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Old 11-25-03, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ontario Hydro

Well it seems as if they are going to remove the Hydro cap. We all know what this means, bills we can't afford or at least don't want to pay. lol.

So I figured a good thread would be some ideas on how to save hydro when the time comes that they jack our bills up sky high again.

What do you think is the most efficent way to heat herps? A large number of herps? Heat tape? Bulbs?

What we have done is put all our reptiles into one room. The room itself gets around 84, so I have my tarantulas, my golden gecko, baby corns, and baby kings in there with no additional heat on them. Which saves. We also are able to turn down most of the other heating devices as when they are all put into one room its easier to use lower wattage to heat up. On top of that all the windows in that room have clear plastic over them to help keep in the heat.

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Old 11-25-03, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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awsome idea
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Old 11-25-03, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In my reptile rooms I only use 3" heat tape which isn't all that much to run. However, when I went around the house I got looking into other non-reptile ways I could reduce the power consumption of the house as a whole.

One of the things I did was go out and replace about 75 light bulbs with energy efficiant compact flourescents........the ones that fit into the incandescent light sockets. Here is how the bulbs break down:

9-11 watt Flourescent = 40 watt incandescent
13-15 watt Flourescent = 60 watt incandescent
20 watt Flourescent = 100 watt incandescent

The light output is the same but the wattages are very reduced. It cost me about $300 to change all the light bulbs over, however, it is saving us 2500 watts in power that we use all the time every day (lights that we use outside, in the bedrooms, family/living rooms as well as the hallways, kitchen....etc).

These bulbs are also rated for 10,000 hours where as an incadescent one is rated in around 2000 hours. If you buy the bulbs in a pack of 6 at Building Box they will cost you $25 which with tax brakes downs to in around $4.75 per bulb. It says that over the life of each bulb they'll save you on average $40-90 in hydro bills.

I'm sure their are other ways to reduce the power consumption of the house, but I just haven't gotten that far as of yet.

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Old 11-25-03, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with Corey. I switched all our bulbs to compact flourescents about a year ago and just checked the bill and have saved about a third or slightly more on usage. Covering the windows with plastic will definitely help with the heating issue... I also have the windows in my reptile room covered with it and my reptile room stays between 78-83 degrees without other heat so I use less power in there as well..

I'm also using temp control units that shut the heat sources off when they reach the potz of the animal..big difference here the heat source is only on about a third of the time.........

PS so far this new government really sucks............I have a friend that is on disability and they're talking about cutting what he gets even though he hasn't had an increase in his cost of living expense since's a hell of a lot more expensive to live now than it was back then!
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Old 11-25-03, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I burn lots of Candles & spend lots of time walking around in the dark. I grew up lower middle class & my Mom was a penny pincher when it came to bills LOL.
CW's bulb suggestions are also in practice here. My biggest power saving will be my roomate moving out at the end of this week. He's one of those that is scared of the dark & has to have every single light in the whole house on when he's here & likes to crank the heat to 80 or 90 whenever he gets a chill + his piece of crap Jeep he drives needs to be plugged in from Oct thru March. I have a feeling that just having him move out will save me more than it costs extra LOL. Will not miss him or his wastefull ways one bit.
The reptile room thing is also a must for larger collections, much easier to heat the whole room & just provide extra heat/light to those that require it. Basically conservation is the key to success.
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Old 11-25-03, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Corey yes thats a great tip. We are in the middle of switching all our bulbs right now. I can't believe how much better they are than regular old bulbs.

Some other ideas are replacing old appliances...obviously this is more costly but you will save HUGE with newer models. We are trying to get a new fridge right now since ours is eons old! lol.

We also have eliminated a few lights in our house. Once they are gone for a couple weeks, you no longer miss them.

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Old 11-25-03, 07:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We put a couple of flourescent bulbs in the ones that tend to stay on. The only one I cant get away from is the 250 watt halogen pole lamp in the living/dining room. Nothing else throws enough light. Oh well.

We cut our bill just by being carefull about turning lights off...made a BIG difference.

