The average U.S. household spends $2,200 per year on energy consumption. Of course average oftentimes does not tell the whole story: this number includes 8 person and 1 person households, 5,000 square foot homes and 500 square foot apartments, all regions of the US, and the whole gamut of household incomes.
When we fell in love with our current home in September 2009, I was very concerned with the potential energy costs. We had not intended to purchase a 3,100 square foot home, but it was the best we had seen with a price tag that was $40,000 cheaper than some of the other 19 houses we viewed. I remember asking the previous owners how much they spent per month in the summer time, and they answered $500 *gulp*. I am now happy to report that our energy consumption for 2010 was not nearly as bad as I had thought: we spent $1,628.86 on both electricity and natural gas (December’s usage was based off of our December usage from 2009).
So how does our energy consumption compare? The Energy Information Administration (EIA) comes out with an energy survey every so often with the latest being 2005 (the new one is scheduled to be out in late 2011/early 2012). Below is a list of what people in our situation spend on average per year in energy costs to give a better comparison:
- 2 Person Household: $1,847
- Single-Family Detached Home: $2,060
- Year of Construction (1970-1979): $1,654
- 3,000-3,400 Square Feet: $2,172
- Texas Household: $2,051 per year
In all cases, we came in lower than the average. Not only that, but I am pleased to say that we have successfully deflated our energy costs in the upcoming year (and you can do the same). Our energy contract with Mega Energy was up in November (10.8₵ per kWh), which was the perfect excuse to try some negotiating tactics. I have received numerous mailings from electricity companies offering everything under the moon to get me to sign on with them: $300 in visa gift cards, $200 account credits, magazine subscriptions, movie tickets, etc. However, it would be easier for me to stay with Mega Energy. With ads in hand, I called the retention office of Mega Energy and told them the situation: I am a loyal customer who wishes to remain with your company, but I would like you to offer me a comparable retention package.
Unfortunately, they were unable to offer any gift cards or account credits. What they did offer was an unbeatable price: 9.1₵ per kWh (my renewal contract was for 10.2₵ per kWh), fixed for a 12-month term (please note there are cheaper plans out there, but you would be signed for less than 12 months, which opens you up to renewal during the summer months when the prices will be much more expensive). At our energy consumption levels from the previous year, this equals a $171 savings for us. Hurrah!
Have you had similar success with renewing a contract? I’d love to hear about it!
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