Downsizing the Electric Bill!

made by me at cooltext
United States
November 29, 2016 6:44pm CST
Over the past several months our electric bill has been outrageous. In August it was well over $400. Well, I have the bill set up differently now. I get an update every morning via text and email, informing me how much power we used and how much money we were charged for the past 24 hours. On top of this, I have taken control of the thermostat and we have worked on cutting back every way possible. Rooms we don't use, have the vents closed and the doors closed. I go around every night and assure that everything that does not have to be left plugged up, gets unplugged. Tv's, lamps, small appliances, etc... it all gets unplugged every night. All of the lights get turned off and energy efficient night lights are used for the kids. The kids don't like being in the dark, and they don't feel that the night lights are not enough light so I got creative. We have several solar lights for the yard and we started putting them into the kid's rooms at night. They are the cheap $1 solar lights from Dollar Tree. The tops come off easily and I can sit them in their window every day to get plenty of sunlight and at night I arrange them around the rooms in mason jars! We have two chest freezers and I condensed it to one and unplugged the older one. On average, with these measures in place I have brought the bill down from $10 to $15 a night to $5 to $7 a night. This is not bad for a house that has over 3500 square feet! When it gets colder it will be very hard to maintain this but I will certainly try. I would really love to put a wood stove in our basement. I hope hubby will agree. What do you do to save money on your electric?
17 people like this
19 responses
@JudyEv (97101)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Nov
I think you have done really well here. Would draught stoppers along the bottoms of the doors that are shut help reduce heat loss? Our power is much, much cheaper between 9pm and 7am so I do my washing at night. But we are retired and there is just the two of us so it's much easier than if you have a family. But really - you have virtually halved your consumption! Pat yourself on the back. :)
2 people like this
@JudyEv (97101)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Dec
@Shellyann36 I know old houses can be very hard to seal against the cold.
@BelleStarr (31220)
• Portland, Connecticut
1 Dec
Energy efficient appliances, unplugging all the vampires and just turn things off
2 people like this
• United States
12 Dec
@BelleStarr yes those energy vampires really do drain the bank accounts!
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13501)
• Worcester, England
30 Nov
I don't do much I've lived here for nearly 6 months and my electric bill has never been over £15 per month. Gas bill is significantly less.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Dec
@Mike197602 I do so envy your electric bill! Good for you.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (31101)
• El Paso, Texas
30 Nov
I've been trying to only run the heater when it's really cold in here then I let it run until its really warm and turn it off completely. Of course it isn't nearly as cold here as what you're getting. I have no idea if this will work but I'm soon to find out when I go to pay the bill.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (31101)
• El Paso, Texas
4 Dec
I sure hope all is well with you.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@rebelann I am ok, we are suffering from colds and strep throat. I have to wonder if we will get rid of the sick days. The monitoring I am doing on the electric bill is working great.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (31101)
• El Paso, Texas
12 Dec
Yikes, I hate strep throat @Shellyann36 I hope all of you get well really quick. I've been doing the lemon honey drink to try to prevent those sore throats that come on unexpectedly when it gets cooler. I've finally learned to stay indoors when it starts gettin windy, seems whenever it's windy this time of year and I do the stupid and go outside I end up gettin something. I'm so glad that the monitoring helped with the bill. Mine was at $87 which is pretty high to me for this time of year, so I have to rethink what I've been doin. Lifes a beach.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (25440)
• United States
14 Nov
Sounds like you have made a lot of effort to reduce the electric bill. I do most the things you do as well. My electric isn't much it is the fuel oil that costs me a small fortune every year. I have turned my heat down to 60 and also turned the water heater down a lot.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov
@shaggin We really did and still do. It is amazing how much it costs to heat/cool a house. Back in 2007, we used fuel oil to heat the house and it was horrible. We lived in a big ole farmhouse that had bad insulation. We got out of there quick.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (25440)
• United States
16 Nov
@Shellyann36 Only our crawl space of an enclosed attic has insulation but is was that old blown in junk and does no good at all. One room (my daughters) was remodeled and insulation was put in the ceiling and what a difference that makes...plus new windows. Cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It was so hot in the summer before we remodeled it that it was hard to breathe in that room it would get so stifling.
• United States
30 Nov
I don't do much, we have very cheap electric.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@AbbyGreenhill I am glad to hear that you don't have the high electric problem.
• United States
12 Dec
@Shellyann36 Our electric is thru a cooperative that buys electricity form the TVA.
@LadyDuck (118634)
• Switzerland
30 Nov
Our electric bill is very reasonable, I just check that no lights are on before going to sleep, we have LED bulbs all over the house, this makes a big difference.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@LadyDuck glad to hear that you have things under control!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (118634)
• Switzerland
12 Dec
@Shellyann36 Our heating system is not electric, it runs on gas, my stove is a gas stove, we do not have A/C, so the electricity is only for light, computers, the oven and the washer/dryer.
• China
30 Nov
Good one ! The measures you have taken are very fruitful!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@changjiangzhibin89 the changes are working well so far! Thank you for stopping by.
1 person likes this
• China
12 Dec
@Shellyann36 You are welcome !
