Utility increase

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by *Andi, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Well, I knew it would not be a long wait ...Our Utility Co. now seeks a 9.6% increase. (over new regs)

    I wish I could say that I was working on being "off the grid" ... but so far that has not worked out. :gaah: (but that is a differnt story. <sigh>)

    So for now I'm looking at differnt way to cut the power bill. :idea:

    How would you cut your power bill?
  2. TrackerRat

    TrackerRat Well-Known Member

    Search the net for ideas, weather proofing, cover water heater, insulate pipes ect. Unplug non used electronics, lower heat and use space heaters for your bedroom.

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Oh come on ... you guys are better than the net. ;)

  4. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    Check winders, doors an the foundation, notorious air leakers. How much insulation yall got in yer attic? Not hard ta do an don't take long on payback.

    If ya ain't got em yet, goto flourescent lightin, the do save some money.

    Have yer heatin unit cleaned an tuned ever year an replace them filters ever month.

    Check yer fridge an freezer, make sure there operatin at the proper temps an not to cold. Also ya can sometimes get the power company ta test em fer efficency, round here they got a deal goin with rebates ta replace em.

    Insulate unused winders, the silver bubble sheets work good, but 2" foam be much better.
  5. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    OOOOOHHHHH, off-grid...........:D
  6. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

    It's hard to say w/o spending a day or two in your home to see your habits. Do you leave lights/tv etc on when no one is in the room or watching tv? Do you leave the water running when you wash dishes/hand/teeth? Do you take 40 min steam bath showers that peel the wall paper? Do you stand in the open door while saying good bye for 5 mins to visitors? When is the last time you cleaned the coils on the fridg and freezer? Off grid guys use power strips to kill phantom loads.

    All the little things add up. Like other posted, chalk and weather stripping is cheap. Turn down the t-stat as much as you can stand (house and water heater). Wear a sweater instead.

    After the little easy things look for big things. Probably your heat/cooling is the most costly. Burn wood or other cheap/free fuel for heat and use window fans instead of a/c.

    Try as hard as you can to get some solar. Here in NJ there are companies that install "free" systems for you. You get to make nearly all of you electric, but they get to keep the solar credits, that's how they make their money. It's better to pay out right because you get a large fed tax credit, free electric and the solar credits. Your roi should be about 5yrs. After that you can sell credits for 10 more yrs. and make your own electric for the rest of your life. If you can't front the money for the install, get the free system and zero out your electric bill.

    In warm weather you can get warm/hot water from a black container left in the sun.

    I try to keep as much of our money in our pocket as I can and I catch some crap from my wife for being a cheap SOB, but energy ain't gettin' cheaper. Changing your habits is free. Do it now and work on the rest as you can. I enjoy a long hot shower once in awhile, but I have a valve for taking navy showers. In the summer we have solar hot water. You have to figure out how much you want to save vs how much convenience you are willing to give up. It's not convenient to cut a truck load of wood, but it's nice to take $400 off your heating bill. Do what you can, it all adds up.
  7. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Look for phantom power-draws through-out the house. I just went over this with my dad - his bill says that he is using more and more power all the time but he tells me that he is spending more and more time away from home.

    We went through his house and found that he no longer has just one TV, there is now one plugged into the wall in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bedroom ... all drawing power waiting for that magic signal from the remote-control to show the picture.

    Then he has 4 sets of wireless phones all on charge-bases spread through-out the house. Those charge-bases all draw power. He is going to have just two wireless phones and the rest will be basic hard-line'd phones with no external-power-plugs (for answering machine, etc).

    He is going to only plug his cell-phone charger in when he needs it and not leave it plugged in 24hrs a day drawing phantom-power while waiting for the cell-phone to be attached.

    He is going to put power-bars on the walls so that he can flip the switch to make sure that phantom-draws are not happening at all. When he leaves the house for extended periods of time, he will flip the switches at the breaker for everything except the fridge and freezer ...

    It is amazing how much wasted power there is just on phantom-draw.
  8. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

    Build an underground solar house... this one costs 5 cents a day to heat in winter... total monthly power bill is $38.50... off-grid capability too.

  9. tyler_kd0bsa

    tyler_kd0bsa Well-Known Member

    Instead of drying clothes in the dryer, hang them up to dry if at all possible. Its amazing how much electricity an electric dryer uses. We hang a lot of our up to dry outside if its nice out and even inside on drying racks if the weather doesn't permit.
  10. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    We only turn our hot water heater on for 2 hours in the afternoon. We wash clothes in cold water and hang outside to dry. TV, dvd player and stero are plugged into a surge protector with a switch that is turned off when not in use. All digital appliances, clocks, cell phone chargers etc are unpluged when not in use. All lights have been replaced with the new energy efficent ones. In hubby's shop all tools are unpluged or turned off ie the air compressor, welder etc. I'm always looking for new ways to save on our energy bill. Besides it won't be so hard to adjust if something happens to the power grid for a while.
  11. BillM

    BillM BillM

    You must have

    You must have one of those Solar Dryers ?
  12. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    For the most part I a frugle person, just the way I grew up.

    I do have and use my Solar Dryer. :D Also at the library today I got the Idiot's guide to solar power. ;)

    I'm going to look more into the phantom power-draws and the other tips I have gotten.