Author Topic: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100  (Read 18671 times)

Bardo

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2016, 03:33:19 PM »
Now that your wife is gone for a little while, why don't you try to spend a night without the AC?  It might not be as bad as you expect.

I keep my thermostat at 59 in the winter and in the 80's in the summer (when I have the AC on, that is).  My electric bill here in South Carolinian apartment is consistently $20-$25.  Maybe even just turning up the temperature a degree or two can give you noticeable results.

Also put things on a power strip so you can turn them off when you're not home/awake.  For example, I turn off my modem and router every night when I sleep or when I'm not home using them.

Good advice.  My television, DVD and roku are on a power strip that I turn off on weekdays, but I need to do so with the router as well.

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2016, 05:15:11 PM »
Well, my electricity bills have been shockers since moving to the US.... especially since buying our mid-eighties house...
Last January and February our bills were $475 and $375 respectively.  I turned down the thermostat to 68F and used the timed thermostat to heat only in the mornings and evening when kiddoes were home, I used a vornado space heater if I needed heat during the day.  I re-did the weather stripping around exterior doors and put a covering over the whole house extractor fan in the hallway ceiling.  I applied new weather stripping to the bottom of the garage doors.  Success!  January bill was $213 (as opposed to $475) and I really thought that February bill was going to be under $100 but it looks like it's going to be $120ish even so, I am happy with that!  I think the thing that made the biggest difference was the weatherstripping on the exterior doors, there is no longer any draught and overnight temp drops are about 3-4 degrees now as opposed to 15-20 before I did it.  I wouldn't have believed that properly done weather stripping would make such a difference.  The next things I am going to do are insert a chimney pillow into the fireplace,  add insulation to the garage doors and add aluminum foil to the rafters - checking that all the vents are open first.
I have a couple of months now in Austin before it heats up to get these done.  Oh yes and a new variable speed pump for the pool.  Biggest summer bill was $370 so I really need to get that one down.

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2016, 05:17:50 PM »
Well, my electricity bills have been shockers since moving to the US.... especially since buying our mid-eighties house...
Last January and February our bills were $475 and $375 respectively.  I turned down the thermostat to 68F and used the timed thermostat to heat only in the mornings and evening when kiddoes were home, I used a vornado space heater if I needed heat during the day.  I re-did the weather stripping around exterior doors and put a covering over the whole house extractor fan in the hallway ceiling.  I applied new weather stripping to the bottom of the garage doors.  Success!  January bill was $213 (as opposed to $475) and I really thought that February bill was going to be under $100 but it looks like it's going to be $120ish even so, I am happy with that!  I think the thing that made the biggest difference was the weatherstripping on the exterior doors, there is no longer any draught and overnight temp drops are about 3-4 degrees now as opposed to 15-20 before I did it.  I wouldn't have believed that properly done weather stripping would make such a difference.  The next things I am going to do are insert a chimney pillow into the fireplace,  add insulation to the garage doors and add aluminum foil to the rafters - checking that all the vents are open first.
I have a couple of months now in Austin before it heats up to get these done.  Oh yes and a new variable speed pump for the pool.  Biggest summer bill was $370 so I really need to get that one down.

Oh yes forgot to add for the OP - I stopped using my clothes dryer completely!!  As a European we really don't use the dryers much anyway and I still had the clothes stand to put everything on.  The Leifheit ones are really good with lots of space and they are small and inconspicuous.  My Italian neighbour came round last night and saw it - and laughingly said, oh yes I use mine and so do all the other (french) women at work.It's chic! 

