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Reduce your Electric Bill Dramatically By Making A Few Changes
All Electric Living
I am from the Midwest (Ohio) and about a year ago moved into a 700 square foot duplex that is all electric. I was glad to get away from the rising cost of gas heat and welcomed just one bill instead of two for my utilities. For months it seemed like it was quite a deal regardless of the fact that it ran at least $80 per month in the warmer season. I was on the budget and never really paid attention to my bill until I took myself off of it and realized that my January billing was $279. Wow! I paid this much money to be cold? My duplex is brick and has a garage under it with an unheated half basement. I am only heating two bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, galley kitchen and small laundry room. This was by far one of the warmest winters we’ve had for some years. How could this be?
What I didn't know and the electric company won't share with you
In discussing my recent billing horror with two friends I learned a great deal that made a lot of sense. They both told me that they do not do laundry until after 9 pm at night. I asked them why and they both described “peak hours” for electric usage. Why had I never considered this? I guess I had gotten so used to paying the same amount on the budget that I never investigated the rising cost, even when my budget amount increased. I chalked it up to the fact that the previous tenant was never here much and did not use much electric.
What Are Peak Hours for Electric Usage?
Peak hours for electric usage are the hours in which electricity is in high demand and it costs you more for use during that period. It’s kind of like evening movie vs. matinee. I checked my electric supplier’s website and found nothing about peak and off peak hours. In trying to dissect my electric bill it did look like I was being charged for two different things, but it was hard to tell. I called and questioned a representative who assured me that this was not true and that unfortunately electric rates had risen which would account for the overall rise in my electric bill. His stammering and inability to answer my questions correctly lead me to think that perhaps his pants would be catching fire really soon! After his assurance that I should keep using my electricity as I had been I decided to conduct my own experiment.
Two Months into Electric Fitness!
Here's the changes I made:
My heat was set at 69 degrees (still chilly) and I reduced it to 65 degrees. I unplugged my microwave, cell phone charger, toaster oven and put my computer in sleep mode when I wasn't using it. I have a sensor mercury light outside that I turned off. I started doing all of my laundry after 9 pm.
In February my bill was $58. In March my bill was $38 and some change. We're talking heating and everything! I even had an out of town guest for two weeks.
What Do You Have To Lose?
I know many of you question whether these were estimates or actual readings. They are actual. I suggest that you make a few changes in your electric usage and see for yourself. I think you will be surprised at the results.
A handy research tool:
Your local library should have Kill-A-Watt electric usage monitors that you can check out for free.