How to lower power bill?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by clintswifeymomof4, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. clintswifeymomof4

    clintswifeymomof4 I

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    We're in the deep south and it is hot! Our power bill came in yesterday at a whopping $340! :scared1:

    I am on total save mode now... I am now unplugging EVERYTHING before going to bed at night or when it isn't in use... the tvs, dvrs, modem, dvd players, microwave, lamps, cell phone chargers, and have even considered the washer and dryer if that would help.

    We keep the overhead fans on to help circulate the air in the house and keep interior doors closed. We have bumped up the AC- even though it is sometimes uncomfortable- we'll manage.

    I'm going to get my husband to lower the hot water heater temperature. We keep all lights off during the day and open the blinds.

    How else can I shave $ off of our power bill???
     
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  3. rmom50

    rmom50 DIS Veteran

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    I've heard that in some areas if you do laundry and run dishwasher, etc. at night they give you a break? Worth checking in to maybe? Sounds like you are really doing a good job! My husband put these horrible dim little light bulbs all over our house - I hate them. They're like a chandelier or night light bulb or something. We also have dimmer switches and that might help? I'll be watching to see what brilliant ideas the Dis folks come up with - they're usually so helpful! Good luck!
     
  4. Disneyliscious

    Disneyliscious DIS Veteran

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    I bought two 110 window unit air conditioners for $100 each to use instead of my central air. My electric bill was cut in half.

    We put them in the windows of the rooms we use the most and one unit can cool 2 or 3 rooms if the doors are left open. The rooms we don't use on a daily basis dont get cooled. We only run one in the daytime for the living room, kitchen, dining and main bathroom. In the evening we turn on the one that cools the bedrooms.

    If your house has an open floor plan and is one level, one 220 AC window unit would probably cool the entire floor.

    My normal bills use to be in the $200 range. Now they run $90-$120 a month just because of that one change.

    Window units are not as "pretty", but I don't really care about pretty when im saving that kind of money.
     
  5. clintswifeymomof4

    clintswifeymomof4 I

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    Great suggestion! We bought a window unit that actually sits on the floor and has a vent tube that goes to the window for my daughter's room upstairs. Our house is a 1 1/2 story... the only rooms upstairs are their bedroom (very large- has 3 twin beds in it plus a sitting area and bathroom) and a small playroom adjacent. We have closed the central vents and just use that unit... it has a thermostat and since the girls play downstairs during the day... I bump it up as well after they wake up. Not sure we would benefit from it downstairs b/c our bedroom and the two other kid's bedrooms are split and our windows are only about a foot from the floor. Great suggestion though!


    I hate to admit this but we usually run 3 dishwasher loads a day and at least 2 laundry loads a day... while the laundry has decreased since the kids are out of school now- the dishes have increased tremendously!

    I'm not willing to stand at the sink and wash the mass amounts of dishes to save a few dollars a month and I don't have time chasing after the 2 babies and keeping my older 3 from tearing up the house... haha.

    But- I will take the dishwasher off of the "heat dry" setting and hand dry them... this will prevent the kitchen from heating up. I just realized how much heat I must be putting into the house during the day!!! :scared1:

    I've also been grilling a lot outdoors to prevent heating the oven up during the day. It's a start! I hope this bill is lower next month!

    I reduced our cell phone plans and downgraded our uverse service to help offset some of the cost.
     
  6. DisneyWalle

    DisneyWalle DIS Veteran

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    We live in south Alabama about 10 minutes from Georgia and 30 minutes from Florida....so I understand hot. Our power bill runs about $159 a month, this is what I do.

    Load dishwasher once and run it only at night.
    Wash clothes in cold water - hang out to dry, if I have to use the dryer -its only at night
    If its not being used, its unplugged

    On the weekends we work 12 hour shifts so the house has to stay cooler cause we sleep during the day so - all lights stay off during the day - except for one low voltage light in living room -black-out curtains and blinds on all windows which stay closed - our air sits at 79 degrees no lower and we use fans if its feeling hot

    Now, during the week, I am off and so is my husband - so we turn the air off - open all the blinds - tie back the curtains and open the windows - turn off all lights and place the fans in the windows.

    We are lucky that we situated our house so that the morning and afternoon sun hit the sides of the house which doesn't cause the house to heat up as bad. Plus, the wind blows fairly aggressively across our property for most of the day which helps tremedously esp when the windows are open.

    By doing these things, our power bill is reasonable. It has been an adjustment for my son but my husband and I grew up without air conditioning so we were ok with this.
     
  7. starwood

    starwood <font color=red>This mouse GOT her next cruise<br>

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    Actually it uses less water to run the dishwasher than to wash the dishes by hand. Have you replaced any of your light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LED bulbs? These will save a lot of energy. Also only run the dishwasher when it is full and only run the washing machine when it is full. If you can put your clothes on a clothes line instead of using the dryer that will also help.
     
  8. herdtoDisney

    herdtoDisney DIS Veteran

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    I would defenitely just air dry your dishes, rather than use the heat setting. I always use the air dry setting, and they dry pretty fast since they are warm from the washing. I just open the dishwasher (removing knives if you have little ones) and they dry by themselves. The heat dry cycle sucks up energy.

    I also love saving money in the summer by line drying. With our elec cost here, I figure I save at least $1 a load by line drying. That adds up!

    I don't know about adding window units to a house with AC. I have a window unit upstairs and down here, and I hate to run them-they run up the bill IMO. I don't have AC otherwise though so I don't know if they are cheaper than central air.

    I also changed our bulbs to CFLs. That helped, and they are not expensive at Sams club.

