Me and my three pusscats are snug and warm inside our cosy house. No we don't have the heating on we don't need it. They have their fur coats, and I have my layers. All the internal doors are open, I like them to have the run of the house to come and go as they please, and I am often up and down, moving from room to room. The windows in the living room have two sets of curtains hanging on each, making double insulation. It is not cold tonight anyway.
I am becoming more aware of the consequences of flicking switches on either electrical or gas appliances. Every time I flick a switch it costs me money, so before I do it I ask myself, do I really need to. Am I really that cold, do I need to spend some money on an hour of heat. Mostly the answer is no, sometimes it is yes, so I treat myself to an hour of central heating, or put the gas fire on in the living room. Don't feel sorry for me, I am not a poor pensioner who has to make the choice between heating and eating. I can afford to do both, it's just that I don't actually need much heating because after years of working outdoors in all weathers I like fresh air, and hate stuffy rooms. Even now, tonight, I have windows upstairs open an inch to encourage a circulation of air through the house. You know my food situation, I eat well within my budget, because I know how to budget, so no hardships there.
I noticed on my last utilities bill that my electricity consumption has dropped. Normally it's higher than the gas, but this time it's lower. That's because I have been taking steps to cut back on flicking switches. Ever since Autumn and the start of shorter days and longer nights, I have been looking at ways I can save money on electricity, and that means, looking for ways of using it economically, or not using it at all.
I no longer boil a kettle for my coffee in the morning. My kettle has an element in the bottom, I cannot put one mug of water in there because it won't cover the element, so I always ended up with two mugs of hot water, one of which doesn't get used. I know you can put it into a flask and use it later, but I only ever have one mug of coffee, the rest of the day I have cold watered down fruit juice. So what do I do now? I put my mug of cold water in the microwave and heat it that way. The benefit of that is the mug also gets hot, so the drink stays hot for longer.
What else do I do to cut down? A lot of people leave the TV on for background noise, as they go about their daily tasks. I don't have a tele, but I do have a radio. I only switch it on when I actually want to listen to something. There are a few programmes which interest me, and if I am doing something in the living room I will listen while I am crafting. Once the programme is over, or I move to another room, I switch it off. No point in paying for electricity if I am not listening to it.
Let's look at lighting. These Christmas lights were free, I found them in the house clearing skip I mentioned a few months ago. They are now permanently installed in my living room. I no longer flick the switch on the wall to put the main ceiling light on. I am hoping that these small candle lights use less electricity.
About three or more years ago, can't remember how long ago, the strip light on the ceiling packed up. Well I suppose it could be just the little round switch thing, or it could be the whole tube which needs replacing. I'm not bothered about it, because I don't need it. All I need is this small lamp. It gives out sufficient light for me to see what I am doing, on the area of the worktop that I am preparing my meals on. I don't need the whole blooming kitchen lit up. Just one small bulb is fine.