Thursday, 1 March 2007

Let it Rain...Ice Pellets

As I write I can hear ice pellets tapping on my windows, and occasionally the overhead light flickers off and on. Even so, I pray for the bad weather to continue long enough to cancel school tomorrow. With temperatures hovering around the 0 mark I know I won't freeze to death if the hydro goes out and I have a lot of blankets. I don't mind missing my morning hot shower if it means a few precious hours to huddle inside a sleeping bag with a good book.
I've been thinking about how unprepared I really am for a hydro outage. I have no alternate source of heat, no radio that doesn't need electricity, no gas stove, no extra batteries for my one flashlight. I do have a package of 100 tealights (I could sit in my wok and light a few but there wouldn't be enought room for my daughter...?) I could run out to my car when I get really cold and sit idling in the driveway and catch up on the news at the same time, doesn't seem environmentally friendly however. My clothes dryer is gas but would be a tight squeeze!
My fellow blogger Espresso recently wrote (blogged?) about how we've become accustomed to a comfortable way of life, and that sacrifices would be required to live a "greener", potentially planet-saving lifestyle. Can we, will we, make those sacrifices? I've been thinking about that alot, and maybe our thought patterns need to make a shift. Perhaps we can look at personal (and hopefully industrial) changes as a challenge, a game, a competition. For my brother, it could mean hours and hours of crazy fun with computer graphs, pie charts and pages of statistics! I like statistics too, though I'm not nearly as compulsive as he, well almost, maybe, no, not at all.
So, I've been looking into Bullfrog Power ( ) which provides electricity from totally renewable resources. My current hydro company charges me 5.5 cents per kWh for the first 1000 kilowatt hours, and 6.4 cents thereafter. Bullfrog Power charges 9.1 cents per kWh. If I used 1000 kWh in a month I would pay an extra $36.00 for Bullfrog Power, peace of mind - priceless! The game then is making up the difference ($36.00) elsewhere - I haven't figured out the savings yet (I'll get my brother working on it) but by using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of the incandescents I now use I might save enough to cancel out the hydro increase. CFLs use 2/3 less energy than incandescents. Let's make the switch now, before incandescents get banned and there's a run on CFLs, otherwise we could all be in the DARK!

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