Friday, August 8, 2008

Defying the laws of electrical usage

So, we got our electricity bill for July. Can it really truly be or has there been some mistake? Is it really possible that I have LOWERED my electric bill by $40 from June to July? No way!

Every year, without fail, our electric bills go up progressively from April all the way until about October. Typicall the highest month is September for some reason. At least it has been for the past 3 years. BUT, somehow, some way, I have managed to lower our bill this year from June to July! Yiiiippeeee!!!! Forty dollars may not be much for some people. Its a months worth of lattes maybe. I consider that a small feat. Typically, our electric bill would have jumped up about $50. So, in actuality I saved $90. Right? I will admit, I was totally surprised when I saw the bill. I even had to jump online and look at my lat month bill...yep I did lower my bill. How the hell did I do that? I don't have a river behind my house that powers our electricity or anything. Here's what I did differently (and not to any discomfort either):

1. Upon leaving the house I raise the thermostat to 82 degrees. Out of a 28 day cycle this actually gets done maybe 20 days. Honestly, sometimes I come home and it hasn't even gotten to 82 degrees in the house - it might still be at 80 degrees or so. When I get home I lower it to 78 degrees. Yes, I read somewhere that is the "energy efficient" number. lol Lately, its been going down to 76 though no efficient. Summers in Houston are BRU-TAL!

2. About 40% of the light bulbs in the house are now energy saver lights, but that can't make that much of a difference can it?

3. I try to wash and dry clothes only at night. I'm not entirely sure what the benefits of this is exactly, but I read it somewhere and so decided to do it. Again, out of say 30 loads, I wash about 22-25 of them at night.

4. Months ago we bought a high efficiency washer and dryer. Maybe it takes a few months to kick in?

5. At night and before I leave the house for work I walk through the entire house and turn off unnecessary lights. Common lights that are left on are: front and back patio lights, garage light, pantry light, hall light, guest bathroom, closets, stove light, desk light. Apparently, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I do my run through about 95% of the time.

6. WE HAVE BEEN TURNING OFF THE COMPUTER! Again, I read this somewhere in some environmental article no doubt, and I started doing it. Maybe people do know what they write about....sometimes.

7. I stopped buying bulbs for my youngest son's night light. I know it seems cruel, but he is about to be 7, he'll live. And hey, we saved $90!

I think that is all, but honestly, none of that really seems like a big price to pay when you save a little money. I've known peopl with houses not much bigger than mine that end up with $300, $400 or $500 summer bills. I have to admit, I am quite proud of myself for lowering my electric bill AND it makes me feel a little greener too. =)

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