dontwannaworkforever

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2016, 10:56:34 AM »
Well, my electricity bills have been shockers since moving to the US.... especially since buying our mid-eighties house...
Last January and February our bills were $475 and $375 respectively.  I turned down the thermostat to 68F and used the timed thermostat to heat only in the mornings and evening when kiddoes were home, I used a vornado space heater if I needed heat during the day.  I re-did the weather stripping around exterior doors and put a covering over the whole house extractor fan in the hallway ceiling.  I applied new weather stripping to the bottom of the garage doors.  Success!  January bill was $213 (as opposed to $475) and I really thought that February bill was going to be under $100 but it looks like it's going to be $120ish even so, I am happy with that!  I think the thing that made the biggest difference was the weatherstripping on the exterior doors, there is no longer any draught and overnight temp drops are about 3-4 degrees now as opposed to 15-20 before I did it.  I wouldn't have believed that properly done weather stripping would make such a difference.  The next things I am going to do are insert a chimney pillow into the fireplace,  add insulation to the garage doors and add aluminum foil to the rafters - checking that all the vents are open first.
I have a couple of months now in Austin before it heats up to get these done.  Oh yes and a new variable speed pump for the pool.  Biggest summer bill was $370 so I really need to get that one down.

Oh yes forgot to add for the OP - I stopped using my clothes dryer completely!!  As a European we really don't use the dryers much anyway and I still had the clothes stand to put everything on.  The Leifheit ones are really good with lots of space and they are small and inconspicuous.  My Italian neighbour came round last night and saw it - and laughingly said, oh yes I use mine and so do all the other (french) women at work.It's chic!

Nice! I really admire how other people do things in other cultures sometimes. My wife is from the Philippines and they still things very "old school" by our standards here in the U.S....

Someone mentioned in this thread to try to go to bed without A/C. I did that last night and wasn't too bad at all.

Having fun with my challenge earlier in this thread; I have gotten used to hanging up clothes outside already (out of necessary my breaker for the dryer is off) but its funny when I walk by my oven to check the time and I'm like "oh" . I was so used to that. I have been making all my meals on my grill outside or in the slow cooker. I kinda want one of those portable stove/burners now.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2016, 09:05:01 AM »
First post on the forums...ever.

Where I live we have SMART electric meters which have proved invaluable in figuring out exactly which our our behaviors consume the most electricity and how to dial that down. SMART meters transmit in near real time to the internet so we can turn things on and off to figure out where we can get savings and exactly how much savings per unit of "luxury."

Obviously, our central air conditioner for a 2000 ft2 2 story home with vaulted ceilings was the prime killer. Suffering through last summer w/o it for >90% of the heat waves dropped our bill tremendously.

Interestingly, our refrigerator draws almost no electricity. It is a new Energy Star compliant device bought by our landlord. Other than A/C, I figured out that our incandescent light bulbs were a major source of electricity consumption. I despise the light spectrum of CFLs, but even if new CFLs have more natural spectra, the upfront cost would never pay off for us since we are in a rental. The solution was just to dramatically reduce light use. For a family of 4, with 2 trainable kids, this was easy and our electric bill sunk like a rock when we stopped using them for the most part.

We now use about 9 kwh per day (total household electric consumption), which equates to about 270 kwh per month totalling about $50 per month, but with a few extra taxes it may come up to ~$55.

Our heating is gas, so the for the few cold winter nights we have here in sunny beach land, when we heat the home, it doesnt impact our bill.

Figured out that extended roasting/braising in the electric oven does add up, so we stopped that completely (except for Thanksgiving turkey). We only use our propane BBQ.

These SMART meters have really helped us drop our electric bill.

gizmonte

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2016, 09:23:52 AM »
Interestingly, our refrigerator draws almost no electricity. It is a new Energy Star compliant device bought by our landlord.

I too was suprised by mine. I measured mine with a Kill a watt and it only averages 44W.

I despise the light spectrum of CFLs, but even if new CFLs have more natural spectra, the upfront cost would never pay off for us since we are in a rental.

This is only true if your next residence (or residences) use)s( CFLs or LEDs. Otherwise you just buy CFLs or LEDs (LEDs have a much wider variety of spectra that you can choose from) and put them in. Save the current incandescents in a box somewhere, and then put them bck when you move out.

These SMART meters have really helped us drop our electric bill.

Yea my power company has these, and it's pretty cool. I can compete against myself on a much shorter time scale (reduce energy consumption this week or this day as opposed to this month).

dontwannaworkforever

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2016, 04:31:30 AM »
Hit the goal today fellas: $73.24

I had a total energy charge of 375.95 kwh. My bill was comprised of $24.94 for this and $32.30 for the "fuel recovery charge" mentioned in this thread before.

human

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2016, 06:34:29 AM »
Awesome! I started looking at our daily energy consumption and realized that the big draws were hot water in the morning for showers, every other day for the dishwasher, the dryer on weekends and fridge spiking during the day. Iwas able to reduce the bill by quite a bit just using these energy hogs during off peak hours and reducing dryer use to one load a week. Ordered a bricor water miser pc need to install that to reduce hot water use in the morning. Bill in december was 99$, january was 76$ but we were gone for two weeks. I realized that the dryer exhaust fan was on all the time turning it off dropped about half a kwh.

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2016, 03:16:51 PM »
OOOHHH! So close!  I really kept an eye on the electricity consumption this last month and even with having to start using the pool pump my consumption was my lowest ever in the USA.  The bill came to $107.  So close.  Maybe I'll manage to get it under $100 for April?  Traditionally this is a low month because we don't need heating or a/c. 

I keep noticing how much energy we use just for cooking dinner - I use our smaller oven and the cooktop and it always shows a spike on the energy consumption.  I'm beginning to think of buying a mini oven to use instead of the regular oven.

We still have overnight usage that I'd like to get down.  I switch off everything I can but we're still using .5kwH each hour during the night from 11pm until 7am.  There is a buzzing noise coming from the cooktop I think so perhaps that needs to be looked at?

human

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #59 on: April 03, 2016, 03:24:50 PM »
Did you really mean half a kwh or .05? Half a kwh is a lot, my guess is a fan is going somewhere (central ac?) Or do you have a pc folding at home farm?

When away during they day 8-5 we are using .09 per hour, could probably reduce that by turning off breakers or something.

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2016, 05:19:12 PM »
I really mean half a kwH per hour.   There's an occasional spike between 3 and 4 am. 
As far as I know during the night we have:
refrigerator/freezer
water heater (electric)
the oven display
a/c and heat is switched to off so no fan on.
coffee machine comes on at 6.45am

ringer707

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2016, 07:47:28 AM »
Just got this month's electric bill- $77.01!! Very excited! We just moved into our house in November and this is our lowest bill to date. We were at $100.50 last month. Going to try to see if we can top it again this month. I had maybe 5 days of running the heat this last statement, and my husband turned the A/C on when we went to bed at night a couple times, though it certainly doesn't run all night since it's still pretty cool at night here. We just got our clothesline up this weekend too, so I've already started line drying clothes to further cut down on dryer use. Trying to remember to unplug items as often as possible as well.

How did everyone else do this past month?

johnny847

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2016, 07:56:19 AM »
How did everyone else do this past month?

These past couple months I've used 165, 182, and 167 kWh, which cost to $31.12, $32.96, and $31.33, respectively.

I'm in a 600 sq ft basement apartment in Atlanta. I use gas for cooking and heating, and my water is heated by the apartment complex.

This month so far I have used 113 kWh. This month's cycle is 4/02 - 5/02.

spirotot

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2016, 06:52:42 AM »
I really mean half a kwH per hour.   There's an occasional spike between 3 and 4 am. 
As far as I know during the night we have:
refrigerator/freezer
water heater (electric)
the oven display
a/c and heat is switched to off so no fan on.
coffee machine comes on at 6.45am

I'm in a similar boat, but no electric water heater, and no coffee machine auto-starting. I just bought/installed the Efergy home electric meter to help me troubleshoot...  We have like a 400W draw basically all the time (knew this from our electric supplier's online electric usage graph) -- occasionally drops down to ~340W, but not very often (learning this with the Efergy)! Also am pretty confident (thanks to the Efergy) that our fridge/freezer in the kitchen uses ~300W when running. Whoah! More than I expected. It came with the house, but I don't think it's super old...? Hm. :/

So far, I've figured out that our "computer corner" (WiFi router, two Intel NUCs, a Drobo, an additional 4-bay hard drive enclosure, and a Raspberry Pi or two) pulls 112W or so basically all the time. I'm OK with that -- those machines are all running services that we use regularly, and they were all chosen to be as cost efficient as possible.

