Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Heating? What heating?

Our apartment here has one heater, a wall-mounted gas unit roughly in the middle of the open-plan area. We haven't needed to use the heater at all; the weather is mild here (unlike currently-freezing Britain) and, as we're on the top floor, we get quite a lot of heat from the apartments below. (In particular, one of our closets is always pleasantly warm; I suspect it's above the heater in the apartment below.) We do also get a little residual heat from the pilot light on the heater, which does burn rather high.

So, our first monthly PG&E bill is in: and running that pilot light has cost us nearly $8. This seems a bit steep. So, today we turned the heater off altogether: we're now entirely passively heated.

I'm also finding that being billed monthly makes me more energy-conscious: I'm less cavalier about leaving lights on now I know I'll be paying for it next month. So, with that in mind, here's a bit of rough-and-ready JavaScript to calculate the average cost of leaving a light on:
W for hours/day at ยข/kWh $ month

(FWIW, kitchen lights 240W; living-room light 200W; vanity lights 120W; bathroom lights 75W; TV ~130W; PC ~150W; refrigerator peak ~750W, average maybe ~150W, depends on duty cycle.)