This has been a hot and humid summer yet we have cut our electric bills. We have had three bills so far and we have cut our electric bill and gas bills by $ 115.94 this summer. Most of our summer usage is electric. We use very little natural gas in the summer. Of course we always have to pay for the gas meter and associated taxes and service charges.
Some of the decrease was because of the 3 days we had broken A/C but that was minimal compared to the big picture.
If you had told me that we would be able to cut our electric bill by this much, I would not have thought it would be possible. You all know that I have always tried to keep our utility bills low. So I would have thought it was not possible to cut it this much.
But this summer, when the days were cooler(70-80), we were diligent about turning our A/C off instead of just leaving it on most of summer. We always did the latter because we knew it would only run when we needed it.
However, I got thinking about how spoiled we have become. We did not have A/C when I grew up in the city. Nor did we have it when we summered on a lake. Granted we were kids and the heat didn’t bother us much.
The first two years we were married, we lived in a very hot attic apartment with one window fan and we survived. When we bought our first home, we did not put central A/C in for a few years. We survived. In all three of our homes after the first one, we have always had central A/C. I think we just got used to putting that A/C on for the summer.
We probably would not have survived the heat in Arizona without the central A/C. But we had really cheap electricity out there. In New York, it is costly.
Our utility company, NYSEG, has requested a rate increase of 24% for this coming year. I doubt the PSC will agree to that(time will tell) but they will get a hefty portion of it. They say they need the increase because their costs have gone up which is probably true. We have all seen our costs go up.
A good portion of the increase they are asking for is to pay for the smart meters that they want to install over the next 5 years in all of their customers homes. Are those necessary? Yes and no. They normally replace a certain number of meters each year because of age. Do they need to replace all meters? I would think not. But they do not have residential meters that would allow a Time Of Use(TOU) rate. They have not said how that will operate yet. I am very curious about that.
We opted for TOU metering in Arizona and we saved a lot of money even though we were retired and home all day long. That said, I really don’t know how much we would really save here with the extreme temperatures we get in both the summer and the winter. It all depends on how the company sets their TOU hours and rates for that.
But anyhow, we cut back to try to lower the utility bills over the summer and it has been working. We have been very comfortable without it on the days we have turned it off. It is off now at least until Monday or Tuesday because cooler air has come in. We are enjoying the fresh air.
You all know that I do lots of other things to keep our utility bills down as shown in these posts:
How do you cut your utility bills? Do you go without A/C sporadically during the summer or for all of the summer?