Lowest electric bill ever.

Discussion in 'Emissions' started by southerncannuck, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member


    Usage is up. Was on track for the best June ever. 12.31 kWh.
    But, Usage rose in the last 2 weeks before the meter reading to finish with 13.36 daily.
    Mostly the dehumidifier in the basement.
    A/C season is beginning now. :mad:

    New things I tried this year.

    Shut off water heating zone in my daughters room, after the frost season was over.
    She is off in school and this zone is always hungry. I kept it at 55*. But I turned the thermostat to off. Will try it this fall also until first freeze.

    Refrigerator veg bins can redirect the coldest air to the bins. By raising the sliding temp.
    The fridge is cooler. Only the lettuce suffers.

    My new LG washer is no big saver. Works fantastic. And water usage is greatly reduced. But on the electricity savings. Not much saved.

    New interesting gov enegy comparison yardstick.

    I got an 8.1 grade. Still room for improvement.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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  2. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    The water and sewage costs add up quickly. Don't overlook the savings that washer is producing. I went from a top loader at work to a Kenmore front loader, my water usage went from 13K-14K gallons a month to 7K to 7.5K a month. I save on average around $125 a month on water and sewage bills. The washer paid for itself in six to seven months.
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  3. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    Are you sure that is per month, not two months (the billing cycle in my region)? How many people in the household?

    Back in my household's high water days of the (pre-drought) early 1990s, our use peaked at 5.5k gallons per month for two people. Since 2007, we have been varying between 2.0 and 2.5k gpm. The reduced consumption doesn't save a lot of money anymore, as only a quarter of my water bill is a usage charge. The rest of the water bill, and entire sewer bill, are flat-rate SFR connection charges.

    As for the main thread topic, I started serious energy conservation efforts about a decade ago, with a variety of improvements and appliance changes continuing up until last fall. I also added a starter solar PV system two years, finally expanding it a few weeks ago to reach an annual Net-Zero energy use. (This is not energy independence. The house overproduces in summer, selling the excess back to the utility, then buys it back during winter heating season. The grid connection remains essential).

    Here is a chart showing the results so far. Top line is gross use, bottom line is net use, the gap is solar PV production.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
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  4. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's at work not home. Me and Lucy the cat use on average 500 gallons a month at home.
    If I get lazy and use the dish washer I can add 50 gallons per load. :(
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  5. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member

    Where I live there is no sewer charges. And my water bill is approx $55. a 1/4 annual.
    It went down to $44 this quarter. Which is a damn good reduction.
    The clothes washed are much more dry than before. So, I expect gas dryer savings too.

    I do need a few more 1/4's to confirm its all due to the washer.

    I never checked the consumption on the old washer. So I cannot compare electric usage.
    I installed it this January. Which coincides with my increased usage this year.
    But many variables are not included.

    My focus continues to be on base load reduction.
    I don't want my house eating takeout when I'm away.

    Impressive chart fuzzy...!

    I really want solar in the future. Payback is awful for me.
    Unless, I can take my electric part of my heating system off the grid completely.
    Then the extra cost maybe worth it. Heat in a power outage.:)
    That would take a backup battery too.
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  6. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    The chart shows that I did a lot of conservation and load reduction before adding solar PV. The house was built with electric baseboard (or in-wall blowers), but most of those are now just backup, as the primary is a ductless minisplit heat pump. A regular electric hot water heater was replaced by heat pump model. Many air leaks in the building envelope were sealed, floor and attic insulation improved, and numerous attic insulation gaps around the perimeter (out of normal inspection range) discovered and remedied. Dish and clothes washers updated to save lots of hot water. And solar heat gain management greatly improved, harvesting as much as practical in winter while keeping it out in summer. Without all these improvements, a Net-Zero-sized solar system would have been too large to fit on my available south facing roof surface.

