Ask the Readers: Do You Know What This Is?

Today, I take a short diversion from my normal FI/money questions. I need your help sorting out a family dispute.

Last week, I asked you if you were passionate about your work. I do want to discuss your answers, but I’m saving them for next week. I need to get to this week’s question as fast as possible because I’m totally annoyed. Keep in mind that I’m a weirdo and strange things set me off. (Mrs. 1500 note: Boy Howdy!*)

Ask the Readers: Do you know what this is?

I’ve written about some of the domestic disputes that happen in the 1500 household before. One of my most popular posts was the one about our annual thermostat wars. Mrs. 1500 likes to keep the house around 95 degrees fahrenheit while I prefer a more reasonable 71. I almost had to install one of these:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 7.16.34 PM

Anyway, a new battle is brewing in our household and I need your help. It’s show and tell time. Here is how this is going to work:

I’m going to show you some pictures of something you see every day. I want you to tell me what the object is and what it does. Ready? Here is one:

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 12.07.24 PM

Here is another:

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 12.07.32 PM

And look at this badass triple banger:

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 12.07.16 PM

Why on earth am I asking about light switches?

I’m asking because I don’t think Mrs. 1500 has any idea what these mysterious objects are. (Mrs. 1500 note: Mr. 1500, how would you like to sleep on the couch tonight?)

Last Friday night, Mrs. 1500 and I had this conversation:

  • Mrs. 1500: Why did you turn the lights off on me? Did you know I was in the room?
  • Me: Oh, sorry. This is just a natural part of my behavior. When I exit a room, I turn the lights off.

Before I continue, I need to explain that Mrs. 1500 and our two children never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever turn lights off. When I’m out of town, astronauts on the space station can see our home. Our electric usage doubles or even triples. I’m not joking. The conversation went on:

  • Mrs. 1500: But I was in the room when you turned the lights off.
  • Me: I can’t help it. See, there are these things on the wall. I know you probably haven’t noticed them before, but they’re called switches. ***I point at one*** See these white things? Touch one, it won’t hurt. If you push it down, the electricity stops flowing to the light-bulb which causes it to stop emitting photons. The room gets dark and we don’t have to pay for the electricity used to generate the photons. There is no need for light in a room if no humans are in it. It is beautiful. (Mrs. 1500 note: The conversation didn’t **quite** go like this…)
  • Mrs. 1500: Shut up. I’m going to punch you! (Mrs. 1500 note: OK, this part did.)

I don’t understand why Mrs. 1500 and the kids cannot master (or even attempt) the light switch. How hard is it!? They have picked up other healthy habits perfectly fine including:

  • washing their hands after bathroom time and before meals.
  • putting their seat belts on in the car.
  • putting their clothes away.

According to this video, my wife is the Wattage Waster, an “insidious villain:”

(Mrs. 1500 note: Mr. 1500, forget the couch. How does the driveway or backyard look?)

So why oh WHY IS TURNING OFF THE DAMN LIGHTS SO ****ING HARD????

(Mrs. 1500 note: Mr. 1500 tells lies. I know how to use those things that hang on the wall. Um, that up-and-down thingy… What’s it called again?!?)

 

*Mr. 1500 note: “Boy howdy”? Who in the world says this? What does it mean?! What language is my wife speaking??!

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101 Responses to Ask the Readers: Do You Know What This Is?

  1. I’m afraid to laugh and throw fuel on this domestic dispute! 🙂 But y’all crack me up.
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…Digit Review: How I’ve Effortlessly Saved $837.49My Profile

  2. Mrs SSC says:

    I recall my dad lecturing me and my brother about this when we were younger. If I remember correctly he taught us to turn the lights off by fining us (because we should pay for the wasted electricity). Since then, I also always turn the lights off when leaving a room…
    Mrs SSC recently posted…How we got FIRE’d Up!My Profile

  3. Hmmm, I may have to side with Mr. 1500 on this one. Not only because I have the same tendencies to turn the lights off, but Mrs. 1500s track record of regularly washing hands, putting on seat belts, and putting clothes away makes it seem like not turning off the lights is willful misconduct. Sorry Mrs. 1500.
    The Green Swan recently posted…The Path to A Million: Finding the ElevatorMy Profile

  4. Jacq says:

    I don’t know where I picked up the habit to turn the lights off as I go. My one ex would leave the lights & equipment on all night in the shop/garage. But I wasn’t paying the bill then.
    Best of luck sleeping in the tree house!

