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Old 05-09-2015, 03:14 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
21,087 posts, read 38,054,900 times
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5,000+ sf, moderate to cold climate (lots of freezing rain and 80 mph winds)

I spend $700 / yr TOTAL on utilities (Full electric) (not including cell phone or 'pay-per-byte' dialup)

Used to be $1000 / yr when the kids were home. (showers). adding a pay per minute hot water outlet (like campground) helped reduce utility bill.

Kids also had to pay / minute for TV, so that went out the door too (about 20 yrs ago)

Refrigerator is my energy HOG. (30+ yrs old)

I have been building passive solar for 40 yrs. It helps and costs NOTHING.
It can get cold in the house at times (<60F). We have wool.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:49 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
5,000+ sf, moderate to cold climate (lots of freezing rain and 80 mph winds)

I spend $700 / yr TOTAL on utilities (Full electric) (not including cell phone or 'pay-per-byte' dialup)

Used to be $1000 / yr when the kids were home. (showers). adding a pay per minute hot water outlet (like campground) helped reduce utility bill.

Kids also had to pay / minute for TV, so that went out the door too (about 20 yrs ago)

Refrigerator is my energy HOG. (30+ yrs old)

I have been building passive solar for 40 yrs. It helps and costs NOTHING.
It can get cold in the house at times (<60F). We have wool.
Thats pretty good actually 700 a year !! on a 5000 sq ft house!! Holy crap... That 700 a year will be our new expense actually, after the changes we've made!

Kudos to you.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:52 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
Reputation: 1383
So as an update...

Here is our new bills.

for the past 12 months, as expected utilities expenses dropped by a lot.

Gas we paid this past 12 months 400 dollars and a few cents. This takes into account that my wifes grandmother spent a lot of the winter here and she put the thermostat often in a very toasty 74F at times. Luckily, prices this year have dropped considerably.

Therms consumption have remained relatively the same... however temperature wasn't as cold as last year.

Our consumption falls in the 400 therm per year category.

Regarding electricity, consumption has dropped however during summer, consumption didnt drop as much due again to the house being occupied during all day and the use of AC.

However, 2014 vs 2015 overall we saw a decrease of consumption in kWh of -29%. Also, prices were considerable lower since not only we use alternative suppliers, the rates have dropped considerably.... prices vs 2014 in our electric bills dropped close to 45%!

All in all we had a total savings of around 900 USD when comparing both years which was great!

For 2016 we will try to improve... we will be adding insulation to our attic probably putting R60 in it vs the current very low insulation and drafty house. This may help reducing utilities further.
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:21 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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A few years have gone by and savings are still on track.

I actually expect to see more savings this summer.

We have been averaging during heating season, 330 kWh monthly (we still have the old fridge... and we have been using our Dryer a lot). Natural Gas, we are spending about 60 therms per month.

Prices have gone up substantially since when I first posted (NG prices for both generation and distribution hovered around 60 cents... currently its about 95 cents). Electricity prices haven gone up a bit too like 15% in the distribution charges.

I still shop around the cheapest options every 4 months or so... last time, the best/cheapest option was a 24 month contract so I went with it. There is no cancellation fee so if prices decline substantially I can always get out of it.

Currently we are paying about 50$ (average) month on electricity and NG we pay 60$/month during Jan/Feb and then mostly its 25 month. Highest NG bill this year was 62 dollars.

We insulated in December our attic, during a renovation we did... it has helped a lot. We got rebates from supplier and IRS so cost wasn't that much.

Last 12 months expenses, were 600$ in electricity and 390 $ in NG ... for November and December we did spend a lot of heating because we were heating a place at the time with a big ceiling cavity and we had removed the insulation that was there making our house R-1 at the most in the attic. Also, out of those 390$ about 190$ are esential customer fee!

Thinking of putting everything electrical eventually once appliances start to go out. As of now, it doesn't make sense financially to change the type of Heating and Water heater just because. Once water heat fails, I'll change it to electrical on demand... once we need a new furnace, i will change it with a Split AC install. That alone would bring savings on the customer fees of almost 200$/year ... and we could cancel the NG account.

