Saving energy, the planet and my pocketbook

By: 
Dennis Warden
Publisher

As you may know I’m a conservative. I also consider myself a conservative when it comes to my use of the earth’s resources. But I have to admit that many of my tendencies to be conservative are purely selfish in nature.

Case in point -— I drive a Chevrolet Cruze. It gets great gas mileage, averaging around 35 mpg. I purchased it in December of 2012. That year the retail price of gasoline averaged $3.62 per gallon, currently the highest on record.

This was hard for me to swallow, having driven most of my adult life with gas prices under $2.00 per gallon.

 At one point, after I had only owned the Cruze for a couple of months, I drove to the West County Center Shopping Mall in St. Louis (better known as the Dove Shopping Mall) achieving a personal record of 50 mpg.

During that little experiment I never drove over the posted speed limit, I never passed anyone and I coasted whenever possible. Also, the stop light gods were on my side allowing me to cruise through Union with all green lights. So from Owensville to St. Louis I never came to a complete stop.

I have never duplicated that feat.

The reason I purchased the Cruze was not to save the planet from global warming — that may be a by-product — it was to save my pocketbook. I’m happy to report it has.

I started recycling long before I could drive. My kid sister and I would pull our little red wagon around the neighborhood and collect discarded soda bottles.

We did this again for the almighty dollar — or rather five cents. In the 70s you could return empty soda bottles to the grocery store and receive a nickel for each one.

Today instead of soda bottles we recycle aluminum cans. We do it for two reasons. First is money. As Ben Franklin is quoted as saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Second it’s just common sense. Quoting from an old English Proverb, “waste not, want not.”

There is only so much of the earth’s resources.

I do recycle at home and at the newspaper. At the newspaper we recycle as much of our cardboard boxes and paper as possible. In this case we don’t receive any monetary gain, just the satisfaction of keeping tons of waste from our local landfills.

If you need paper for packing, puppies or school projects just stop by. We’re always happy to give our old newspapers a new purpose.

We currently have offices in Belle, Vienna, Linn and Owensville. I am usually the first one in the office in Owensville every day and many times the last to leave. So, I turn on the furnace or AC in the morning and turn it off when I leave at the end of each day.

In Vienna we have no control over the temperature. Our landlord does that, with the heating and cooling costs included in our monthly rent.

The Belle and Linn offices are different. With the unusual cold winter we have just had I would wonder (and worry) if the thermostats were turned down for the night after everyone left.

This was especially true for the Belle office which is equipped with an electric furnace.

For every problem there is a solution. I had heard about it before, but it was the recommendation of Kari in our Owensville office that convinced me that the Nest Thermostat was the answer to my sleepless nights.

In January we installed a Nest Thermostat at both the Linn and Belle offices. The cost for the Nest Thermostat E at Walmart is $169.

Now I can check the thermostats in both locations from my cell phone to make sure they are shut down during the evening hours.

The Nest learns your schedule and automatically comes on when it is needed. It also can tell when no one is in the office with a built in motion sensor.

In January the electric bill in Belle was $197.94 with an average temperature (according to Ameren) of 31 degrees. Our next statement, with an average temperature of 28 degrees, was $103.54. That’s close to a $100 savings in the first month. So far this year my electric usage at the Belle office is down 29.5% from 2018, and we know that it’s been colder this year.

That’s what you call a great return on your investment.

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As we are in the middle of Holy Week I pray that you all have a blessed Easter with the knowledge that Jesus Christ died for you and for me. 

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