1. We had a house built about 3 years ago. We scaled down, not up and put the money saved through less square footage into energy efficiency: 2×6 studded exterior walls with high R factor insulation, double pane, vinyl frame windows with low e coatings (large windows to let lots of air in during summer – we have NO AC: don’t need one), everything sealed up tight against drafts. CFL and LED lighting, high efficiency appliances. Ceiling fans in every room. We use all of thetips yuo mentioned (great tips) When our friends with comparable sized homes are paying $150 (or more) a month for electric bills, ours is around $35. Gotta LOVE that!

    • Thanks everyone for the comments…..I do appreciate them. Brenda, glad I could provide a tip you could use.

      Alan, it sounds like you built the smartest way a person could. I’d love to have that opportunity because the house I just recently bought sure isn’t that tight, warm or efficient. And the area you built in, at least from the pictures I’ve seen of it, definitely would bring good breezes from those large windows and good ol’ mountain breezes to boot! And I sure envy your electric bills…..impressive.