Reducing energy debt

I turned on the heat for the first time today.

I’d managed without heat fairly well, wearing long-sleeves and socks, and bundling in a spare blanket when decked out in front of the TV. (I’d tested it a few weeks ago, to make sure it worked, but that was a 24-hour experiment.) But with the remnants of Hurricane Noel that drenched Cuba and the Bahamas now causing wind and rain chaos up and down Massachusetts’ seacoast today, and realizing my nose was feeling cold, I figured I’d turn up the heat.

So, I set the thermostat to 60. I’ll keep it there until I find a need to turn it up higher.

Keyspan Energy provides me gas heat for the wall ducts and the kitchen stove; and National Grid provides my electricity, for both the general outlets and also an electric water heater for the bathroom.

In October, (the first full month I’ve been living here), my gas bill was $18.75 for 10 therms, and my electric bill was $34.99 for 197 kilowatt hours.

I moved here with a budget plan of $100 a month for electricity and gas, so I’m already saving money. Days after sleeping here, I went to Wal-Mart and bought energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs–a 13-watt bulb here, a 25-watt bulb there. Of the three ceiling lamps that came with the apartment, those have dimmers which don’t work well withthe spiral compact fluorescent light bulbs so I kept the incandescent 60-watts. But every other wall or floor lamp has a CFL.

And the fact I waited until today to turn up the therms, I’m clearly doing my best to conserve energy and increase revenue.