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Old 07-03-2011, 12:51 PM
 
9,678 posts, read 15,855,639 times
Reputation: 16023

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Suggestions for how you cut your electric bill down

We've tried the CFL light bulbs, seems to help, but no sure way to tell. Only way would be to replace them with regular bulbs for a month and measure the difference, which is ridiculous. At least they last longer, saving us the hassle of changing bulbs every time we turn around.

One simple thing is to TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS when not in use. Its amazing, how my family just flits from room to room and simply forgets to turn off the lights behind them. Also, leaving TV, computer turned on when not in use. Simply turning things off when not in use has saved us (from what I can determine) at least $100/month. When I got on my campaign to TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS the next bill was about $100 cheaper than the month before, also, it tracked, was $100 cheaper than that same month a year ago.

Still, we routinely have electric bills about $400/month. That's for a family of 4, a 5 bdr house, about 2200 sq ft. so, can't compare to a single guy living in an efficiency apt. A big portion of that is AC, which is an absolute necessity here in Texas, our summers are brutal. Last month we were in the 100's+ most of the month, need AC to survive! Still, gotta be a way to knock that bill down some.

So, lets start a thread about how we lower our electric bills!
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,475 posts, read 20,202,458 times
Reputation: 5614
I live in the Southern California desert and SCE has a plan I signed up for years ago, which drastically cuts my electric bill. You sign up and the electric company puts a device on the A/C unit(s) so that they can remotely cut off power to the A/C in case of a critical power outage. If in a power emergency situation and potential black out, you agree to allow them to shut off your A/C for a short period of time, I believe no more than 15 minutes at a time. For you making that agreement, they give you a great reduction on your bill. This program runs from like May to October, perhaps less. It's only during the hot summer months. My electric bill in the summer is less than in the winter, due to this program.
I mention this because it's possible these programs exist where you live. check with your power company.
I live in a large home, six BRs, 4 Bath, with two A/C units, at least two TV's on all day, a computer on all day, two refrigerators, all the stuff used in a large home, and my bills for this year were
2/1/11 $124. 3/1/11 $106. 4/1/11 $129.00. 5/1/11 $78.49. 6/1/11 $94.71. 7/1/11 $42.98. The last month I was away for a while, so the bill was only $42.
In all the years I have been on the program, if they ever did remotely turn off my A/C, I wasn't aware of it...!!
Here is the site for the program I'm on, check it out and see if your company has something similiar.
SCE - Summer Discount Plan
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,227,512 times
Reputation: 14870
Double-paned windows, good insulation, tight door and window seals, shade trees on the west side. I looked for all of those requirements before I bought the house.

Unplug or use surge protectors on all 'vampire' electronics. I also take advantage of Edison's TOU billing, since no one is home during the day.

My parents used to charge me a fine (taken out of my allowance) if they saw me leave a light on and walk out of a room. Admittedly, this was back in the '60's ... nowadays someone would report you for child abuse, if you tried it.

MaryleeII - I also think power costs are different in different areas. One person household, 2100 sq, and for the last 4 months, my bill has been about 10% of yours. Eeek.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:01 PM
 
10,834 posts, read 14,843,680 times
Reputation: 5095
A water heater uses a lot of power. My breaker panel was just inside the bedroom door, so it was easier than walking one foot, to just flip the breaker off after a shower. The water stayed hot in the tank for hours for cooking, etc. I'd turn the breaker on an hour before a shower and had plenty of hot water. Even if you just cut it off from 8pm to 8am you save 50% on the electric water heater alone. Mine was off 22 hours a day = significant savings.

Then in another dwelling, it was not occupied, but the central air was on. When we set the thermostat to 85, the bill want from $120 down to about $35. Of course this was with no occupant, and lights on here and there for painting, etc. Water heater off. The only thing that stayed on all the time were the two freezers, the a/c set at 85 and an occassional light for the $35 bill. About 1500 square feet, 3 bedroom.

An eletrician call tell you that a hot water heater uses alot of power.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,587,252 times
Reputation: 2334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
I live in a large home, six BRs, 4 Bath, with two A/C units, at least two TV's on all day, a computer on all day, two refrigerators, all the stuff used in a large home, and my bills for this year were 2/1/11 $124. 3/1/11 $106. 4/1/11 $129.00. 5/1/11 $78.49. 6/1/11 $94.71.

That's very low for the size of your house in any part of the country, let alone Apple Valley. Whatever you're doing, you're doing it right. Bravo.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:10 PM
 
