Power and the Glory

Part 5 — Da Summary

The Why–for and the What–fors

Our philosophy has always1 been to have as small a footprint as possible, in all walks of life. It has, the last decade or so, crystalized into specific plans.

We do not, for example, buy more food than we can reasonably eat. Our diet is low on red meat, high on vegetables, chicken and fish.2 So why consume more power than we really needed?

As described in part 1, we have had a major difficulty with electricity. In Sweden the yearly average for a regular sized house is 20,000kWh. We burned through 35,000kWh.

For both the environment and the budget, Operation Heatpump and Operation Sunshine cut that to what now looks to land on ~2,200kWh/year.

Home automation has given us a much better view and control over the details on running a house, without which we would flail about with no empirical data to show us where to make changes and where to save power.

And, finally, the move to an electric vehicle charged by solar power will help cut our transport emissions by, well, rather a lot …

All of this without cutting an iota of comfort3. Granted, we started out at an insanely high level.

–– Tina H, summer of ’22, with best of luck for your own projects!

PS

Remember that automated roller shade gimmick? It’s basically a small motor and battery that you connect to an existing roller shade. With a small script in Home Assistant it goes down when it gets to warm in the kitchen, and goes up when the sun is low enough.

It does the very thing home automation should do: it lets me forget about having to roll down and up that blasted curtain every time the sun in the kitchen gets too hot. It’s damned convenient!


1 道德經 Gesundheit. Tao Te Ching. I can recommend The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet ;)

2 The cocoa–bean is a vegetable, old cork.

3 The hot–water situation has actually improved.

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2009 — 2013 archive (aka "ye olde stuff")