    As far as the water heater, it should be set at 120 degrees, that is hot enough to kill germs but not hot enough to quickly scald skin. Do you have an electric water heater? When I did, we put a timer on it-we had it set to come on early in the morning to heat up (for morning showers/dishes) then it went off during the day while we were gone, then back on again in the afternoon till bedtime. It paid for itself in a couple months!!! The heater does not need to be on 24/7 to have hot water, it only takes a little while to heat up.
     
  9. MattMatts-Momma

    MattMatts-Momma 311 Miles from the Wilderness Lodge!!

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    Your post makes me nervous to see what our next bill will be! We have Georgia Power and I heard last week that they increased the rates and bills have been doubling.
     
  10. mom2d&b

    mom2d&b DIS Veteran

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    We are south of the mouse so I understand hot. A few things we have done are tint our windows, change the curtains to the insulated ones, and as bulbs need to be replaced, we put in the CFL ones. We habe almost always air dried the dishes in the dish washer. I am thinkig about hanging some of the laundry in the garage to dry. It is easier to hang on th egarage than out back. We also upped the temp couple of degrees during the day and use a ceiling fan in the rooms we are in. At night we love it cold to sleep so we still keep it in the mid 60's . Our bill is only about $150 a month. Our neighbor who has the same exact house pays about $360. We have shared all the things we have done but they just seem content complaining about the bill instead of making adjustments.
    I am confident you will see a reduction if you do some of the things suggested on the DISboards.
     
  11. ShiPooOwner

    ShiPooOwner Fan of WDW now and forever!

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    I'm way up north but curious about what you set the temperature on your a/c at during the day and at night. When we've rented homes in FL the temp is usually set at 78 for both day and night and with ceiling fans on, it feels very comfortable. Up here if I set them on 78 with ceiling fans on, I broil! :confused3
     
  12. MattMatts-Momma

    MattMatts-Momma 311 Miles from the Wilderness Lodge!!

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    I usually have the temp for the AC set at 78 degrees. Sometimes when I am cleaning I turn it down to 77 degrees. It is sad that you can work up a sweat cleaning the house and get a callus from vacuuming! :eek:

    Now with the kids home for the summer, it feels like we are using alot more electric. Lights on, tv's on, fans blowing, I am sure our bill has gone up...
     
  13. 3 MEN AND A BOAT

    3 MEN AND A BOAT DIS Veteran

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    These all sound like great suggestions.

    But I wanted to ask if this is a drastic change from your typical monthly bill(as in $100-200) did you call to have it re-read. I've had mine read incorrectly 3 times in the past 5yrs. Just a Thought.

    Paul
     
  14. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    This past month ours was the highest it has EVER BEEN! :scared1:

    We too are going to be cutting our bill.

    All a/c units up to 77 for the rest of the summer.
    All electrical items off unless in use.

    I could confine everyone to the basement for the summer as we don't need a/c down there!

    Dawn
     
  15. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    Check for air leaks, under doors, around windows, caulk and buy one of those things that lays against the bottom of the door to stop airflow. If you're not sure, have DH go outside when it's dark and shine a flashlight around the doors and windows. Anywhere the light gets out the A/C is leaking out too.

    If you are using an oven for any meals, use a toaster oven instead.
     
  16. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    I don't know what our problem with CFLs is but they COST us money. They may use less energy but they don't last as long, for sure! We've tried different brands- don't know what to do!
     
  17. jjsmom

    jjsmom Mouseketeer

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    -In the summer months, I hang most of my laundry. I have a mental thing about running the dryer and the central air at the same time. It's been beastly hot here on the Eastern shore of MD, so I figure that heat is free.;)

    Oh and here too, we just heard Delmarva Power is raising rates...:mad: UGGG!

    -I wash most clothing in cold water (if you read clothing label, most of them suggest it anyway)
    -I air dry dishes
    -turn off your oven 10 minutes before items are finished. Your food will continue cook properly. I've pretty much stopped baking, period. I love homemade cookies and bread and otherwise it would be cheaper to bake from scratch, but not in the summer putting all that heat back in the house.
    -For items you boil on the range top (pasta, potatoes, etc.), Bring water to boil. Add food. Bring to boil again. Cover. Turn off burner. This takes just a few minutes longer for food to cook, but saves electricity.
    -Our thermostat is set at 77 deg. We also use ceiling fans to make it feel cooler. we turn off the ceiling fans when not at home or out of the room for a while.
    Good luck!:laundy:
     
  18. minnie1928

    minnie1928 WDW addict

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    When I lived in NJ and PA I used a toaster oven during the summer. It was big enough for most of our meals and it didn't require preheating. And, when I was done using it I could carry it out to our deck to cool off. Compared to heating up the regular over (and subsequently heating up the kitchen) this worked much better.

    Not to hijack the original thread, but we just moved into our new-to-us house in Seattle and I've replaced all the light bulbs with CFLs. What do I do with all the incandescent bulbs? I must have over 40 bulbs!
     
  19. Jeff_G

    Jeff_G Mouseketeer

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    Are they on dimmers or photocells? Are they hung upside down or in an enclosure? CFLs should not be used with a dimmer or photocell, and when you have them hung upside down they burn out faster because of heat issues. They were designed to dissipate their heat upwards away from the ballast in the base of the CFL. Same issue for using in an enclosed light, they heat has nowhere to go and causes the CFL to burn out quicker.
     
  20. disneyandme

    disneyandme DIS Veteran

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    A study just came out that DVR's are huge electricity drains. If you have one, maybe try unplugging it when it's not in use. We tend to have things recording over night, so it doens't really work for us.
     
  21. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    Yes- I think all of them are either upside down or enclosed. Thanks for solving the mystery!
     

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