Author Topic: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?  (Read 198775 times)

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2922
  • Location: Canada
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #200 on: November 07, 2013, 01:46:05 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion! I actually already got on this after doing a little more research, and our new $8 showerhead arrived yesterday. It has two settings, 1 and 1.5 GPM. (Although I was super sad when my boyfriend pointed out that our old showerhead was only 1.75... haha) We were pleased to find that the higher setting is just great and even the 1 GPM is good for most purposes, so hopefully with the long showers even the small change in flow will make a difference...?!

3/4 of a gallon is just under 3 litres, if you have a 5 minute shower (get a shower timer!) that's 15l. If you shower every day, that's ~6000 litres of clean water a year - that doesn't have to be re-cleaned, and that you don't have to heat...
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Seppie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #201 on: November 09, 2013, 11:03:48 PM »
We average 26kwh/day.  That's for 6 people in approximately 2500 sq. ft.  We just had a home energy audit done - waiting for the results - and though I think we could obviously do do better, we do try to be pretty conscientious about lights. We've got the tv and computers on a power strip that gets turned off at night. We also unplug the toaster, coffee maker, radio, etc. when they are not in use.  However, we have two waterbeds.  Right now we're running a kill-a-watt to see how much they are on and how much they are using. Every time I've checked, they are cycled off, but clearly they are using some electricity because those beds are WARM!

I also have a feeling that showers kill us. We actually have shower timers but we haven't been using them - time to start that up again!  With 4 kids who are all teens and preteens, I feel like showers are nonnegotiable - I never want them to be the "stinky kid" and IME puberty = B.O.  So I practically force them all to shower daily, or at least every other day.  Also, it seems like the colder we keep our house, the longer I want to stay in a hot shower.  I work from home, but the thermostat is set to 62 degrees once the kids all leave for school, with the idea that I can just bundle up. So it's chilly in the house when I get in the shower...then I don't want to get out!  Guess I should use the timer, too, or shower in the morning or evening when the house is a toasty 68 degrees!

Of course, 6 people also means lots of laundry and lots of dishes.  And big kid clothes take up way more room in the washer than little kid clothes - we basically have to run a load of laundry every single day, especially since we use cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels. 

monarda

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #202 on: November 09, 2013, 11:34:29 PM »
We're in an 1100 sf house, and average (2 people) 16 kwh/day.
Our electric water heater and dehumidifier (summer and fall only) are the big users. We hardly ever turn on the AC.
We should check our fridge usage, it's from 2001.

Ottawa

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 967
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #203 on: November 10, 2013, 09:25:13 AM »
Here's an update from us in Ottawa...This is a 1200 sf house with 600sf basement (total 1800sf).  The last twelve months of Mustachian useage has seen our average drop below 300kWh!

January - had guests for a week!
August - away on vacation for 1 week.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 10:20:23 AM by Ottawa »
Signing up for Tangerine Bank?  Let's both earn some cash!  Here is my Tangerine Key: 43684467S1  Cheers.

fmzip

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Location: CT
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #204 on: November 18, 2013, 08:57:29 PM »
we are at 27KWh per day...... $127 for October her in CT

The culprit I believe, our 500 gallon hot tub! Just keeping the thing at it's lowest setting of 85 degrees throughout the year has got be a watt hog!

After stumbling across MMM last month, just sold it on craigslist for $2500! Can't wait to see our new bill next month. With gas appliances and a gas hot water heater and LED lighting throughout the house, our usage should be fairly low I would hope with just my wife and I.
Not looking for face-punches; this is our choice, our life, our plan

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1780
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #205 on: November 18, 2013, 09:09:14 PM »
There is one thing about my new place which is both a blessing and a curse.

As the resident manager, my unit doesn't have an electric meter, its combined with the hallway and exterior lighting and other building power. 
Which is pretty sweet for me, because it means I pay no utility bills.
But it also means I have no way to track what I'm using, and I have to rely solely on my sense of morality to ration my power use at all. 
It is a lot easier to go without heat all winter when you are helping save the ecosphere AND saving a small bundle of cash at the same time.
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

fmzip

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Location: CT
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #206 on: November 18, 2013, 09:30:05 PM »
This is a nifty device for the phantom device that suck power when not in use.

Great for home theater setups etc.

http://www.bitsltd.net/
Not looking for face-punches; this is our choice, our life, our plan

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #207 on: November 19, 2013, 04:46:17 PM »
This is a nifty device for the phantom device that suck power when not in use.

Our local power company just gave out a nice little kit that contained a (different brand) smart strip.  I like it a lot.  Great for the wife's computer where she would regularly not only NOT turn off the regular strip, but would often forget and leave the monitor and speakers on all night long...

fmzip

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Location: CT
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #208 on: November 19, 2013, 08:11:02 PM »
I just ordered a Kill a watt to play with....we have so many devices plugged in curious to see which is sucking the most watts!

