Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Alaskan Tinyhouse: Uses under 2 kWh per Day

When you live in a home that is run off of one outlet in your landlords garage, every plug-in item matters. Imagine your electrical items are articles of clothing, and the max usage is a suitcase; you need to make smart decisions about what you pack into that luggage. Or you might end up with a broken suitcase.

We have an appliance meter hooked up to our power intake, this way I can monitor the power use at any moments notice. When we add an item to the list of things plugged in, we can find out right away how it effects us. Right now we use about 1.88 kWh per day.

Things plugged in regularly
Range, range hood, freezer, dorm fridge, internet, overhead light, cell phone, Toyostove, laptops, and monitor screen for movie viewing. 

Our range has an electric ignition [although you can unplug it and start it with a lighter or match] And is fueled on propane. I know we all want to be off of these fossil fuels, But pick your evil. For us, cooking is important, and having an oven was a must for me. 
We started in the tiny house with a larger electric toaster oven from walmart. it could fit a pizza, and seemed great. I burned every batch of cookies, and accidentally the bottom of my laptop [which was sitting on top; I know, blonde moment] we also had an induction burner, which was alright, but making entire meals day in and day out on one burner...SUCKED.

We payed about $500 for the range [and another $150 to fit it for conversion and buy a propane tank] Propane lasts us a really long time, we probably spend $15 every two months.

Refrigeration and food storage
Our 5cubic ft freezer is kept on minimum, and our fridge just above minimum [I will add that we are monitoring our fridge energy use, and have only recently added it to the equation, so under 2 kWh per day might vary, but as of yet not really]
Dorm fridges are not energy efficient, in terms of size to consumption ratio. But that said, ours doesn't consume much energy anyways. 

Overhead light
 When we were planning to move into the Tinyhouse we bought, 2-12 watts,800 lumen, utilitech LED bulbs, one in warm and the other in cool. They were a bit pricey, ringing in at around $35 dollars a piece. Although they are expensive, one important thing for us in the Tinyhouse is being able to use the items we desire to use, keeping our moral up. So paying more for a light-bulb that doesn't interfere much with consumption, is a life savor. 
I would add, that these bulbs are champions, running pretty steady for over a year and a half [as we used them in the apartment for a good while]; they claim they will last for 16 years running 3 hours a day. and i believe it. These bulbs are hearty enough to withstand me dropping them a couple times

The Toyostove 
The Toyo uses electric ignition to begin heating for which it uses diesel and runs a fan to distribute the heat. There is minimum use there and whatever it does use it vital and necessary, as Alaska is cold.

We use all these things and many of them are on all the time [fridge, freezer, during winter the Toyo, During summer the fan] Our electric bill is Tiny just like us ^_^

What do you guys have plugged in? 
Do you know how much energy you use?
Please share your tips/experiences!