Monday, April 20, 2009

Prius again

I have now had my 2004 Prius for five years. Recently, my MPG has tanked a bit due in part to my tire change of a couple of years ago, and to the fact that my daily trips are much shorter than they used to be. So I was pleased over this last weekend to see overall MPG of 51 around town, and followed by almost 54 for a freeway trip to Santa Cruz. So the car still has decent MPG in it, and maybe those tires are finally broken in. MPG on recent occasions has been in the higher 40’s around town and in the low 40’s for freeway trips. Of course, this improvement on the freeway may also be related to just slowing down a bit from 70 mph to between 60 and 65 mph max. You would not think that would make such a difference, but it sure can on a long trip. Tires and proper inflation make a difference. Speed and time of year also make a difference.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Solar update

Last billing month we had shut down the pond pump to run only 12 hours a day, and this month that is reflected in our new lower charge for electricity, as expected. For March, our unbilled charge was $43.70. For April, it had dropped to $15.16. That is just about $6 more than the previous year, but it is not good enough for us. We already dropped the run-time to 6 hours a day, and so far that is still keeping the water clear enough. But, the damage has been done to this year’s stats. We are already over $100.00 for the year, with one more month to go in the billing year. Last year at this point, we were at $75 total for the year. For the year, our total energy use is 2,305 Kilowatt hours, or about $.0437 per kilowatt hour. That is still pretty good since our base rate for residential use in this area is around $.15 per kilowatt hour.