  5. Mrs. PIE says:

    carefully side stepping spousal disputes here…..yes it happens in our house and it drives me nuts!
    We went through a phase of fining the kids 25c if we found their bedroom lights left on (and also for other infractions like not flushing the toilet – yup, it’s gross with two boys in the house!) – it worked for a while but made no lasting change.
    The one that truly drives me nuts is the basement light – I mean, really? If you’re not in the basement it doesn’t need to be on! OK – rant over!

  6. Eric Bowlin says:

    Toss in all low energy bulbs. They cost less than .02 per day to run all day… If my numbers are correct.
    Eric Bowlin recently posted…Achieving Financial FreedomMy Profile

  7. I had a nice sit down with my kids and our electric bill. Since that point, lights, TV, videos games, etc. seems to get turned off more often. They also don’t think dad is a crazy person.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…Spending Habits of TeenagersMy Profile

  8. Lou says:

    My Dad use to lecture me to turn the lights off using the argument that I am not paying the electricity bill. Now that I am paying the bill my wife nags me to turn the light off. When I try to explain it is only 2 cents a day she gets mad.

  9. Mr. SSC says:

    As a kid, we got harped on about this all the time! It stuck with me and I’m a pretty consistent turn off the lights guy, but our kids, boy howdy! Oh wait…

    We have finally gotten our 5 yr old mostly into the habit. If he’s not distracted by something (oh wait he’s 5, so that means everything is distracting) then he’s good about it, but we still have to occasionally remind him. Our 3 yr old tries, but can’t quite reach the switches yet. A for effort though.

    As far as the expression – my recollection is that she’s speaking “Southern” and my understanding of what it means is similar to an expression of wonder (wow!), amazement (would ya look at that?), and sometimes head shaking confusion (old school version of wtf).
    Mr. SSC recently posted…How we got FIRE’d Up!My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah, she doesn’t sound like a redneck except for every once in a while when “boy howdy” comes out of her mouth or she talks about cooking up an opossum. Just kidding on the last one. Maybe…

  10. RAnn says:

    I hate walking through a dark house. Our kitchen, den and living room all link up and I like lights on in all of them. My husband thinks if we aren’t in one of them the lights should be off. I like lights on–I don’t forget to turn them off, I like them on and in the grand scheme of things, we can afford it. It is cheaper to run lights than to run the AC at a frigid 71 degrees; 78 is far cheaper and more comfortable.
    RAnn recently posted…Keeping Your Bookshelf (Real or Virtual) Full Without Going BrokeMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah, I just don’t like waste of any kind. I hate it when people throw out perfectly good food or clothes. I hate it when people stomp on the gas or brakes. On and on…

  11. redrider_00 says:

    Why not add light switches that turn on when you enter the room and shut off after they quit seeing movement. Might take a little getting used to but it would fix your problem! You can buy them at any home improvement store. Try one in one room and see how it goes. You can also set the desired shutoff time.

  12. Wayne says:

    What really bothers me is that the screw head lines are not all parallel. You seem to do OK with the single and double plates but oh boy my OCD meter went off on that quadplex one!

    Great post, I’m with you…. In my retirement, I’m working on a whole house electricity reset circuit breaker switch with remote control. One button…..all off (except my router of course!)

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      Wayne, I had to scroll back up to check, and you are absolutely correct. I actually try to put them all vertical as I install them, so I am utterly dismayed at these. Rest assured they will be fixed before bed tonight.

  13. Training wild animals definitely takes time. Remember to be patient. Your superior intellect and rational behavior took time to develop. 😉

    All joking aside, I’m sure (I hope?) they know how wasteful it is….they probably just don’t care, which is definitely concerning.

    Perhaps you could try framing their waste in the form of something they DO care about….”every time you leave the light on you waste money, which means I can’t buy you [thing they care about]”.

    • 1500 says:

      Maybe I can incentivize the kids with Dairy Queen. Hell, that may work for the wife too.

      Wild animals indeed!

  14. You could always do like the corporations do, and install automatic timers that are in effect at certain times of day (lights off during day time, motion sensors at night…)

    Just saying.

    • 1500 says:

      I’m going to invent coin operated ones!

