Showing posts from March, 2014

Cutting our electricity bill: Exciting Conclusions

Since the last time I have written on our electricity bill and our efforts in reducing it we’ve had a few developments. 
Now keep in mind with all of this.  We do not have some of the typical high energy items that many have.  We have no water heater that draws energy nor do we have electric heat.  We do have, however, an ancient waterbed.  Thankfully that will be replaced very soon.  Another item to keep in mind is this is Fairbanks, Alaska so we have to plug in our vehicles if they are parked outdoors when the temperatures go below -20.  That happens quite frequently here in the winter months so to combat that problem I have purchased an outdoor timer that will only turn on power to the vehicle plugged in for two hours prior to our possible departure time.
Also, originally as I began writing this, my husband had been at home each month, anxiously searching for a job.  That means that we have had one adult around the house for almost 24 hours a day, 6-8 of which he spent with a com…

An update to Paydirt: Sunchokes.

Yet another step made to prepare our backyard for our move from Aberdeen, Maryland to Fairbanks, Alaska.  This past weekend our goal was to dig up as many Jerusalem Sunchokes as possible and since the weather was dry and sunny we figured it was time. First a bit of history, after all, you know if you've kept up with me in the past I love reading the histories of each plant we grow.
The plant commonly called a "sunchoke" is actually called a Jerusalem Artichoke. No, it is not from Jerusalem and no, it is not to be confused with a typical artichoke.  Supposedly Italian Settlers in North America named the sunchoke girasole which is the Italian word for Sunflower.  It is believed that English settlers corrupted the name girasole artichoke to Jerusalem Artichoke.  It is indigenous to North America and was cultivated for its valuable roots.  It is a perennial (meaning it grows back on its own every year) and is actually part of the sunflower genus; Helianthus.
Growing it, I can s…

Cutting Our Electricity Bill

Fairbanks, Alaska, dubbed the Golden Heart City has a lot of positives to it.  The people here are welcoming and friendly.  The town is a great place to raise kids; it has a small town feel to it; there is very little traffic except for the two usual times of day and even that, after driving in I95 traffic on the East Coast is nothing.  All in all, after all the places I have seen in the US, it’s the type of town that I feel I can really settle down and put down some roots.  However, a big negative here are the energy costs.  Unfortunately, gas for cars and generators, fuel for heating and fuel for electricity runs high here so this makes the cost of living much higher here than it is in many places in the lower 48.  When moving here, we moved from a townhouse in the military community where we did not pay for our electricity, back to our house where now we do.
When I first saw our very first electricity bill I was shocked.  $299 for one month, our usage was 1427 kWh.  At first I th…