One of my goals for 2013 is to reduce my electric usage and, ultimately, my electric bill. How did I do for December? Read below to find out.
November Results (Actually, mid-November through mid-December.)
I used less electricity in December 2012 than in December 2011. Woot!
BUT... it initially looked like I had used MORE electricity. When I checked my bill it had said I had used over 900 KWh's (whatever they are) of electricity. This was more than I had used for the same period last year. I was disheartened, to say the least, because I had taken steps to not let this happen - both from measures I took last month in order to use less electricity, and new strategies implemented this month.
????? If this was how it was going to be then I was ready to throw in the towel. Thankfully, before I completely gave up and became an energy hog, I noticed something on my bill - my bill had been ESTIMATED "based on my prior usage." There was aso some directions on reading your own meter and submitting the results to them using a simple online form. I checked my meter and, sure enough, my own usage was actually 300 KWh LESS than what they had estimated.
This was an important month to get an accurate meter reading because it is the end of my "budget billing" period. Now we should be able to start off 2013 with a good idea of what the monthly 2013 electric budget should be.
Sometimes it pays to double check the electric company's work!
Steps I took last month to reduce the amount of electricity I used:
1.) Made an effort to turn off lights when I wasn't using them. Same with TVs. Plus continued using the timers I bought last month to limit the amount of time some outside lights are on (I really need to pick up a couple more of these).
2.) Changed my 'outdoor' Christmas decorations. I always put a lighted tree on my front porch. But in the past I have also placed electric candles in each of the front windows. These were old and clearly used a lot of electricity because my December electric bill always shot way up. This year I did away with the electric candles and, instead, placed a lighted Christmas tree in an upstairs window at the center of the house (this had newer lights on it that used less electricity, and I also placed the tree on a timer so it wouldn't be n all day). From the outside the house still looked nicely decorated and festive with the two trees visible! Inside I have a tall lighted and decorated tree, but it is only on in the evenings and doesn't use much electricity.
3.) Read my own electric meter when the electric company tried to estimate the reading... that proved to be a good thing for me! :)
What steps do you take to reduce your electric bills? I could use some more suggestions!