Read Date   Usage   # Days   P/day   Charge   Temp
11/13/2013   800   29   27.59   $127.93   47.6
10/15/2013   801   29   27.62   $128.06 59.5
9/16/2013   944   32   29.5   $148.09 69.6
8/15/2013   1030   29   35.52   $160.12 72.8
7/17/2013   1221   33   37   $185.17   76.5
6/14/2013   896   30   29.87   $140.69 64.7
5/15/2013   706   29   24.34   $114.25 55.1
4/16/2013   963   33   29.18   $150.02 42.8
3/14/2013   908   29   31.31   $142.37 36.2
2/13/2013   935   29   32.24   $146.13 28.2
1/15/2013   1089   33   33   $171.35 34.5
12/13/2012   902   30   30.07   $147.29 38.6
11/13/2012   741   29   25.55   $123.86 50.8
10/15/2012   866   31   27.94   $142.07 58.7
9/14/2012   917   30   30.57   $149.47 70.8
8/15/2012   1059   30   35.3   $170.15 75.6
7/16/2012   1138   32   35.56   $178.77 75
6/14/2012   831   30   27.7   $132.75 66.6
5/15/2012   833   32   26.03   $133.04 57.3
4/13/2012   746   29   25.72   $120.82 50.2
3/15/2012   790   30   26.33   $126.99 40.6
2/14/2012   809   29   27.9   $129.68 34.9
1/16/2012   945   33   28.64   $155.21 35.2
12/14/2011   791   29   27.28   $137.60 43.2
11/15/2011   595   29   20.52   $107.47 47.7
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 08:20:24 PM by fmzip »
Not looking for face-punches; this is our choice, our life, our plan

Ozstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 803
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #209 on: November 20, 2013, 02:25:13 AM »
Learned to read my power meter dynamically, not just statically, today so I am now able to read the power consumption of inbuilt household appliances through isolating them individually. This, in conjunction with one of those in line power monitors to check power consumption of individual plug-in appliances I already had will allow me to check everything in the house. My last power bill was up 20%, coincidentally just after my second son moved back home, and I want to find out what's causing it!

 

Lina

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #210 on: November 20, 2013, 10:45:35 AM »


Jebus. No kidding. I'm sitting at just under 10kW/hrs per day for one person and I feel I've cut my use to the bone. Kudos.
[/quote]

In an apartment? I have used about 100 kW per month for one person during the last years without any sacrifices. Heating is included in the rent.


yahui168

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 41
  • Location: CA
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #211 on: November 20, 2013, 06:09:39 PM »
Family of 3 in 2500 sq house, 12 month average of 444 kWh/mo, about 15 kWh per day. Heating, cooking and dryer uses natural gas. By mustaschian standards, 15 kWh/day is meh but check out the comparison to similar homes in the area. Pacific Gas and Electric provides a comparison of similar sized homes within 1.1 miles (average 0.4 miles away). The average similar sized home uses twice as much energy and the average energy efficient home uses about 20% more.

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7465
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Fourecks
  • Nullus Anxietas
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #212 on: November 20, 2013, 08:55:02 PM »
Family of 2 plus cat in a small 3by1 house, we're currently using 15kWH/day on average, same as the average for our area, which is about $125 per month. Only way to reduce the bill is to reduce usage, we only have 1 power company here. We were using 7kWH/day at our previous place, although my partner has bough an extra server or two since then, I think we should be able to get use back down below 10kWH/day to start. Need to replace down lights with LED ones, anyone have a suggestion that's available in Australia? Also, would my fridge/freezer be OK if I put it on a manual 24h timer so it's off between 10pm and 5 am while we're sleeping?

mcjr

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #213 on: November 21, 2013, 12:17:55 AM »
Just checked, me and the girlfriend use about 4.6 kwh per day on average. Living in a small flat, but in a tropical country. Pretty badass I reckon!

JessieImproved

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 159
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Atlanta
    • Jessie : Improved
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #214 on: November 21, 2013, 09:05:51 AM »
Also, would my fridge/freezer be OK if I put it on a manual 24h timer so it's off between 10pm and 5 am while we're sleeping?

You'll get a lot of freezer burn on your stuff that way.  I would check the door seals first, try to open it less, and if it's mostly empty, put some water jugs in there.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children - Unknown

My Journal: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/little-green-employees/

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #215 on: November 21, 2013, 02:13:47 PM »
Also, would my fridge/freezer be OK if I put it on a manual 24h timer so it's off between 10pm and 5 am while we're sleeping?

You'll get a lot of freezer burn on your stuff that way.  I would check the door seals first, try to open it less, and if it's mostly empty, put some water jugs in there.

+1 to that advice...   I'm really not even sure what is trying to be accomplished here.  These devices have thermostats in them.  Set them at the temperature you want.  If it doesn't need to come on, it won't. 

If you put a timer on there and it CAN'T come on, then it warms up.  You either get spoilage or you have to run the compressor extra long to bring it back to normal (or both).

