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Awhile back, I set a goal of substantially reducing our electric bill as compared to the $165 monthly average of the previous owners. For a quick bit of background, our house is roughly 3, 000 square feet, completely electric (including the water heater and furnace) and located relatively deep in the southeastern United States.
In the time since I set that goal, we’ve done a bit of insulating, swapped out most of our incandescent lightbulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, and also worked on finding the sweetspot with our thermostat (i.e., the highest we can go and still maintain a comfortable home environment).
Well, we just received the bill for our first full month of service (our initial bill covered just part of a month) and we owe just a shade under $130 — $129.68 to be exact. While I’m pleased that we’re well below the target, I must admit that I’ve never lived in a house with electric heat before, so I’m not sure how summer and winter bills will compare. That being said, it’s been hotter than hell over the past few weeks, so I think we’re doing pretty well.
That being said, there are still some areas where we could improve — for example, we leave the computer and laser printer on (albeit asleep) round the clock for convenience. One thing that we could do here would be to set the computer up to automatically shutdown at night and restart in the morning. That way it would be ready when we need it, but it wouldn’t waste juice when we don’t. I could also throw the laser printer (and a variety of other electronic devices) on timers such that they wouldn’t draw power during the night, but I haven’t gotten around to that. If I really wanted to go hog wild, I’d invest in a Kill-a-Watt and track down all the ‘phantom’ electrical use in our house.