Pulling the Plug: Summer of '08 Sparks Creative Conservation - WSJ.com

WSJ has an article on how people are being creative turning off their air conditioning. It is 2nd most popular article today behind the US bolsters fannie and freddie.

As the article cites, get ready for the electricity price increases.

Pulling the Plug: Summer of '08 Sparks Creative Conservation - WSJ.com

Because many power plants run on natural gas, which has shot way up in price, utilities in every region of the nation have imposed -- or are planning -- big rate increases this year, some approaching 30%.

In response, nearly two-thirds of families are cutting back on air conditioning, according to a recent Associated Press-Yahoo News poll. They're buying ceiling fans and programmable thermostats; burning up hot afternoons in malls and movie theaters; and bombarding blogger Erin Huffstetler, who writes about frugal living, with questions about the merits of tinting their windows dark to block the sun.

I know the Microsoft guys say they save energy cleaning the roof.  Here is one guy who thinks he saves energy by sprinkling the roof.

On hot afternoons, Mr. Newman runs a hose to the roof and douses the shingles for 20 minutes, which he swears lowers the temperature inside. "I don't know if it's all that good for the life span of the roof," Mr. Newman says, "but when it's 110 degrees, I really could care less."

And WSJ even included a story of a bad move in air conditioning.

And Reba Kennedy, who turned off her central air altogether?

Ms. Kennedy now cools just the three rooms she uses most in her San Antonio home, with window units set at 78 degrees. To her surprise, she has found it pleasurable. With her downstairs windows open, she can smell the honeysuckle in her yard. She loves the look of her sheer curtains blowing in the breeze.

Last week, though, when she reviewed her electric bills, Ms. Kennedy found that her sacrifices haven't translated into savings. In June of 2006 -- with the central air on full blast -- she used an average of 26 kilowatt hours a day. Last month? An average of 44.

Harvey Sachs, a senior fellow at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, says that isn't surprising, because window units are notoriously inefficient.

But Ms. Kennedy was upset. Since quitting her job as a business lawyer two years ago to take up writing, she has tried to live simply and frugally; conserving energy is central to that goal.