So that leaves 225W of other "background" stuff to find. Pretty sure that ~20W of that is our printer, but I need to confirm with a Kill-A-Watt. 3W is our electrified furnace air filter. ~5W is our Roomba (5W all the time?? WTF is that thing doing? It says it's charged!).

So ~195-200W left...

At night we have an LED yard light that comes on. *Should* be drawing ~15W, but will confirm with the KaW.

~185W left....

Ahh, we have some other fluorescent flood lights outside that come on at night, too. Maybe another ~50-80W there? Will try to KaW that tonight along with the LED yard light.

And there's one breaker in our electric panel that, if shut off, immediately drops the draw by 70W. I have no idea what that is (conveniently labeled by the previous owner as "outlets outside room", with no indication of where/what "outside" or "room" is supposed to mean) -- need to poke around the house and figure out what that breaker controls.

Even if that 70W mystery breaker can be shut off/reduced to 0W, we're still left with ~20-50W of draw unaccounted for. Hm. Maybe I'll find out that those fluorescent flood lights are using way more electricity than I think they are... Hm... 10-15W might  be our powerline Ethernet adapters... Looking forward to doing some more sleuthing! :)

Kapiira

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2016, 12:32:10 PM »
I've been chipping away at my electricity bill for the last few years.  I've noticed big improvements with switching the recessed lights to LED and turning off my ice maker in the freezer when we're not using it.  I found this website to be very useful:
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/

I also realized that there are problems with my ductwork and I'm losing heat that way.  In the winter, my largest electricity use is running the gas furnace.  I'm getting the ductwork fixed and I'm curious to see if it makes a big difference with my electricity bill next winter.

CmFtns

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2016, 01:26:56 PM »
Now that you got your usage under 100 now you have to keep it under 100... forever =)
Here's some inspiration... It is possible even in hot summer weather (Florida)

Old House (1700sqft)
2015
         KWH   Bill
Mar: 69       $11.62
Apr: 425     $53.88
May: 522    $62.42
Jun: 519      $62.15
Jul: 682       $78.86
Aug: 595     $69.95
Sep: 559     $65.96
Oct: 591     $69.21
Nov: 503     $60.22
Dec: 400     $49.74
2016
Jan: 335      $41.88
Feb: 276      $36.11


New House (2000sqft):
2016
Mar: 241     $30.19
Apr: 447     $48.20
May: 384    $42.60
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 09:35:19 AM by CmFtns »

beardsly

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2016, 03:21:59 PM »
I live in the Chicago burbs.  We use ~370KWh per month in spring/fall.  About 15% higher in the winter, the summer really depends on how hot/humid it is.

I've recently lowered out bill from ~$70 per month to <$55 per month.  The main culprit was the fridge, it worked fine but was very old, probably from the 70's.  I purchased a basic 18 cu ft model manufactured in 2009 on Craigslist for $80.  We have a built in electric oven and an electric dryer.  It would take too long to recoup the cost of converting to gas so I'm not going to swap those.

I have a Killawatt meter and find it very useful for finding phantom loads especially electronics.  An easy way to calculate the monthly KWh's for a device that is "always on" is to multiply the wattage by 0.72.  So a 60Watt light bulb that is always on consumes 60 * 0.72 = 43.2KWh per month.  Then multiply that by your cost per KWh (add cost of electricity and delivery).  My KWh cost is ~0.12, so the cost to have 60Watt light bulb on all month is 43.2 *0.12 = $5.18 per month.  Now mot many folks will leave a light on all the time but consider the power usage of things light cable boxes, landscape lighting, computers etc and you might be surprised how much money you are needlessly wasting on electricity.

ringer707

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2016, 10:08:18 AM »
Hello? Anyone out there?

I got down to $62.10 this month :) Had to run the dryer quite a bit for laundry because we actually got SO MUCH rain that I couldn't use the new clothesline and it was too humid to get clothes to dry on the covered porch. Not sure I can reach that again this month. For some reason my husband insist on turning on the AC when it's 81 degrees in the house before we go to bed at night.

sol

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #68 on: May 26, 2016, 11:58:00 PM »
Hello? Anyone out there?

