How to stop dreading the electric bill

    Out here in AZ, we roast. Wal-Mart used to have a sign that said, “Do not touch the door handle.” People carry potholders to open car doors.

    So saving on electricity is huge. Writing in the Arizona Republic (Mar 1, 2009), Sue Doerfler has summer tips that could help in other states as well.

    Plant shade trees on the east and east sides of the house. Always buy on sale.

    I remember the thrill I got to see some shade dappling my scorched front yard. I felt like a miracle-worker.

    Of course, it’s not like the darn trees went nuts growing—I still have the same little dapple.

    Another tip is replace worn weatherstripping. This means doors and windows, which let in 50 percent of the heat or let it out, depending. Supposedly some worthies get weatherstripping under one of those porkfests they are cranking out in DC, but I am sure I won’t be one—or you either.

    Wrap your water heater in a blanket. Or get the kind that heats water right when you need it.

    I have never known why we don’t all have solar heat and cooling out here. We sure have Mr Sol! But it’s outrageously expensive to just get panels ($20K for my hut) and then the electric company raises rates and you are back where you started. They will go up drastically under the new cap and trade plan.

    So how about caulking? The Wall Street Journal says the heck with sexy solar, drag out the gummy caulk for real savings firepower.

    In the meantime, since I am not handy, we just buy the potholders and sweat.

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