Thursday, October 16, 2008

Energy Saving Challenge

I have been asking myself what I can do to help lower costs around my house. I have decided to tackle my electric bill first. Right now my average bill per month has been $188. Here is a list of my monthly electric bills over the last year and a half.

July 2007 172.46
Aug 2007 169.19
Sept 2007 176.48
Oct 2007 155.03
Nov 2007 107.46
Dec 2007 170.41
Jan 2008 281.54
Feb 2008 257.51
Mar 2008 268.59
Apr 2008 221.97
May 2008 135.46
June 2008 97.38
July 2008 129.89
Aug 2008 160.12
Sept 2008 140.68
Oct 2008 ??

I haven’t received my October 2008 bill as of yet but from now forward I have a goal to reduce my electric bill compared to the same month last year and hopefully in turn save money over the next. Since the weather can change month to month here in Wisconsin I am not only going to look at month to month savings but will look at the year as a whole. From July 2007 to June 2008 I have spent $2213.48 on my electricity bill. So far for July 2008-Sept 2008 I have spent $430.69. This is already a reduction of $87.44 from the same time last year and I haven’t even done anything to reduce my energy use.

TURN THINGS OFF THAT YOU AREN’T USING. So I decided to figure out some easy things that I can do to reduce my energy usage around the house. One thing that we do at home is we always leave the computer on. It is turned on 24 hours per day and probably has been for the last two years. I know this is bad. So starting today I have decided that since we are hardly home and use the computer maybe 1 hour a day, if even, there is no reason to leave it turned on all the time. The same thing goes for my printer and all electronic items in my office. I barely use these items and yet I leave them powered on and ready to go at a moments notice. That is because if I want to use them I don’t want to have to wait but I am thinking that this could be a big savings each year by just turning these off.

COMBINE LOADS OF LAUNDRY AND SAVE $$. My next idea is to reduce 3 loads of laundry into one. I have two children and we all do our own laundry. I have even taught my 9 year old son how to do his own laundry and how to sort out his whites. My daughter, well sometimes she still just throws her whites in with the rest of her stuff, but for the most part we do 3 small loads of whites per week and that would total around 156 loads of whites a year and around 13 loads per month. I do want my kids to do their own laundry but I have decided to make a basket for whites. This basket will be where all of us can put our whites and when the basket gets full we will wash them all together. I am hoping to reduce this from 3 loads per week to 1. This will mean we will now only do 52 loads of whites a year cutting back 104 loads of laundry and only doing around 4 loads of whites per month. I know that I will see a reduction in my energy usage from this and a reduction in my detergent and dryer sheet use.

SAVE ON DRYER SHEETS. CUT THEM IN ½. I know I can’t reduce my energy usage from this next tip but it is something that I am implementing today and I learned this tip from the elevenmoms of Walmart when we met in Bentonville. They were telling me a trick about cutting their dryer sheets in half and only using half of them. I was thinking to myself wow and couldn’t believe that I was always using TWO dryer sheets per load. I had never heard of this. So if I am doing around 10 loads of laundry a week around my house we are doing around 520 loads of laundry a year. Since I have been using 2 dryer sheets per load, and taught my children to do that, we have been using around 1040 dryer sheets per year. I know how embarrassing that I have been doing this. I am now going to cut my dryer sheets in half. They are big enough to probably cut them in 3’s but we will start with cutting them in half. This means that I will go from using around 1040 sheets per year to around 260 sheets per year! I am going to go from buying around 13 boxes of 80 sheets to 3-4 boxes of 80 sheets per year. I usually pay around $3-4 per box so this is a savings of close to $40 a year!

So these are two things that I am going to try this month to reduce my energy usage at home and hopefully lower my bill. If you are doing the same things that I am doing why don’t you take the challenge also? I would love to hear what you have saved!

Can anyone give some more easy tricks to save money at home that require little effort? I am really not even going to have to try and do these things and they require little effort on my part.

I will be excited to share next month when I get my bill and how much I have saved!

GOAL $500



Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

Something else to consider...

Change your lights to fluorescent bulbs. The cost of these bulbs have come down greatly in the past few years and if you have a membership to Costco or Sam's Club you can buy them in bulk. I speak from experience when I say that they do help reduce the amount of energy used in your homes. My husband and I did this and our monthly build was reduced by $25-$30 a month.