Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Our electricity bill has been climbing. Yes, we live in FL. Yes, A/C is far from optional. No, we can't turn it off when we aren't home because someone is always home. No, we can't raise it by even 1 degree because it's already at the point where my mom, who gets overheated very easily, can barely stand it, spends most of her day undressed and under the fan. Something needs to be done.

I looked online and found a meter that tracks the measurements of the electronics. It also tracks kwh based on how long you plug it in for. This would be useful, except I don't want to plug stuff in and walk away. I wanted to go through the house and figure it out.

Based on a website "how to" guide, this is what I did in an excel spreadsheet:

Column 1 Find out watts of the unit while in use.
Column 2 Divide that number by 1000.
Example: 200 / 1000 = .2
Column 3 Multiply .2 by our kwh rate (just over 9 cents)
Column 4 Multiply that number by 24 (this gives us how much per day)
Column 5 Multiply that number by 30 (this gives us how much per month)

I also figured out how much the electronics use when they are off. Surprisingly, it wasn't a whole lot. The items that we can turn off cost us just over a dollar a month to leave off. Some items we have to leave on. One example is our portable phone that's connected to land service. It has to be charging on the base. Another would be our television/entertainment center. We have a DVR service and it must be plugged in for it to record shows. Unfortunately the most common ghost items such as cell phone chargers and so forth don't give a high enough reading to tell us how much they're costing us each month.

We discovered that if we turn off our computers every evening before bed we'll end up saving about $11/month. If we go down to one computer between the two of us and giving mom the old one so she can get rid of her ancient one AND turning mine off at night, we'll save almost $16/month. That's over $180/year!

I haven't had a chance to get around to every corded electronic device yet. Cross your fingers that this will help us reduce our electricity bill. It was over $240 last month!

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