Our 2012 Energy Consumption

by on January 21, 2013 · 17 comments

Each year I take the time to review our energy consumption from the previous 12 months (electricity and natural gas costs). I originally began this in 2010 after moving into our home. We fell in love with our house, and it made complete financial sense to purchase it except for the purported summertime energy costs of a staggering $500 per month. I wanted to make sure we were not spending that much, and since I have tracked our energy consumption over the last three years I can honestly say we spend nowhere near the amount of money the previous owners spent on electricity. Another reason why I like to track our energy each year is to see if the combination of pricing the lowest energy plans and instituting energy-saving methods in our household is paying off from year to year. Thankfully, we are seeing results:

  • 2010: $1,628.86, 10.8₵ per kWh
  • 2011: $1,587.79, 9.1₵ per kWh
  • 2012: $1,384.32, 9.4₵ per kWh

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2009 energy survey statistics have been released (the numbers in parenthesis below are from the 2005 survey, which is what we previously compared our numbers up against for 2010-2011). Below is a list of the average spent on energy each year by people in our situation:

  • 2-Person Household: ($1,847) $2,040
  • Single-Family Detached Home: ($2,060) $2,307
  • Year of Construction (1970-1979): ($1,654) $1,842
  • 3,000-3,499 Square Feet: ($2,172) $2,635
  • Texas Household: ($2,051) $2,160      (it’s nice to see this one has only increased by $9)

Not only are our energy costs below average in each category for the third year in a row, but we have managed to continue a downward-sloping curve of costs. A few changes we made this year in order to mitigate energy costs includes holding out for as long as possible before turning on the heat, hanging a clothesline in our garage to decrease dryer costs, and instituting digital-free Wednesdays. Weather definitely plays a part in energy costs as well, and 2012 was certainly milder for us than 2011.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah

I just printed out the report. Do I need to add my electric and gas usage together or is this for electric? thanks:)

Reply

FruGal

Hi Rebekah,

We include electricity and gas in our calculation. Let me know what you find!

Reply

Rebekah

Well, my findings weren’t good. Adding in our yearly gas bills put us over in every category :(. We were between $894 and $139 over in each category that you listed. Wow – that was eye opening since I thought we were conservative as I know that we spend less than our neighbors. Yikes!

Reply

Amanda L Grossman

Drats! Well, awareness is the first step. Any ideas on how you might be able to cut down this year?
Amanda L Grossman recently posted..Savings Accounts for Us Lower and Middling Sorts

Reply

Rebekah

We keep the thermostat on 59 at night and 64 during the day. We do turn it up if anyone comes over or they act like it’s freezing:). I line dry everything except towels so run the dryer once maybe twice a week. The dishwasher gets run about 3 times a week and I hand wash pots, knives, school lunch containers that are used everyday. We don’t have tv but have cell phones, laptops, ipod, ps3. Showers, blow dryers and curling irons/rods/straighteners with teenage girls are used often (they do turn them off) but that’s not a hill that I’m willing to die on:). I may shorten the time that our security lights are on if dh thinks it’s ok. I’ll be thinking of other ways to save on energy. Our electricity costs the same no matter when it’s used. Thanks!

Reply

Shannon-ReadyForZero

Wow, these are really cool ideas! I’ve been living in apartments for years so I don’t feel the burn of the costs to keep a home powered up, heated, and cooled. It’s interesting to see how small changes like one day being digital-free can really make!
Shannon-ReadyForZero recently posted..Weekly Shout Outs: New Career for the New Year Edition

Reply

Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle

I have lived in my current home for 6 years but I have no idea what our electric and water bills will be for 2013.

My city just switched to a new billing system. We have different rates for peak and off peak electricity times and we will now be paying for every drop of water we use.

All laundry and dishwasher activity has been shifted to non-peak times but our useage of electricy at peak times is still costing me more than I previously paid. My fridge runs when it needs to and I often cook or turn lights on during the peak times. Peak is 7am until 7pm. It is dark and cold here in Canada and I need to turn lights on and plug the kettle in for tea.

I will not water any grass or plants. They had better be tough of they will be toast.
Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle recently posted..What If I Have To Buy A Newer Car

Reply

Julie @ Freedom 48

Good job on keeping track of your utility expenses. Being able to see the effect that your energy conservation efforts have on the overall bill is rewarding. We’ve got the time-of-use billing method in place, and I love logging in online to see how much hydro we’re using during low, mid and peak billing periods. Doing laundry and running the dishwasher only during low billing time is now a permanent habit!
Julie @ Freedom 48 recently posted..Product Review: Nellie’s Laundry Soda

Reply

FruGal

That’s great you take advantage of non-peak hours!

Reply

Evan

Just closed on a new place last week – a much larger place with oil heat. Pretty bummed about the thought of filling it up for the first time at the tune of a couple grand minimum.

Do you guys participate in any alternative energies?
Evan recently posted..Selling Your House At Auction

Reply

FruGal

Hi Evan!

My father’s farm in PA was run on oil as well, and yes, it did cost a pretty penny to fill it up with oil. However, he converted it to coal this past year. I’m not sure if he has the option of either/or (which would be great in order to take advantage of varying costs between the two).

I don’t think our electricity plans include alternative energy. I am very interested in solar energy, and am researching ways to introduce it cost effectively into our household. Hopefully more to come on this in future posts.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 6 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: