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Old 03-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
g1g
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Default I was just thinking-wondering?

Is there anything or more so, what are the best things that we can purchase that will actually save us money?

example replace a real dirty air filter we will get better MPG but how far will we have to go to see the savings or LED lighting will use less electric therefore we can get by running generators less but they cost big bucks (for lights) it will take forever to break even if you ever do. On the LED for the brick & stick home I calculated it would take me about 22 years or more to break even compared to CFLs, at the present rate of electric, due their high cost.

So in short where is it that we would really see a savings or have the smallest payback time?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: I was just thinking-wondering?

LEDs are less of pure money than money + aggravation. I went LED not because of the energy savings, but because the failure mode is the bulbs getting dimmer. There are just some light bulbs that are extremely difficult to change out, and I just want to do the job once and not worry about it.

Want instant payback? Drop a couple miles in speed without affecting traffic. I tend to go 55-60 in a 65 if there is nobody around, but will speed up to the common speed if there are people around so I do not become a hazard. On Texas two lane roads, if it is safe to do so, I will pull to the breakdown lane (it is legal in the state to do so) if people want to pass. These days, there isn't anywhere that I am in a hurry to go to. I found this saves about 1/2 to 1 MPG.

Want long term payback? Solar and grey water reclamation come to mind. My family saved 50+ year oak trees by doing this during water rationing times, so that water from the clothes washer does something other than run its way to the wastewater treatment plant.

As for RVs, I'd say a solar charging system won't pay for itself per se, but will be a useful item.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: I was just thinking-wondering?

Interesting that g1g mentioned LED replacement bulbs for a house. I just bought a dozen last week that were $8.99 less a $6.00 instant rebate (each bulb) from the power company. Of course, like g1g, I just had to do the math .................

Power costs 11 cents per kw plus tax so $0.1243. Two bulb fixture had 2 x 13 watt cfl's and the new bulbs (not as bright) are 2 x 7 watt. 12 watts savings in total. That light might get used 5 hours per day. 12 watts x 5 hours x 365 days /1kw x $0.1243 = $2.72 "savings" per year. Two LED bulbs with tax after rebate cost $6.76. Two and a half years just to "break even" on those two bulbs

But I like the new lights, nice color & instant on Six of them went into 3 bulb fixtures. Four went into two fixtures on one switch. Kind of nice to know when I turn on the 4 bulb switch it is only using 28 watts.

---------------------------------------------

I agree with mlts22 re: our vans. Keep the speed reasonable. DIY maintenance helps too.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: I was just thinking-wondering?

I haven't been at the RV Camping thing all that long, but I have been buying LED light bulbs for the home. Our local Costco has a program with the local electric company (Seattle City Light) and the light company covers quite a bit of the cost of the bulbs--sometimes over half the cost.

The main problem is that they don't have the high lumen lights. Their top bulb is only equivalent to a 60 watt incandesent, so in order to replace a 100 wat bulb I have to get a splitter and use two of the LED bulbs. Then you can't get the light shade on.

Lowes sells 100 W equivalent bulbs but they are in the $20 -$30 range, and that is a bit too much for me. As Kermit would say, "It ain't easy being green."

.........Rocky
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: I was just thinking-wondering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by g1g
Is there anything or more so, what are the best things that we can purchase that will actually save us money?

example replace a real dirty air filter we will get better MPG but how far will we have to go to see the savings or LED lighting will use less electric therefore we can get by running generators less but they cost big bucks (for lights) it will take forever to break even if you ever do. On the LED for the brick & stick home I calculated it would take me about 22 years or more to break even compared to CFLs, at the present rate of electric, due their high cost.

So in short where is it that we would really see a savings or have the smallest payback time?
A little irony, if I may.
I can't speak for every jurisdiction when it comes to cost of electricity versus other forms of energy, but as far as my province goes, the current left leaning government has been preaching "going green" forever it seems, and have given us some financial incentives, as well some dire warnings that have suggested if we don't cut our use of electricity, particularly during the summer months, the grid will collapse and we'll all suffer. So, good little sheep that we are, we all go out of our way to reduce electric power use, and low and behold the grid is saved, and we all live happily ever after, right? Not exactly. It seems the unintended consequence of our exceptional energy saving progress has resulted in financial shortfalls for the more or less hybrid government run electric companies, and so they apply to themselves to allow themselves to raise the rates on us, to offset their losses due to reduced consumption, which affects their bottom lines and so on.
Is there a lesson here somewhere?
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: I was just thinking-wondering?

My wife and i full time in a 38ft DRV Mobile Suite. One of the first things i did was replace every bulb i could with LED. One thing this did for me is give a bit extra peace of mind as the LED units put off little if any heat compared to the stock RV halogen style bulbs. If you've ever touched a halogen fixture you know the heat they can generate.

And also of course there is the lowered use from the battery bank if we are in the van conversion or the 15 ft fiberglass TT while out exploring. Now that we run all LED's in the van/TT i typically see daily drains from LED use in the ~2 amp range. We can go for ~8 to 10 days on our small 2xAGM (110ah) battery bank and arrive home with about ~55 to 60% left in the bank.

Next season i will likely purchase some portable solar...maybe in the 100 to 120 watt range. Portable because in our Pacific Northwest spots i will need to follow the sun as we park in partial/changing shade.

Cheers,
Thom
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