As “cost of living” is the most searched term on my blog, I thought I’d harp on this topic, on the anniversary of the 300,000th visitor to my first WordPress site – the Concertblog.
Reducing the cost of daily living on Maui boils down to scrutinizing which expenses are least relevant and most flexible. In other words, what are you willing to give up?
As residents of the State of Hawaii pay the highest electricity rates in the country, it makes sense to understand our monthly electricity bill.
If you switch everything off except the refrigerator when you go on vacation, and you still get a bill for $35, maybe it’s time to replace that 20-year old refrigerator. Energy efficient experts say the worst thing is to move that old refrigerator to the garage and keep using it.
The next biggest expense is the water heater. If you can’t get a solar water heater, at least try to get a new electric water heater with a timer switch. You can control the timer and the temperature setting. My bill went down by 20% because of the timer switch.
Wait! Do you have an electric stove and oven? Do you cook a lot? Go on an elimination diet the way you discovered that you needed to replace that old fridge. Unfortunately, I don’t cook much, so I can’t help you with this.
Apparently dishwashers, washing machines, and washer driers also consume a lot of energy. Batch processing is the way to save. The sun is the best drying machine.
A friend of mine spent over $300 buying LED light bulbs in bulk at Costco. After replacing all the lights in his 1,000 sq. ft. house, he noticed a reduction of $40 in his monthly electric bill. In addition, he feels more free than before to leave his lights on.
My question: What did he do with the replaced energy-saving CFL bulbs and incandescent bulbs that still work?
Answer: give them to someone whose rent includes electricity usage.
For more information about buying or replacing lightbulbs, read this guide.