Why I Should Be A Millionaire: The Electric Bill
Posted August 7, 2009on:
Until we got married I never had to juggle the usual utility bills. My pre-marriage home was a one bedroom guesthouse the in-laws of a friend rented to me for three years at ridiculously, graciously, low rent with no bills. So, I lived there for next to nothing, used their washer and dryer at their insistence, and ate dinner with them on occasion. (Before moving off into the land of wedded bliss, the wife half of this saintly couple even helped throw me a wedding shower.) It was a hugely generous situation and honestly, living in a town where my private school teacher’s salary was a third of the median income, I don’t know what I would have done without it.
Before the guesthouse, I was in college and living in an all bills paid apartment with a roommate. So, until our marriage last summer the only thing I’ve had to budget for was rent. An electric bill was a new one for me (a budget was not, so utility bills weren’t all that painful to accept). Here is what I try to do to keep our energy bill manageable.
- Dry clothes on a clothesline instead of in the dryer. I have done this consistently for only a month so I don’t know the monetary savings, but I feel it’s a much more responsible choice when possible.
- Turn off lights and other energy-sucking items when not in use. We try to keep groups of appliance plugged into power strips that can easily be turned off. Every morning before work and every night at bedtime I walk through the house and make sure everything that can be is turned off
- Turn off (unplug?) the water heater when away from home for a weekend or longer.
- Use fans to reduce the need for AC. Reverse them in the winter to circulate warm air.
- Set AC or heater accordingly when you aren’t home. Don’t cool or heat an empty house! We set timers so the house starts to cool down/warm up an hour before we get home from work.
- Use rugs or rolled up towels to block cracks under doors and prevent your “bought air” from escaping. We do this in our bedroom at night, especially since it’s the only room we cool/heat while we’re sleeping (given the window unit/space heater situation).
How do YOU manage your electric bill?