help me go green!!!!!!!!
I have been all over this forum and everything I read is going over my head. I currently live in a 2700 sqft home that has an electric bill from $200-$400 a month. I decided to move into our garden district and reduce the size of my home. I am moving into a 2200 htd home with lots of windows. I have spoke with the current owners and their monthly bill does not exceed $200. The home has storm windows and awninigs. The windows are wood on the interior and the gao b/w the windows is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (I don't know if that matters). There are a lot of trees in the area, but the sun must hit the house pretty good b/c the back end of the house will heat up a lot in the afternoon. I have already converted to CF bulbs, I cut off my OC at night, anf I turn off all lights when I leave the room. Basically I have alrady done the easy things. With that info here are my questions.
Is 1615 consumption on a monthly electric bill good or bad? At the same time last year it was 695 so why has it gone up with all of my improvements? Also, in the new house shoudl I replace the windows? Are solar panels hooked into a grid a good idea for me (I can only put out an initial investment of 10K)? Does anyone know how I can get an energy audit in my area - Alexandira, LA? I want to live in this new house for at least 7 years. It is a 1940s bungalow. I know it is not ideal, but I also what to buy used and not contribute to the massive, unnecessary building that is occuring in our area. Everything I come across is someone remodeling or building what can a current home owner do? Also is there a Solar power for dummies? I don's even understand what a watt is so I am completely confused. all I know is that I have children and I want to change their future. Any help or info would be great. BTW, are there any other things I can do to improve the older home's energy concumption. The ceiling is already covered with white cellulose and the walls were insulated when the home was re-wired 7 years ago.