Magazine article Sunset

Open House

Magazine article Sunset

Open House

Article excerpt

Letters from our readers

Saving energy--and money

Re: "Energy-Wise" (June, page 108). There are lots of ways to save electricity in an old or new house. When had my new home built, I did not install a dryer; I hung a clothesline in the garage. In the bathrooms, I replaced 60-watt bulbs over the sinks with 25-watt bulbs. I installed dimmer switches in the dining room and kitchen nook and plugged in fluorescent fixtures under the kitchen cabinets.

Carol Nordengren


We operate La Belle Epoque Bed & Breakfast Inn, with seven guest rooms. With the energy crisis here in California, we have made a concerted effort to reduce our power usage. We installed 13 timers to control indoor and outdoor lighting and replaced 80 incandescent bulbs with the new-style fluorescent bulbs shown in your article. Recently we replaced two old thermostats with "smart" ones and put in thicker insulation in the attic.

To date, we have spent a little over $2,500, but have realized a 43 percent reduction in our power consumption (6,148 kW in April 2000 vs. 3,505 kW in April 2001) and have seen a corresponding reduction in our utility bills. We expect to fully recover our investment within two years.

Georgia Jump and Robert Marquard


We recently moved to the Pacific Northwest and were surprised to find many homes, like ours, were "all electric." To save energy, we installed a water-heater timer. At first we set the timer to turn the heater off from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. We didn't even notice, so we added a second off-time at midday when we're usually out (there's still enough hot water left for a shower). …

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