Friday, February 4, 2022

Managing utility costs - what to do?

Our home is all electric and it is up to us to manage our use and pay for it. We are anticipating using even more electricity in the future because we have been having chats about our next car purchase/lease being a traditional hybrid or plug in hybrid is the way to go at this time in our lives.

Electricity rates have gone up, the public utility is changing everyone to time of use plans at the beginning of March, and our city moved everyone to a secondary provider so it is all complicated in terms of charges.

I went online to the public utilities’ plan comparison tool which told me it wouldn’t be accurate because of the secondary energy provider. I’ve been unable to figure out the interaction of the two companies in terms of how we are charged despite having a Ph.D. and an affinity for math and complicated information. However I admit to a lack of interest in spending a lot of time on something that should be communicated so that it is easy to understand. 

So I used the inaccurate comparison tool to pick the best time of use plan and went with it. They all have higher rates from 4 to 9 pm so that part is a wash. We will run the dishwasher and do laundry at low rate time but everything else pretty much is time independent or weather dependent although we could adjust the thermostat a bit more perhaps. We’ll see if it lowers our energy use and/or our energy cost.

We already improved our attic insulation and dealt with drafty windows and doors so no further gains to be had there.

I also got out the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer manuals and looked for possible setting changes to conserve energy. Made a few setting changes and again we shall see what happens.

It is also time to reschedule the electrician to come and replace more incandescent ceiling can lights with LED fixtures as the Covid infection rate is dropping and we have bought better masks so I feel comfortable having them in our home working.

We aren’t faced with the difficult choices I understand many European’s are having to make given the greatly increased cost of heating, etc. there but I would like to be a good steward of natural resources and our own resources.

Have you made any changes to reduce your energy use as prices have risen? Are you thinking about any others?



5 comments:

  1. Our electric company just started billing our individual apartments so I don't know how much it will cost me monthly. All the appliances except for the stove and furnace are electric and they are water saving so they seem to run forever. Not looking forward to those bills.

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    Replies
    1. I hope the bill isn't too large since your heating is not included!

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  2. A few weeks ago we were notified that our electric rates are going up, too. We live in a rural area and are part of a co-op system. They actually make things fairly easy to understand, which helps. It really is a shame that your electric company hasn't made it simpler for the average consumer to figure things out. My husband has always said that we might be shocked by what our utilities will cost in the future. Our son is considering building a small home and he is currently looking into solar systems.

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    Replies
    1. Lots of our neighbors have added solar and I would like too. It wouldn't save us money given our age most likely but would certainly be the right thing to do in our sunny climate.

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  3. I have electric heating and air. After my last bill, which was not bad yet, I decided to take a look at my air filter. I confess that I had not changed it in the 4-5 months I have lived here. I also like to use allergy efficient filters because my allergies are so bad. What a surprise when I opened the thingy and there were clumps of dust/dirt hanging all over the filter and insides of the vent. I notified the office immediately and they sent a guy to change the filter and he lifted off many of the clumps. I asked if he had a vacuum and he didn't respond so I got out the whisk broom from the car and went to town but the electricity was live so I was overly careful not to get shocked. I sent another message to management and said they needed to bring out a professional before the unit was ruined but they sent another maintenance man who worked hard for quite some time. I don't think everything was done that should have been done and I will be watching my bill and then calling some AC companies to see what their recommendation is.

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Week 12: Mid-week check in

New House:   Comcast delivered the equipment that hopefully Hubby can set up by himself. The utilities are all on and first bills paid. Our ...