Keeping it full helps.  After that, I am not sure turning it off is a good idea.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7465
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Fourecks
  • Nullus Anxietas
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #216 on: November 21, 2013, 03:03:36 PM »
Ah ok. At any rate, I was thinking that it's on all day and if not opened it shouldn't warm up over those hours.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2392
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #217 on: November 21, 2013, 09:12:29 PM »
Hmm, we're at an average 6 per month for two people without ever trying.  I keep thinking I should get better about turning off lights, or unplugging my laptop/other devices, etc. actually.

amicableskeptic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #218 on: November 22, 2013, 12:55:41 AM »
I can't believe it took me soooo long to find this thread.  Three quick additions.

1.  If you have an electric water heater that is eating away at your stache and live in a warm weather area consider getting a heat pump add on. 

I read a study a little while back that showed these to be the second most efficient water heaters (behind solar), but since they're so cheap and can be just added on to existing water heaters their payback window is much better (it could be less than a year for $425 AirTap A7 add on unit).  Gas units are less efficient than these but the super low price of gas right now means that you'll save money with a gas unit.  I don't recommend these for cold weather areas because they pull their heat from the surrounding air.  That means in a cold environment you end up paying more to heat your home, but in a warm environment you end up paying less to cool it so you get a double bonus!  Also note you can't install these in small closet like spaces.

2.  I average 113 kwh and 45 therms per month for a 1300 sqft house in upstate NY.  Hot water, stove, and heating are all gas and heating is the lions share of my use (I only use around 10 therms a month in the summer and peak to 100 therms in the coldest months).

3.  If you want to see comparisons with homes that are similar to your own in your local area contact your utility and see if they have Opower.  If they do you can get a link to the utility company's Opower website and see comparisons between your home and an anonymous neighbor set along with tips and other cool stuff.

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #219 on: November 25, 2013, 07:54:22 AM »
This thread is inspiring, we used to have super low electricity usage, but adding kids and a bigger house has tanked it. But this seems like a good challenge, I watched that show someone linked here where they used human power to power up a house, I then went around unplugging everything in sight that we didn't need at that moment.

We have a high bill for a couple of reasons:

1) we live in a hot/cold climate and use heat for at least 6-8mo out of the year and then we use AC for another 2-3mo, so we get no break their, true we wouldn't have to use AC, I will see what we can cut next year in that area, maybe even set up a sleeping area downstairs and utilize the basement cold air, for free.

2) our house is large, embarrassingly large, so it takes a lot to heat and cool it, and use lights, we bought a foreclosure, we would never choose to build this big, we hope to sell it for a good profit within the next year.

3) we have a heat pump, to save on propane, which is our only choice, it's quite expensive, so it helps with that bill, but that means our electricity is being used a lot more than at our last place with a regular forced air gas powered heat.

With all of those excuses aside, we can still make huge improvements, I figured out our average usage for the last calendar year and it was 52kwh/day I know that is a LOT, we have 5 people living in a 6k sq ft house and 3 of us are home all day long. I hope to bring that average down significantly. I will use a lot of diff. things, we will shower at the gym more, (I know a gym membership is dumb, but right now it works well for us) turn off more lights, keep the heat low, we already never put it above 64, and we sleep with it at 62. Be more conscious of my baking, use the stove for more than 1 thing at a time, or pre bake stuff. I figure just being aware of it will bring it down. As a whole family, we aren't big energy wasters though, there isn't a ton of fat to cut, it's just a big house and our climate is cold. We could heat with wood, but it would cost a huge amount to get it set up, like 6k or more, to buy the stove and retro fit everything, just not a big enough pay off at this time.

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #220 on: November 25, 2013, 08:00:01 AM »
http://www.goalzero.com/yeti1250/#whatitpowers

Does anyone have one of these? We have thought about getting one, we have a crazy dream of being off grid at some point, so it would come in really handy then, but we could use it as a supplement to our power now, I have no idea what the pay off time would be though, if I could hook it up safely to my heat pump, that is where the real savings would be I would think, or use it to run a nice electric space heater we have.

amicableskeptic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #221 on: November 25, 2013, 08:31:43 AM »
Great to hear that you're working to improve greenmimama!  With a 6K sqft house you're definitely right to look at your heating/cooling first, I would be they're 50-80% of your total load.  Sleeping in the basement in the summer is a great idea.  Another good summer idea is to open your windows at night to let in cold air and then close them in the morning when the world starts heating up (this may be tough for such a big house as yours, but that's all the more reason to downsize).  As for the winter I challenge you to drop your thermostat even lower than 62 at night.  In our house we go down to 58 at night and are even dabbling with 56 (make sure your builder didn't stupidly put pipes in exterior walls before you drop this low to avoid burst pipes).  The key is to use a programmable thermostat so that the house cools down after you've gone to bed and warms back up right as you're waking up.  Once you're under the covers and warm the ambient temp or your house barely matters (and if you have to get up and pee in the middle of the night the chilliness will encourage you to do it quickly).

