Saving Money on Utilities in 2012

We used 8,167 kilowatt hours in 2012. Electric cost of $889 Natural Gas cost of $595. This is all of our heating. We don’t use LP, fuel oil, wood pellets, or anything like that.  Would you like a utility bill like that? First I have some things we are doing to make that happen. Then I discuss Time of Use Electricity, then I talk about some of the things we are doing in 2013.

  • We turn off our water heater 12 hours a day. We don’t have a timer we actually flip the breaker switch on our front porch every morning after shower time.
  • We do not have a dish washer. We hand wash all our dishes.
  • We keep the upstairs of our house about 60 degrees at night.
  • We only use supplemental electric space heaters during off peak.
  • We only use our dryer during off peak Time of Use (at night or on the weekends)
  • We only use cold water in the washing machine.
  • We turn the space heater completely off during the summer.
  • We started doing once a month cooking from Once a month mom so we use the stove less.
  • We use only compact florescent lighting.
  • We very seldom use our air conditioner almost to a fault.
  • And most importantly Time of Use electricity

Our utility company has We Energies Time of Use Electricity?  In November 2011 I wrote about our experience saving about $150 on level one TOU in 2011 here.  In 2012 we upgraded to Level 2 time of use Electricity where it is $0.05 per KWH 7 pm to 7 am and all day on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. It is then $0.25 per KWH from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays. We saved about $360 in 2012 because of Time of Use Electricity level two.

Seeing savings of $360 I am now being more adventurous and moving on to Time of Use Level 3 which is 3 different pricing levels during 3 different parts of the day. Daytime costs are different per time of year as well. It is still $0.05 per KWH for 12 hours per day and weekends and holidays. Interestingly I believe that the other time prices went up since I signed up 2 days ago.

Mid peak time from 8 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 8 pm October to May: 21 cents June to September: 27 cents
Peak time from 2 pm to 6 pm October to May: 27 cents June to September: 38 cents.

2 days ago Mid peak and peak time was 2 cents less than that except June to September Peak time increased 9 cents. Hmm .. now it is even more important not to use the air conditioners in the afternoons this summer. I didn’t expect that when I signed up.

I started reading this article and realized it didn’t set any areas for improvement in 2013 so here goes:

  • hanging our laundry on the line in summer
  • Hopefully start to hang laundry on our in house laundry rack
  • If we can afford it we would like to upgrade our natural gas space heater, water heater, and washer and dryer to energy efficient models. Right now none of them are.
  • Do almost all of our cooking during only the off peak times and then only reheating for lunch or supper.
  • Install a water softener which apparently makes your water heater more efficient
  • Use humidifiers and dehumidifiers much more.
  • Check out LED lighting

I looked over WE Energies Energy Savings Ideas