Thursday, October 30, 2008

yay, we did it!

When I thought we had done everything possible to reduce the amount of our electric bill, we did it again! We’ve actually managed to bring our bill down this month to the pre rate increase amount, actually even a little less.

On average usage has been about 525 KWH per month. Electricity is not our heat source, but we have a freezer plus a side by side fridge, electric stove, electric water heater, water pump, washer, electric dryer, security light, the occasional use of garage lights, barn lights and air compressor and more. These things normally resulted in a bill of about $67 – $69 before the rate hike. When the rates went up our bill jumped up to $88 for the same KWH usage.

We already do the following things to lower our usage, cost and carbon footprint:

  • CFL’s throughout the house and garage

  • Minimizing light usage

  • Being conscientious when using the oven, making full use of it when on

  • Using dish pans at the sink instead of running a steady water stream, to prevent excess water usage and limit pump running

  • Minimizing the number of toilet flushes for the same reason

  • Insulated water heater

  • Keeping most if not all electricity vampires on power strips which are turned off at night, when not in use or when we go away. Microwave, TV, stereo, computer, etc.

  • Opening and closing the garage door manually rather than using the automatic garage door opener

  • Not using the dryer whenever possible (I think I used it 3 times between spring and now)

  • Washing clothes in cold water for the most part and doing only full loads

You get the picture. So what made our electric bill go down so dramatically? Well...we have been shutting off the water heater, having it on for maybe four or five hours a day for the past several weeks. And you know what? It hasn’t made a difference in our lives except to reduce the electric usage and money spent on the bill.

We usually turn it off in the evening after dinner and showers and then back on the following afternoon. If by chance I don’t have hot enough water in between for dishes, which is seldom, I simply heat a tea kettle full on the stove. I have never been without at least warm water since we began this practice. I was astonished that this simple practice reduced our bill by over 100 KWH and $20. Last months billing was $87. Our current billing is $66. Woo hoo!


  1. Congrats! We switched out all of the lights here with those swirling, little screw like lights, and we lowered our bill by $20. I was shocked!

    Lately, we've also been washing clothes in only cold water, and we use our tabletop grill and hotplate more than the range. Hopefully, we will see an additional savings on the next bill.

    With the increased cost of coal and the renegotiated contracts with the electric companies, our electricity is bound to rise again within the next few months. We gotta do what we can and be proactive about this.


  2. Good Job! I have found myself being more energy aware in our house. I have been hanging clothes outside and I even bought a inside rack. That alone has really helped. I cant use those light bulbs give youngest bad headaches. And we now started this month shuting things off via the strip. I hope to see a difference on my bill.

  3. Way to go!!

    We are doing everthing we can around here too!

  4. I am going to have to try to turn off our water heater too! WOW. We already do most all the other things except for cold water wash. We own a heavy equipment construction business (diesel fuel stains) and farm as well so I usually do a warm wash/cold rinse.

    I have bought enough cfls to finally convert the basements and the bedrooms. We had already converted the kitchen and living room since they are the most often used rooms.

    I really enjoy reading your posts!

  5. Matthew - we kept whittling it down as much as possible but this was the biggest drop in on billing we've ever seen for our efforts. It's a good feeling!

    Anne - Good for you! I've used my clothesline more than not. I have line to put up inside as well, but that's still on the "to do" list.

    Carolyn - Thanks! The bonus is that we save money and reduce our carbon footprint as well.

    Angelena - wow is right! I knew our bill would go down but I was shocked at the reduction both in KWH and cost. And thanks, glad to know you're enjoying your time here.

  6. Great list. My electricity bill keeps on rising. I need to worker harder at getting it down.


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