by Eric Dolven
We’ve been living at the Commons for almost a year and I’ve been curious how energy efficient our house really is. We spent extra money for a ductless mini-split heat pump, double paned Anderson-100 windows, a heat recovery ventilator, (all pictured here) blown in fiberglass insulation, energy star lighting and appliances, and I’m getting curious how much our energy bills are reduced by these measures. Of course I can’t answer that question because this is a new house, but I can compare how much we are paying now versus how much we were paying at the same time last year in our old, leaky, drafty Seattle house.
Since we don’t have a gas line anymore, all of our energy comes in as electricity. Heat, hot water, cooking, lights. So it’s hard to single out heating costs. But assuming the largest utility cost comes from heat and that we are lighting and using hot water in the same way, it’s probably fairly accurate to compare total energy cost of the old house with total energy cost of the new house. So what
I’ve done is gone back and compared our utility bills from roughly June 1, 2012 (when we moved in) to the present, with the equivalent bills from the same time the previous year.