that's it...i'm going to live in a tent....
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  1. #1
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    Default that's it...i'm going to live in a tent....

    and there will be NO ELECTRIC line run into it so i can sit in the dark cold (as i do now) BUT they will not be able to charge me for it anymore !....

    got my utility bill for january $344.... that's approx $160 for gas (heat, hot water heater) $140 for electric (obviously everything else) and $40 for water and sewer (i guess i don't bathe ENOUGH)...

    now granted the bill is from 12-14 thru 1-20 (something like 33 days worth)....but when you have your 'brand new-high-eff' (lol) furnace set at 59 all the time..your water heater on low....why is it STILL $160.... and the electric (i have NOOOO idea....)...i sit in the dark dammit! now in defense of the electric co...we did have cold record temps within that period...i give them that one....the blower does take electric too (h/c guy told me that could amount for about $20-30 of it)... it WAS x-mas period...the tree was lit (but not THAT lit) okay, okay.....

    so that was before i found FV....i found you guys on the 20th (the last day of the last billing period)...within the next few days you guys had me convinced that the only thing that should be running in my house is the fridge/freezer....and that's only coz my food would go bad if i didn't keep it plugged in (and that was NOT a frugal practice either) lol....

    so i went thru the entire house...bit by bit....EVERYTHING that was plugged in (and not much survived the cut) went on power-strips...the only things that run now are dh's dvd box (i would be killed if he had to turn that on coz it resets itself every time there's no power) an alarm clock in my bedroom and the fridge...THAT'S IT....everything else is only turned on when we are immediately using it...after that...OFF....there's not a single lamp, radio, tv computer plugged in....we usually sit in the dark watching tv and i sit on this computer (alternating between being plugged in (to charge) and then unplugging when i get a good charge (then plugging back in when getting low) and then- on and on and on....

    water heater is on lowest setting avbl (gas-can't turn it off without losing pilot light)..down two notches from before which was on all the time.. turn on for 1/2 hr each morning..(up 1 notch-which has been sufficent- back down to lowest).... air-drying the laundry...cut down the loads to 2 darks/2 whites a week...maximum
    run on quik cycle (they aren't too dirty anyway)....dishwasher run 2 times a week (quik cycle) air dry...stove off at breaker-mostly been using the micro (on power-strip) slow cooker & toaster oven....(unplugged of course)....washer/dryer off at breaker... furnace set at 55 all times....run for 1/2hr in morning to take off chill (at 67)...do use an electric blanket on the bed at night (max hrs about 8- dh turns his side off usually in the middle of the night).
    ..so there you have it....my 'utility' life in a nutshell

    now the truly 'interesting' part is going to be how this all plays out on the bill from 1-21 thru current (approx 30 days or so worth of usage)....i SHOULD have an extremely low utility bill....does anyone want to start taking bets??? what do you want to bet i see a very small reduction in the whole thing... i have never so looked forward to seeing a utility bill in my life........

  2. #2
    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    I feel for you, that is a bill.

    Our light bill was $ 113 this last reading versus $ 160 a year ago.
    We have our own sewer system and well, so no monthly bills.
    Our heat is now a outside wood furnace which also heats our
    domestic hot water.
    We were using 500 gallons a year of propane. No longer true

    We just bought our load of logs for next winter....$ 575 worth.
    Hubby cut them up already. That and what we still have left from
    this winter will take care of our heat, and hot water.

    I just made up my mind, that we were not going to be held hostage by the utility companies.
    --------My signature--------
    The economy is now uncharted waters... grab a oar and start rowing. ~~
    Put the frog in pot, turn up the heat real slow, and the frog doesn't hop out. And by the time he realizes, he should , it's too late... think about it.

  3. #3
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Wow, if you do all that and your bill is still that high! I don't know what else you could do! Sending my sympathies!
    May No Spend Days - 14 /15
    2014 No Eat Out Days - 132 /365
    2014 May Gas Challenge - $105 / $80
    May Keep Fit - 580 min / 750 min

    2014 - 52 Week Saving Challenge - 3, 8, 9, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52

    Don't tell God how big your storm is...tell the storm how big your God is.