I am looking forward for the summer to see the performance of the new insulation with the summer and the super hot attic... we used to have fiberglass at around R14 or so and a few spots were not even covered fully. We also had a stairwell to the attic, while although it had a door I am sure a lot of air would flow there anyhow - kind of like a chimley flue ...

We currently have R60 in the attic and well sealed and no more stairwell.

Last edited by Lusitano_; 05-01-2018 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,337 posts, read 11,736,792 times
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Insulation - the gift that keeps on giving.

Years ago I converted an electric furnace to a heat pump, replaced all the windows and doors, added attic and subfloor insulation, and converted to cfls. I still have a few of the original cfl bulbs in the bedroom, because I like that they take a while to come up to brightness. I don't like flash blindness in the middle of the night. I insulated duct work, water heater, and hot water lines. Low E glass really cuts AC bills in the summer.

Last year I was able to cut the 23 year old heat pump from a 6 ton to a 4 ton, much more efficient unit. The compressor is twice the physical size of the old one, and much quieter.

Just this year I added a power attic vent fan. I'll see how much it does to keep the house cool. It hasn't been warm enough yet this year.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:16 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
Reputation: 1383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Insulation - the gift that keeps on giving.

Years ago I converted an electric furnace to a heat pump, replaced all the windows and doors, added attic and subfloor insulation, and converted to cfls. I still have a few of the original cfl bulbs in the bedroom, because I like that they take a while to come up to brightness. I don't like flash blindness in the middle of the night. I insulated duct work, water heater, and hot water lines. Low E glass really cuts AC bills in the summer.

Last year I was able to cut the 23 year old heat pump from a 6 ton to a 4 ton, much more efficient unit. The compressor is twice the physical size of the old one, and much quieter.

Just this year I added a power attic vent fan. I'll see how much it does to keep the house cool. It hasn't been warm enough yet this year.
I have seen a lot of info that attic fans are actually worse because they depressurize the attic, sucking the conditioned air from the living space.

Unless you mean whole house fan?

So far the insulation seems to be working well... yesterday 85 F or so and today we reached 89F ... the house started the day at 67F and when I got home around 6 PM it was 70F in the house!! I think we won't eveen need an AC if it indeed performs like this... almost 90 degrees today on a full sunny day and only 3F increase inside the house!

We don't have subfloor (or in this case basement) insulation ... we might finish the basement this summer and we may add some then...
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:30 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,763 posts, read 1,007,878 times
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Look through your fridge for things that do not really need to be refrigerated, like mustard, pickles, jams. Also, I have an untested theory, that leaving the fridge open aor a minute while putting several things in or out uses less energy and opening it and closing it each time, due to the wafting effect. Open the fridge, take out the cheese, slice the cheese, put it back, close the door. Opening and closing twice will create more energy exchange than sitting still for a minute.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:12 AM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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i disagree on removing things from the fridge... a full fridge needs less energy to keep cool. The more mass something has the longer it can sustain its temperature.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,337 posts, read 11,736,792 times
Reputation: 17716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitano_ View Post
I have seen a lot of info that attic fans are actually worse because they depressurize the attic, sucking the conditioned air from the living space.

Unless you mean whole house fan?

So far the insulation seems to be working well... yesterday 85 F or so and today we reached 89F ... the house started the day at 67F and when I got home around 6 PM it was 70F in the house!! I think we won't eveen need an AC if it indeed performs like this... almost 90 degrees today on a full sunny day and only 3F increase inside the house!

We don't have subfloor (or in this case basement) insulation ... we might finish the basement this summer and we may add some then...
Whole house fans are the ones that suck conditioned air from the living space. Attic vent fans do not create a negative pressure in the attic as long as you have lots of attic vents.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,763 posts, read 1,007,878 times
Reputation: 5375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitano_ View Post
i disagree on removing things from the fridge... a full fridge needs less energy to keep cool. The more mass something has the longer it can sustain its temperature.
What you say is true, but you could put a couple of milk jugs full of water in there, instead of condiments that you have to keep taking out and putting back, opening the door each time..
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