In a house like yours you probably already have a programmable thermostat so this should be do-able without much money investment (you may need to sink a few bucks into new blankets but those will be a high ROI purchase).  Unfortunately programmable thermostat UI is notoriously terrible so you may have to spend an hour or two reading the manual to figure it out, but that's what Mustachianism is about right?  In a house as big as yours dropping a few degrees could save you hundreds on your heating bill (even if you turn it back up upon waking up).  The other thing you might notice if you do this is that your heat pump might take a long time to bring your huge house up to your desired wake-up temp.  If that is the case just program your thermostat to start warming up even earlier in the morning.

The other thing to note, is that in a huge house like yours you may be better off buying a few cheap single room electric heaters and keeping the temp down during the day when just 3 people are there.  Have them heat the individual rooms they're in and let the rest of the house be chilly.  Single room heaters are less efficient than your heat pump, but since your space is so large if you can heat just 2 or 3 small rooms up with them and cool the rest of the house they might be a winning proposition for you.  Be sure and shut the doors to the rooms you're heating with them so they don't try and heat the whole house (I even go so far as to put a foam strip under my office door when I'm heating it individually).  Also, be careful not to leave clothes or other stupid stuff on top of these heaters as that can start a fire.

Good luck!

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3822
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #222 on: November 25, 2013, 08:44:50 AM »
Does anyone have one of these?

I'm quite fond of GZ solar equipment as I've used some of the stuff out in the field during disaster relief work (it's rugged, compact and easy to use), but it's overpriced for what it actually is. The Yeti 1250 isn't anything magical, it's just an $1800, 12v 1250W solar rechargeable battery back-up... you don't even get solar panels for it. A $600 UPS could replicate its capacity and functionality, excuse the straight DC input/output jacks. Basically, that thing isn't going to power diddly squat in most houses, let alone replace your need for grid dependence. Like the SolarStik equipment, GoalZero isn't really the sort of thing you want to buy as a homeowner trying to use solar and go off the grid.

One of the more clever solar setups I've ever seen (and I'd consider myself) was penned by our own Bakari: the independent (non-grid-intertie) solar electric system. Basically, the biggest cost in residential solar setups is in the AC inverter and grid inter-tie. If you keep the solar setup 100% DC, which is surprisingly easy to do (there's a lot of appliances for RVs that are designed accordingly), you can cut a majority of your electrical dependence for a fraction of the normally expected costs. I especially like his approach of recycling discarded solar panels as a further means to reducing the overall impact of setting photovoltaics up in the first place.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:47:10 AM by I.P. Daley »

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #223 on: November 25, 2013, 10:27:34 AM »
Great to hear that you're working to improve greenmimama!  With a 6K sqft house you're definitely right to look at your heating/cooling first, I would be they're 50-80% of your total load.  Sleeping in the basement in the summer is a great idea.  Another good summer idea is to open your windows at night to let in cold air and then close them in the morning when the world starts heating up (this may be tough for such a big house as yours, but that's all the more reason to downsize).  As for the winter I challenge you to drop your thermostat even lower than 62 at night.  In our house we go down to 58 at night and are even dabbling with 56 (make sure your builder didn't stupidly put pipes in exterior walls before you drop this low to avoid burst pipes).  The key is to use a programmable thermostat so that the house cools down after you've gone to bed and warms back up right as you're waking up.  Once you're under the covers and warm the ambient temp or your house barely matters (and if you have to get up and pee in the middle of the night the chilliness will encourage you to do it quickly).

In a house like yours you probably already have a programmable thermostat so this should be do-able without much money investment (you may need to sink a few bucks into new blankets but those will be a high ROI purchase).  Unfortunately programmable thermostat UI is notoriously terrible so you may have to spend an hour or two reading the manual to figure it out, but that's what Mustachianism is about right?  In a house as big as yours dropping a few degrees could save you hundreds on your heating bill (even if you turn it back up upon waking up).  The other thing you might notice if you do this is that your heat pump might take a long time to bring your huge house up to your desired wake-up temp.  If that is the case just program your thermostat to start warming up even earlier in the morning.

The other thing to note, is that in a huge house like yours you may be better off buying a few cheap single room electric heaters and keeping the temp down during the day when just 3 people are there.  Have them heat the individual rooms they're in and let the rest of the house be chilly.  Single room heaters are less efficient than your heat pump, but since your space is so large if you can heat just 2 or 3 small rooms up with them and cool the rest of the house they might be a winning proposition for you.  Be sure and shut the doors to the rooms you're heating with them so they don't try and heat the whole house (I even go so far as to put a foam strip under my office door when I'm heating it individually).  Also, be careful not to leave clothes or other stupid stuff on top of these heaters as that can start a fire.

Good luck!