  4. #4
    Registered User Michelle68's Avatar
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    Good luck! I hope all your new FV knowledge and energy saving changes help to lower your bill next month. Keep us updated, I'll be interested to see how much money you're able to save.
    ~ Michelle



    Wife to DH--
    Mom to DS--
    and DD--

    Avatar picture of cactus flower in bloom taken southeast side of San Antonio-May, 2013
    Mortgage -- $37,846.99

    ----------------------
    "The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn't go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he's got." --Will Rogers

  5. #5
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    no debbie-cat...that was BEFORE FV....i have to admit i didn't think i used all that much before anyway...i still sat in the dark...(oh by the way...the table lamps now have cfl's (sp?) in them- and i'm not using the overhead fan/light (5 bulbs each)...well the fan runs on slow...oh yea...i forgot about that...i keep the fan on low MOST of the time...there goes the bill.....

    anyway....this bill was BEFORE i did all the above mentioned things...now the savings SHOULD begin.....we'll see......

  6. #6
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Thank goodness! Hopefully it should be about $50 next month! Keeping fingers crossed for you!
    May No Spend Days - 14 /15
    2014 No Eat Out Days - 132 /365
    2014 May Gas Challenge - $105 / $80
    May Keep Fit - 580 min / 750 min

    2014 - 52 Week Saving Challenge - 3, 8, 9, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52

    Don't tell God how big your storm is...tell the storm how big your God is.

  7. #7
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    You should see a huge difference with all that you've been doing.

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    Wow! I'll be watching to see where your next bill ends up. You've done major damage to your electric usage! I'm impressed. We did the same sort of thing, but not quite to that extent, and we do use the heater - set all the way up at 66. My last bill went down $22 but we weren't using christmas lights either so I don't know what our true savings are yet. I get my bill in about another week....

  9. #9
    Registered User suzysaver's Avatar
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    I think you should see a big drop on the next bill. You have done your homework(A+), keep it up..your doing great. Can't wait to see how it works out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrelvssammy View Post
    got my utility bill for january $344.... that's approx $160 for gas (heat, hot water heater) $140 for electric (obviously everything else) and $40 for water and sewer (i guess i don't bathe ENOUGH)...
    .....

    actually seems reasonable to me. you had a record cold month. what was your bill this time last year?
    Last edited by ladykemma2; 02-14-2009 at 04:02 AM.
    baby step 2- see blog for actual amounts

    "stop being a victim, you are a perpetrator, taking things without paying for them is stealing, you are not a victim, you are a perpetrator. PAY THE PEOPLE YOU OWE, pray for the people you owe, and make it right. " hard nosed AA person, thumping his big book, addressed to me in AA meeting 7/30/2013

  11. #11
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    well last year the billing cycle ran from 12/26-1/23 (28days) vs 33 this year...unfortunately we don't have an avg temperature days rating on our bills....

    the electric kw usage was actually LESS 38.9 vs 47.8 (this year) and the price per kw went DOWN .15 a kw (imagine that) ( so see, i was already being a little more frugal and i have an x-tra 5 days on top of that) and i can't think of anything much different between the 2 yrs...

    water went from 6.1 (last yr) to 8.3....i am figuring since i had company here over the holidays we had more toilet flushing/showers/laundry....the actual rate per gallon stayed within pennies between the yrs...

    now the gas....that's the big story....i went from 2.4 therms to 4.3....ouch! maybe it's once again coz of the company...unfortunately i can't keep the heat at 55 when i have guests...(they don't find my frugality as amusing as i do)....and i had 1 1/2 wks of guests in and out-always someone here....always heat having to run...but even still it never went over 67 ....(and when they went to bed i turned it down to 60).... and then there's the gas water heater...more people...more running.....but here's the kicker....gas was 2.85 a therm last yr and this year 4.20 a therm.....so when my gas bill last year was $84.84...this yr it was 162.12.....

    so i have figured out yet ANOTHER way to cut my utility costs....no more visits from friends and family...yup...that's it....we're closed...sorry.....next yr we go visiting elsewhere...(which is what we always did anyway...i just got this crazy wild hair that everyone should come to MY house this year....) i will now fix that one too...lol...

    the big picture will all be clear next month.....

