Pigeon update. He/She is still here and happy and seems quite content to be held or wander alone in the shade of the flower garden.
When we first moved here, our propane was delivered to the property in 100 pound tanks for a 100% markup. Propane at the time was at $1.00 per pound and we paid $200.00 for the tanks to come to our door. We long ago discontinued that expensive service and the service has since been discontinued.
When E had to carry the tanks himself, he reduced their size to 40 pounds which still weighed 75 pounds for him to carry on and off boats, up and down ramps, in and out of trucks. It has worked well but the tanks themselves are expiring this July and they need to be recertified and re-cored. It seemed like a good time to reevaluate what size tanks we need or could make do with for the next ten years.
We have a lot of solar power in the summer. So much so, that, in effort to reduce propane usage (save money and E’s back) we have a real opportunity now to reduce the size of our propane tanks to 20 pounds. There are very definitely electric appliances which could take advantage of solar power in the summer months and save us some money.
In the winter, we get our hot water from a range boiler attached to the wood stove. But in the summer, we have had to switch to an on-demand propane heater. Not any more! On Friday we are picking up our new tankless electric hot water heater. It is 20″X14″X4″ and can easily fit in the utility cupboard where our batteries used to sit. (batteries are now in an insulated box on the deck).
Between the range boiler and electric water heater, our hot water should now, theoretically, be free year round. The fridge is powered by solar panels so no propane is needed for either of those utilities. This leaves us with cooking.
We were speaking with a neighbor last month who is an engineer and knows all things power related. He has been able to reduce his propane usage so much, they got rid of their stove completely.
We already have an electric coffee pot and an electric kettle but still need the propane stove for our cooking needs in the summer. In the winter, I use the wood stove as much as possible cooking our soups and stews, when I can, on the stove top. But we haven’t needed a fire for a month so have had to use the propane stove for all of our meal prep.
We sat down and examined how we could limit the use of the propane stove during the summer months.
We have ordered a rice cooker and also a countertop air fryer/ toaster oven combo. This appliance can apparently roast a five pound chicken, cook steaks, vegies, pizza, toast and cookies . I should easily be able to plan my cooking and baking needs around sunny days for probably five months a year using these two new appliances.
It won’t take more than one summer for these new additions to our system to pay for themselves. We are confident we can move down to 20 pound tanks in July when we have to turn these 40 pounders in.
The generator hasn’t been needed since May 5th and honestly I can’t see a need for it until October. So we aren’t needing any gas these days really, except for the truck.
If we are going to be able to live here until we are in our 80’s, we need the systems simple and the costs as low as possible. To do that, we need to make the most of what this property has to offer and in the summer months we have more sun that we know what to do with. This week we are going to try to use every bit of sun that
comes our way