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Energy!

Posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Dave!I am a total miser when it comes to electricity usage... in that I try to use as little of it as possible. When I moved into my home I replaced every single light with LED bulbs. I replaced all appliances with the highest Energy Star rated devices I could find. I replaced the insulation on my doors. I joined a maintenance plan for my HVAC (Heating/Cooling) to make sure it's running at peak efficiency. I bought a whole-home humidifier to put moisture in the air during our dry winters to help hold more heat in the room. I purchased a smart thermostat to automatically turn the heat down when I'm not at home. Basically, anything I could think of to reduce my electricity bill... I did it.

Most people are surprised to learn that I went to such effort and expense given that electricity is so cheap where I live. But money saved is money saved no matter how much money it entails, and being energy-responsible is a good thing regardless.

Thanks to my energy sensor, I know exactly where my money is going month-to-month. In the Summer my electricity bill is around $17-$20 because the device with the highest energy consumption (air conditioning) is rarely used. My home is fairly well insulated against heat and stays cool with just the ceiling fans running.

In the winter, however, it's a different matter entirely.

The highest energy consumption in my home by far is the heating. Last year it raised my bill to $32 in early winter and $44 during the coldest months. But in order to get those amounts, I had to set my thermostat to 67 degrees. Which isn't bad with a sweater and good socks on. I mean, yeah, it's not entirely comfortable, but you get used to it.

But when I have houseguests staying for one or two nights at a time, they aren't given much time to "get used to it," so I've had to change my strategy. Sunday through Thursday, the thermostat sets the temperature to 70 degrees. Friday and Saturday (the days when guests are usually here) it sets to 72 degrees. Now admittedly, that's not a huge difference. A shift of 3 degrees and 5 degrees is hardly anything, right?

And yet...

My bill increased from $32 this time last year to $40.

$8 doesn't seem like a lot (though if these vet bills keep piling up, it'll seem like a lot to me!) but you have to keep in mind that a small temperature change resulted in a bill 125% higher than it used to be. If your winter electricity bill is $350 (typical for the coast)... it skyrockets to $438! Insanity!

If this pattern holds, my bills in January and February will go from $44 to $55. Again, not a huge leap when you have relatively cheap electricity... but it's tough to see that extra $11 on your electricity bill when you've spent hundreds to keep it low.

I'd buy sweaters and good socks for all my guests, but something tells me that would cost more than $11.

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Comments

  1. kapgar says:

    Even with the increase, that is one seriously low utility bill.

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