ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Frugal Living»
  • Household Expenses

How I Lowered My Outrageous High Electric Bill From $150 to $34 a Month

Updated on January 5, 2012

A lower electric bill may not seem possible for most people, but in fact, it is very much possible. You can take control of your electricity consumption and drastically lower your electric bills immediately.

I never imagined it could be so simple and easy to reduce my power bill so low, and so quickly. I had a V-8 moment. I felt like slapping myself on the forehead and saying, “Why didn’t I think of this before?” I think about the money I could have saved.

In tough financial times, a lower electric bill helps

These are very hard financial times we’re living in. Many people are living from paycheck to paycheck and are desperately looking for ways to save money. It only takes one minor minor emergency or unexpected event to set off extreme hardship such as repossession, home foreclosure, etc.

"My electric bill is how much?!!!
"My electric bill is how much?!!!

My Electric Bill Dilemma Began With a Hot Water Heater

The discovery of what to do to lower my electric bill began with a malfunctioning hot water heater and an extremely high electric bill. I noticed strange noises coming from the hot water heater, but I shrugged it off because they soon stopped. I didn’t realize that something was seriously wrong with the water heater until after I got an electric bill for over $150. That amount might not seem like much for some people, but it is for me. That’s over two to three times the amount I usually pay per month. Needless to say, I nearly hit the ceiling when I saw how much I owed.

I called the power company and spoke with a supervisor. I scoffed when she suggested my sky high electric bill was probably due to the hot water heater. That seemed ridiculous to me. How could a hot water heater cost that much to operate in one month? She advised me to get the hot water heater checked. Half-heartedly, I accepted that the hot water heater was the blame and hung up. On the other hand, it does make sense when you think about it. A huge tank of gallons of water is constantly heated to be hot and ready at the turn of a knob 24/7. However, I could barely pay the electric bill, so there was no way I could afford to pay anyone to repair or replace my hot water heater. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Switch off the hot water heater at the breaker box & leave it off until you need hot water.
Switch off the hot water heater at the breaker box & leave it off until you need hot water.

This is How to Outrageously Lower the Electric Bill

So there I was with a messed up hot water heater that I had to get fixed quickly, or pay another outrageous electric bill the following month. It had been ages since I’d even opened the door of the tiny closet housing my hot water heater. I didn’t have a clue how to check the temperature setting or anything else.

I am a do it yourselfer, but I thought that job would be far over my head. Thank God for the Internet. There is so much information for DIY people. I searched for how to articles and videos for hot water heaters. There was so much information that I just didn’t want to bother with it for a while. I decided to just shut the whole thing down until I could decide what to do.

I went to the garage to the fuse box, found the switch for the water heater and switch it off. With the flip of that switch, a little light figuratively lit up in my mind. It dawned on me that I could leave it off. Wow! What a brilliant idea. Just shut the dog-gone thing down and turn it back on when I need hot water. Most people need hot water to shower or to wash dishes.

Then I got the idea to also shut down the power to the extra bedroom, the laundry room, and other areas of the house I seldom use. I was flipping switches like crazy.

A Lower Electric Bill: From $150 Per Month To Under $34

The outcome of my period of living the simple, old fashion life was awesome. Needless to say, I was both happy and amazed. The next month’s electric bill was only $33 and some change! I expected the bill to be a lot lower, but I had no idea it would be that low. I was ecstatic. I felt in control. I felt free. It’s great. The amazing thing is that I don’t feel that I missed out on much. I simply flipped the hot water heater switch back on for about an hour before I needed to shower or use hot water, then turned it back off afterwards.

Of course, there are a few other things I did to save electricity like using power strips and turning them off before going to bed and when appliances are not in use. I also turned off power to my stove and used a small toaster oven, electric skillet, and an electric kettle to cook. Also, I ate more sandwiches, salads, fruits, and foods that didn’t need to be prepared using a big stove. I rarely run the central air during the summer. Open windows and electric fans keep me cool.

A water pitcher & basin was used to bathe in the good 'ol days. You can save money by bringing back some of those days.
A water pitcher & basin was used to bathe in the good 'ol days. You can save money by bringing back some of those days.

Rediscovery: The Simple Life Is Less Expensive

I’m not that old, but I remember, as a kid I stayed with my grandmother in the summer time.

She lived out in the country at the end of a dirt road. She had electricity for lighting, but she didn’t have hot water or indoor plumbing. She had a water well and an old washing machine on the back porch. She washed dishes by hand and used water heated on a stove.

To take a bath hot water was poured into a huge tub, or a basin was used.Those were simple times and as a kid I loved the time I stayed with my grandma.

The simple life is being rediscovered. Many people find themselves burned out on modern technology and expensive gadgets. We should not abandon all new technology, but it doesn't hurt, to go back and rediscover the simple life every now and then.

The Simple Life: Try It And Save Money

Now I’m in control of my energy consumption, and I have a lower electric bill. I don’t really care about getting the hot water heater fixed now. I can continue doing this until whenever. I realize this would be more of a hassle to do if children or other family members are living in the same household. Being single makes it easy. However, any family that is in a desperate financial bind can cut back on power for a month for relief and to get caught up financially. I highly recommend getting back to the simple life. Try it you might like it and you’ll save a whole lot of money.

In this modern age, sometimes we forget that people existed quite well before all of the twenty first century luxuries that we’ve become accustomed to today. I think we need to at least go back and re-visit those times every now and then. With one exception, I think I’ll keep the indoor toilets rather than my grandma’s out-house.

City Guy Living The Simple Life


Submit a Comment

  • Jila777 profile image

    Jila777 6 years ago

    Thank you Post-Menopause for commenting. It works for me.