We’ve finally been able to make it through an entire year with a negative net usage of electricity. As of right now we have 309 kWh left in our utility ‘bank’ after 12 billing cycles. Our electric utility New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has some new online electrical usage tracking features. It has allowed us to review our usage and figure out when higher loads are occurring.
The first major improvement to our electrical usage was the installation of the Nyle Geyser heat pump to provide us with domestic hot water. We did this back in the summer of 2014, and have had dramatic reduction in electrical usage ever since.
What has also been very helpful was our ability to rely entirely on our woodstove for heat throughout this winter, and avoiding the use of our radiant floors. It’s been a mild winter here in New Hampshire, and because of that we haven’t even needed to run the woodstove every day. When the sun comes out for a few hours the house is able to heat up enough and stay comfortable for several hours and sometimes through the night. During a more severe winter I would anticipate that we could still avoid using the radiant floors and would just need have the woodstove running more consistently.
The one remaining area where we would like to improve is our clothes drying. We currently have a conventional electric dryer that we use when we can’t use out outdoor clothes line. Ideally we would purchase a new heat pump dryer. Unfortunately the prices right now are way higher than we would be willing to pay. As a bonus a heat pump dryer would allow us to eliminate the 6″ vent hole in our basement, which would help to keep the basement temperature up in the winter.
So we’ll see how the next year goes. Around the beginning of March we expect to start building up our kWh credits due to longer days and higher sun angles.