Riot for Austerity – Month 15

Riot for Austerity fist with Thermometer

Last year’s averages (calculated here) are mentioned as a baseline. I use this calculator.

Gasoline. This is the usual: still too high. When the temperatures go up I’m really going to work on biking Amie to school and back.

9.52 gallons per person (pp) in cars + 10 miles pp on public transport

=  23 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 24.8%)

Electricity. This went up a little because of the confluence of four things: we’re using the space heater in the bathroom more often, our new fish tank requires heating and filtering, we’re using the humidifier in our bedroom at night, and we’re internet-backing up our humongous desktop computer, which we use only for data storage (it’ll take 2 weeks this first time around!).

445 KWH (all wind) = 12 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s early average: 18.2% – we only switched to wind in the middle of the year)

Heating Oil and Warm Water. It’s been cold. Again. We heat to 58F at night and most of the day. The wood stove goes on around 4 in the afternoon and goes till when we go to bed – seems like, as soon as the sun goes down, our tolerance for 58F comes to an end.  With the stove I try to keep it around 64F. Our first cord is finished now, so I’m adding that (it was used over the last three months or so). Our warm water too is heated with oil.

71.4 gallons = 116 % of the US National Average

add 1 cord of wood: 140 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 77%)

Trash. We’re holding steady on this one.

5 lbs pp = 4 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 7.3%)

Water. This went up by a bit from the usual (14 %). Don’t know why.

443.8 gallons of water pp = 15 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 16.5%)

Consumer Goods. We purchased next to nothing this month. All I can think of are four little fish ($1.25 each) and fish food. (I’m, as always, excluding seeds and growing supplies.)

$15 = 8 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 27.2%)


It’s interesting to compare these last three months to the same months last year, to see what a difference our wood stove and the lowering of the thermostat are making in our consumption of heating oil (so I’m not reckoning in that finished cord):

Nov 2008- Jan 2009 (63F): 131.6 % vs. Nov 2009 – Jan 2010 (58F): 82.6 %

We had, of course, that crazy warm November in 2009… Still:

Dec 2008 – Jan 2009 (63F): 155 % vs. Dec 2009 – Jan 2010 (58F): 112.5%

It’ll make a noticable difference in the yearly average.  If only we could  eliminate the part of the oil that goes to heating our water, if only on warm days.

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