Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reducing Your Energy Bill

We moved into our house almost a year ago, and over the last year I have been doing everything in my power to reduce our energy bill.

When we first moved in, we signed up for the budget program through Alliant Energy.  We didn't know exactly what it would cost on a monthly basis, and wanted to be sure we allotted enough money in our budget.  The customer service representative informed me that the average energy usage was $194/month.  Okay, so...that was our budget, and our "starting line".

Over the last year, the following tips helped us save a LOT of money (I will share the exact number shortly).

  1. During the winter, we kept our house at 65...most of the time.  We dressed warmly, and were totally fine.  It wasn't difficult, and my kids didn't mind at all.  My husband complained the most, but I would just throw a blanket at him and call it a day.  :)
  2. When Spring arrived, Hubs turned off the gas to both our fireplaces.  This saved us $10/month.
  3. And finally, during the summer we ONLY (unless we are having company and using our main level) use our air conditioner at night.  We lower the temperature to about 68 from 12a-9a.  Typically, electric companies charge more for electricity during "peak" hours (i.e. when everyone is using electricity)....so, we try to use energy during "off hours".  We also do most of our laundry and running of the dishwasher after 9pm.
So, after doing the above 3 things for the last year we have reduced our budgeted billing to $153/month.  But, last month...using the AC pretty much all month, our total was only $125.  I expect our energy bill to continue to go down, and I can't wait!  :)

How do you save money?  What steps have you taken to lower your energy consumption?

Extra Information:  Our ranch home is approximately 3200 square feet, and was built in 1999.  We also use "common knowledge" tips, like turning lights off when not in use, etc....which I didn't feel like reiterating to all your smart people.  :)

Image was found via a Google search.

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