We want to use our skills in building and shipping software and hardware to make a positive difference. The area that interested us the most was moving towards 100% clean and healthy energy.
We decided to focus on lowering mindless excessive use of electricity. We found from our own experience, we were using 40% more than we needed with no change to our lifestyles. If this is true for us, we figure it is true for many others.
The cleanest and healthiest electricity is the electricity we don’t use. It will be easier to get to 100% clean and healthy energy if we cut down on wasteful consumption of electricity. Besides, we save money and breathe easier. What’s not to like?
BUT…who has time to wade through their electricity bills then figure out from some random web source how to lower their use? Besides, the reward in doing so is not immediately obvious.
This is why we’re doing FitHome. To make it extremely easy to use less electricity while at the same time getting immediate feedback on the amount of electricity being saved and the positive impact this savings is having on our environment.
The FitHome experience is successful if the participants use 15% less electricity than they did before participating. Consuming 15% less electricity is a reachable goal. After all, folks in Germany use 54% less electricity than folks in the US. Of course, there could be many reasons for this difference perhaps it is because:
But still given the 54% difference, we should be able to save 15%. When we took the FitHome challenge, we ended up saving 40%. With no change to our lifestyle.
The ACEE Report, Saving Energy, Saving Lives pointed out…
Nationwide, reducing electricity consumption by 15% for a single year would result in:
In our city (Kirkland, Washington), there are 38,093 housing units. While the weather varies quite a bit between Eastern and Western Washington, for this discussion we’ll use the EIA’s info on the average monthly amount of electricity consumed as 955kWh.
Our electricity cost is (at the time of this writing):
If a household uses 955 kWh/month, their electricity cost is roughly $121.82 /month.
(.1*600)+(.12*355)+7.87 = $110.47 110.47 + (.0604*110.47) + (.03783*110.47) = $121.32
If a household starts using 15% less electricity, their electricity cost is roughly
855*.85 = 812 kWh/month (.1*600) + (.12*212) + 7.87 = $93.31 93.31 + (.0604*93.31) + (.03783*93.31) = $102.48
a savings of $18.84 / month or $206 / year.
The 38,093 households in Kirkland use 36,378,815 kWh/month (38,093 * 955). Or 436,545,780 kWh / year of electricity. That is 340,288 Tons of greenhouse gas emissions (using the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator). This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 2,505 acres of forests can sequester.
If we all used 15% less electricity, we’d be using 65,481,867 kWh less per year. Just 15% means we decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 51,043 Tons.
Think of FitHome as an interactive article on how to save electricity completely personalized to your home.
Certainly, you can Google for “energy saving techniques”, find recommendations, and follow those. Or you can use FitHome if you’re like we were “I’m so lazy about using less electricity that an app which walks me through all of the possible power saving ideas is just what I need. I usually get home and the last thing I want to do is think.”
FitHome tells you how much electricity you are using. As you start saving using the interactive steps provided, you begin to see the amount of money you are saving as well as the contribution you are making to combating climate change.
With FitHome, we are all improving our home health and combating climate change together.