Housing is your biggest expense…by far!
And housing WILL be your biggest expense..by far, too. If you’ve been following me at all you know it’s one of my pet peeves; the concern of health care costs when in fact it’s HOUSING that’s the real monster under the bed.
Housing costs are not simply mortgage and property tax though. Oh no no no. Utilities are a part of that cost. And your utility bills are not going down. (Well,for many of us they aren’t. But because of George Mitchell and his wonderful invention called hydraulic fracturing utility bills at least haven’t skyrocketed like they have with our European friends.)
Notice, though, that come summer time your electric bill rises, and rises significantly. Why is that? Because the increase in demand due to air conditioning, mainly. So, summer time utility bills are significantly higher than winter, at least in the Scandlen household. (We use natural gas to heat our home).
What are some of the other biggest sources of your electricity consumption? Anything that heats something. Blow dryer. Clothes dryer. Oven…. especially your oven. Because when are you using your oven the most? Right around late afternoon, early evening, dinner time. The time when the sun is pounding down, when the A/C is kicking on. When you just got back from work and are preparing dinner, well, you and millions of other Americans all at the same time.
What does an oven do. It heats food. Where does that heat end up going? Into the kitchen mainly. Causing the ambient temperature to rise and thus the AC to kick on even more for you and millions of other Americans. Which increases demand for electricity nationwide, peak demand in fact.
Basic economics here: High demand does what to prices?
So, high electricity demand inherently increases prices for…electricity. This is why capitalism works and socialism never will by the way. Because capitalism allows for pricing information whereas socialism gets rid of it. And it’s the pricing knowledge which allows people to determine the best use of their resources.
How, then, do we reduce electricity during the most in-demand time, and thus when it’s at the highest cost.
Not use the oven!
“But Josh I need to cook.” Yup. And that’s the beauty of that wonderful heat tab in the sky called the sun, it can do it for you! Thermal heating is the most efficient use of the sun’s glorious rays that shine on the earth.
And a solar oven is the perfect way to do this.
Here is an email I received from a lady who lives in Idaho about her solar cooker.
“Hi Josh, I’ve had some practice time with my solar oven. It does what its advertised to do! There is a learning curve to watch the position of the unit, weather and clouds especially since its spring time. When I get full sun, the temps range between 300-350°. When the thin clouds show up it can drop to 250°. Thick clouds, it’s time to take to home oven. I am finding, at least this month, the clouds tend to show up towards 3:30-4. If I want to bake a bread/cake,I need to start before noon to make sure of higher temps. My chicken enchilada soup cooked fast and well with lower temps. As long as it is over 180° I’m in the safe cooking range. This summer, our area will tend to be cloud free most of the time, so I look forward to seeing what I can do then.
This sun oven is insulated and reaches much higher temps apparently than some other more portable solar methods. Though there are designs that can reach 400-600° from what I have read. I chose the in between model to have at home.
My pictures are of corn bread, chicken enchilada soup and spice cake.”
As you can see, first hand, this lady is able to eat food heated from the sun. With a little practice she’ll be able to cook meats too.
Thus, eats well, uses less electricity and SAVES money! What more could you ask for.
Here is a link to the Sun Oven unit from Sun Ovens International.
Also, I HIGHLY suggest you get a KillAWatt Electricity usage meter so you can investigate what devices use the most electricity. Vampire electricity with a cable box? No. But hairdryers and other heating devices…YIKES!