      • woodnut says:

        I love the coin operated switch idea. Want to collaborate on the design? I have the same battle with the 3 ladies in my house. In addition to ceiling fans left on in an empty room, prune wrinkling showers, etc. I also hate waste.

  15. RoseRelish says:

    Ha! Amazing! I believe that my wife has the same relationship with light switches. Sometimes she goes into a dark room for the sole purpose of leaving the lights on. Or so it seems to me…

  16. I almost spit out my coffee reading this. Well done sir!

    A fun experiment to try: Sit down with electric/water bills and figure out the annual cost. Tell the kids if this years cost is less than last years you will pay them the difference. It teaches them that conservation actually puts money back in your pocket.
    TheHappyPhilosopher recently posted…Lessons From an Apple TreeMy Profile

  17. David says:

    Sagittarians, for example, need a lot of light. Totally obnoxious to tell an adult to turn of a light. Divorce worthy!

    Put LED lights throughout the house and drop it. Cheaper than a divorce for sure.

    • beth says:

      David is right. Pick your battles. If your biggest issue with your wife is some lights left on or the heat turned up a little then you need to relax and appreciate how great you have it.

      If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy picking at her little imperfections she will either start picking at all of yours or she will turn a deaf ear to you.

      This is just my opinion as a divorced person.

      • 1500 says:

        Inefficiency bothers me, but this post was me gently prodding the wife. There are no hurt feelings in our home.

  18. Jeff Haverlack says:

    I’m so relieved I’m not alone here, right down to mention to my family that astronauts certainly use our house as a landmark of sorts for the Pacific NW when trying to orient themselves.

    I’ve reluctantly rolled over on three issues because in the scheme of things, I suppose they aren’t that material in the end, at least not so much as the mental/emotional capital that will be spent in return.

    My top three issues are: water usage, thermostat and lights.

    I’m sure if I do a deep dive on my own habits, I’ll uncover similar poor habits myself but I really try to be mindful about those small incremental costs that add up, especially when they needlessly add up.

    Thanks for the story and the feeling that we/I am not alone

  19. Katrina says:

    Mr. 1500, I feel your pain. My partner and I sublet a basement suite from friends, and we are much more careful about turning lights off than our friends and their children. Since we split the cost of utilities, I feel no shame about the fact that I have, while upstairs, been known to turn off the lights for them in rooms that no one is currently occupying. Our frequent messages of “The kids forgot to turn off the lights in [their part of] the basement again…” have also resulted in a sign on the door to upstairs that reads “Did you turn the lights off?” (Made and put up by their parents, not us!) It has definitely improved the frequency with which the lights get turned off, so maybe something for you to consider, Mr. 1500! 😛

  20. Kim says:

    I turn off lights as I leave the room. When I moved out on my own, I started this competition with myself to see how low I could get my electricity bill, so I hardly used my lights at all. Now that I’m married, my husband leaves lights on when he walks out of a room. He’ll even leave them on when he leaves for work in the morning! I still love him though. 😉

  21. So is the thermostat issue happening during summer or winter? Because if the Mrs. is comfortable at a way warmer temp then that energy savings beats lights hands down, eh?

    But really I just wish there was one money saving thing that drove my boyfriend nuts instead of me. Cause I’m the “turn off lights, stop messing with the thermostat, don’t leave your crap in the sink when the dishwasher is right THERE” reminder (he would say nag) on all of these. Comes with being a natural saver I suppose…
    Candi @ minhus recently posted…Bathroom RedoMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thermostat issue is a winter one. For some reason, the Mrs. likes it hot as hell in the house and car when the weather gets cold. There was one time; it must have been 95 in the car. I took all my clothes off (except for underwear) thinking it would humiliate her into setting a reasonable temperature. She couldn’t have cared less…

  22. Matt Spillar says:

    Lol this had me cracking up, my wife and I have this same exact dispute, drives me crazy.

  23. Tawcan says:

    Oh man, I’m like that too. I like to turn off lights whenever I leave the room. When I have to get up super early in the morning for work, sometimes I just eat in the dark. I definitely need to teach Mrs. T this practice of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room.

    Are the lights in your house LED? I suppose Mrs. 1500 can argue that turning on and off LED lights all the times are bad for the life span of the lights.

  24. Angela says:

    Thanks for making my Monday night you two! You had me laughing out loud. I’ve thought of a blog as a tool for many things, but settling domestic disputes?! That’s new. And super ingenious too!

