Our Energy Consumption for 2011: How Did We Do?

I like to keep track of our annual energy consumption. One of the reasons is because when we purchased our home in the fall of 2009, I asked the previous owners what they paid for electricity. Amazingly, it was close to $500 per month! This cost shocked my husband and me into being extremely conservative in our energy use (such as unplugging all appliances after each use except for the refrigerator and bedside lamps, and changing out all of the light bulbs to more energy efficient ones). The other reason is that I genuinely enjoy finding ways to reduce our energy consumption.

                In 2010, our energy cost (electricity and natural gas) was $1,628.86. This was while paying 10.8₵ per kWh. I snagged 9.1₵ per kWh at renewal of our electricity contract in late 2010 and figured we were set to shave an extra $171 off of our annual electricity costs in 2011. Our actual 2011 energy cost (electricity and natural gas) was $1,587.79. This was a savings of only $41.07, even though we were paying less per kilowatt than the year before.  When I thought about why we had not seen the $171 savings we should have in 2011, I figured it must have been because of the intense heat and drought we experienced here in Houston—I am sure you remember how tough our year was in terms of weather.

So how did our energy consumption compare to others? The Energy Information Administration (EIA) comes out with an energy survey every so often with the latest being 2005 (the new one was scheduled to be out in late 2011/early 2012; however, I could not locate the report). 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

Thankfully, our energy costs are below average for each category. It’s nice to know the changes we have made are paying off! I hope we can shave even more off of our annual energy bills in 2012.

How was your energy use in 2011? Any changes you have plans to make this year in order to decrease your energy consumption?

7 comments… add one

  • For 2011 we actually paid around $1800 for our energy consumption which is at the low range for a detached house. Heating is a major part of the bill up here so this is where I try to optimise our programmable thermostats every year!
    BeatingTheIndex recently posted..Winstar Resources: Undervalued Oil and Gas Junior in Tunisia

  • Wow, you did great. I really should take a closer look at this. Telecommuting does not help our energy costs too much :)
    Barbara Friedberg recently posted..PERSONAL FINANCE TIP; HOW TO STAY ORGANIZED

  • My electric and gas totals $1,033.00 for a family of two. We have house guests for about 4-6 weeks a year. We live in a 3 story, 2 bedroom 21/2 bath townhouse (1,850 square feet). Winters are mild in southern California, however summers can be brutal.
    Krantcents recently posted..The Google Diet

  • How cool that you track your energy consumption! We’re pretty frugal ourselves and find that we’re paying significantly lower energy bills than others in our city.
    John recently posted..How to Save Money for Just About Anything!

  • I’m thinking this would be a great project for DS1 – his contribution to our three year frugal project.

    Have set him up a spreadsheet with a whizzy graph macro and entered the opening readings.

    Will let you know how it goes over the years.
    Elaine@mortgagefreeinthree.com recently posted..It’s such a Perfect Day

  • Great article! Tracking energy consumption now is so important to being more responsible in the future! Not to mention the fact that being more energy efficient helps the environment and can have positive financial effects!
    Shannon – ReadyForZero recently posted..How To Find A Reputable Debt Consolidation Company

  • Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my subscribers would value your work. If you
    are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.
    good green recently posted..good green

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