Sunday, September 6, 2009

Finally, Electric bill report

In the month of June and July (from the 19th to the 19th because that is how we are billed) I decided to challenge myself to see how much less electricity we could use. We worked pretty hard at it, using the dryer for only 1/2 load each week (for Ken's dress shirts so I wouldn't have to iron them), taking short showers, turning off lights, cooking over a campfire some and working to use as little electricity as possible in the kitchen. It was a fun challenge.

There were some things we weren't successful at too: I wasn't very successful with our box solar cooker (though it did heat up our lunch one day!) so I kind of gave up on it, maybe later I will want to work on it again. I also tried to turn off the computer more but still didn't do it real regularly. Some of my crockpot cooking didn't work out so well either (they had to be thrown into the microwave or in a pot on the stove at the last minute).

But here is our final results:

We used 1,002 KWH for the price of $105.99

The year before in that time period we used: 1,172 KWH
So we used a whopping 170 KWH less.

I guess I wasn't over impressed with our results. It seemed like we worked pretty hard and had very little to show for it. It wasn't that I minded that much, I actually like hanging clothes on the line, cooking over a campfire is great fun and baking all in one day is actually practical in several ways but still...

Oh well, we did save something and it was fun to try. I admit though with such minimal results I have gone back to leaving lights on around the house and I sometimes enjoy a 10 minute shower instead of a 5 minute one.

I am very curious though on how we might compare in electricity use with others. Is your usage similar for a family or a lot more or a lot less? Have you tried using a lot less and actually been successful? I would love to hear your thoughts on using electricity!


All in a Day said...

That IS quite interesting! I was thinking you'd be much more successful...

Chances are you have a lot of "phantom" electricity happening that you aren't even aware, remotes, dishwasher, computers, water maker on fridge, radio, lamps, washer/dryer, ceiling fans, etc. I notice our electricity bill goes down when I turn the computers off when they're not being used, though I only do the main thing, not the power strip.

Our June bill was 983 Kwhs and July's was 822 (from the 20th to the 20th.) The year before respectively was 950 and 927 (air conditioner for July.) The most we used was 1686 back in January when we had two vehicles plugged in constantly and of course, the furnace running. :) Your bill is less expensive than ours though because you have more people crammed together in your town to share the cost; we have miles and miles of lines that need to be tended where people don't even live.

You also have to remember that you have a big house. I tend to believe that electricity overall is generally very cheap. In our circumstances, getting a bigger tower for our water pump would help so it wouldn't have to run every two gallons. Other than that, even when I've tried (in previous years) not to use the dryer, the biggest electricity user in my house, I have hardly noticed any change.

I'm glad you had fun in your endeavor! I get driven crazy by mosquitoes outside so don't even normally consider eating over a campfire, though we did roast hot dogs one day not too long ago. :)

Jessica said...

we have had to cut down on our usage also, and Hubby was quite upset that our bill wasn't that different than last year. I had to remind him that the Elec. Co. went up on the $/KWH. So in a way our "sweat" is paying off.

Bridgett said...


After reading your post I realized that I am an energy hog. We take long showers, leave lights on, use the washer & dryer almost every day etc... The only thing that I try to cut back on is the A/C. I checked our electric bill and we used 611 kwh from June to July. It is lower though because our hot water is heated by the furnace with runs on oil. Anyway, I still enjoy reading your blog, it keeps me motivated to try new things. God Bless

Bridgett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abbi said...

Thanks much for your feedback! I am amazed at how low you all are doing for usage! I think you might be right Shelly about phantom use, though I did try to unplug quite a few things and it is hard to believe it could use up that much!

Your reports almost make me feel like trying it again and being stricter on unplugging things.

Also I never did try draining the Hot water heater, I really should try that!

I would love to hear reports from even more of you!

Esther said...

Our biggest cost is our A/C. We can't around that too much since we live in Louisiana. I just looked at my bill for July and we used 1974 kWh. We want to put new windows in with double panes. I think that will help a lot. I've tried other electricity saving ideas, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

martha said...

I find this very interesting but I will be receiving my first bill this month. I am trying to be energy wise though.

Anonymous said...

Well this summer I have been keeping track of all the laundry loads I dried on the line to see how much money I save being a line drier or if I am just wasting my time. Although I firmly feel clothes last longer when dried by the natural air not the dryer. So I haven't figured that out yet to tell you my savings.
But any ways we have done pretty much as normal for summer time and our kWh usage was 620. Where we really saved this summer was God giving us more cool days and even cooler nights than an average summer. Average temp acording to my bill this year was 71 last year was 77. I do have the optional savers switch on our air conditioner and that saved us $8.69 this month.
Our water heater and dryer are gas and we used 14 therms of that versus Feb. we used 134 therms.
Last month we used 970 kWh so I don't know if the AC takes that much or what, in Feb we used 628 kWh.
I pretty much always shut off our computers when we are done with them for the day. I never unplug the TV, but through the day I rarely turn on the kitchen light.~♥Anna♥~

Linda said...

The only bill that I had handy was the current August bill. I have a large house and had 4 teenagers home until last week. We used 780 compared to 1040 last year, but only used the air conditioning 2 days in August. I work so much though, that I don't cook nearly as much as I used to (or should for that matter) I wish I could still be at home....
if wishes were fishes.....

All in a Day said...

I mentioned in my post about the water tower and our usage of water/electricity. Well, for the past three months our electric bill has been well over 1,000 Kw. I figured out that June and July were so much less because the kids and I were doing our showering at the pool in town after swimming! Just wanted to set the record straight. :)


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