    Sporty and I are pretty good at turning lights off, however her boss is not. She’s going to share this post with him. 😉
    Angela recently posted…Tips for Dealing With Sentimental ClutterMy Profile

  25. Zaxon says:

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lutron-Maestro-2-Amp-Single-Pole-Vacancy-Sensing-Switch-White-MS-VPS2H-WH/203647847

    They are worth the money in the right room (garage, laundry, basement, ect). And they are tuneable for time.

  26. ARBM says:

    I am personally all for turning lights off and saving electricity, and I have been known to walk around the house and turn off lights… But, I also find a completely dark home lonely and uninviting. When I was in university and living with my parents, my mum would always turn off all the lights in the front end of the house (including the one at the front door) and so the house would look almost unoccupied. I hated it because sometimes I’d have friends drop by (I love the unexpected drop-in) and they would have to walk up to the front door in the dark. I am of the mindset that lights should be turned off when you aren’t in a room, but there must me a minimum amount of light in the house in order to make it feel less creepy and more welcoming. Am I strange?
    ARBM recently posted…Biggest Loser ResultsMy Profile

  27. TinaP says:

    I gotta say, if you have kids that wash their hands regularly AND put their clothes away, I’m not sure you have a lot of room to complain about light switches! Plus, you are missing the silver lining: I figure I burn a solid extra 100 calories/get 50 squats a day to turn off lights left on.

  28. Conor says:

    LED lights drastically reduce the bills and motion activated integral wall switches may save your marriage.

  29. Hah I don’t think I dare weigh in on this but you could probably figure it out from what we do.

    Are we the only ones who don’t have this dispute? It bugs me a little bit that PiC keeps on the kitchen low lights on when we’re not in there, so I turn them off when I walk by and notice it. Then he turns them on when I’m in there refusing to turn them on because I want to develop superior night vision, or when I’m eating in the dark. Balance!

  30. This was quite funny, but Mr. 1500, you do sound close to sleeping with the dog. I (and most of kids) are like Mrs. 1500, drive my wife crazy.

    Of course there are plenty of areas where she drives us crazy, too. So I think in the end it is a wash.

    You can certainly try various methods of positive or negative reinforcement. I do like the one of paying them the difference for the savings, but then that pay-off would be a year out and might be too hard to wait for. I would suggest enjoy the extra excerise your fingers get and also enjoy the opportunities that arise where you get “free” passes to.

    cd :O)

    • 1500 says:

      Ha ha, I guess I do get free passes too. Do you think a cattle prod every once in a while would work though?

  31. yyz guy says:

    LEDs, timers, motion sensors….all good, but don’t address the real issue of being conscious of wastefulness.

    With the kids….when you find something left on, have THEM go back and turn it off….a few extra trips around the house and they’ll catch on.

    (maybe send them to power down Mrs 1500 transgressions too….!)

  32. Brad says:

    I know many have mentioned LED bulbs do not draw a lot of electricity… My problem is ceiling fans. They don’t actually cool you if you are not in the room where they are operating. Unlike many think, they don’t do much by themselves.

    A/C? I would love to keep it at 85 during the summer but I get overruled. I do ‘adjust’ it all the time until complaints happen.

  33. Maverick says:

    Yeah, wife and I have the same discussion…one of my replies; “…and by the way, these bulbs don’t require any warm up time before entering the room…” 😉

  34. Very funny story that apparently strikes a chord with many of us. How common this problem is! In light of (pardon the pun) the invention of LED lights which cost basically nothing per hour to run I have all but given up. I think the bigger budget busters are:
    1: leaving the refrigerator door open between kitchen tasks. “Honey, I was going to close the fridge after putting XYZ back again”
    2: running the dishwasher half empty because we ran out of teaspoons.
    3: running the dryer to dry bath towels. (I would normally dry them to damp dry only and then hang them to air dry afterwards, which is what they are designed to do anyways)
    So, I pick my battles and almost let the light switches go.
    But I still think that Mrs. ERN is such a good bargain hunter and shopper that the little wasteful utility usage shall be forgiven. 😉
    earlyretirementnow recently posted…The Great Bond Diversification MythMy Profile

  35. Hashtags says:

    I used to have this debate with my roommate years ago. While I agree it’s a waste both financially and environmentally to leave the lights on, I also think if you calculate the cost of leaving a few lights on a few extra hours a day, you’ll notice it really doesn’t move the needle much.