Thanks, the reason I chose 62, was because when we built our last house in 2004 we were told that running a high efficiency furnace lower than that, we were keeping the house at 55, (since we both worked and were barely home) they said something about it makes the furnace get too much condensation and it isn't good for it at all, I realize I probably sound stupid right now, but I can't remember the reason, just remember that the guy said 62. But now we have a diff set up being a heat pump, so I wasn't sure about it, I would be fine with it being cooler, I think we can get all the boys to saty under their covers now :) or get out their sleeping bags for them to use.

I do use our programmable thermostat, and especially when we leave for the weekend, then I can keep it quite low and set it to return to normal when we get home.

We have the kids toys in hte basement and we use a space heater, and it works great for keeping it comfortable, I'm afraid though if we bought more of them, just the way the house is set up and that we do use a good portion of it, it wouldn't save us a lot.

If I worked in an office, I can see it doing well, but I am a stay at home mom, running after the 2 and 4 yo, so we use a big portion of the home every day, all day. I just try and keep it cool, I always wear a sweater or jacket, even flannel lined pants and wool socks and slippers, by the time spring rolls around I am sick and tired of layers.

Thanks for your responses, at least the house is well insulated :)


I.P.Daley (funny screen name)  Thanks, I will look into the link you provided.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #224 on: November 25, 2013, 10:35:48 AM »
If you have just one thermostat but two floors, you might see if you can close off the upstairs to heat just the main floor.  Some heat will find it's way upstairs anyway, and people generally sleep better in a cooler bedroom.  Dampening down the registers upstairs might also help.

Mr. Minsc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Location: PEI, Canada
    • ThriftyHamster
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #225 on: November 29, 2013, 05:44:11 AM »
Last October my light bill clocked in at 27 kWh/day.  At this time I had yet to install my new hydronic wood fired heating system and was still using the existing oil fired forced hot air system.  This is long before MMM and other personal finance blogs existed in my world.  The summer months were a nice improvement over last year, clocking around 22-24 kWh/day.  I made sure to get on the ball and hang out my clothes when ever possible.  My brothers didn't always comply but atleast made an effort.  AC?  Never heard of it, even before MMM.

Opening up this months light bill I was hit with a surprise, 20 kWh/day.  I expected a reduction over this time last year do to my new heating system consuming far less electricity but to be lower than the summer months, never.  My fridge and deep freeze would have less work to do but the clothes dryer is used more and lights are on earlier/longer.  The best I can think of is I have my hot water heater pre-heated by the hot water coil in my wood boiler.  Either way I like seeing the energy usage on a downward trend.
My budding blog: thriftyhamster.com

fodder69

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #226 on: November 29, 2013, 07:13:38 PM »
Ugh, my 21Kw per day is making me sad now. And that was actually my lowest month in forever. I need to figure out what is going on here. I work from home and have gas heat so the big ones have to be fridge and such. I do have computers running since I work from home but I think I need to look at the vampires around the place and do better about turning off the power strips when not using things.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #227 on: November 30, 2013, 07:06:54 AM »
A couple computers running 24/7 can easily add 5kw/day (for standard usage) and 10kw/day (if they're running heavy workloads such as bitcoin, SETI@home, etc).  Hibernate when not in use to save some $$$.

wauske

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #228 on: December 03, 2013, 01:43:29 PM »
http://www.goalzero.com/yeti1250/#whatitpowers

Does anyone have one of these? We have thought about getting one, we have a crazy dream of being off grid at some point, so it would come in really handy then, but we could use it as a supplement to our power now, I have no idea what the pay off time would be though, if I could hook it up safely to my heat pump, that is where the real savings would be I would think, or use it to run a nice electric space heater we have.

I haven't got this one specifically but I've got 6 250 watt-peak solar panels on my roof. In all of november they generated around 40KWh, the current estimate is that they would generate between 1000-1300KWh per year total.
This fact is useless to most though since I live in europe (Netherlands) but I can supply you with info if you want.

In regards to usage, my home uses approximatly 12KWh per day in an approximatly 3-story 1200sqft house. The biggest user (approx. 8KWh per day) would be the electric water heater. They are highly inefficient, considering that they keep water at a certain temperature even though it might not be used. Alternatively mine is only heating at night where it uses cheaper power (20ct in stead of 22ct per KWh) while I can manually flip the switch for a quick re-heat if required. Thus far it only happened 3-4 times (after 3 showers the 250 liter bath was cold halfway through).

I have a question though, in a 3 person household with a 120 liter boiler (about 30 galons I think) with a thermos set at 65 degrees celsius (140-ish F?) we've yet to run out of hot water. I'm feeling that a smaller heater (say 20 in stead of 30 galons) on a higher temperature would be more efficient than this one? Does anyone know the math on this?

