Author Topic: Got Electric Bill Under $50  (Read 16270 times)

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Got Electric Bill Under $50
« on: May 19, 2014, 07:25:30 AM »
This is a major achievement for us, and I think it has to do with reducing our dryer usage. We're line drying our clothing for the most part.

I read Michael Bluejay's website for ideas, and think I can still do some work in this area. Even $50 seems expensive considering we're not using AC yet. The $50 would just be for lights, ceiling fans, and appliances. I still need to identify the main energy suckers.




Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 07:50:57 AM »
We've been coming down in this area too.  We are sub 50 around $46-$48 per month at the moment.  We don't use the dryer at all and are cooking and heating is gas. I've replaced all of the bulbs in our house with either CFL or LED. LED lights are in the areas that are used the most. 

mustachemayhem

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 08:12:19 AM »
That is an awesome achievement. Our last month bill wall $63 (425kwh) and we are trending at $56 for this month. We are all elecctric with all cfl and led lights. Looking at our meter, we are at minimum pulling 150watts. We do have an alarm system, cable modem, and wireless router that run all the time. We also have two cfl porch lights (back and front which run dusk to dawn).

I'm going to attempt to use the dryer and washing machine less.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 08:58:31 AM »
We do have an alarm system, cable modem, and wireless router that run all the time.

We switch our modem, router, and dvd off at night.  Restart when needed.

dcheesi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 11:24:35 AM »
As  mentioned elsewhere, I got mine down to $41 last month (296kwh). No central air usage, a more efficient fridge, and probably using less hot water (I've been practicing "navy showers" since my gf's apartment building is lacking in hot water capacity).

I probably won't hit that number this month, since I used the A/C a couple of times (when the indoor temp got above 80).

Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 11:31:31 AM »
We've been coming down in this area too.  We are sub 50 around $46-$48 per month at the moment.  We don't use the dryer at all and are cooking and heating is gas. I've replaced all of the bulbs in our house with either CFL or LED. LED lights are in the areas that are used the most.

April was 285kWh so around 9.5 per day. 

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 12:06:14 PM »
Switching the modem off is an idea I'd not considered before. Thanks for sharing that.

I read Michael Bluejay's site and will share this in case it helps anyone else:

1. Chargers for phones, etc do not draw energy when not in use (or do not draw much).
2. Microwaves and TVs draw quite a bit of energy even when not in use.

I've been aiming to keep the microwave turned off when not in use. We're considering getting rid of it now or when it dies, because we mainly use it to heat coffee. It struck us both as dumb to keep something so large, so we need to find an easy/fast different way to re-heat coffee.

birdman2003

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • Location: Iowa
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 01:52:22 PM »
I just pulled the last 20 bills and I'm averaging 15.6 kWh a day of usage (I have a gas stove and furnace).  I need to do less electric drying of my clothes.  I also have a dehumidifier in the basement that runs 24/7.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 02:02:44 PM »
old toyota, thank you for the Michael Bluejay link. 

According to http://www.cadmusgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Dehumidifier-Metering-Study-Mattison-050912.pdf,  dehumidifiers can use up to 1000 kWh per year, twice as much as an Energy Star refrigerator. 

birdman2003

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • Location: Iowa
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 02:19:40 PM »
aj_yooper - Ouch on the dehumidifier cost!  I will do my killawatt and see what it's pulling.  It's been a wet spring here.

oldtoyota, congrats on your sub-50 bill and thanks for challenging me to step up my game!

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 02:45:54 PM »
Very nice job.

Here's an idea for those who are capable of doing their own electric work, that may help remind you to "power down" common things.  I've seen fancy outlets that have a switch above or below and the other part is the outlet, the switch controls the outlet.  Would be a great way to easily control power to the outlet.  There's also a plug-in version that is essentially the same idea with a reminder light on top, for a super easy install.

