Author Topic: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.  (Read 3237 times)

dbo

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$32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« on: July 05, 2016, 07:51:08 PM »
Our total kWh in June was around 153, which came to a $32 bill.  This is compared to last June's usage of 371 kWh. I just started using our electric service's mobile app, and it estimates that our usage for July will be down some 90% compared to last July. I am quite excited about that.

The number one driver of costs in the summer is the AC, obviously, which we have now all but eliminated. I did not grow up on AC, which makes living without it easier for me.  My wife did grow up with it, so I have had to convince her that we can keep the house cool without it. Here is how we did it.

1. A really big tree in our front and back lawns.  These trees must do most of the work, seriously.  They block out the sun and keep our house in the shade.  My thanks go to the original owners who planted them some 50+ years ago.

2. Close the blinds during the day and open them at night. It is amazing how much of a difference this makes.

3. Switched to LEDs. I converted all the old bulbs to LEDs and a few CFLs. Our power company provided almost half the bulbs at no cost.

4. Turned off lights in rooms when not in use.   

5. Killed all phantom power. I unplug all unnecessary items when we leave the house or go to bed. Since we live in a 1000 sq/ft ranch this doesn't take long.  The only things continuously drawing power, that I am aware of, are the the stove (clock), fridge, and a clock radio. I usually keep the router/modem on as well, but have started unplugging that from time to time.

What amazes me above all is how easy it was to do all of this. Our usage dropped like a dead fly, our bills are down, the house is cool, the wife is happy, and the money can be put to better uses!


PtboEliz

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2016, 08:06:07 PM »
Nice work!

human

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2016, 08:23:25 PM »
That's awesome, I live in a 1000 square foot condo with my girlfriend the best I can do is 350 kwh. Do you have an electric hot water heater? I installed a 1gpm shower head and use cold water for the washer and the power usage dropped by quite a bit but still using double what you use! The dish washer uses a bunch of power though. Good work!

dbo

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2016, 08:39:19 PM »
We have a gas water heater, so we don't have that extra electric usage there.

Water is the next thing I need to tackle. We put in low flow heads and aerators, but it seems to have only helped a little.  I am toying with the idea of putting in a gas water heater timer to cut down on the gas. I have only found one product that does this apparently: http://www.gaswaterheatertimer.com/  Some online reviews suggest its legit, but I will mull it over.



human

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016, 08:53:17 PM »
Good stuff. At least we have gas heat so our brutal winters don't cost too much. Heating anything with electricity uses a ton of power. I'm not sure how expensive gas is where you are but the roi may not be worth unless you keep the showerheads cheap. I think niagara have a cheapo .5 to 1.5 gpm shower head. I have a bricor eco miser it works great.

chops

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 06:33:53 PM »
dbo,

nice work on the elec bill.

instead of a $90 timer, could you just turn off the gas and only turn it on ~30 mins before you need it to allow it to warm up?  Ive been doing this and its worked out well, my gas usage was at $3 last month

chops

pbnj

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 06:50:30 PM »
Great job.  I am in a similar situation 1100 sq ft well shaded.  Don't use the clothes dryer that helps a lot.   Twice in the last year DTE Energy didn't even bill me as the bill was less than $25; so they just billed for 2 months I guess to make it worth their while.  Keep it up!

HenryDavid

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 02:05:41 AM »
Way to go--this is all common sense stuff people always did, before they had the expensive convenience of AC always available.
And it's not just about the $ you're saving every month.
Stuff like the Louisiana floods is only gonna get worse as climate change ramps up. Why throw gasoline on that fire with pointless electricity consumption? Now you're on the side of the angels, keep it up.

icemodeled

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Re: $32 electric bill; usage down 60% from last year.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 10:16:02 PM »
Nice! We have always left things unplugged except our light and TV and also always use LED bulbs. That alone seems to do wonders. Our electric bill in Ohio was always around $20 and lowest was $18! 1500 sqft home. Since moving to SW Florida we are around $50-55 but still not bad considering the higher costs. Plus no more gas bill in winter!