Yes, but I'm a bad person to compare with.

My power bill for the past two month billing period was negative $45.81, as in they paid me that much money for the surplus power that my solar panels generated above and beyond what our household used.  (They also pay me about $400/mo in production incentives for the solar panels, but that's just part of the cost recovery for having the panels installed in the first place so I don't really count that as profit.)

And that's AFTER the $21/month we spend to charge our electric car to drive 900 miles per month, displacing about $150/month in foregone gasoline costs for our old SUV.  In our case, we'd actually much rather use more power to displace gasoline consumption, because there is no more efficient use of our (cheap) electricity than replacing gasoline used for transportation.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #69 on: May 27, 2016, 04:53:15 AM »
My power bill for the past two month billing period was negative $45.81, as in they paid me that much money for the surplus power that my solar panels generated above and beyond what our household used.
Is the production surplus payment considered taxable income? If so, where does it go on your 1040?

sol

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2016, 08:27:23 AM »
Is the production surplus payment considered taxable income? If so, where does it go on your 1040?

No, it is not considered taxable income.  It's a renewable energy incentive program for which my utility company claims a federal tax credit and then routes to me, in exchange for helping them fulfill their renewable production target without any capital outlay of their own.

Rhoon

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2016, 08:14:24 PM »
Below is a listing of my electric bill for the last 15 months. The second column is the number of kWh's used in that month. To figure out price very quickly, the first 1000 kWh is ~$100, anything above that is $0.13/kWh.

This house (in Florida) was built in 1998 time frame and I swear, had zero upgrades in that time frame. Water heater and pool pump were original, AC was circa 2008. Single pane windows.

In the last 3 months, I have replaced the water heater with an on-demand one ($1500); replaced the pool pump with a variable speed version ($1000) and added Solar Panels ($24K). Even after all of this I couldn't get this bill down. I finally had the AC guys come back out and rip the system apart (it had been starting and stopping randomly, even when I turned it off; would have to pop the breaker to get it fully off); cost $410 for the fix.

Turns out, someone had by-passed all the wiring on the internal heater/defrosting coils and those were running 24/7 unless I popped the breaker, which was the big cause of my power consumption. Figure 24A @ 240V, per hour.

For my 16 days in May I had the meter going, I used 1075 wKh (net; received 89 back from my solar panels which went live on May 12th). I didn't get the AC heater fixed until around May 19th, so I'm anxious to see how the power generation will net out next month. Since I had the heater fixed, my generation back onto the grid has shot up based on what I've read on my new meter. As far as I've been able to tell, I'm consuming around 20 kWh a day now and putting somewhere between 45 and 70 kWh back on the grid; netting somewhere between 25 kWh or more as credits. Compare this to generating between 45 and 70 kWh and then pulling another 50 off the grid because of that stupid AC heater.

Another bonus to the fix is I've been able to raise the thermostat from 75 to 79 in the house as the heater is no longer burning 24/7 and fighting with the AC unit.


4/4/16   1,249   4/4/16   32
3/3/16   1,352   3/3/16   30
2/2/16   1,293   2/2/16   29
1/4/16   1,733   1/4/16   32
12/3/15   1,661   12/3/15   30
11/3/15   1,752   11/3/15   32
10/2/15   2,335   10/2/15   30
9/2/15   2,793   9/2/15   30
8/3/15   2,610   8/3/15   32
7/2/15   2,247   7/2/15   29
6/3/15   2,458   6/3/15   30
5/4/15   2,008   5/4/15   32
4/2/15   1,403   4/2/15   29
3/4/15   1,344   3/4/15   30
2/2/15   1,457   2/2/15   31
1/2/15   1,537   1/2/15   28


We still have the single pane windows to deal with; but we'll get there; most likely next year.

Kroaler

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #72 on: June 02, 2016, 02:28:43 PM »
Hello? Anyone out there?

Yes, but I'm a bad person to compare with.