For a location where there are two sets of outlets ("2-gang" in electrician speak) or more, you can get a switch with light that takes the place of 1-gang to control the remaining outlets.  I think this kind of thing could be useful in a kitchen or other workspace, not as convenient for outlets low on the wall.  But you could put the switch high on the wall to control the low on the wall outlets.

Thinking out loud...

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2014, 03:03:37 PM »
Greg, yes!  Our tv, dvd, modem, and wifi are on wall switches.  It is very convenient and easy to be frugal.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2014, 04:01:45 PM »
aj_yooper - Ouch on the dehumidifier cost!  I will do my killawatt and see what it's pulling.  It's been a wet spring here.

oldtoyota, congrats on your sub-50 bill and thanks for challenging me to step up my game!

We use a dehumidifier too--especially during the heavy rains. I'd been delaying buying a kilowatt, but it might be time now.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 04:25:08 PM »
Old toyota, how many people in your household?

I got my first electric bill, first time ever, a few weeks ago for April (had roommates before, so not comparable). It was 181 KWh for two people, and we even used the dryer!

I expect it to go up over the summer as we'll have no choice but to use some AC.

workathomedad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2014, 05:14:48 PM »
I'm silly, I never actually looked at electric vs gas, but just paid the "energy bill"

We used 18KWH/day last month for a total of $85. Our Gas though cost $110! We're home 24/7 and I work from home though, so maybe that electrical use isn't terrible. Wife does cloth diapers, so maybe all the extra clothes washing that's getting us.

BZB

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
  • Location: Houston, Texas
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2014, 07:31:48 PM »
Wow, that's impressive! You have inspired me to spend more time on Michael Bluejay's website. When we started air-drying our laundry it cut the electric bill by almost 60%, but we still have not achieved a $50 bill. I think $75 was our lowest so far.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 07:38:48 PM »
Old toyota, how many people in your household?

I got my first electric bill, first time ever, a few weeks ago for April (had roommates before, so not comparable). It was 181 KWh for two people, and we even used the dryer!

I expect it to go up over the summer as we'll have no choice but to use some AC.

Three people. One is a kid, who leaves lights on all the time. In the most recent billing month, we used 323 KWH with little to no dryer usage. Your usage amount makes me wonder where/why we're using so much.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 07:46:40 PM »
We used 18KWH/day last month for a total of $85. Our Gas though cost $110! We're home 24/7 and I work from home though, so maybe that electrical use isn't terrible. Wife does cloth diapers, so maybe all the extra clothes washing that's getting us.

It's horrible!  Start by turning off lights, unplugging stuff, open up the shades, cold water for most (full load) laundry, cfl s or led s.  You are lucky-you can make amazing progress! 

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2014, 06:12:14 AM »
Old toyota, how many people in your household?

I got my first electric bill, first time ever, a few weeks ago for April (had roommates before, so not comparable). It was 181 KWh for two people, and we even used the dryer!

I expect it to go up over the summer as we'll have no choice but to use some AC.

Three people. One is a kid, who leaves lights on all the time. In the most recent billing month, we used 323 KWH with little to no dryer usage. Your usage amount makes me wonder where/why we're using so much.
Our apartment is a small 2 bedroom, and it's all electric so no gas bill either, not sure if that makes a difference.

Things I have done:
- use cold water to wash hands/clean dishes (tip from Bakari)
- short showers
- turned down the fridge temperature from 5 to 2 (on a scale of 1 to 7, seven is coldest, no idea what the actual temperature is)
- filled some old gallon-sized milk jugs with water and put them in the fridge for thermal mass effect and not moving so much cold air in/out everytime I snack (which happens a lot). That fridge is way too big for us anyway, no real space lost.
- turned the ice maker off in the freezer
- put the washer and dishwasher on eco mode and only run them when completely full

Hardly anything out of the ordinary. We don't have ceiling fans but use a cheapo fan when it gets a little too hot but no quite hot enough to warrant using the AC.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6971
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2014, 07:46:51 AM »
Good work Oldtoyota. I wish I could do so well. Last qtr I did however get down to 18kwh/day, my lowest rate so far. Still pretty woeful though. I'm also not sure how we did that, I can only think we did not have any (?) or many really hot days in  the latter part of summer, so the aircon was never turned on. We only use it every now and then in any case, so I'm really surprised.  Or maybe the meter man read it wrong.

Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2014, 08:03:51 AM »
Good work Oldtoyota. I wish I could do so well. Last qtr I did however get down to 18kwh/day, my lowest rate so far. Still pretty woeful though. I'm also not sure how we did that, I can only think we did not have any (?) or many really hot days in  the latter part of summer, so the aircon was never turned on. We only use it every now and then in any case, so I'm really surprised.  Or maybe the meter man read it wrong.

You need to become your own meter man!!  Do you have visual access to your meter, online access?  I have visual access and decent information online (i.e. Hourly usage graphs).  YOu can then start to see when energy is being sucked away..and identify the culprit(s).  18Kwh is pretty high, almost twice mine.

workathomedad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2014, 08:35:35 AM »
It's horrible!  Start by turning off lights, unplugging stuff, open up the shades, cold water for most (full load) laundry, cfl s or led s.  You are lucky-you can make amazing progress!

We're already conscious of those things and try to do them all, except one lightbulb that runs ~8 hours/day was still an old fashioned dimmable. We'll upgrade to LED.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6971
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2014, 03:11:28 PM »

You need to become your own meter man!!  Do you have visual access to your meter, online access?  I have visual access and decent information online (i.e. Hourly usage graphs).  YOu can then start to see when energy is being sucked away..and identify the culprit(s).  18Kwh is pretty high, almost twice mine.
I don't have online access. I can go outside and check the meter, if thats what you mean by visual access.

workathomedad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2014, 06:03:13 AM »
So last month's bill just came in! We're down to 17 kWh/day. Next stop 16...

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2014, 01:35:36 PM »
Switching to LEDs might be next on my list. I know remarkably little about these sorts of bulbs. Will they work with my existing lamps? I will find out...

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2014, 02:19:09 PM »
Switching to LEDs might be next on my list. I know remarkably little about these sorts of bulbs. Will they work with my existing lamps? I will find out...

Most LED bulbs are completely compatible with existing fixtures.  Possible exceptions include shop-style florescent tube fixtures, which have a ballast.  A typical screw base LED bulb will fit an a standard screw base fixture.  Just don't put a flood style bulb in a fixture that requires a standard bulb, that sort of thing.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2092
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2014, 07:18:34 PM »
Most LED bulbs are completely compatible with existing fixtures.  Possible exceptions include shop-style florescent tube fixtures, which have a ballast.  A typical screw base LED bulb will fit an a standard screw base fixture.  Just don't put a flood style bulb in a fixture that requires a standard bulb, that sort of thing.

The big exception to the rule that I've found is the PAR bulbs used in directional lighting.  LEDs are available in the sizes, but they come with a 2 prong base instead of the screw type that all my fixtures use.  Luckily there are adapters available for purchase online, but it will make the bulb stick out a little further.

OzzieandHarriet

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 497
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2014, 09:49:29 PM »
Just got our bill, and it's $54, 349 kWh over 29 days. (It says here "winter rates in effect" -- so I don't know if that means summer is higher or lower.)

In the summer, it can get as high as $200+. Husband is miserable if we don't run the AC at night because he sweats a lot, but we keep it usually at 76 degrees, so not frigid.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2014, 10:27:43 PM »
The big exception to the rule that I've found is the PAR bulbs used in directional lighting.  LEDs are available in the sizes, but they come with a 2 prong base instead of the screw type that all my fixtures use.  Luckily there are adapters available for purchase online, but it will make the bulb stick out a little further.

