Sue and I have been looking for ways to cut energy usage, as this saves money and is good for the planet.
Electronics now get turned off or unplugged when not being used. This includes computers as well as the electric toothbrush, which doesn’t need to stay plugged in. Bizarrely (and wastefully) most electronic equipment continues to use electricity even when turned off. This is a wasteful design flaw that needs to be fixed.
The best way to stop such power drains is to plug the equipment into a power strip, then turn the strip off.
We have CFLs everywhere. The prices for them continues to drop. Wal-Mart just sold their first 100 million CFLs ahead of their projected schedule, and are helping enormously in mainstreaming their usage.
The thermostat stays on the low side in the cool weather. We can always wear a sweater. We’ll also be replacing our old R-11 insulation with R-23. My sister who lives nearby keeps her house at 65 in the winter, which is definitely on the cold side. OTOH, we turn the air conditioning on much less than others here because to us, a 90 degree day isn’t hot, and it rarely gets over that.
An efficient wood-burning stove would generate heat. But getting that heat into the ventilation ducts would be a challenge. Plus, such stoves are not cheap and you then need to buy (or chop) the wood. An environmental engineer tells me heating oil probably burns more efficiently and cheaper than any wood or wood pellet stove.
What are you doing to cut energy costs?