Thursday, May 28, 2009

Information is power

Usually, I wouldn't post scanned images of our household mail to the STL Rising site, but the mail we received yesterday from AmerenUE is worth more attention.

Ameren is sending a report to all its ratepayers breaking down energy usage and charges by month for the past three years. It also contains practical recommendations for lowering energy use. I bet you didn't know that it costs four times as much to operate a 60-inch plasma television than it does a conventional 28-inch tube set?

Here's our personal household energy report for the period January 2007 through March of 2009:

And here is where Ameren offers some ideas for reducing energy costs:

Ameren has faced criticism in recent years for its handling of major power outages as well as its tree trimming practices. When they do a good job, they deserve credit. Kudos to the company for its work educating the public on important energy efficiency information.


Anonymous said...

Good information comes from smart meters not company PR. The energy usage ratio between flat versus conventional tvs is old news.

Alex Ihnen said...

I appreciated getting this information from Ameren as well. It's a good step and I'm sure a number of people looked at it and are now looking to decrease their energy use. It's just a start, but I'm glad they're doing it. It's going to be interesting to see what kind of incentives can be given to energy companies to convince people to use less of their product.

Anonymous said...

I've always kept my own info and to have corporate expenses increased for others' laziness is another example of waste. By the way, AUE charges 1.05 for the first 30 therms and that rate falls to 0.87 for each additional therm according to my monthly bill.

That is what makes for conservation? Funny...

Rick Bonasch said...

^ The last post is an example of gratuitous snark by a holier-than- thou anonymous poster.

STL Rising welcomes all posts, anonymous or not. And yes, since anonymous responded, apparently it does make for conversation.

I too know what we pay for our electric bills. Did I know that flat screens use way more energy than old fashioned tube sets? No.

(We still run a 1980s tube machine. Embarasses the son since we have the oldest TV of anyone he knows).

Do I think marketing and PR are worthwhile corporate expenses? Absolutely.

Does anyone else think, like anonymous does, that the informational piece was a useless waste of money for Ameren?

LisaS said...

I don't think it was a useless waste of money, even though I've been tracking our energy usage in a spreadsheet for the last year or so. for one thing, it gave me another year of info I didn't have.

I just wish they could have come up with more individualized suggestions--the ones on your piece are the same as mine, even though I live in a condo (& my billing info makes it obvious I have electric heat) and you live in a house (& obviously have gas heat). CFLs and conventional TVs aren't the be-all end all of energy conservation.

Rick Bonasch said...

Thanks Lisa for the comment. I think the best energy saving measure is how long you can hold out before turning on the A/C.

Alderman Cohn at his twitter says he's trying to wait til July. Our has been on for a few weeks now.

The people we bought the house from had no central A/C upstairs. They had to add it to market the house.

And best of all, noted environmentalist Kay Drey, gazillionaire, doesn't use air conditioning at all.

I was invited to her home in U City for a July or August meeting some years ago. We all sat in her living room, with the windows open, wearing light colored, loose fitting clothes, slightly perspiring, and no A/C.

The lights were turned down a little low, and there were huge shade trees over her house, and no A/C. She walks the walk.

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