I've seen many styles of 2-prong and screw base bulbs at my local H.D., so perhaps you need to look harder.  I could be wrong though.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2014, 07:01:02 AM »
Switching to LEDs might be next on my list. I know remarkably little about these sorts of bulbs. Will they work with my existing lamps? I will find out...

Most LED bulbs are completely compatible with existing fixtures.  Possible exceptions include shop-style florescent tube fixtures, which have a ballast.  A typical screw base LED bulb will fit an a standard screw base fixture.  Just don't put a flood style bulb in a fixture that requires a standard bulb, that sort of thing.

Thank you for this!

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3886
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2014, 03:08:15 PM »
Last weekend I finished painting our main living area white. It's made such a huge improvement in how light the space is, I'm sure we won't need to turn the lights on as much. Before painting, both the walls and ceiling were "cardboard box brown".

We're already in the 15-25 kwh/day range so I'm not sure we'll be able to make much more headway on the electric bill, but painting was well worth the effort.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2014, 03:11:36 PM »
15-25 kWh/day is way high!  You can bring it down a lot, if you work at it.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3886
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2014, 04:42:57 PM »
15-25 kWh/day is way high!  You can bring it down a lot, if you work at it.

That should read more along the lines of, "It's as low as I'm willing to go given the effort required to make any significant improvements"

Our house is essentially a duplex but with a single electric meter. The tenant is my MIL and I'd rather work longer than have to convince her to change her habits. Some battles just aren't worth fighting ;-) Plus, she puts money towards the utilities every month so we'll call it a wash.

Emg03063

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2014, 10:52:40 PM »
$5.95 last month.  85 kWh used.  3/day avg.

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2014, 11:13:24 PM »
Switching to LEDs might be next on my list. I know remarkably little about these sorts of bulbs. Will they work with my existing lamps? I will find out...

LEDs are great.  One caveat is that dimmer/bulb compatibility can be an issue.  I'm hoping SSL-7, the latest standard which came out last year, will improve the situation.  My concern isn't that I can match bulbs to dimmers, it's that the dimmers are so expensive, are such a pain to swap out, and should be matched at least in some places.  So if the ones I get aren't also forward compatible then it could lead to more expenses replacing them in the future.  But all my lights that are on standard sockets with an on/off switch are already LEDs.  Compat concerns notwithstanding, the tech is quite mature, so it pains me to be waiting on the rest.  Recommend the FEITs from Costco and the Crees from Home Depot in their respective form factors.

I did a power audit of my house last year with a Kill-A-Watt, and found lots of interesting and surprising sources of phantom load.  Also was surprised to find that some weren't a big deal, and could be safely left on.  Definitely recommend the exercise.

One trick for phantom load, to help strike a balance between convenience and cost, is to use vacation timers to turn off electronics while you're away or asleep.  Also great for things that need to be power-cycled periodically to work reliably, like every DSL modem, cablemodem or router I've ever owned.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 9
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2014, 04:18:26 AM »
That should read more along the lines of, "It's as low as I'm willing to go given the effort required to make any significant improvements"

Our house is essentially a duplex but with a single electric meter. The tenant is my MIL and I'd rather work longer than have to convince her to change her habits. Some battles just aren't worth fighting ;-) Plus, she puts money towards the utilities every month so we'll call it a wash.

For 2 households then, that's not that exceptional. 

parkette

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 37
  • Location: PEI, Canada
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2014, 05:47:01 AM »
We hit 10 kwh/day this month and had to have a serious talk about it. Normally it's around 7 kwh/day so I wasn't impressed by this little spike! We are 2 people living in a 1500 sq ft house (way too big), and although we're pretty good about turning lights off etc., I think there's still a lot of room for improvement. I tend to use the dryer when it's not nice enough to put the laundry out on the line (pretty much 9 months a year). I bake regularly and use the stove indiscriminately, and we leave a few things plugged in 24/7 that are likely draining energy for no reason.

