We've been living in our present home in the mountains of central Hyogo for 8 years. I'm trying to slowly evolve our lifestyle into a more green or energy efficient one . Some parts such as food and transportation are very difficult to say the least. Others are simple.
Our best efforts in efficiency are through heating/cooling. Our home has no central heating or cooling system. We heat 90% with local wood, usually scavenged for free or almost free. We also run two kerosene heaters for short periods. Cooling is through ceiling fans in almost every room.
Our latitude is the same as Tennessee, with very wet, hot, humid summers. We also see a good amount of snowfall due to proximity to mountains and the sea. Summer high temperatures are usually 35C/95F , 80%humidity. Winter lows are usually -5C/ 23F. The coldest I've seen here is -10C/14F. Summer temps indoors are usually 25-30C/80-85F. Winter temps indoors 15-20C/ 60-70F.
We use electric for cooking, hot water and of course lighting. We average a little over 600KWH usage per month. Less in summer, more in winter. Our hot water is through a very efficient "eco- cute" heat pump. We also enjoy "candlenight" once per month, this is very fun.
In cooler months we use greywater from the bath to do laundry. 2 washloads can be done from one bath. We probably do over 50% with greywater per week. Oct-May. Greywater pumps are standard on most washers here now. All laundry is line hung, usually indoors in a dedicated drying room.
I am currently trying to produce a percentage of the food we eat. Of course this goes up in summer and down in winter. seen.
It only takes 1 meal per week out of 21 (3meals per day X 7 days in a week) to equal 5%. ONE MEAL. If your homegrown ingredients only account for 1/2 the meal, then 2 meals per week. It is that simple. It adds up to substantial savings, even taking into account outputs such as gardening/farming supplies. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to eat a homecooked, homegrown meal.
In other areas we have a small solar backup system in place, for lighting and small appliances. As well as the wood fired outdoor bath and boiler. The wind turbine or hydro turbine have been on the back boiler too long and need to get moving it.