Tesla hit marketing hard this morning, trying to convince us all to Go Solar, save the World. Even an online calculator to calculate, “savings.” I fantasized about how I could reduce my $150-month electric bill by spending “only” $ 55,000.oo on a new roof. I’d make out over 30 years! Sure, sure, sure it would. But have I been sitting here in my 100-year old house saying darn I wish I had a solar roof? No, I haven’t. Tesla is trying to create a false need just so we’ll put $1000 down on credit. So easy! Just use credit card! and E-Z payment plans. “Get yourself in more debt now,” sings the snake oil salesman on his slick video showing roof tiles, “aren’t they pretty – we make the chains easy for you, with an online form, so that you’ll never ever be able to retire and Free Yourself.” – how nice.
Let’s step back and look at the big picture, though, if saving money is a goal then hey, maybe spending $55,000.oo up front isn’t so prudent. MAYBE if electricity is the area of focus this year (is it?) then we should first know where that cost is going.
Most of it is going to 1) The DRYER and 2) The stove and for most OTHER people 3) air conditioning. NOT LIGHTS, btw, despite what all those kiosks offering LEDs claim, things with motors and heating elements are what use up most of any American’s electric bill for the most part.
Rush out and buy a new roof? We should at least consider options;
- OPEN THE DANG WINDOWS. You know, 100 years ago we humans had no air conditioning? Hard to believe but it’s true HOW DID HUMANITY SURVIVE? We’d get a glass of water, and one’s body adapts to the heat (it takes 2 weeks at first.) and if you must, truly must be spoiled by a motor get a simple efficient personal or quiet floor fan, much less $$ than air conditioner by factor of 10. Also, peace of mind – these things are amazingly quiet compared to a window air conditioner, which inevitably rattle as they age and cost more $$ to replace.
- HANG OUT THE LAUNDRY TO DRY. You know, 100 years ago we didn’t have dryers? Everyone used clotheslines and they worked fine. Also it’s quite meditative to do it, and it only takes a few minutes. It’s also good for your shoulders and rotator-cuff. You want to be HEALTHY in retirement don’t you?
- WASH LESS. Do you truly, truly need to wash your pants and shirts after EVERY single wear? What about every-other, unless they are truly soiled. Then you’d cut your laundry time in half right there. I mean, underwear and socks I “get.” HOTELS encourage hanging towels for a few days, only then launder them. Do you do it differently at home, washing towels each time?
- STOP THERE. Notice i’m not hammering home 100 other “save electricity” points, because heating elements and motors consume MOST of your electric bill. I have a true wattage meter (my friend is an MIT nerd) and I’ve gone around checking things out. Light bulbs are not the culprit.
Finally, even if I wanted to cut back now, is electricity-cost really my focus this year? I could reduce money in other faster ways by reducing recurring costs in cell phone and TV provider monthly bills.
I’m closing the “Tesla” site, thank you I’m not interested in spending a whopping HUGE amount of money on an installation that barely saves what I can save myself by hanging out clothes, and reducing my dependance on air conditioning. I’m opening the windows and (maybe) using a fan!
After turning “down” my hot-water-heater a little. Do I really need it to be 115 degrees when 110 will do just as well. 🙂 Thanks for reading. Hang in there. Free yourself soon.