I think the culprits for this spike are a portable heater my husband's been using for his beer and wine brewing, and/or the new dishwasher. I suspect it's mostly the heater. We heat the house as little as possible, and I guess the brewing process needs a bit of a warmer area? I figure the extra $15/mth or so is still easily recaptured by the savings on doing our own brewing and bottling, but does anyone else have any insight about this?

Emg03063

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2014, 08:49:33 AM »
If it's a resistance heater that could definitely do it.  You could look for a heat pump and/or use some solar heat, if it's worth it to you.

ohyonghao

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Hillsboro, OR
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2014, 12:37:59 PM »
I did a power audit of my house last year with a Kill-A-Watt, and found lots of interesting and surprising sources of phantom load.  Also was surprised to find that some weren't a big deal, and could be safely left on.  Definitely recommend the exercise.
Please expand on these phantom loads.  I hear of people finding vampires and whatnot with it but never saying what these are, but my experience so far is I haven't come up with anything that has a large draw other than my subwoofer.  My router's draw is minimal, TV on standby is virtually non-existent (although I have both the stereo/TV and my Raspberry Pi on power strips which I use to turn on/off), my electric razor took maybe 1 Watt for the three days I left it plugged into the kill-a-watt.  My desktop computer is similar while in hibernation.

The biggest surprise I had when using the Kill-a-watt (borrowed free from the local library) was the lack of things using power.  Our single biggest expense powerwise seems to be the forced air blower; since it has warmed up here we went from 10-13kwh/day to 7-9/kwh/day, 7kwh/day being our average so far for this past month.

We have an 1800sqft house, use the dryer maybe once a week, vacuum, and do some baking, we also have a small chest freezer used for large purchases of meat and self-pick berries.  Our usage is now at about 7kwh/day.  If we cut out the dryer we might be able to get down to about 6.5kwh/day.

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2014, 01:00:27 PM »
Please expand on these phantom loads. 
...
We have an 1800sqft house, use the dryer maybe once a week, vacuum, and do some baking, we also have a small chest freezer used for large purchases of meat and self-pick berries.  Our usage is now at about 7kwh/day.  If we cut out the dryer we might be able to get down to about 6.5kwh/day.

Our big offender was a desktop computer, which I discovered wasn't sleeping properly when I tried to test it in that mode.  Surprise wasn't that it was a hog, mind you, but that it wasn't going out like I thought it would have been.  A/V equipment came in at number two.  We have a receiver that draws 11 watts when off, and some of our legacy AV equipment was drawing another 5-6 altogether.  All told, that added up to about 3 KW/h per day.  Swapping out for LED bulbs got us a bit more, but the opportunity there wasn't very big.  Most of our lamps were either already CFLs, on dimmers, or weren't being used very heavily.

Your usage is already very low .  About 25% of US average.  Based on your total usage today, I'm not surprised you didn't find much phantom load.  I suspect OldToyota is about 2x where you are, so it's more likely that he'll find something big from doing an audit than it was for you.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 01:02:46 PM by msilenus »

BigHammah

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2014, 09:41:57 PM »
Not sure what you people are doing. We run 130-160 kWH per month, generally no more than 5kWh per day. We have electric appliances (heat & hot water are not electric driven) and use the stove regularly. We also have heating pads for our dogs that run constantly.

If you want to save money on electricity the formula is pretty simple.

1. Don't use your electric dryer. These can run 2-3kWH per load. We use ours maximum 1x to 2x per week. Dry your clothes inside if necessary - we do it year round, so there's no excuse for being lazy on this. Find a place and do it. Heating elements are ridiculously inefficient and waste a ton of electricity versus their benefit. This is your biggest source of potential savings. Do you know why you can't find an energy efficient dryer? Because they don't exist - they're all horribly inefficient. So are hair dryers, so keep those to short bursts.

