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More Changes to How We Use Power in Our Home

The PSC who regulates our electric and gas company has passed this 3 year rate plan through just in time for the height of the heating season. The media is saying the average residential customer’s bill will go up by $200. this winter. We are a regular residential customer. There is no time of use here. However we are not an average customer. We always are above average no matter how hard I try to conserve.

Notice the increase in therm prices which is our natural gas. If you use under 50 therms, the increase will be 2.298 cents per therm. However if you use over that, those therms will increase by 3.754 cents per therm. They are even increasing our gas and electric meter charges( which is a set charge just for having their meter on your house) by $ 2.00 a month for each. With the winters here, no one will be under 50 therms. I read my meters yesterday and submitted them for our November bill and we are over the 50 therms already and it hasn’t even been that cold.

The company says they needed the rate increases because of their increases and to recover revenue shortfalls for the period May 1, 2023 to November 1, 2023. Is that company mismanagement or just the fact that people cut the amount of power they used from May to November? It seems like we can’t win but I will continue to try.

An average electric customer will have their bill go up by $9.94 per month. Again we are not average no matter how hard we try.

So we need to make some drastic changes starting with not using our gas stove unless we cook a large turkey or a number of turkey breasts at once. I will only bake bread in my bread maker. When I do roast turkeys, the entire oven will be used to do other things with them. I will not use the gas cook top if I can use a small electric appliance like my air fryer, crock pot, instant pot, electric fry pan, toaster oven, or microwave, etc.

I am trying to change my sleep patterns. I usually go to bed by 8 PM unless we have a night football game or we are out somewhere. Most of the time, I get up at 4AM. That has to stop so that I can only be up during daylight hours. I would have to use a light in the kitchen until sunrise which would be about 3 hours after I get up. Last night I went to bed at 10 PM and slept until 7AM this morning. I will continue to use this sleep pattern. It was still a little dark when I got up but I only turned on the light on the stove which was enough to get my coffee until it turned light outside. Then I opened the curtains on the sunny side of the house. Hubby does not go to bed until 11PM and sleeps to 9 or 10AM so he is always getting up in the daylight.

My other idea is to use our emergency lantern in the kitchen if it is still dark for a little bit. It will light the entire room and uses rechargeable batteries that I already have. We also have a lot of regular batteries in case of a power outage.

At night we only keep one LED light on in the room we are in. We do keep outside lights on for security reasons but they are all LED’s.

We have to decide to only use one outside door all winter. Since the garage stays warmer than the outside, I think we will use that door that comes into the house. Our garage door opener uses electricity but that is minimal compared to the cost of heat. The front door lets all the cold and wind in. We will only use that if company comes. We will try to keep our going out to a minimum over this winter. The front door and breakfast room door will have cloth snakes in front of the bottoms to keep drafts out.

We keep our heat at 70 during the daytime because Hubby is always cold. I am going to talk to him about pushing it down a degree or two. Our heat is set to go down at 9PM each night to 64. At 7AM, it comes back up to 68 and at 9AM, it goes to 70. Perhaps he would be willing to go down to 69 and then 68 to see if his body adjusts to it. But even with the heat at 70, he is wearing a jacket so I don’t know if that would work for him. We are warm enough at night because we have flannel sheets and two blankets on our beds.

I want to be more conscious about how much hot water we use also. We do have a tankless hot water heater but it is run by natural gas. So if I can use cold water instead of hot, I will. We already use cold to wash clothes and for cleaning. But there must be more things I can do that would use cold. Any ideas?

I need another cup of coffee so I will end this here. I plan on talking more on this topic this week so stay tuned.

4 replies on “More Changes to How We Use Power in Our Home”

Hi Precious. I know you do so much to try to save energy. I am thinking you already close rooms that are not in use. I was wondering about your basement? I know you have a ranch house but didn’t know if it had a full basement or not and I am thinking ranch houses might have higher bills since they are more spread out? And if a full basement might add to things? And how to work with that? I know you have efficient furnace and AC also. Hubby keeps track of our energy usage and we are always better than the most efficient, according to our electric company, so I don’t worry too much about it. I know you can’t keep your heat lower b/c of your hubby. Another thing I thought of was the tip about reversing the direction of any ceiling fans. The only other thing I thought of was if one or both of your meters were defective. But idk how to test for that.

Hi Chris,

I don’t think that I am going to close those rooms off any more. The heating people told me that it does not save me money. They say that the system has to work harder because of it. I am going to do some research to see if they are right.

I do have a full basement, 2112 sq. ft., the same as my house. The heat is run down there but we keep all the vents closed down there and do not heat it at all. That is why we are able to have some cold storage down there.

Yes we have a high efficiency furnace and air conditioner. I wish we were more efficient like you. I think one of the reasons we are above average is because we have 9 ft. ceilings in all rooms except one bedroom and the breakfast room. They have cathedral ceilings. Perhaps I should run my ceiling fans more often in the heating season to keep the heat down low. Heat does rise. They are already reversed and ready to go.

No matter how hard families try to be good stewards of their incomes by participating in all the cost saving methods they can, it just seems that some companies like utilities have us over the barrel, so to speak. Here’s an idea we do in the winter. We live in a two story house. At night, we move upstairs to the warmest room in our house to watch tv or play games. This has helped us keep our heat down a wee bit. Thank you for sharing your ideas as they are reminders to us all!

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