The Roomba auto vacuum is just one electrical device used in Bea’s daily routine (supervised here by her black lab)

Do you know how much energy you use? Turns out, I didn’t and it is pretty useful to start learning. Do you know how much your energy use costs? has some answers. When I plugged in just my dryer usage, I realized I am spending $214.76 per year drying clothes. So I started asking a few more questions of myself and I wonder if you might want to do the same.

When I told a friend that I am trying to learn more about energy and am even contributing to a blog, he suggested I might offer a “day in the life” of … my personal energy use. I promised to try it privately and the results were shocking. I am far more dependent on access to electricity than I realized. Also, I was reminded of the 1980’s Army recruiting commercial. Do you remember it? “We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!” Although it is not a point of pride, I seemed to flip more switches and use electrical appliances before 8 am than I would have estimated I used all day. So, who needs a “day in the life” when a simple “morning in the life” will do?

Here she goes. My electric use from 5:30 am to 8 am.

Noise maker, phone alarm clock.

Noise maker off, radio music on. Lights in bedroom on. Lights in bathroom on. Fan on to drown out my noise and not wake children. Turn the air conditioning down one more degree hoping to keep the sleepers in bed another 30 minutes. Now I turn on more lights in the hallway stairs, downstairs, another hallway and out the door. I flip on the outdoor light and use my cell phone light to guide my pathway through a mini forest walk to the gym where I scan the electric key fob, enjoy the lit pathway and fans, lights, air conditioning, and music at the gym while using the treadmill.

Back home I start my version of house cleaning which involves lots of button pushing. Before I get started, I fill the basket and filter of my coffee maker and push a button, while the microwave warms water and the fridge cools milk. Now for the “cleaning.” One load goes to the dryer and I push a button, this opens up space to fill the washer so again, I push a button. Last night’s dishes didn’t all make it out of the sink, but I help them find their way to the dishwasher and push a button. Our black Labrador comes over for an ear rub and reminds me it is time to push the Roomba auto vacuum button to manage his spring shedding.

Time for breakfast. I open the refrigerator for eggs and cheese, melt cheese and warm bread in the toaster, fry eggs on the stove, and make smoothies in the blender. Upstairs the kids start to get ready so throughout house plenty of lights and fans switch on and off while the hair dryer blows and flat iron heats.

I check email, print out my child’s paper for school, and listen to a podcast thankful of course to the modem streaming in Internet access. My son turns on a few minutes of the recorded basketball game on TV he missed last night.

It is time for the bus. I am not only over my word limit, but I have also hit more buttons and flipped more switches than I had imagined. How about you?