Wednesday, June 16

Cutting the Electric Bill

I'm obsessed with saving money on electricity.

Maybe I'm a little too obsessed with my electric usage. Last week on one of my morning walks I compared the reading on my electric meter to several of my neighbors. The power company replaced our old meters on the same day last year with digital ones, so I knew the measurement I was taking would be an accurate comparison.

The good news is that my electric usage was less than half that of any of my neighbors. I'm still not satisfied. And, inevitably, the summer heat will mean I am using my air conditioning more often, which is the most energy intensive appliance I have.

New Summer Goal
  • My goal is to keep my usage (as opposed to the "budget bill" amount since that isn't entirely representative) at least 20% below last year. I will track this from June through November.
  • In May 2009 I used 196 kWh; in May 2010 I used 188.
  • Here are the 2009 monthly usages I will be working against:
    June: 288 July: 431 August: 314 September: 290 October: 264 November: 189
  • For June, I have already used 329 kWh and there are about 5 days left in the billing cycle. This means I will have to reduce usage even more in the coming months to compensate.
  • I will observe any factors which influence usage such as weather or extended periods away from home, but won't use these as excuses.
  • If I achieve my goal, I will have reduced electricity usage by 355.2 kWh. I think I pay 9.88 cents per kWh, so I will save $35.09 over 6 months.

Note: I'm tracking bills, not calendar months. Therefore, I'll know before the end of each month how I did. For example, my May 2010 service period was 4/20-5/19.

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