I never realized how competitive I was until I started playing Facebook games. Competition on there is a waste of time, but Chris and I have a competition with our electric company every month. This kind of competition saves us money and energy for the country.
As with most of the country our electric company has gone digital. All of the meters are digital and can give us an idea of when we used electric during the day, the week, and the month. The online page also gives us a projected bill for the month.
Last month our projected bill was $140. We hadn’t planned on using quite that much electricity in the first few days. The temperature seemed hotter than normal. We were both unhappy with that projection. It was more than what we had used the previous year for the same period. I was determined determined to make it lower. I was determined to get it under $120 for the month.
- The very first step was to make sure the water heater was turned off when not in use. We turned it off at the fuse in the fuse box. I turned the fuse back on about 20 minutes before use. Then turned it off before I went to work or was done using the water heater.
- We use two window air conditioners so that the central air unit doesn’t work so hard. This has saved us money as the window units cost far less to run.
- We keep the central air at 82 and the window air conditioners at 80 during the day if I am working. The central air goes down to 78 and the window air conditioners at 76 during the day when I am home. Since we are am empty nest family we are able to turn off the window unit in the kitchen, turn the central air to 83, and the unit in our bedroom down to 76 at night.
- I made as much as I could in the toaster oven rather than the regular oven.
- If I needed to use the dryer, I used it at night when everything is turned off.
- I used the dishwasher early in the morning or when I went to bed.
This is stuff we normally do on a daily basis, but some days you forget what it costs when you use electricity because we are busy and forget to follow the steps.
The good news is we dropped our electric bill down to $113. We even lowered our usage by 204 kilowatts and $17 from last year!
This can be done very easily with timers for the water heater and a programmable thermostat. We have to correct some issues with the solar panels in the back. I think we need some really strong batteries to fix this. I also need to correct the green switch on the computer equipment. This will help keep the electric bill down and under control.
The normal things are important too. Make sure you turn lights off when not in use. We are in the process of changing from CFL to LED bulbs. We replace each bulb as the CFL ones burn out. The cost savings is not as great as when we replaced the incandescent bulbs with CFL, but the length of time the LED lasts makes them worth the cost. Just make sure you purchase at the LED at stores like WalMart or Home Depot. They are getting less expensive. Try not to spend more than $15 per bulb. In fact we usually spend no more than $9 each.
Fix all faucets and toilets from leaking. This will keep the pump from running if you have a well and it will keep your water bill lower if you have city water.
Fall is here and our electric bill will be going down due to the temperature will be going down. You just can never lower it enough. I hope the day comes we can completely go off the grid with solar and wind power.
Our projected bill is for $98.53 this month. I, personally am not amused by this. Our bill for last year was $93.51. Let’s just see how low we can go!
Share your ideas if you can! I love hearing what you do to save money!