455 posts, read 553,559 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
I live in the Southern California desert and SCE has a plan I signed up for years ago, which drastically cuts my electric bill. You sign up and the electric company puts a device on the A/C unit(s) so that they can remotely cut off power to the A/C in case of a critical power outage. If in a power emergency situation and potential black out, you agree to allow them to shut off your A/C for a short period of time, I believe no more than 15 minutes at a time. For you making that agreement, they give you a great reduction on your bill. This program runs from like May to October, perhaps less. It's only during the hot summer months. My electric bill in the summer is less than in the winter, due to this program.
I mention this because it's possible these programs exist where you live. check with your power company.
I live in a large home, six BRs, 4 Bath, with two A/C units, at least two TV's on all day, a computer on all day, two refrigerators, all the stuff used in a large home, and my bills for this year were
2/1/11 $124. 3/1/11 $106. 4/1/11 $129.00. 5/1/11 $78.49. 6/1/11 $94.71. 7/1/11 $42.98. The last month I was away for a while, so the bill was only $42.
In all the years I have been on the program, if they ever did remotely turn off my A/C, I wasn't aware of it...!!
Here is the site for the program I'm on, check it out and see if your company has something similiar.
SCE - Summer Discount Plan
I have never heard of this, this would be a godsend here in Az. I doubt it exists.Anyway, you have to look at the water heater,ac seer rating,dryer - the big stuff.
We have a 10 seer AC, they have up to 18 seer now, the higher the seer the more efficient.
The tank style water heaters are the worst, in summer you can usually turn them down or completely off depending on usage/tolerance.The tankless gas water heaters are most efficient as they heat water "on demand", they don't need to keep 50 gallon of water 120 degrees, ancient technology.Use a clothes line instead of dryer.Also, gas is usually cheaper than electric.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,860,640 times
Reputation: 10243
We just replaced our heat pump which was barely limping along. It was more than 30 years old. Our utility bills in our all electric home were going up each year. Hard to swallow the bill for the replacement, but our bills have been reduced by half with our new energy-efficient heat pump. In a few years, it will have paid for itself.

Other than that, we have the smallest, simplest refrigerator we could find with no bells and whistles--figure you end up throwing out so much stuff when it gets lost in big refrigerator or freezer so I just got a small one and shop more frequently. Works for me.

Our utility bills are much more manageable now.

And when we go on vacation, we unplug most everything in the house except the frig to avoid 'ghost loads."
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:16 PM
 
4,738 posts, read 6,131,839 times
Reputation: 9646
1. We turn our ceiling fan along with the lights when we leave the room. Fan only cools space under it so, if not in the room turn the fan off.
2. I have a clothes line and air dry all of my sheets, bedding, towels, t-shirts, socks, and underwear. If you can't have a clothes line, get a drying rack.
3. In the summer we eat cold meals one or two evenings weekly. In winter, I cook things like stew,beans, chili early to help warm up the house.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Kountze, Texas
1,013 posts, read 1,158,814 times
Reputation: 1267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
I live in the Southern California desert and SCE has a plan I signed up for years ago, which drastically cuts my electric bill. You sign up and the electric company puts a device on the A/C unit(s) so that they can remotely cut off power to the A/C in case of a critical power outage. If in a power emergency situation and potential black out, you agree to allow them to shut off your A/C for a short period of time, I believe no more than 15 minutes at a time. For you making that agreement, they give you a great reduction on your bill. This program runs from like May to October, perhaps less. It's only during the hot summer months. My electric bill in the summer is less than in the winter, due to this program.
I mention this because it's possible these programs exist where you live. check with your power company.
I live in a large home, six BRs, 4 Bath, with two A/C units, at least two TV's on all day, a computer on all day, two refrigerators, all the stuff used in a large home, and my bills for this year were
2/1/11 $124. 3/1/11 $106. 4/1/11 $129.00. 5/1/11 $78.49. 6/1/11 $94.71. 7/1/11 $42.98. The last month I was away for a while, so the bill was only $42.
In all the years I have been on the program, if they ever did remotely turn off my A/C, I wasn't aware of it...!!
Here is the site for the program I'm on, check it out and see if your company has something similiar.
SCE - Summer Discount Plan
Hey - We are neighbors!!! I am moving into my house in Oak Hills, and will check with my husband if he signed up for this when he signed up for electricy.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:29 PM
 
9,678 posts, read 15,855,639 times
Reputation: 16023
Wow, we really are being gouged with electric!


all our appliances are gas---gas hot water heater, gas heat, gas clothes dryer, gas stove and oven. Our gas bill is tiny---in the summer, about $30/month. In the winter, with heat, about $100/month.

I've never seen such ridiculous electric bills ar here in Texas. its partly one's usage, of course, and also the KWH cost. We can only conserve so mucn (which we do) it just the cost!

But, still, tips to conserve welcome!

I found an icemaker really pulls a draw. When we just turned the darned thing OFF we found a savings, maybe $15/mo on the bill. You don't need ready-made ice constantly, remember those little plastice cube trays? Just use them. Oh, but most people are aghast---you don't have an ice maker? Well, maybe next time, BYO--ice, that is!

It all add up, little things add up to big things, our goal now is to get our budget in line while not reducing the quality of our life. we've found that we simply can't tolerate the AC below 76. I was keeping it at 79, but had headaches, loss of energy, cranky, everyone in a foul mood, it wasn't worth what it was doing to the quality of our lives. But, the quality of our lives certainly doesn't suffer if there aren't lights blazing in unoccupied rooms, ice maker running away, TV left on with no one watching it, etc. The difference in waste I figure we can apply to running the AC to our tolerance.

Oh, another draw---my dd's hair appliances. she uses her hair straightener at least 3-4x day, that thing pulls a load. I've told her once a day should be enough, oh, the looks, the rolled eyes, the attitude. I told her she can use it once a day, then, I confiscate it. I know, mean mommy!BTW, her hair isn't curly, its quite straight, she just uses it as a styling tool.
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