Its the end of September and we have almost exhausted this topic. It brings us good news and bad news. Bad news out of the way first.
We had estimated that we would use 9.1 therms during our final month long experiment. The results are that we used 10 therms. Why is that? Either the one afternoon of canning ketchup is responsible, or some of our assumptions about how much the pilots burn is slightly faulty. Either way its a reasonable margin of error considering we dont have more accurate instruments.
The good news is that we learned something and that we were only 1 therm off our estimate and that in turn is a big reduction from our summer average of 18 therms per month. We hope that even now that we have turned the water heater back on, that the subtle changes in our habits will prevent us from returning to 18 therms per month. We plan to keep the pot of water in the oven and use it for various purposes though the day. That should lessen the frequency of the water heater burner firing.
As we expected, we didnt make our overall goals. Taking winter heating off the top reduced our monthly allotment to only 6 therms if we want to limit ourselves to 100 therms per year so we will continue to work on retooling our lives to make that goal. One small victory at a time.