we have TWO. The west wing has it’s own separate heat source, therefore it has a different programmable thermostat.
- You didn’t ask, but a few years back we changed out our old tired hot water tank to a more energy efficient tank-less water heater.
- We have insulated the floor in the crawlspace. (actually Sweet Husband did that because I like spiders a little less than he does.)
- While he was in the crawl space he sealed all of the furnace duct with duct tape and reattached some of the ducts to the actual vents creating the required air flow back into the house.
- We have insulated our attic with heavier layers of insulation.
- We have installed low voltage lighting for the outdoors.
- Our computers are set to sleep when we are away from them for a short length of time.
- We yell to each other when we see a light on in an unoccupied room, “Who am I? Edison? Turn off the light when you leave”. Therefore creating awareness and a sense of urgency about leaving any lights on.
- We only run the dishwasher when it’s full and sometimes stinky.
- We wash all of our clothes in cold water, creating drab lifeless grayish whites and muted colors. Our energy preferences show in what we wear.
- We take Navy showers
- We recycle all paper or burn it during the winter in our high efficiency wood stove insert.
- We own snuggies…note I said own, we don’t actually use them because we’d look like a bunch of dorks.
- We layer our clothing, because the weather is usually shitty and ever changing.
- I know this has nothing to do with electricity, but we have low flow toilets and showers for maximum water efficiency.
- Last but certainly not least I need you to understand this. I WORK FROM HOME. To my knowledge none of my neighbors do. Therefore logic says that I will use more energy than my neighbors during the daytime hours as I compute, print and email.
- And finally leave us alone. Stop comparing us to our neighbors. That old trick is tired and useless. We’ve never been on board with keeping up with the neighbors at any level. Besides, we have our own set of standards that we use when comparing us to them, so let it be.
The Energy Hogs of Lake Forest Park