Today I went to the I-Renew energy fair near Iowa City. I was a bit disappointed there were not more solar/wind vendors there, but I did get some useful information and made what could be some fruitful acquaintances.
One neat web site I found out about lets you put in your freezer or refrigerator and find out who much electricity it uses. Time flies, and I was shocked how much our freezer we bought at a wedding gift uses – about 1050 kwh a year – nearly one month’s electric usage for us. A new similarly sized freezer uses about 300-459 kwh.
One person suggested looking at how much energy our most energy intensive applicances use and said it may be better to first upgrade those appliances before trying to power the house with wind/solar. So, I will be shopping for a new freezer, looking at a front-load washer (saves water, and thus electricity to heat the water and uses less energy) and leaves the clothes much drier because they spin so much faster and cause dryer to use less electricity for the 5 months we can’t hang clothes outside, and replacing the old full-size extra fridge in the basement with a smaller, newer one.