Energy Use Summary for 2023

Summer Afternoon over WTF

January 2024 marks the third full year in our house at White Tree Farm. I’ve taken the opportunity to summarize the energy use for 2023 like I did for 2022 and 2021.

To start, here’s the cooling and heating degree days per month for all three years:

I continue to use 11 degrees C as the Heating Degree Days baseline and 22 degrees C for the Cooling Degree Days baseline. The winter parts of 2023 were definitely less cold (HDD 1811 ) compared to 2022 (HDD 2254) and even 2021 (HDD 1980). The summer months were cooler (CDD 97 for 2023 versus CDD 138 for 2021 and CDD 140 for 2022).

Here’s our total monthly energy usage :

In 2023, we continued to use the heat pump more as the primary source for heating. We switched back onto the heat pump in March 2023 and stayed on it for the rest of the year for everything except the garage:

Energy Base Loads

For 2023, the base load for propane and electricity were calculated to be 19.7 kWh/d and 30.8 kWh/d respectively. These are in line with the previous years.

Annual Heating and Cooling Energy Demands

I could now sum up our annual heating and cooling usage for 2023 which were 9653 kWh and 1271 kWh respectively,

Passivhaus StandardPHI Low Energy Building StandardThe Birches @ WTF in 2023
Heating15 kWh/m2/a30 kWh/m2/a27.8 kWh/m2/a
Cooling15 kWh/m2/a15 kWh/m2/a3.7 kWh/m2/a

Minimizing the use of the radiant floor heating has significantly improved the heating numbers for the house to the point that it passes the PHI Low Energy Building Standard which is pretty cool. The cooling demand is in line with the 2021 and 2022 numbers.


Every year we learn a bit more about how the house can be optimized and 2023 was no different. It’s January 13, 2024 today and we are still solely using the heat pump for the main house.