My power bill for the past two month billing period was negative $45.81, as in they paid me that much money for the surplus power that my solar panels generated above and beyond what our household used.  (They also pay me about $400/mo in production incentives for the solar panels, but that's just part of the cost recovery for having the panels installed in the first place so I don't really count that as profit.)

And that's AFTER the $21/month we spend to charge our electric car to drive 900 miles per month, displacing about $150/month in foregone gasoline costs for our old SUV.  In our case, we'd actually much rather use more power to displace gasoline consumption, because there is no more efficient use of our (cheap) electricity than replacing gasoline used for transportation.

I want to grow up and be a bad ass like you some day.

wintersun

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2016, 05:38:41 PM »
Wow, Your bill really dropped!!!!  What did your wife say?

We also hang our clothes out to dry which has saved us a lot of money.  I am kind of addicted to it now.  At one point I used a Kill a Watt and I think it is time to use one again.  In the last two years we have added a new computer, a new printer and a new router and modem and  now the electrical company has raised its rates. (erghhhhh!)

My next foray into lowering our bill will include no oven use in summer, always putting three things in the oven when it is on, putting the router and modem on a switch to turn off at night, skimming the pool daily, more hand washing of dishes instead of dishwasher use and lowering the water heater temperature. 

I have read Michael Bluejay's electricity saving website and the only issue I have with it is that putting a water heater on a timer really does save some money which I think he says is not true.

Our oven is quite old and I cannot figure out how much it uses.  It is a 1995 wall oven. How can I future out how much electricity it uses?  I am debating whether to buy a small toaster oven in addition to save costs. 

Heckler

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2016, 10:57:37 PM »
Under a hundred?  Check.

Id like to get it under $75 constantly.   3 story townhouse, 2100 sqft.
 
Ive slowly been changing CFLs to LED, but just turning them off saves more.

Oh, this is $CAD, so like $50 in greenbacks.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 11:00:40 PM by Heckler »

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #75 on: September 20, 2016, 07:38:33 AM »
Wow, Your bill really dropped!!!!  What did your wife say?

We also hang our clothes out to dry which has saved us a lot of money.  I am kind of addicted to it now.  At one point I used a Kill a Watt and I think it is time to use one again.  In the last two years we have added a new computer, a new printer and a new router and modem and  now the electrical company has raised its rates. (erghhhhh!)

My next foray into lowering our bill will include no oven use in summer, always putting three things in the oven when it is on, putting the router and modem on a switch to turn off at night, skimming the pool daily, more hand washing of dishes instead of dishwasher use and lowering the water heater temperature. 

I have read Michael Bluejay's electricity saving website and the only issue I have with it is that putting a water heater on a timer really does save some money which I think he says is not true.

Our oven is quite old and I cannot figure out how much it uses.  It is a 1995 wall oven. How can I future out how much electricity it uses?  I am debating whether to buy a small toaster oven in addition to save costs.

My electricity bills have gone down by almost 50% since January!  My house is 1984 with some  decent upgrades already done by the previous owners - good quality windows, extra insulation in the attic. In May I replaced the upstairs a/c unit with a new indoor handler and a heat pump outside ($5k).  I added weather stripping to all the outside doors and during our texas summer with the kids home all day I kept the temperature setting at 78F during the day and 76F at night.  I also read up about pool maintenance and added bleach myself daily - this meant that my single speed pool pump only needed to run 4 hours a day to keep it clear. My largest summer bill has been $185 ($370 last year....)

Next items to do (still..... I had put this in my previous post!)
upgrade garage doors insulation
balloon in the fireplace
add/redistribute attic insulation
take out the whole house attic fan (only useful in TX for about a week a year and a complete pita to use)-  I've sealed around the edges of this fan but it's still a big hole in the insulation cover.
I've looked into replacing the pool pump for a variable speed one but since I use my current one for only 4 hours a day, the savings there are not big enough to justify the $700 for a replacement right now. 