Piece of advice for the Halogen and/or dimmer users among us: I noticed that my dimmable Halogen lamps were pulling 300W regardless of how far I dimmed it. The used bulb was only 150W though. Switching those 2 for 4 low-energy lamps saved me 4KWh PER DAY from oktober to march. I further dropped that by swapping the 7-12W lamps for 1.3W LED bulbs in the corridor and bathroom/toilet/closets because the are immediatly on and don't burn out as fast.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:45:32 PM by wauske »
Everything I say is my personal opinion which is based on my subjective experience.

Carrie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 601
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #229 on: December 03, 2013, 02:06:59 PM »
Just checked our usage -- it's bad.  Average daily for last month (lowest in a year) was 22kwh/day, the highest in the summer was 78kwh/day.  In the deep humid south, we run our a/c almost non-stop.  In the winter we use gas heat.
We have 5 people, a 2300sf house & three computers running non-stop.  I'm going to see if I can get this down.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2922
  • Location: Canada
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #230 on: December 03, 2013, 04:32:07 PM »
http://www.goalzero.com/yeti1250/#whatitpowers

Does anyone have one of these? We have thought about getting one, we have a crazy dream of being off grid at some point, so it would come in really handy then, but we could use it as a supplement to our power now, I have no idea what the pay off time would be though, if I could hook it up safely to my heat pump, that is where the real savings would be I would think, or use it to run a nice electric space heater we have.

I haven't got this one specifically but I've got 6 250 watt-peak solar panels on my roof. In all of november they generated around 40KWh, the current estimate is that they would generate between 1000-1300KWh per year total.
This fact is useless to most though since I live in europe (Netherlands) but I can supply you with info if you want.

In regards to usage, my home uses approximatly 12KWh per day in an approximatly 3-story 1200sqft house. The biggest user (approx. 8KWh per day) would be the electric water heater. They are highly inefficient, considering that they keep water at a certain temperature even though it might not be used. Alternatively mine is only heating at night where it uses cheaper power (20ct in stead of 22ct per KWh) while I can manually flip the switch for a quick re-heat if required. Thus far it only happened 3-4 times (after 3 showers the 250 liter bath was cold halfway through).

I have a question though, in a 3 person household with a 120 liter boiler (about 30 galons I think) with a thermos set at 65 degrees celsius (140-ish F?) we've yet to run out of hot water. I'm feeling that a smaller heater (say 20 in stead of 30 galons) on a higher temperature would be more efficient than this one? Does anyone know the math on this?

Piece of advice for the Halogen and/or dimmer users among us: I noticed that my dimmable Halogen lamps were pulling 300W regardless of how far I dimmed it. The used bulb was only 150W though. Switching those 2 for 4 low-energy lamps saved me 4KWh PER DAY from oktober to march. I further dropped that by swapping the 7-12W lamps for 1.3W LED bulbs in the corridor and bathroom/toilet/closets because the are immediatly on and don't burn out as fast.

I disagree that the hot water tank is inefficient at maintaining temperature; they (or at least ours) are pretty good at not losing too much heat.

Heating cold, cold, cold water up to 'shower temperature' is another matter, though.

You might be able to turn the gauge down a bit - that (having a lower target temperature) is the thing that will really help. Yes, having a smaller tank will help - especially if it is more insulated - but probably far from being economically viable to do (ie, you'd save way less than it would cost!).

Solar hot water 'pre-heat' systems are good - you basically take cold water and heat it with the sun as much as possible before putting it into the hot water tank. On a hot day, it can get REALLY hot in those panels, but even on cloudy days it will raise the temp a bit - meaning the electric system doesn't have nearly as much work to do. They are much cheaper than solar electric panels, too... they can't work with a 'tankless' system but as you have a tank, it might be reasonably efficient to plumb a panel in...
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1780
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #231 on: December 03, 2013, 11:05:38 PM »
they can't work with a 'tankless' system but as you have a tank, it might be reasonably efficient to plumb a panel in...

yes they can!
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2922
  • Location: Canada
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #232 on: December 04, 2013, 09:31:10 AM »
they can't work with a 'tankless' system but as you have a tank, it might be reasonably efficient to plumb a panel in...

yes they can!

Well there you go. Not sure how the dynamics would work out for that in a cooler climate (ie, would the water stay in the panel long enough to absorb much heat.. where in a tank-system it can take its own sweet time, it can trickle heat), but still, good to know!
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #233 on: December 04, 2013, 10:18:35 AM »
they can't work with a 'tankless' system but as you have a tank, it might be reasonably efficient to plumb a panel in...

yes they can!

Well there you go. Not sure how the dynamics would work out for that in a cooler climate (ie, would the water stay in the panel long enough to absorb much heat.. where in a tank-system it can take its own sweet time, it can trickle heat), but still, good to know!

It sounds like you may be thinking of a panel-based pre-heater.   Think bigger.

You can have a few hundred gallons pre-heated... When they pass through your inline heater, it might only have to raise the temperature 10-20 degrees.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

jr1029

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #234 on: December 04, 2013, 02:42:04 PM »
Just checked my bills, I average 5-6 kwh/day, year round. (Hottest month of the summer was 6.5)
Good to know I don't need to spend time optimizing this!

