Monday, January 12, 2015

Family Average Electric Usage

We only have electric (no gas), and I have learned over the years that our usage has been predictable and follows a certain pattern.  My electric company offers charts and usage comparisons so that you can see what you use and when you use the most.  These are great for planning your budget throughout the year and seeing those months where you can save money for other things.  Here is our usage for this past year:

We pay every 2 months for electric and so what is the highest month - January - is actually part of November, all of December and part of January's usage.  Those are the times we use heat the most and heat is expensive as you can see.  We keep our thermostat at 66 most of the time, though we have gone down to 65 some nights.  We live in a 1500 sq. ft mobile home, so the insulation is not that great, especially the floor since we are on blocks and the carpet tends to always be cold.  I would imagine in a stick-built home on a foundation with insulation, our usage and costs would be lower.

In the summer, we have 2 window air conditioning units that are on pretty much on all the time during the day and evening but they don't cost much in electric to run, as you can see by our chart for July and Sept.  We can plan for more money to save during May - Nov and then also plan for the larger bills in the winter months.

Our yearly average electricity usage is 16,000 kWh, which is, on average, 1300 kWh monthly or 43 kWh a day.  Our highest kWh this past year was slightly over 4000 for 2 months (2000 for 1 month) and our lowest was about 1800 for 2 months (900 for one month).  These charts are handy to compare year after year and also to see how you can get your usage down.

Some things that we do most of the time to save on electric costs are:

  • Keep the lights off during the day and use light from outside when possible
  • Use cold water to wash our hands
  • Unplug electronics that may pull a charge when not in use (chargers, phones, etc.)
  • Unplug things that you don't plan on using daily
  • Use full loads in the dryer
  • Keep our thermostat at 66 in the winter

There are more but those are just a few - share any that you may have!

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deniecebarnes said...

Beverly I need to start paying attention to our electric bill more. My husband had always said we run less electric doing the summer then the winter. So last night I asked my hubby to show me our electric company website for our electric company and he showed me all the grids. What a great tool to have for our monthly electric budget. So we will be monitoring it to see how much we really use. Thanks for another great post.

Anonymous said...

I have only electric as well. 4 kids, a mechanic husband and living on a farm, we go through a lot of laundry. I have a drying rack and only use the dryer if I'm in a hurry and also for towels. For washing, I do everything in cold water. We also shut the lights off during the day, only use the air conditioner when we must. We have south facing windows, helping with the heat in the winter. When baking, I'll shut off the oven 10 minutes before finished as the heat stays in the oven. Keeping the door closed for the fridge as much as possible is also a must. I don't let my kids stand in front of the fridge with the door open. That wastes a lot of power. On the farm, it is always a struggle to keep the electric bill down as we are always using heat lamps or heating water, except for a few months in the summer. But our farm is always growing, so I am thankful for all the blessings! :)

Christian Homekeeper said...

Thanks for the comment ladies! :-)

Anonymous - thanks for sharing your tips!

Jessica said...

We do all of that and hang out laundry to dry. In the winter time we just dry inside by hanging things on drying racks and on hangers hung up the shower door beam.
I try to keep the lights off as much as possible during the day and go to bed early(ish--the goal is by 8:30) so we don't have the lights on all night.
No electronic media other than the computer in this house! I really try to limit myself to keep the bill down... and my productivity level up! ;)
In the summer we open windows and wear light layers and in winter we bundle up so we don't have to turn the heat up. We keep the thermostat at about 60-62ish during the day and 55 at night. There are no heater vents in the bedrooms--just one heater in the living room, and the heat doesn't reach the bedrooms anyway so it's a huge waste to have it on while we sleep!
I also like to do as much batch cooking as possible. Instead of making one loaf of bread at a time, we'll make a double batch (4 loaves) and while they're baking, mix up a batch of muffins since we have the oven on anyway.
Unplug the internet boxes and phone/computer chargers when we're gone during the day and at night.

Christian Homekeeper said...

Those are great tips, thanks for sharing Jessica!! ;-)

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