    An energy efficient bulb uses about $0.002 worth of electricity per hour. So leaving 10 bulbs on for an extra 5 hours per day is only $3 per month.

    In my opinion, it’s not low hanging fruit in the budget.

  36. Team CF says:

    Two words: motion sensors. Works miracles in our bathroom 😉 Should also do them in the rest of the house.

    And darn, you two are funny. But please do kiss and make up.
    Team CF recently posted…July 2016 Cheesy Index (and asset allocations)My Profile

  37. Jan says:

    And for this reason i wish the states would have the same energy prices as in europe.
    They will faint when they see their bill with our prices.

    Come on people we live on the same planet and it’s the only one we have.

    • 1500 says:

      Me too! And the wattage waster behavior is mild compared to what other folks to with auto fuel. I have a couple neighbors who, regardless of what the weather is, go outside and start their cars 10 minutes before they have to leave. Why oh why do they do this????

      • Jan says:

        it is crazy.
        For an example i checked the gas prizes in the usa and europe and compared them.
        If the usa would pay the price we pay the would have to pay $6,2 for a gallon of fuel.
        Maybe at that price it would make sense to think about the environment

  38. Jason says:

    I love this conversation. I had the very same one with my wife two weeks ago, but I think she did hit me. Every time she leaves the basement or somewhere else she can’t turn the lights off. When I come home from work and she isn’t quite home yet I will find the bathroom or random lights off. I mean how hard is it too turn off the light or put away your shoes or the laundry (but that is one of our domestic battles).

    And I second the motion sensor. I installed a couple in our closet b/c my wife would constantly turn on the lights and complained she couldn’t see in the closet. This seems to work, except in the morning when she continually blinds me with the light. I always break out into this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJh47LybCkU

  39. Ha, ha, that’s funny! Maybe you should swap out your bulbs for LEDs and you won’t notice the bite in the electric bill so much!

    But hey, if this is your biggest dispute, I would say you and Mrs. 1500 are doing pretty well!

    Thanks for the entertaining post!

  40. Money Beagle says:

    That’s funny. Most of our bulbs are CFLs or LEDs so keeping the lights on for a bit frankly doesn’t consume too much electricity, except the ones in the bathrooms are the full strip of lights that are the full 40 or 60 watts, so when those stay on unnecessarily, it actually makes a difference.
    Money Beagle recently posted…4 Reasons Why I Love My Smart MeterMy Profile

  41. Ms. Liz says:

    You sound like my Dad. He set a target amount for the electric bill and if we were below it, we went out for ice cream. Suddenly the kids made sure all the lights were off . . .

  42. My step dad would bellow whenever he found a light on. It wasn’t a big deal to me then, but when I moved out on my own I suddenly found it had become a deeply ingrained habit. It was made even more evident when I got a roommate who would leave all the lights on. So aggravating!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Why I’m Going to FinCon 2016My Profile

  43. Hahahaha! Mr. Picky Pincher and I have these battles as well! Now, fortunately we do agree that a balmy 74 degrees is good in our apartment during the summer.

    As far as the lights go, I prefer to have more lights on. Although I do turn them off if I exit a room with no intention of immediately going back into it, or if no one else is in the room.

    Mr. Picky Pincher prefers to dwell in darkness with his laptop or TV, but I just can’t do that–I get chronic migraines and bright lights in darkness are a trigger. So we’ll stay a happily well-lit (within reason) home.

  44. Gradual Millionaire says:

    In Mrs. 1500’s defense, keeping the thermostat at 71 probably uses up a good bit more resources than even leaving all the lights on all day ;).

    I feel your pain, though. My wife likes to keep the thermostat at 80 on these hot summer days. I try to compromise at somewhere between 76 and 78, but it’s painful sometimes!

    • 1500 says:

      No, she likes to keep it hot in the winter. The 71 is my wintertime preference. Hers is like 95. Of course I exaggerate, but only a little (or a lot).

