Saving on the Electric Bill

28 Feb

Wow! Our electricity bill tripled this month! Ouch!!! We are living in a new house (to us), and after an entire day’s worth of brainstorming and discussing, we figured it out! BASEBOARD HEATERS! My genius husband figured out the most energy a baseboard heater should use and converted it to a monthly cost per heater. Wow again! We quickly found our space heaters and turned off the bedroom baseboard heaters!

So where else should we cut back? According to Cornhusker Public Power District, our heat is supposed to count for 48% of your electric bill and over 50% in the winter months. So cutting back, on heating would be step one in lowering the electric bill. Step 2 is turning off/unplugging all lights and appliances that are not being used. That accounts for 31% of the electric bill. Did you know it costs approximately $0.39 to run your dryer for an hour? And only $0.08 to use your iron for 1 hour!!! More savings there! (Not that I would EVER pop my clothes in the dryer rather than iron!) Check out Cornhusker Public Power District for a full list of average costs of electricity usage.

Here’s some more great tips:

  • Use surge strips. And turn them off when they aren’t in use. (or invest in smart strips that do it for you!)
  • Keep your fridge and freezer full.
  • Set your water heater to 130-140 degrees.
  • Wash clothes in cold water.
  • Install timers or motion sensors on thermostats, your water heater, lights, etc.

Check out Frugal Living for a ton more great tips!

3 Responses to “Saving on the Electric Bill”

  1. allison March 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    hey girl, i may be able to help you with this one! our electric bill had never been more than $150. i had kelcey in 2/08, came home from the hospital & the next week got an electric bill for over $300! WHAT!!! paid it because we thought of a couple of things that might be our fault. we cut back on a few things & waited for the next month. same thing! we called & talked to ACE. we’d been in this house 8yrs at the time & it’d never been this much! they were no help & it was an awful experience. i started watching our meter twice/day & then once/hr until i figured out it was our hot water heater. bruce got it out & cleaned it out. there was a ton of sediment in the bottom & it was basically running all day! nobody noticed because we had a newborn &19mo old & it’s in a closet. the bill came down but only about $30 & i still wasn’t happy. started turning the breaker off/on for hot water heater. i learned when/how long to leave it on to have enough for the day. turned it on extra for things like showers for bruce & me. that helped again but only about $25 more, still not back to where we had started. about 5mos ago i read an article about a woman that unplugged EVERYthing that was not in use. her bill was < $10! this was not practical for us with me & the kids here all the time. the article didn't say anything about where she lived or who with. in the list of appliances she didn't have a fridge or washer/dryer either. i thought about it & spent an afternoon trying all our breakers & figuring out what they were to & then labelled them. i now just go to the breaker box & flip on/off what is needed. the only things that stay on all the time are the breakers for the fridge & shop (deep freeze). almost all the lights are on one breaker so it stays on most of the time but if we leave for some reason i turn it off too if i'll be back before dark! i turn off breakers for outlets, washer/dryer, stove, heat strips, heat/ac (separate from strips) even gets turned off if temp in house is in target range! unfortunately tv & computer are unable to be turned off because one is with fridge & one is with lights but they were already on surge strips so i already turned them off when not in use anyway. cut our bill in 1/2!
    it's now less than it was before, even with the increase in electric charges! this is going to be the first season that we'll be able to turn the ac off a lot (didn't start until nov & i still had one as low as $70!). i can't wait to see how low it gets! 🙂 some people will think i'm crazy but it's totally worth it to me & it works for us! bruce isn't quite as used to it as i am but i've gotten so used to it that i can go in there & do it in the dark! it becomes second nature! let me know if you try it!

    love the couponing posts by the way! i've been working on it but i don't find the deals that you are & i haven't figured out exactly how walgreen's register rewards work.

    • adventuresinmomville March 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

      that’s a great idea! i was waiting to see what this next bill is, and then i think i might try that, too!


  1. Tightening the Belt: Part 2 – the Breaker Box Game « Adventures in Momville - March 31, 2010

    […] posting Saving on the Electric Bill, a good friend of mine, Alison, commented on how she cut her electric bill in half!  […]

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