Thursday, 30 October 2014

Guess How Much We Cut Our Electricity Bill

I've tried to reduce our energy bill before by making the changes everyone suggests. I started doing my laundry and dishes at night and I turned off the lights in rooms we weren't using. No matter how hard I thought I was trying, there never seemed to be any difference to my monthly bill.

I became confident that there was no way we could reduce our consumption enough to make any real difference on our bill. So I gave up trying.

A couple months ago I got a dose of reality that gave me the kick in the butt I needed to try again. I made some simple changes that I hoped would make an impact on our bill.

Well the bill finally arrived and I was shocked by our new numbers.


So How Did We Do With Our Attempts to Cut Electricity?


After I opened the envelope I honestly couldn't stop smiling and it was all I could talk about. Take a look at our kilowatts per hour number in the right column.




Ya, that’s the one in the … SINGLE DIGITS!

Our scheme actually worked!

This is actually the best possible bill for this post because the billing history starts with our highest ever usage bill and shows it dropping little by little until today’s lowest usage bill. I'm especially proud of the shocking drop in usage from the last bill to this one.

We're on an equal billing system with our electric company.  So, we're paying $140.00 this month.  That is what the electric company thinks we'll be using on average.  The actual amount we used this month was only $45.94!  That's almost $100.00 less than their estimate of our average use.

I pulled out the bill for the same time period last year. Our monthly usage went from an average of 33.06 kWh/day down to 9.03 kWh/day. That’s a drop of 72.7%!


So How Much Did Our Buzz Kill Save Us?


To calculate our savings, I took the kWh/day saved and applied the current electricity rates. I also added the tax and took off the 10% Ontario Clean Energy Benefit. Take a look at the calculations yourself:


DaysOn-PeakOff-PeakMid-PeakkWh/Day
Nov 7, 2013575.6620.576.8233.06
Oct 7, 2014280.816.641.589.03
Difference kWh4.8513.935.24
Rate $/kWh$0.135$0.075$0.112
Difference per Day$0.65$1.04$0.59$ 2.29
Savings28$64.02


We saved an incredible $64 this month on electricity just by cutting back our usage! Did you think it would be possible to save this much? I sure didn't!

The actual savings are higher, but I have no idea how to compute the variable portion of our “delivery charge” so I didn't bother trying.


Could my day get any better?


The very same day we got our electricity bill was the day we had a whole house energy monitor installed as part of the Peak Saver Plus program. As part of the program, we give our electric company the power (see what I did there?) to shut off our air conditioner for up to 4 hours a day during heat waves.

Since we barely used our air conditioner this summer, it seemed like a small price to pay for this awesome new toy!

Now I can watch in real time how much energy the house is using.  Somehow I can measure how much electricity individual appliances are using too, but I haven’t figured that feature out yet. I've got many fun days ahead playing with this little guy.


Conclusion


Last month we made some changes to the way we used electricity in our house. Those changes cut our electricity usage by over 70% and saved us over $65 in one month.

The days are getting shorter, so we'll use more lighting, and it will be getting colder, so we'll be using our furnace fan more, so I expect our bills will go up in the upcoming months. Then again, we started line drying our clothes, so we might still come out ahead. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

In any case, sometimes you can find savings even on the bills you think are set in stone.


What About You?


Has your electricity bill been the same forever?

Do you notice a difference in your total cost when you make changes to your usage?

How many kWh/day do you use?



If you enjoy my blog, Follow Me!

If you liked this post, Share It!