Only the essentials

by Greg Lincoln

There came a point in time when we realized that we needed to do something about our energy consumption and our energy bills. What can we do to cut down costs? How can we manage our electric usage so that we get the maximum amount of savings?

In the past when we had all the kids at home with us and all their pets and projects, our light bill was always in the cosmos. A lot of things have happened since then including taking the step to believing that we must continue to move forward, no matter how hard. I like to think that we have done that and are doing it this very moment.

So, we decided to do something about our high energy bill, which meant investing in a wind turbine that would offset our electric bill. So we jumped over the hurdles, ran the race, did the homework, and did just that with the help of many, quyana cakneq. With all the excellent wind that we get here in our beautiful and cold Alaskan climate, it has helped immensely.

Another thing that we have done more recently is to keep track of how much energy our electronics, appliances, and devices were using so that we could do something about it, like unplugging the ones that were not in use.

The product we use is called Sense. It keeps track of electricity usage by connecting to our breaker box. It tells us how much electricity each one of our appliances or computers or any device is using through our smartphone.

Its connected through our wifi and it is a most enthralling and engrossing advancement in technology that has grabbed my attention, satisfying the need and helping to find ways to cut our bill down as far as it would go.

We can watch our electricity usage in real time. By doing that, we can decide which electronics we can chose to unplug at that point in time. My new obsession is searching where that vampire drainage is occurring. Vampire power is also known as standby power which refers to the way electric power is consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while they are switched off.

By doing this we are eliminating the power drain from those vampire loads, those things that suck all the energy up even when they are turned off just by being plugged in.

Other names include phantom power, electricity leakage, ghost load, or phantom load. It all sounds so eerie.

I’ve since learned how much our router and our smoke detectors are using which are always on. These are the essentials that need to be on all the time. I must say that I am pretty happy to know that they are not using that much energy.

We can watch the power meter go up and down while turning devices on and off to see how much energy they use. As a result, we have adjusted and changed how we use energy.

We walked through the house turning on devices. We turned off electronics that were on standby mode, and made changes to how we control our computers, especially during publishing time when we are busy putting in countless hours of screentime.

This product takes time to learn our devices. It needs to detect our devices over time in order to tell us what kind of power it is using. Some devices in our home are on all the time, the essentials. This is our always-on power usage.

I stumbled across this Sense product a while back, and then read about it, doing research and perusing the possibilities. At the time, I didn’t really take note until I had to take a crash course on breakers. It re-piqued my interest and then I was hooked, hooked on saving energy by knowing which devices and electronics to turn off when not in use.

Please note that it is cautionary to enlist professional help if you plan on doing anything with electric work in your home. To be on the safe side.

And now as in the past and into the future, we gratefully thank you all for your kindness, your prayers, friendship, your wisdom. It has carried us far, as far as we need it to and more.