(2 bed, ~ 1000 square foot apartment in old triple decker, gas heat/hot later, window ACs when it gets really hot in the summer only)

adam

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 421
  • Age: 38
  • Location: SC
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #235 on: December 10, 2013, 10:03:29 AM »
Month--------Avg Usage(kwh/d)--Total Usage-------Avg Temp---#d>90---#d>80
July ----------33.83kwh/day---------1016----------------83----------22--------29
August-------33.00------------------990-----------------82----------13--------30
September---32.52------------------1008----------------78-----------3--------30
October------25.17------------------755-----------------69-----------0--------17
November----21.00------------------588-----------------51-----------0---------3  -under 50* = 19
December----19.07------------------572-----------------56-----------0---------0 - under 50 = 21
January------23.68------------------805-----------------54-----------0---------1 - under 50 = 25
February-----19.38------------------562-----------------51-----------0---------0 - under 50 = 26, under 40 = 18
March--------22.79------------------638-----------------54-----------0---------1 - under 50 = 23, under 40 = 11
April---------18.55------------------612-----------------61-----------0---------7 - under 50 = 16,  under 40 = 5
May----------19.80------------------594-----------------71-----------0--------15 - under 50 = 2
June---------33.45------------------1037----------------78-----------3--------30
July----------31.81------------------986-----------------82-----------7--------31
August------40.28------------------1289----------------82-----------12-------30 - 32 billing days
September---29.97-------------------869----------------80----------12--------29 - 29 billing days
October------22.43------------------673-----------------71-----------0--------15 - under 50 = 0, 30 billing days
November----17.36------------------486-----------------60-----------0--------2  -  under 50 = 16

Last month was the lowest usage since we moved back into the house AND that was with my parents spending a week with us!!

PeachFuzzInVA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #236 on: December 12, 2013, 06:42:12 AM »
This thread reaffirms that we need to get our butt's in gear around my household. We have 5 people living here (2 adults + 3 kids) and average about 35 kwh/day. We're planning on building a new house on family owned land after my better half finishes nursing school, but she's still got a year to go plus however long the building process takes. Our current house is 30 years old (but paid for), so it's very energy inefficient. I did seal up some of the more major areas when we first moved in, which cut our usage by a lot, but there is still quite a ways to go. We keep the heat on 72 in the colder months because her and my daughter both are very cold natured. I've tried gradually turning it down, but they can always tell so I end up turning it back up to keep them happy. If we have 2-3 years left in this house, would it make sense to put the money into better insulating it or swapping out for a more efficient water heater or should I just keep pouring that money into my investment accounts?

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2392
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #237 on: December 12, 2013, 07:55:46 AM »
If we have 2-3 years left in this house, would it make sense to put the money into better insulating it or swapping out for a more efficient water heater or should I just keep pouring that money into my investment accounts?

I'm going to guess that switching your water heater is not cost effective but insultating it will probably pay for itself in about a year.

Do an energy audit as well.  Weather stripping is fairly cheap.  Replacing a window, much less so. 

adam

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 421
  • Age: 38
  • Location: SC
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #238 on: December 12, 2013, 08:13:20 AM »
I asked my parents for a Nest for Christmas as a combined gift for myself and my wife.  I'm excited to see how much it will help, especially in the summer.

Theadyn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #239 on: December 12, 2013, 10:16:10 AM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention. 

scfishy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #240 on: December 12, 2013, 10:20:22 AM »
It is too early to know for sure, we just moved out of an apartment and into our 2100 sq ft house, but our usage in November was an average of just under 12 kwh per day. I had missed swapping in LED bulbs in the one light fixture we use the most (no idea how I missed it, I guess I assumed that I got it in the first pass) until the end of the month. We also had 7 guests in the house for 4 days for Thanksgiving, and actually used the dryer a few times as well as many dishwasher loads.

So we're using the Nest, LED bulbs everywhere, and air drying clothes unless it is a load of bed sheets, which is about twice per month. I'm hoping we can get down to 10 kwh or so on average, but we'll see what happens in the summer with the air conditioning.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #241 on: December 12, 2013, 10:54:14 AM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

...now if you're on a smart meter... I got no guess.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #242 on: December 12, 2013, 11:20:22 AM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

yeah, I think I'm going to try reading my own meter for a couple months just to see.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #243 on: December 12, 2013, 04:31:38 PM »
This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

For sure.  When I moved in, they estimated me so high the first couple of months that when they finally started reading the meter I didn't have to pay them for the next 3 months since I'd overpaid so much!

kms

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Minion Money Hippie
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #244 on: December 13, 2013, 04:25:05 AM »
We've just received our invoice & summary for the past year (Nov 12 - Nov 13): 4,913 kWh.

Considering that we get sorta long winters around here (heating period can be anywhere between four and seven months), and that our heating and warm water are electric this is pretty good. We have friends with gas or oil heating who need more electricity than we do, and it's been going down ever since we'd moved in (we started around 6,000 kWh back in 2008).

