Put a gate in the fence between the neighbour's and us. We visit each other often, trade food, and generally help each other out and a gate has been talked about for a long time. We plan to combine energy and produce a lot of food this year I think.
I also put a new door in the back of the house. We picked it up for $40 from Hall Bros (really cheap!). It has a big reinforced window in it so the entry hall gets light now. Even at night, the outside light gives good light through the window.
Lighting is an interesting design challenge in the house. Obviously we have replaced all globes with pearl energy savers at the lowest wattage we could get (11 Watts, still looking for less), and now its a matter of positioning the lights so that they give the maximum amount of useful light. Right now for example, we have 1 light on. It lights the lounge room and the kitchen slightly, as well as our bedroom through the glass doors. I've already mentioned that the outside light lights the hall, and the kitchen light lights the deck through the windows. I don't think there is ever a time we have more than 3 lights on. Thats 33W per hour as apposed to 180W per hour if we had normal light bulbs, or 360W or more if we used twice as many lights. This, combined with fire heating (and cooking), gas, a very small fridge, and no entertainment system is probably why our energy bill averages $45-$50 per month right through the year.
- ▼ 2009 (9)