Whoot!! The meter was read on December 19th and it took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. for the bill to become available online. But they finally got it up there last week and I was so happy to see the bill has dropped to $280 per month. We’re on a couple of programs, one is the year round program where we pay an equal payment each month, and we also pay less for electricity we used from 9PM to 9AM.
Our bill was up to $334.52 – an all time high. In January 2008, I started trying to figure out why it was so high. My whole life, up until about five years ago, I’ve always been right on top of the electricity usage, but things just go so busy, and I stopped monitoring things so closely. The bill would go up, and then went up again. I was freaking out, but I didn’t take the time to figure out what was going wrong. One of the main problems was the air conditioning fan (not the cooling or heating portion) was being run a good deal of the time, to circulate air in the house. I am not the one that came up with this idea, but I didn’t realize I had any way to prove my point. But it finally occurred to me if I turned everything off in the house, read the meter and then turned on the fan, and then read the meter an hour later I could figure it out.
During the winter, our home stays very warm and toasty, without ever turning on the heater. In fact, it gets SO warm and toasty that some members of the household have been known to actually run the air conditioner, during the winter. Yes, that’s right. Not me, either. So this year, to preempt that happening, we hooked up a bathroom vent fan to bring in cold air from outside into the bedroom of the guilty. Incredibly, we haven’t run the fan on the air conditioner for that last four to five weeks. That could be the main reason why the bill has dropped down another $37/month.
I know our bill was higher than normal, and I know there are a few reasons for that, but I still felt we could lower it if we tried hard enough. I mean, if we had a gas stove, or gas dryer, the bill would be lower. If our water was pumped into our home by the city, instead of using a well pump, the bill would be lower. If we all worked and left the house every day, and could turn the air conditioning up to 85°F in the summer time, that would help. But that’s not the case here. If we ate out most of the time, but no, we cook almost every single meal from scratch and we don’t own a microwave. Not to mention that Mr. A sometimes welds, or uses power tools during the peak hours.
There are a few good reasons, but I felt we could lower it if we tried hard enough. I started out small. First I got a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and started testing different things around the house, like the fan, computer, television, etc. Then I decided to finally put in that Programmable Digital Thermostat. We started keeping the thermostat set to no lower than 81°F during the day, in the summertime.
In September, our monthly calculated bill was lowered to $317. In October we installed the Little Gray Box Water Heater Timer. In November the company estimated our usage as they couldn’t get into our property to physically touch the meter.
So I couldn’t get a better idea of how these little money saving tools had been working until this month’s bill was ready for viewing. I hope we can keep it this low and maybe even go down further.
Here are all my electricity posts in chronological order of appearance:
Tracking Electricity Usage – January 2008
What I Spent Part of my Revolution Money Exchange On – May 2008
Electricity Update – May 2008
Electricity Update – June 2008
Breakdown of our Electricity Bill – July 2008
Electricity in August 2008 – August 2008
Great News on the Electricity Front – September 2008
Electric Water Heater Timer – October 2008
Electricity Update for November – November 2008
It has taken a year, but I have managed to get our bill lowered from $334 a month, down to $280. That’s a savings of $54/month. I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made.
If you are visiting from the Money Hacks Carnival – Presidential Edition from January 21, 2009, welcome to Out of Debt Again! Thank you David at Pimp Your Finances for the hard work of hosting this event, and including my post!