@just4him (89245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
30 Nov
My bill for my house before I lost it and moved was outrageous and nothing I could do to cut down the bill. Now I live in an apartment and the bill doesn't hit a hundred a month and I'm loving it. That's for gas an electric.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@just4him it is amazing that houses cost so much to heat/cool. Glad your bill now is under control.
1 person likes this
@just4him (89245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 Dec
@Shellyann36 I'm glad it's under control as well. It makes things easier.
@Platespinner (18091)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
30 Nov
We heat with wood, line dry as much as possible, and wash our dishes by hand. We have a propane instant hot water heater (we used to have an electric one), it doesn't really save us money because now we never run out of hot water (and certain of my children like long hot hot showers), we are about to switch our electric stove to a propane one so we shall see what that does to our electric bill. Of course, in the summer, it is the air conditioning that really runs it up.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec
@Platespinner The AC is what drives our bill up in the summer. The NC summers are bad! When the summer months roll back around I am not sure how well I will be able to manage the bill. I am going to honestly work on it though. We are discussing a wood heater for the basement and I think we will end up getting one soon.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
13 Dec
@Shellyann36 The AC can be costly in the summer here, but our electric bills are nothing like what they were in Alabama in the summer!
@katsmeow1213 (28843)
• United States
30 Nov
$400 a month in the summer? Holy heck! We've had $400 a month in the coldest winter months, and that was a big shocker! In the summer, even with the a/c running around the clock we don't go much over $100. In the winter it is normally closer to $300 as the furnace and water heater are gas and are used more. This year we bought space heaters to cut down on furnace usage, and we've already had to have the furnace on for over a month.. but the space heaters are helping. We also put plastic over the windows to cut down on heat loss.I don't bother with unplugging things or any of that.. our electric doesn't seem to be too expensive, it's the gas that gets us.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec
@katsmeow1213 I am afraid that the summer months is all my fault. I am very hot natured. Hubby keeps telling me I need to move up north.
• United States
13 Dec
@Shellyann36 I don't like it hot either.. but I also don't like the cold. We've been trying to keep our thermostat down and use space heaters, but it's still so darn cold in this house right now!
• United States
30 Nov
a most brilliant idea with those solar lights! i'd faint if'n i'd that much house to tend, lol. 's fer savin' with the utilities? i'd need to get a divorce to tackle such. he leaves the lights'n throughout the garages 24/7, 'long with his radio. when he's home, the t.v. goes 24/7 - e'en when he's sleepin'. our propane bill's eatin' my lunch currently 's the heater runs way to oft. we've a woodburner, but no wood. add that to he's gotta 've 't 75 degrees 'n all the exterior repairs he still aint completed (been 13 months now since he started that project...) 'n 'tis a disaster.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@crazyhorseladycx I feel your pain. I come back from going to the grocery store on Friday and hubby had the heat turned up to 75 degrees. I nearly blew a gasket. Our bill jumped by $20 for the day too. The solar lights were a good idea. They work really well too.
1 person likes this
@rina110383 (21957)
30 Nov
Electric bill is included in my monthly rent, same is true with my water bill. I maximize what I pay monthly.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Dec
@rina110383 just be careful that they don't start charging your separately for each.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (8099)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
30 Nov
You know that empty outlet on the end of a string of Christmas lights. My neighbor doesn't know it but our whole house is powered by his Christmas decorations.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec
@UncleJoe Oh boy I hate to see his bill!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov
I would love to reduce my electric bill but it would probably cause an uproar if I started unplugging the devices other family members use. I love your idea of the solar lights in your kids rooms
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec
@Marilynda1225 I agree, everyone has to be on board. I am very proud of the kids. They turn their lights out every night and unplug their tv's. It makes me so happy.
@GardenGerty (90225)
• Marion, Kansas
15 Dec
Hubby does not get too involved, or worried about the bill. I would like to be doing many of the things you are. It is hard with a large family. I have seen recommendations to do that with the solar lights or to have some outside getting charged in case you ever have a power outage so you will have lights.
1 person likes this
@PatZAnthony (11730)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
16 Dec
We only heat the area we are in. It is difficult for some, but we enjoy the savings. The bedrooms are not heating in the day. The dining and kitchen area is mainly used during the day, so heated with a separate source. For the pets, we have an electric blanket on the dining room floor for extra comfort. It works!
• Midland, Michigan
14 Dec
Is your heating electric, too or not? If not that bill is quite high for electric. I turn our heat down to 65 at night and when the sun is shining in the winter, I might not turn it up or not much even when I'm home. If everyone is working I don't turn it up and let the first person home do that instead. My husband is the one that keeps lights on all day long, once he leaves I turn them off again. I'm trying to train him, but it's a slow process. Our electric has never been above one hundred, but that's still a lot when we have gas heat and not air conditioning. It's higher in the summer months when my husband runs a floor fan all day long. Now that he's working more it may get a little better. Somehow, our gas bill has been staying low so far, but if this colder weather persists I'm sure it will go back up where I don't like it.
@PainsOnSlate (19021)
• Canada
14 Dec
We downsized to a much smaller home once the kids left. We are careful of what is turned on and what doesn't need to be plugged in. Sounds like you have good ideas...