All about ways I am trying to reduce my utilities bills in particular my electric bill. I am looking to exchange ideas successes/failures to help others. I would like to save on electric, gas, telephone, gasoline and water...
I want the ideas mostly to be DIY although many larger ones may not be. So, even people with a very modest budget can help themselves financially (save money), help the country be more energy independent and help the environment in a cost effective manner.
I am occasionally venting at the politics on both sides of the spectrum and what they are doing to make it harder for many families to do things that save them money and help the environment.
Also I am trying to promote energy independence for the United States as good for the country, the enviroment and the people. But, I want it done in a way that does not punish hard working people and families. I want to start with my own home and my long term goal is to not pay any utilies bills for my home and produce enough extra to pay me to cover additional costs and CO2. To make that reasonably possible I am working to reduce my family's power use while maintaining a good standard of living. Showing that good family economics and and the enviroment can work together well.
Basically a a little above the highest end of thier estimates. Which is good.
Starting tomorrow, I think I switch over to time of use metering.
Interesting note. My biggest power use day last year was Thanksgiving (2 electric ovens, lots of friends and family and cooking on the stove kicked the AC on). At least with time of use metering Thanksgiving is a holiday.
As of today I requested to switch to time of use metering. This will not change my power usage but, should wipe the remainder of my electric bill. Last 12 month period it was ~$650. Time of Use metering in this area charges a premium between noon and 6pm (but also pay for my overproduction at a premium as well). For the last 12 months for that time period I over produced over 3000 KWH. This should basically give me zero electric bill if my calculations are correct it could give me enough to cover a solar panel lease payment or two a year.
My SCE portion of my electric bill will be around $25 for this month. My natural gas bill is around $20, my average water bill is about $50. No much more I can do on the utilities front.
I have cut most of my expenses with two goals...
Don't be penny wise pound foolish (think longer term).
Enjoy life and our life style without wasting money.
Next few weeks upgrade and replace 2 older computers. Decide what is next on the medical and detal insurance front that would be best and safest for money in the long and short term.
Next goal over the next 12 to 24 months pay off the one car we have payments on. So, I can start saving for the next car. I hope by then I can get a plug-in hybrid or totally electric car that meets my needs.
In 5 years I will be buying out the solar panels so, that I can free $140 a month for more useful things.
Maybe the next low hanging fruit although not as bit is looking at out television service (Dish Network) and seeing if they have any deals. Also, to a lesser extent our home and cell service.
$140 per month for the solar lease ($1680 per year)
$660 for the whole year from SCE
Total $2340 for the year.
That is still a lot of money. But, less then I paid for just the summer in 2011 (the last summer without solar). Also, to be honest we the house is as a more comfortable temp then it was back then and we still saved money (every month). SCE continues to raise rates but it has not impacted me.
In 2011 my last totally non-solar year I paid $3800 to SCE to get the number that low we kep the house too warm (hot) during the summer. This summer the house was comfortable and the $1500 was kept in our pockets.
In 5 more years I hope to buy the system out and not have to even the $140 per month payment.
Progress...I am not sure how much more I can do on the electricity front. But on the cars the fuel usage is way down thanks to a shorter commute and getting my wife a more efficient car then her old gas sucking beast.
SCE's estimate tool gave me some interesting results so far a few days into the billing cycle it started of with the rainy days and thought I might get a $120 electric bill now I am down to $40 in all goes well that should fall fast.
No more rain in the forecast for at least the next 10 days.
Yesterday was the best day yet -5.93 kWh net usage over 28 kWh of production. A few days ago the worst day since we own the system 22 kWh net usage and only 4 kWh of production, we had heavy rain that day.
The forecast is calling for sun for the next 10 days. I want to see my first month of over production.