I support getting rid of the rate cap. You're going to pay for your electricity anyway either directly, or through taxes. Cap or not, it doesn't come free, and the more we see the costs, the more likely we are to conserve. This thread is pretty good evidence of that.

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Old 11-25-03, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, I work for a utility in NB and we have pamphlets and info on our website for many ways to cut your power bills. Do your research and call your local utility and you'd be surprised some of the helpful ideas you can get.
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Old 11-25-03, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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4" heat tape uses 2 watts less than 3", if your really want to save.
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Old 11-25-03, 09:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thats some good ideas... I am going to look into switching my bulbs over if I can.... One thing I did was stratigically place the reptiles around the main room so the heat lamps light the living room and I don't need to use regular lights :P
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Old 11-25-03, 09:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My family plans to huddle together in one common room and burn whats left of the furniture to stay warm. Aside from that we are planning on building a windmill to run a single light bulb for light....i hope its windy!!! I think its terrible that this has happened in Ontario, they estimate as much as three times the regular bills we are getting currently to take down the defecit with Hydro. They should have had a steady increase over many years as opposed to throwing it on ppl now. I feel sorry for those that can barely pay bills currently I guess it will be a merry Christmas and a happy new year to those who already don't have
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Old 11-25-03, 10:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I Attended a seminar on home energy conservation about a month ago. The main ways that they suggested were: 1) Seal the drafts in your home by caulking cracks and sealing windows with a "shrink-fit" window seal kit which is availible at most hardware stores (apparently, most homes have enough drafts to equal about a 1 foot hole in your wall), 2) If you have electric heat, drop the temperatire of your home a bit lower than it is currently (significant savings can be made with a drop of as little as 2 degree) and 3) Drop the temperature of your water heater to medium (that should run it at about 120 degrees farenheit instead of the factory setting of around 140) and insulate it (Canadian Tire sells insuating blankets made just for this). This will keep your house cooler in the summer as well.

I have electric heat, so I keep the herp room warm and the rest of the house at about 69/70 degrees when I'm home and turn it down to 65 when I'm out.
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Old 11-25-03, 11:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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With the Hydro going up and stuff like Child care subsidies going down. Plus add in the Tax hikes over the last few years, add in also the fact that $8000.00 water lines were run across my property which took my taxes from $800.00 a year to $2700.00 a year, now I'll barely be making it even with two full time incomes. My bills are as low as I can take them of course without using Shane's ideas and burning the furniture.

This sucks!

Every time I think I might get a little ahead, the government kicks my *** back about ten miles!

How about them taking a pay cut, or using some of the compact flourescents in the government buildings instead of taxing us to death and cutting any funding that we get.
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Old 11-26-03, 12:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You've all got the right ideas....
Light bulbs are the biggest wasters of electricity because most of the power is converted to heat not light.I agree with all of Corey's comments. Go fluorescent and compact fluoresent.
I buy compact fl's for my work place and I shop around alot and find, Canadian tire, building box and Home Depot has the cheapest compact fluorescents.
I wont buy them unless I can get them for under 6 bucks each... Look for the 3 and 4 packs...those are the best deal. Sometimes they go on sale as well will be in the 5 dollar range.
Also worth noting, there is a new dimmable compact fluorescent that just came out. Normal ones aren't dimmable and this has been a drawback in the past.
If you have house lights, like bathroom ones, that get left on for hours, install timers in place of light switches or get those infrared automatic switches, that detect people movement, and turn off when nobody is moving.
All my house lights are fluorescents and compact fluorescents , plus they only go on when motion is detected...Its all automatic. I don't even half to worry about turning off switches.
Cut drafts, increase attic insulation, shrink film large window..there's lots you can do
In the herp room, don't have lights on snakes. they don't need it.. None of my snakes have lights. I have one fluorescent fixture for the entire herp room.
Have a setback system to lower the temperature at night. I have setback thermostats on my furnace and also on my herproom electric system

Another tip...give up smoking so you can use the wasted money, to heat your herps
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Old 11-26-03, 12:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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haha yeah quit the smoking guys.... CIGARETTES are bad for u... smoking isnt lol
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