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?