Funny thing is that the previous tenant used twice as much and I have *NO* idea how she did that.
It's got that typical Thinkpad ruggedness. Drop it, and your floor may be in serious danger.

Theadyn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #245 on: December 13, 2013, 11:24:15 AM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

...now if you're on a smart meter... I got no guess.

You're right, it is a dumb meter.  Wonder if I can call and request that they actually come read the real meter for a while instead of just guess.   Thanks for the heads up. :)

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2922
  • Location: Canada
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #246 on: December 14, 2013, 11:21:07 AM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

...now if you're on a smart meter... I got no guess.

You're right, it is a dumb meter.  Wonder if I can call and request that they actually come read the real meter for a while instead of just guess.   Thanks for the heads up. :)

You may be able to either submit your own reading online, or call in with your current reading. They will either issue you a new bill, use the current reading to set the next bill, or get yelled at until they send you a new bill ;) They can't *not* send a new bill if they are miles away from the truth because they are charging you for something you haven't used.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #247 on: December 14, 2013, 12:12:10 PM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

...now if you're on a smart meter... I got no guess.

You're right, it is a dumb meter.  Wonder if I can call and request that they actually come read the real meter for a while instead of just guess.   Thanks for the heads up. :)

You may be able to either submit your own reading online, or call in with your current reading. They will either issue you a new bill, use the current reading to set the next bill, or get yelled at until they send you a new bill ;) They can't *not* send a new bill if they are miles away from the truth because they are charging you for something you haven't used.

It does generally work out in the end...  They adjust their guesses up/down at every real read.  And if you ever do actually close your account, they do a meter read and everyone settles up.  It's not a great system, but I don't think they're intentionally trying to rip you off.  They're just guessing with a quarterly "true up".
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2922
  • Location: Canada
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #248 on: December 14, 2013, 01:51:34 PM »
Bit the bullet in August, forgot to post about it.  Was really peeved getting my bill in August for July's usage, it was almost $200!!   Holy cow!!  So I called and asked them 'what's up?'.   Told them everything I was doing..  (all CFL's, hanging clothes to dry, handwashing dishes, A/C up between 78-80 degrees, had gas water heater, used natural lighting during the day, closed vents in unused rooms, ran fans, etc, etc,..)...   and I got the 'blah, blah, blah speech.

So September comes around for August's usage.  Mind you, August was just as hot here as it was in July.  Was doing the same things.   Guess what?   Bill was less than $60.   Hmm....     I guess it pays to call and let them know you are paying attention.

This may not apply to you...  but if you have the old (dumb) meter, some electric companies will "guess" your usage based on past patterns.  Every now and then they'll spot check and do an actual meter read.  The result can be a very high (or very low) bill that "trues it up."

...now if you're on a smart meter... I got no guess.

You're right, it is a dumb meter.  Wonder if I can call and request that they actually come read the real meter for a while instead of just guess.   Thanks for the heads up. :)

You may be able to either submit your own reading online, or call in with your current reading. They will either issue you a new bill, use the current reading to set the next bill, or get yelled at until they send you a new bill ;) They can't *not* send a new bill if they are miles away from the truth because they are charging you for something you haven't used.

It does generally work out in the end...  They adjust their guesses up/down at every real read.  And if you ever do actually close your account, they do a meter read and everyone settles up.  It's not a great system, but I don't think they're intentionally trying to rip you off.  They're just guessing with a quarterly "true up".

I would bet it's industry practise to guess on the high side. Our gas estimates are always high. I agree it'll work out once they do a reading, but I object to 'them' having my money when they have no right to it.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

annaraven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #249 on: December 19, 2013, 03:57:34 AM »
Wow. Just looked at our bill. UGH! Crazy!

We have computers but they're laptops and we take them off when they're charged.
3 adults, 1600 sq ft house. We do run an air filter when husband is around because he smokes. (No he won't quit, so don't bother saying it. I've tried.) Um, dishwasher (but not using heated dry) daily or so. Laundry daily or so. I need to get the line put up so I can hang out our clothes again. Son likes his room HOT and uses a room heater (one of those DeLonghi oil-things). We do have a couple of freezers - new, Energy Star. One is a chest freezer and the other is an upright. They store the side of beef, the whole hog, the lamb, etc. I keep them full to be as efficient as possible. I have a convection oven, which gets used about every other day or so. All CFLs or LEDs where we can - a few halogens. Water is a tankless water heater. Heating is a gas furnace.

I think (hope?) our big expense is the pool pump. We have the pool covered, but I think the pump is running too much. (I have no idea when we looked at buying this place why I thought a pool was a good idea.) I'll check it tomorrow to make sure it isn't running too long (it *is* winter and shouldn't need so many hours). Ugh.

Thanks for this thread. I hope we can get down to a more reasonable level.