  12. #12
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    oh-i guess i never answered the real question...the bill last year was $252...this year $356.... over $100 more....ugh..... (but it was 28 days...this one 33 days) it works out to about $9 a day vs $10.77 a day more if you want to get really nit-picky....

  13. #13
    Registered User StartingOver's Avatar
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    Our gas bill for heat was $210 for last month...when I inquired about it, I was told that we also had cold record temps, but we also had the wind, that blew non-stop, which I guess makes a difference, as I know our furnace ran non-stop. Our thermostat is set for 68.
    "We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen; For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
    - 2 Corinthians 4:18

  14. #14
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    so i have taken up meter reading now....i am making a chart and tracking it each day..(we are lucky coz we just got new meters and they are super easy to read -the numbers are displayed just like a clock...no room for error).... and it's a good sign so far....we are probably about 5 days from our new read (give or take a day or two)....i'm not going to base it on the last bill's usage coz i did have x-mas lts up (and of course the COMPANY).... so i went back to the previous month which would be closer to how we are living now....(less all the frugal changes of course)... we had 1208 kw of usage on that bill....so far this month 594....(now we do have about 5 more days of usage to go)...but that proves it.....my changes and cutbacks are starting to take effect......

    now the gas....we had 109 usage on that same bill....we are at 97 now....we may end up close to where we were but we had the really bad weather and ice and all that here two weeks ago....the furnace ran more..the blower ran more (which accounts for more electricity usage also).... that gas bill was $111 (still not $163)....

    and i got to thinking about another issue that is probably driving the gas up.....dh snores like a little pig! okay-a BIG pig.....most nights he snores me right out of the room....and not to the next room (i can STILL hear him) so i go down to the family room and of course since the heat is on 55 i am freezing my butt off.... so i turn on the gas fireplace...now when the h/c guy installed it he told me it costs pennies on the hour to run...and i do believe it does....but it usually does run for about 6-7 hrs at a time (the time i am sleeping on the couch)....(hey i will FREEZE to death if i don't have it)....so i have been running it more or less EVERY night this winter...(coz as dh gets OLDER...his snoring gets worse...you can no longer punch him and he stops....haha).... now i don't think that is accounting for this huge spike in the gas...(coz when the fireplace runs it sneaks thruout the house and the furnace NEVER kicks on (even when it is 20 out)..and i have 2 ceiling fans in the room that i keep on to move the heat around....) but the point is...its a place where i can still cut back....i have an additional electric blanket and i need to just start using it on the couch and then i don't have to turn on the fireplace....(but then the furnace will run if it gets cooler than 55 in here)....i will have to do a little test and see which makes the meter spin faster...and by how much....(the furnace....how fast in a 5 min period... and then the fireplace...how fast in the same time period) and then do a calculation to see which i should do....let the fireplace run and slowly keep the house warm.... or let it freeze and let the furnace kick on and heat the place back up to 55..... it's all in the math.... and i will figure it out...or die trying....lol.....

    hey- i just might do that with all my stuff....how fast does it spin when the dryer is running...the dishwasher...dh's TV.....hahahahaha......

    i'll be back with a full report........ (i know, i know...you guys think i am getting a little obsessive about this huh....well i DON'T clip coupons so i have to have something to do with my time...lol)...(and in reality i DON'T clip coupons coz we don't get them here and i buy nothing that i could use them on...) so it's not like i don't WANT to.....

    back out to the meter........

  15. #15
    Registered User rudypoo98's Avatar
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    I read my meter everyday when I go out to feed my dog I do everything I can think of to keep it down this month I used around 6 KW a day.So my bill should be around $35 this month,which is from Jan. 15- Feb 13th.

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