Electricity Costs

There are two things that come in the mail that make me want to run and hide.  One is the Discover Card bill.  We put everything — groceries, medical bills, gas, utilities — everything, on the Discover Card.  The bill is always horrendous but if you think about every dime you spend during the month, it’s a lot of money!  Vince opens the bill, steam escapes his ears, (I’ve left the room and hopefully the house by now!), goes over every single charge .. then he realizes it’s truly essential expenses and he calms down and usually says nothing to me about it.

The second bill that comes in that causes me to run for cover is the electric bill.  We’re total electric.  There are two full size ovens and many times, they’re both going.  There are two full size fridges and a freezer.  The dishwasher often runs three times a day.  All three of us take 2 showers each day . . Chad’s are lengthy!  In fact, Chad’s shower lasts as long as there’s hot water.  When I hear Chad turn on the shower, that’s my signal to start the washer and the dishwasher.  I figure if he’s staying in the shower til the hot water runs out, I’ll just speed things up a bit!  Oh, let’s not talk about the water bill.  It has sewer on it too but it’s usually near $100.

During the summer, our electric bill often exceeds $400/month.  During the dead of winter, it’s usually about $300.  Otherwise, the electric bill runs anywhere from $150 to $200.  We received a bill today and this is the amount we owe!

Oh yeah!  I believe that!  I called Kansas City Power & Light and explained that I thought our electric bill might be wrong.  The nice lady was thinking I was complaining because it was too much!  She looked at our records and busted out laughing.  I do think, from looking at your records, that this is a mistake! I told her I wasn’t complaining and would be thrilled if my bills could be this amount every month.  She laughed some more!

They can either come out and re-read the meter or just catch up next month.  Next month is fine.  It all comes out in the end, so why waste their time.

Mary asked if her readers have turned their heat on yet.  We have not.  I did switch the thermostat over to heat but we keep it around 50 at night and then it kicks up to about 68 at 5:30 a.m., and goes back to 55 at 6:30 a.m.  It’s really hard to crawl out of a warm bed when the house is freezing!  And, worse, try getting a toasty little dachshund to surface.  That’s a good way to lose a hand — Speck is not a morning dog anyway and when it’s cold, he wouldn’t mind staying in bed much longer than we can.  Downstairs stays warm without the heat so we hardly ever turn the downstairs thermostat to heat.

I had big hopes of closing in the downstairs garage, getting a wood stove or pellet stove in there and putting the longarm in that room but, that’s not going to happen.  For another year, we’re stuck with electric heat as our only source of heat.  Not a situation I’m comfortable with but, that decision was not made by me!


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    What a sneaky, smart idea to turn on the hot water using appliances to keep Chad’s showers a little shorter. Uh oh! He is going to find out about your little trick when he reads this. LOL

    We heat our home with a gas fireplace. It heats the entire main floor. We set the thermostat at 68-69 during the day and down to 60 at night. We also have a little free-standing gas fireplace downstairs, it gets turned on only when we are going to be down there for any length of time.

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    The furnace has been on for a few weeks now. The forecast is calling for some snow this weekend. I wait as long as I can before I switch it on and I have a programmable thermostat so that the house isn’t heated when no one is home.
    I’m very frugal with the utilities not always easy with my daughters but they are pretty good now. I’ve also tried to teach them not to waste water as they’ll need it in the future and not just today. Chad will probably change some of his ways when he’s paying his own bills 🙂

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    I kicked on the heat a couple of nights ago because I was freezing in bed. I think my skin has gotten thin since I’ve been living in SoCal!

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    I turned the heat on but with the thermostat set at 60 it hasn’t come on even with outside temperatures in the mid 30’s. I think we’re going to benefit from having a middle unit here. Last winter in the apartment – all the heat from the other floors rose to our level and our electric bill was low.

    Don’t ask me what it was for the house in GA – way, way more than I pay here in MN and the AC costs were just as high there.

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    We’ve had our heater turned off and on for the past month now. Last week the weather was wonderful but last night turned cold again. I was reading some blogs and a couple of ladies got some snow!! I wonder when we are going to start getting ours. 🙂

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    pdudgeon says

    we have our electric set up on budget billing, so now i don’t have to worry about the fluctuations from month to month.
    i love budget billing!

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    Like pdudgeon, we have budget billing, so we don’t see wild fluctuations. However, we put in new windows about 3 years ago that has made a big difference, and just installed a Trane this summer–which the rep told me should reduce our billing by about 50% this winter, as our dying unit was 18 years old. Since I save all our utility bills, I’ll be checking the usage to see just how much difference this will make.

    We don’t set our thermostat for different temps and times, as DD’s affected side gets really spastic and rigid with the cold and worsens his mobility. Added to that is that he is an early riser (about 5 am) and when I’m not working, I go to bed around 1am, so there really wouldn’t be much down time anyway.

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    Sheila in Ohio says

    I am fortunate to have an upper level condo, but I’m also very stingy with heat & A/C. My gas, electric & cell phone combined usually come to about $105, and about $150 in the harshest of winter or the dead heat of summer. (And my cell phone is $50 of that!)

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    I watched a show on TV a while ago regarding “ghost” electricity usage. Basically it is all of those things that are plugged in but not being turned on or used all the time such as a toaster or other kitchen equipment, extra lamps, even the washing machine. They are all draining power because they are there “ready to go”. I decided to test the theory and unplugged everything that I am not using all the time. Those things like the toaster or mixer, I plug in only when I’m using them. The difference I saw was quite remarkable. Granted, I live alone so you may think my bill wasn’t bad before but, for this area and only one person, it was quite high. I went from 98.37 the previous month to 13.67 this past month. I think that is an amazing difference – a reduction of approx 85%. I’m extremely happy with that! Now, if I could just get the water bill reduced a bit more….

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    I’m like you Judy – I leave the house when the electric bill comes. But if we ever got one like that you can bet we’d be calling to check too. Better to catch it early than to have them bill you for several thousand dollars later! blessings, marlene

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    We’ve patched through with the fireplace in the mornings so far… but when the cold really sets in, our 40+ windows don’t do much to keep the heat in. Then our gas bill skyrockets, and I remind myself not to be sick when I open it in the winter! The summers are horrible electric bills too, since our AC doesn’t cool the upstairs, we also have 2 window units. Eek!

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    We had an all electric house, too, but our electric company was also the water company for the farmers. One offset the other quite a bit, and we had time-of-day schedules, too. Most of the stuff we did at night, like laundry, or on the weekend, so that saved a lot. However, we’d often get $300-$350 with the summer air conditioning. No teens helped. =) In the winter, it was less than $100 every month. When it came time to pay it (and we could average it over the year, too), I would think about my ancestors without all my conveniences and pay without complaint. =)

    How funny that you got one so low! You know they misread or misplaced a number somewhere! LOL!