Friday, January 27, 2017

Ugh . . utilities!

Around Christmas, we noted an issue with hot water, ultimately reporting it to the landlord, who fixed the  water heater. I just got the latest gas, and electric bills. Sigh . . . half of the billing period covers the time while the electric heater wasn't working properly. I seriously was hoping to see an IMPROVEMENT over the $222.73 from the previous month. I see several factors:

-heat was on at a higher temp, and for longer periods
-increased gas dryer use (it still uses some electric to run)
-increased use of the gas range's oven for holiday baking session (unusual for me to use the oven)
-DS's newly found habit of longer showers
-a few days of bitterly cold, windy weather

What I've done to get this back to where it needs to be as $500 is unreasonable to me:

-lowered temp on bedroom floor programable thermostat
-reduced hours that the bedroom floor thermostat runs at a higher setting
-reduced hours that main floor thermostat runs at higher setting
-limited, once again, gas dryer use to only a load of towels
-instituted a 25 minute drying cycle for towels *(usually done 2x's/week) and hanging them to dry
-talked to kids about hot water conservation, limiting showers
-shut off the electric ice melting wires on the gutters (LL told me that they don't use a lot of energy, yet my electric bill is $100 higher this month, so any savings counts)
-been vigilent about opening/closing of drapes to keep heat inside rooms, at least for comfort
-been vigilent about lamps vs ceiling lights (Kitchen and the bedrooms have 6 pot lights, the LR has 3 sections with 4 pot lights each, there are 3 near my desk area). At the moment, as always, I only have my desk light on, it has a LED bulb.
-continue to only run full washer/dishwasher loads
-close doors in bedrooms to keep drafts at bay
-we have not been using the gas fireplace since around Thanksgiving as I felt it was adding a lot to the gas bill, although my LL said it wasn't much (it's relative I guess)

So, now I anxiously await NEXT month's bills. I've calculated that my electric should be about $130. Gas? I am still adjusting to but know that just for cooking and limited dryer use, it was under $25 in the early Summer months. Something just has to give.


slugmama said...

I hear ya!
Our electric(all electric house)bill was $417 this month.
It has NEVER been that high for January!
I blame an extra adult taking showers/doing laundry this Jan. and having to keep the downstairs temp at 70 degrees 24/7 b/c Hubs has been living down here.

Good luck w/reigning it in.

meme said...

We have had some bitterly cold weather too. I am eagerly awaiting warm spring weather....

Ms. Sandie said...

Wow, that is a huge bill. Are you sure no other usage is on your meter? When I lived in a 3 family we realized there was lots of overlaps between our separate utilities ( when first floor didn't pay electric bill and their kitchen for example )

CTMOM said...

Sandie, I've been watching our utilities since we moved in June. Granted, June was my transition month, between 2 homes, so there was overlap. Seemed to regulate itself (electric) and I estimated for hot water as we are no longer on a boiler, etc. Realtor had told us to count on $200/month easily for utilities. I budgeted $220 for gas and electric, using very little gas, compared to electric. Yes, the water heater has been on the fritz, the heat is on, I used the dryer and the range oven over Xmas while I was attending college, my crunch time. I thought last month's electric was high at $222-very unhappy now with my electric bill. So, we watch our usage, and expect a drop next month, this is ridiculous.

Carol Farley said...

I think part of the problem might be the electric hot water heater. They use a great amount of energy as compared to a natural gas water heater, unfortunately. Hopefully, with restraints from everyone the bill will go down. Utilities in general everywhere are quite high and the winter makes the cost higher (of course, to stay comfortable in the summer, the AC will raise our monthly bills, too).

Busy Bee said...

Ours were a little higher this month, too. Not as high as yours though. Yikes! I was expecting it though. We had colder weather. I also ran the washer and dryer more for after surgery care and kept the heat slightly higher for the same reason. We had a week where we had 3 extra people showering, etc. too.

Ms. Sandie said...

Let me correct what I said. When the first floor apartment didn't pay their electric bill and they got shut off we lost the power to our kitchen