2. Don't use your dishwasher. Some are energy efficient but still don't do a good job as just washing by hand. If you have to use it, never use any drying functions.

3. CFLs and LEDS. Self explanatory. Turn them off when you don't need them. Put some nice LEDs in for the lights you use most.

4. Research appliances. Want a fridge with an ice-maker? Stay away from through-the-door models. The most efficient ice makers are located in the freezer. Stick with a basic freezer-on-the-top model. Ours is 14 years old and we know it pulls 40kWh per month and we do use the ice maker.

5. Unplugging electronics to save from phantom loads is a waste of time. I tested various chargers and items (like the TV) that were on standby and the kwH savings were negligible versus unplugging them. Unless you're in an off-the-grid solar-array battery-bank house, saving this 1-5 kwH per month isn't worth the aggravation.

6. Don't worry about motorized appliances, electric stoves or microwaves, or any other electric kitchen appliances. Motorized appliances (blenders, exhaust fans, washing machines) use very little electricity for the functions they perform. The electric motor is an engineering marvel - perhaps the most important invention of the past 200 years. They're able to convert very small amounts of electricity into amazing amounts of mechanical energy. So use these as needed. Also, electric stoves and microwaves are so infrequently used (very few actual minutes of use per day) that even though they may use a relatively high rate of electricity, the total effect is small.

7. Put a switch timer or photo-sensor on anything that needs to be turned off but you may forget. We dry laundry in a bathroom and like to run the vent for an hour to suck moisture out of the air. Click, one hour, no need to remember to shut it off. Taking a shower and a shit? 15, 20 minutes and you're good. Added benefit on dumps is that the air still gets cleaned and the wife is happier when she uses the bathroom after you. You'll never be conflicted between shutting the vent off as you leave the room for energy savings versus letting it run indefinitely to spare the loved ones again.

8. If you have well water, get an oversized pressure tank. Your well pump will run much less frequently and won't have to kick on to give you enough pressure to take the long shower you want.

9. Shut down/sleep electronics. If you're not using it right now, it should be off or standing by. Laptops use far less electricity than desktops.

10. If your electric company has smart meters, sign up for monitoring. Want to know how much an appliance uses? Shut everything down in the house (cut the breakers if need be) except the one appliance you are testing (start with the fridge since you don't want to shut that off). This works good on vacations. If you're away for 7 days and the only outlet and thing in the house running was the fridge then you know all of the kWh for that period went there. Use the fridge as a baseline and then do the same leaving just the fridge and another appliance on, etc.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 09:58:26 PM by BigHammah »

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2014, 06:54:45 AM »
Not sure what you people are doing. We run 130-160 kWH per month, generally no more than 5kWh per day. We have electric appliances (heat & hot water are not electric driven) and use the stove regularly. We also have heating pads for our dogs that run constantly.

If you want to save money on electricity the formula is pretty simple.

1. Don't use your electric dryer. These can run 2-3kWH per load. We use ours maximum 1x to 2x per week. Dry your clothes inside if necessary - we do it year round, so there's no excuse for being lazy on this. Find a place and do it. Heating elements are ridiculously inefficient and waste a ton of electricity versus their benefit. This is your biggest source of potential savings. Do you know why you can't find an energy efficient dryer? Because they don't exist - they're all horribly inefficient. So are hair dryers, so keep those to short bursts.

2. Don't use your dishwasher. Some are energy efficient but still don't do a good job as just washing by hand. If you have to use it, never use any drying functions.

3. CFLs and LEDS. Self explanatory. Turn them off when you don't need them. Put some nice LEDs in for the lights you use most.

4. Research appliances. Want a fridge with an ice-maker? Stay away from through-the-door models. The most efficient ice makers are located in the freezer. Stick with a basic freezer-on-the-top model. Ours is 14 years old and we know it pulls 40kWh per month and we do use the ice maker.

