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!