Author Topic: Cut the utility bills!  (Read 4274 times)

Viv A. Stache

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Cut the utility bills!
« on: March 10, 2013, 07:11:20 PM »
Since it's warming up, I thought this would be the perfect time to cut our electricity usage. The computer rarely gets shut down at night and the space heaters have been going all winter. I was a bit of a complainypants about this, and I would keep the house at 60 then turn the space heaters on in the room I was in. Amazon has awesome multipack deals on outlet timers with built in data trackers. I'm going to find the biggest culprits and set them to go on only when we're home and awake. I'm also going to look into lowering the water heater. Any takers?

marty998

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 08:47:00 PM »
Shut the PC down and turn it off at the powerpoint.

I get my next electricity bill at the end of this month. No matter howmuch I cut my usage it keeps going up because of our stupid pricing system. The power companies have a right to earn a regulated return, so when everyone uses less power they're allowed to increase their prices to cover the difference.

Totally bonkers.

icefr

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 09:07:41 PM »
I've been working on lowering my electricity bill. I thought I was doing pretty well but then it started being light out more and warmer out so I don't think the improvements going forward until next winter will be much my doing. I've turned the programmable thermostats down to 67 because I noticed they had to work super hard to get the place up to 70 F.

unplugged

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 09:24:05 AM »
We have a water heater time and it really helps! There was a frugal lady on tv that puts appliances like freezers on a timer. 12 on and 12 off!? I read that Xboxes are horrible power hogs. I'm going to look into the outlet timers you mentioned.

strider3700

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 11:01:49 AM »
rather then just a timer  you can get something like a smart powerbar.  My PS3 is in an auxillary plug on the power bar that only gets power if the TV which is in the control socket is turned on.  They're also useful for computers,  all accessories, monitor, printer, router,... can be powered off at the plug if the main tower is off. 

Herbert Derp

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 01:37:14 AM »
Today I installed a larger heat pad on my pet snake's bin so it will stay warmer inside without me having to turn up the heat in my apartment. This should help reduce my electricity bill.

Next month I am switching my phone from T-Mobile Monthly4G to PlatinumTel pay-as-you-go. I looked at how much data I am currently using, and with PlatinumTel it should only cost $20/month as opposed to the $30/month I am paying to T-Mobile. If I ration my data by keeping my phone in airplane mode all the time unless need to check something, I think I can save even more.

icefr

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 07:34:28 AM »
If I ration my data by keeping my phone in airplane mode all the time unless need to check something, I think I can save even more.

You don't need to keep your phone in airplane mode to ration your data. I'm not sure what kind of phone you have, but you should be able to turn off Mobile Data. On my Android phone, it is under System Settings > Data usage > Mobile data OFF/ON. I have that turned off and then use Wi-fi everywhere.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 12:42:18 PM »
I still want to use mobile data--but only when I need it. I find that turning airplane mode on/off is easier than diving into the settings. My phone allows me to turn on wifi when airplane mode is on so the effect is the same as what you describe.

icefr

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 01:39:40 PM »
I still want to use mobile data--but only when I need it. I find that turning airplane mode on/off is easier than diving into the settings. My phone allows me to turn on wifi when airplane mode is on so the effect is the same as what you describe.

I put a bookmark to that settings screen on my home screen, so that's pretty much just as easy as airplane mode now. Airplane mode also cuts off texts/voice calls, which is why I don't use it very much.

Daley

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 01:45:31 PM »
I still want to use mobile data--but only when I need it. I find that turning airplane mode on/off is easier than diving into the settings. My phone allows me to turn on wifi when airplane mode is on so the effect is the same as what you describe.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect you're using Android. There's a plethora of widgets on the market for specifically just toggling data on and off, whereas airplane mode disables everything, voice and SMS as well... of course, if you don't mind losing that call functionality as well, I'm lead to ask why you're bothering with the expense of a cellphone at all, let alone a smartphone?

Herbert Derp

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Re: Cut the utility bills!
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 03:10:50 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect you're using Android. There's a plethora of widgets on the market for specifically just toggling data on and off, whereas airplane mode disables everything, voice and SMS as well... of course, if you don't mind losing that call functionality as well, I'm lead to ask why you're bothering with the expense of a cellphone at all, let alone a smartphone?

I don't plan to use text or voice. The only time I ever make a voice call is when I check my voicemail, and there's never anything but spam in there anyway. I do make frequent calls on the phone but it is all over wifi. The only time I use text messages is when I text my dad or one of my friends who doesn't use Facebook very often. All of my friends use Facebook, Google, or WhatsApp so there is no need for me to have text messages. When I get my new number, I will request a block on voice and text messages from the provider and give my Google number to anyone who needs it.

I love my smartphone. It gives me directions, it makes unlimited free wifi calls, and it allows me to check my email, Facebook, etc. whenever I want. It contains a ton of tools like a clock, calculator, and calendar. It is also nice to relax on the couch and browse the web rather than sitting at my computer. So I think it's fair to say that I get plenty of use out of it.