5. Unplugging electronics to save from phantom loads is a waste of time. I tested various chargers and items (like the TV) that were on standby and the kwH savings were negligible versus unplugging them. Unless you're in an off-the-grid solar-array battery-bank house, saving this 1-5 kwH per month isn't worth the aggravation.

6. Don't worry about motorized appliances, electric stoves or microwaves, or any other electric kitchen appliances. Motorized appliances (blenders, exhaust fans, washing machines) use very little electricity for the functions they perform. The electric motor is an engineering marvel - perhaps the most important invention of the past 200 years. They're able to convert very small amounts of electricity into amazing amounts of mechanical energy. So use these as needed. Also, electric stoves and microwaves are so infrequently used (very few actual minutes of use per day) that even though they may use a relatively high rate of electricity, the total effect is small.

7. Put a switch timer or photo-sensor on anything that needs to be turned off but you may forget. We dry laundry in a bathroom and like to run the vent for an hour to suck moisture out of the air. Click, one hour, no need to remember to shut it off. Taking a shower and a shit? 15, 20 minutes and you're good. Added benefit on dumps is that the air still gets cleaned and the wife is happier when she uses the bathroom after you. You'll never be conflicted between shutting the vent off as you leave the room for energy savings versus letting it run indefinitely to spare the loved ones again.

8. If you have well water, get an oversized pressure tank. Your well pump will run much less frequently and won't have to kick on to give you enough pressure to take the long shower you want.

9. Shut down/sleep electronics. If you're not using it right now, it should be off or standing by. Laptops use far less electricity than desktops.

10. If your electric company has smart meters, sign up for monitoring. Want to know how much an appliance uses? Shut everything down in the house (cut the breakers if need be) except the one appliance you are testing (start with the fridge since you don't want to shut that off). This works good on vacations. If you're away for 7 days and the only outlet and thing in the house running was the fridge then you know all of the kWh for that period went there. Use the fridge as a baseline and then do the same leaving just the fridge and another appliance on, etc.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for taking the time to post this!

ohyonghao

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Hillsboro, OR
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2014, 07:32:19 PM »
Not sure what you people are doing. We run 130-160 kWH per month, generally no more than 5kWh per day. We have electric appliances (heat & hot water are not electric driven) and use the stove regularly. We also have heating pads for our dogs that run constantly.

If you want to save money on electricity the formula is pretty simple.

1. Don't use your electric dryer. These can run 2-3kWH per load. We use ours maximum 1x to 2x per week. Dry your clothes inside if necessary - we do it year round, so there's no excuse for being lazy on this. Find a place and do it. Heating elements are ridiculously inefficient and waste a ton of electricity versus their benefit. This is your biggest source of potential savings. Do you know why you can't find an energy efficient dryer? Because they don't exist - they're all horribly inefficient. So are hair dryers, so keep those to short bursts.

2. Don't use your dishwasher. Some are energy efficient but still don't do a good job as just washing by hand. If you have to use it, never use any drying functions.

3. CFLs and LEDS. Self explanatory. Turn them off when you don't need them. Put some nice LEDs in for the lights you use most.

4. Research appliances. Want a fridge with an ice-maker? Stay away from through-the-door models. The most efficient ice makers are located in the freezer. Stick with a basic freezer-on-the-top model. Ours is 14 years old and we know it pulls 40kWh per month and we do use the ice maker.

5. Unplugging electronics to save from phantom loads is a waste of time. I tested various chargers and items (like the TV) that were on standby and the kwH savings were negligible versus unplugging them. Unless you're in an off-the-grid solar-array battery-bank house, saving this 1-5 kwH per month isn't worth the aggravation.

6. Don't worry about motorized appliances, electric stoves or microwaves, or any other electric kitchen appliances. Motorized appliances (blenders, exhaust fans, washing machines) use very little electricity for the functions they perform. The electric motor is an engineering marvel - perhaps the most important invention of the past 200 years. They're able to convert very small amounts of electricity into amazing amounts of mechanical energy. So use these as needed. Also, electric stoves and microwaves are so infrequently used (very few actual minutes of use per day) that even though they may use a relatively high rate of electricity, the total effect is small.