A toaster oven!  yes.  I had one in the south of France and could place it outside to use in the hot summer months, helping to keep my non-air conditioned house cool.  They use at most 1800 watts whereas my kitchen oven uses 4100 for the "small" one and 5000 watts for the larger one.  So, double saving for me and Costco/Target have them on sale for about $40 right now. I really need to stop prevaricating about the size I need....
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 07:42:42 AM by warmastoast »

piethief

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2016, 09:48:48 PM »
I ordered a Sense which should be arriving in a couple weeks.  :)  I already had a less-cool gadget for tracking electrical usage.  In the summer our bill is about $200 (beats the $500-$700 it was when we lived in TX) but in the winter it's < $100.  Average of $150 / month is about the lowest of any place we've ever lived, but I think we'll be able to fine tune it and get it down even lower once we know where the juice is going.

warmastoast

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2016, 11:40:30 PM »
oooh that sense app looks very nice indeed!  Would love your feedback when you get it.

It attaches to your main breaker board?   I have 2 of those - one for inside stuff and one for outside, so I suppose I will need 2 sense thingies?


OldFashionedGirlinOhio

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #78 on: September 28, 2016, 10:10:16 PM »
We have an energy hog in the summer months-- the dehumidifier in the basement.  It's kind of like running your refrigerator with the door open.   BUT we are so far unwilling to let the basement get damp and musty, so we pay the electricity cost.   Has anyone got ideas for how to avoid damp musty basement without a dehumidifier?   I'd love to hear, thanks.

wintersun

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2016, 06:18:56 PM »
@warmastoast,

Did you get a toaster oven?  I am holding off for pre-Christmas sales. 

What I have done is to investigate replacing our track lights with LED ones which should drop our bill quite a lot.  I tried a week with almost nothing plugged in and that helped a lot but my husband is not on board for that.

Off to check out the Sense app.

Rhoon

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #80 on: October 26, 2016, 04:51:06 PM »
4/4/16   1,249   4/4/16   32
3/3/16   1,352   3/3/16   30
2/2/16   1,293   2/2/16   29
1/4/16   1,733   1/4/16   32
12/3/15   1,661   12/3/15   30
11/3/15   1,752   11/3/15   32
10/2/15   2,335   10/2/15   30
9/2/15   2,793   9/2/15   30
8/3/15   2,610   8/3/15   32
7/2/15   2,247   7/2/15   29
6/3/15   2,458   6/3/15   30
5/4/15   2,008   5/4/15   32
4/2/15   1,403   4/2/15   29
3/4/15   1,344   3/4/15   30
2/2/15   1,457   2/2/15   31
1/2/15   1,537   1/2/15   28


So from my $200+ Electricity bills every month for the past few years, this has been what my bill looks like with my solar panels up and running; which will only get lower with the AC off here in Florida. Looking forward to banking some credits!

      10/24/2016   29   $8.76
   9/23/2016   30   $16.50
   8/24/2016   32   $40.14
   7/22/2016   30   $14.76
   6/23/2016   32   $19.71

aerofreaky`

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Re: Challenge: Get Your Electricity Bill Under $100
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2016, 08:10:59 AM »
I average around $25 to $30 a month for a 2 B/R apartment in Manhattan. This is only possible because of "net metering."  Basically, my building only pays one bill to Con Ed for delivery. So, the basic minimum charge is shared by all of the units making it negligible. After that, I'm charged for actual usage on a small meter in my unit that the management company reads and reports though a metering company. This company does charge a dollar or two a unit per month, but that's much better than paying a regular "Customer Charge."

My consumption is around 125 Kwh/ month. I've been able to keep it at this level though efficiency. I have a Kill A Watt and use it for monitoring. I have mostly LED light fixtures, recently replacing several year old "compact florescent efficient" can fixtures, and converting the vanity lights to LED from florescent tubes with simple rewiring.

Heat and AC is though a heat pump style HVAC unit, but LEED GOLD building standards, Low E windows, insulation, sealed living space, and blankets/fans allow for minimal usage.

A big part of conservation is avoiding the desire to run the AC in the summer to ridiculously cold temperatures. I always wonder why people want to sit in a 60 degree room in the summer and will complain if the same room is 70 in the winter.