  45. Ms. Montana says:

    My kids are the absolute worst about turning off the lights! My 8yr old hates being in the dark. So when he goes upstairs in the middle of the night to use the bathroom he will turn on Every. Single. Light. in the house. Even in rooms that aren’t on the way to the bathroom. Then he goes back to bed without turning a single one off. I will get up at 6 am and there will be 9 lights on, and everyone is asleep!
    Ms. Montana recently posted…4 Lessons to Raising Wealthy KidsMy Profile

  46. Adventureseekr says:

    My son and I have had this battle raging for ages..finally ….
    Round 1:Installed motion detecting light switches at least in the areas where it was hard to tell if the lights were on (like the basement).
    Round 2: Replaced the incandescent lights with LED lights.

    The thermostat is actually a much bigger deal than lights because that meter wheel really gets spinning when the a/c fires up

  47. Geri M says:

    I went through this at home with the kids and I have to say my method worked. Every time they left their room and the light was left on I would take one lightbulb off the lamp. I threatened to take them all until they had no light at all. After one or two bulbs gone no more lights left on. I do have to say the issue was with the kids not the wife.

  48. I have the same battle in the TFR household as well, so I can only empathize with your agony Mr. 1500. Sorry, Mrs. 1500! I just wish there was a sensor that would automatically switch lights, fans and TV off when people leave a room! That sensor would pay for itself in no time in the TFR home!

    I just hope Mrs. 1500 allows you to use these wall-thingys when you both, you know, are in the bedroom, you know, when kids are not around 🙂
    Ten Factorial Rocks (TFR) recently posted…How To Invest EfficientlyMy Profile

  49. Kyle says:

    I know since my ex moved out, my energy rates plummeted and seems like my house is more comfortable to me lol. I just got gifted a nice nest thermostat for helping my buddy move – sweet score! 😀 works great. I pretty much have all LED lights at this point. you could get motion detector switches but they could turn off while someone’s on the couch reading. They’re undoing all that work Elon Musk is doing.

    Hey, I haven’t heard anything about your P90x routine lol, did you give up? I know that routine is insane, I never kept up with it. I’ve just been dieting since the 4th of july and I’m down 12 lbs so far. Could have probably lost more but I beer calls my name on the weekends. I did get a 6 pack of zombie dust from my friend. Still need to send you some brews. I did a cascade/citra pale ale last Saturday but it wont be bottled for another week and a half.

    • 1500 says:

      P90x! Funny you ask as I just started it up again this week. I love the workouts, but finding a free hour lately has been next to impossible.

      Zombie Dust! Crap, now I have nothing to offer you.

  50. tubemate apk says:

    Thank you!
    I really appreciate your help with my project!

  51. Ms. Steward says:

    I mean, if she keeps it 92 or so degrees in the summer, then she’s probably saving more than enough to leave the lights on… 😉

  52. Dofu says:

    LOL, I have the same argument with my wife and kids. Suggest you do what I did and replace all your light switches with these: https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-IPS02-1LW-300-Watt-Incandescent-Occupancy/dp/B00B361NJM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472063304&sr=8-1&keywords=leviton+sensor+switch

    Yup, you can set it so that if there’s no motion in the room, they auto turn off. problem solved! 🙂

  53. Thuy says:

    I prefer to air our differences on Facebook for the large audience participation. Actually, the hubs is the problem when it comes to the thermostat. He prefers a chilly 68 all summer. He actually turns it down to just below freezing in the winter though (to compensate? Who knows?). My FIL remarked after visiting us in November that the backyard was warmer then our living room! Our poor toddler has an oil heater in her room year round so she does not become a Popsicle.

    However we got solar panels this year so I was allowed to turn up the heat from sub Arctic to tolerable this spring. Yay free energy! Our electric bill is essentially zero besides hook up fee and we are on track to pay off the panels in 6-8 years.

  54. MrsS says:

    Thankfully both of us are pretty much on the switching off when you move bandwagon. However our problems start when we have house guests, there are only so many ways of politely saying ‘switch off the damn light!’. After one of our more irritating house guest(?) left our energy bill dropped to half. Now we have stopped offering our couch or spare mattress to people unless they are immediate family.
    We don’t have thermostat here and luckily we have not had to install air conditioning even in Indian summers. It get’s pretty windy around here and it sometimes actually gets cold, so fans work fine.

  55. Good sir, you really should turn those switchplate screws such that they all align with vertical slots. So, so pretty…

    Yeah, pretty anal, but once a buddy showed me this I’ve been aligning screw slots ever since. OCD madness…

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