7. Put a switch timer or photo-sensor on anything that needs to be turned off but you may forget. We dry laundry in a bathroom and like to run the vent for an hour to suck moisture out of the air. Click, one hour, no need to remember to shut it off. Taking a shower and a shit? 15, 20 minutes and you're good. Added benefit on dumps is that the air still gets cleaned and the wife is happier when she uses the bathroom after you. You'll never be conflicted between shutting the vent off as you leave the room for energy savings versus letting it run indefinitely to spare the loved ones again.

8. If you have well water, get an oversized pressure tank. Your well pump will run much less frequently and won't have to kick on to give you enough pressure to take the long shower you want.

9. Shut down/sleep electronics. If you're not using it right now, it should be off or standing by. Laptops use far less electricity than desktops.

10. If your electric company has smart meters, sign up for monitoring. Want to know how much an appliance uses? Shut everything down in the house (cut the breakers if need be) except the one appliance you are testing (start with the fridge since you don't want to shut that off). This works good on vacations. If you're away for 7 days and the only outlet and thing in the house running was the fridge then you know all of the kWh for that period went there. Use the fridge as a baseline and then do the same leaving just the fridge and another appliance on, etc.

Hope this helps.
I second it, thanks for taking the time on this post.  Most of this seems to be what I've learned.  If I could get my wife to just make the move to drying on a rack instead of the dryer we might drop another 20+kWh a month.  Great tip on the timer on the bathroom fan, if I install one my wife will be very grateful, and it may even lower our water bill (she flushes twice after me for some reason).

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2014, 09:04:14 PM »
The bill was abut $48 this most recent time around. I am disappointed that it's not going down. We did not use the dryer, and I am also certain we did not use the heat at all...and, of course, I know we have not used AC.

Seeing the above post that mentions the energy-hogging dishwasher, I am thinking that is the next to stop using. I also have my eye on the fridge but it's supposedly energy efficient.

The dehumidifier is another culprit.


Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2014, 07:44:36 AM »
Wow, we were at 130 kWH for May... Bill is $26.

Bartstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2014, 08:19:38 AM »
Wish we could get down that low but our 'base' charges on the last bill before even adding in the actual KW usage were almost $45.

ohyonghao

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Hillsboro, OR
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2014, 10:47:03 AM »
Wish we could get down that low but our 'base' charges on the last bill before even adding in the actual KW usage were almost $45.
Ha, that sounds like my water company.  We use 9 units of water which our usage charge is about $28, but our bill is still $122 after base charges.

Back on topic, this month our power bill was $34.22, the lowest so far since moving. 
Total Usage: 221kWh
Daily Average: 6.9kWh (32 day cycle this time)
Highest Day: 13kWh (Double laundry day, I still don't understand how this happens)
Lowest Day: 2kWh (On vacation at Camp Mustache, turned off all electronics including the cellphone repeater needed to have a signal in our house)

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2014, 11:55:25 AM »
Wish we could get down that low but our 'base' charges on the last bill before even adding in the actual KW usage were almost $45.
Say whaaaaaat? Where do you live? Our base charge here is $12-13.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2014, 09:10:30 AM »
Wow, we were at 130 kWH for May... Bill is $26.

Do you live in a house or apartment? And how many of you are there?

I've got three people in a smallish house. We used 300-something kWh.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Got Electric Bill Under $50
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2014, 09:46:26 AM »
Wow, we were at 130 kWH for May... Bill is $26.

Do you live in a house or apartment? And how many of you are there?

I've got three people in a smallish house. We used 300-something kWh.
2 bedroom apartment (no idea on the square footage, sadly, but definitely not lavishly large), with two people.