    I have no battery backup at this time, that would greatly increase the solar system cost and regulatory hassle. The installation was also DIY, saving considerably on labor.
    For the past 12 months, setting aside the solar production, my house now scores 9.9. Putting in our electric use from 2005, before serious conservation efforts started (we had mostly CFL lighting and minimized phantom loads, but not the other steps listed above), it scored 6.8. In year 2000, it was 5.8.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
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  7. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member

    215 finall.jpg
    Figured I'd revive this post.
    2015 was a educational year. What goes down can surely come back up. In electric terms.
    6123 was the final usage. UP 225 kwh over 2014.
    Can't say for sure what caused all the monthly increases. But August A/C was a new record. 4 teenagers at home.
    Water usage is down almost 1K gallons year to year. Due to the new washing machine.
    Cannot compare water exactly since the Jan 16 reading was an estimate.

    Air Sealing is the new buzz word here.
    I picked up a FlirOne thermal imaging camera for my Android phone.
    Been keeping me very busy with weekend projects.
    Minor tub wall leak found the 1st day. Unnoticable to anyone downstairs.
    Since then, Many small air leaks have been snuffed.
    Many, Many more leaks to go.
    Don't buy one unless you want to find flaws.

    Focus only on the darkest spots.... There is a 10+ degree difference from darkest to lightest colors. Not done yet on this attic wall corner.
    Before After

    Great air sealing links below:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
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  8. hivelamp

    hivelamp New Member

    Our monthly average is around 467kWh. We seldom use the dryer especially when the weather is great, we just hang our clothes to dry. we also replaced our lights with LED
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  9. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    My monthly average is around 311kWh. I have gas heat and water and then an electric air conditioner and everything else. The lowest I had, being at home was 169 kWh! I line-dry sometimes, but I still have a problem with streaks on clothes no matter what I do, so I'm forced to use the dryer.

    I've switched bulbs that burn out with LEDs and I love the look of them. They work great and it makes me feel better about having lights on!
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  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well I hope no one tells my neighbors that I'm the one making every one of them look like energy hogs.

    Like I told you guys before, four of my neighbors went to solar panels on their roofs last year because of their high electric bills.

    I got this in the mail from Duquesne Light my power company.


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  11. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I am in the planning stage to install an 11kW solar PV array on my house. I hope to have 32 SunPower X21-345 panels, and to do that, I have to reframe the entire roof - it is an 8 pitch hip roof now, and I need a 12 pitch gable roof with a large south facing slope. I can also insulate the new 2x12 rafters with high density cellulose.
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  12. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I found out they now make X22-360 panels, so 32 of those would be ~11.5kW. :)
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  13. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Neil, would you be going with a monolithic inverter or microinverters, or maybe even some battery storage? With so much capacity, you could go off-grid. Unless you're counting on the SRECs of course.
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  14. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    I mentioned my new home build back in December, I think. We moved in at the beginning of February so I have a few numbers by now.
    Specs: family of four, all-electric house in rural Minnesota. We have a Woodstock Ideal Steel woodstove for heating, a heat pump water heater, induction range, LED lighting. Average monthly usage with four months of data--235 kwh, which is under $50/month including all fees and taxes. And since I cleared a wooded site for the house, I have multiple years worth of firewood on hand, 50% of which is oak. Thus far we have not purchased a clothes dryer. Overall, our house is really operating well, and I am satisfied with its overall efficiency.

    I like the solar discussion above, could be an option down the line. We also have the option to have put in an EV charger with overnight charge rates of 5.4c/kwh, so that might happen in the next year as this summer's big project is a detached garage (very small house & storage unit 10 miles away--bad combo).
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  15. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I will be going with microinverters - SunPower has them built in the panel, and everything is covered by a 25 year warranty. And in the future, I do intend to add a home battery.

    We use a lot of electricity, now. We used to be using ~600-800kWh / month. Then we got two EV's, and it increased to ~1100-1200kWh / month. Last year, we got a minisplit heating (and cooling) system, and a heat pump water heater. That brought us up to as much as 2100kWh / month (and our gas bill dropped about 95%). The latest month is 1651kWh, with a big drop off in heating. We'll see if we can go a month with heating or cooling.
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  16. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    I should add that Dec/Jan were a different story, as the wood stove was not installed yet and interior finish work was going on. In December we heated with a space heater on each level; in January the cove heaters (sorta like baseboard but radiant and installed up high) were the heat source. Dec was just over 2000kwh and January just under. For a highly insulated small house I was a little worried to see those levels, but plenty of cold--multiple weeks with sub-zero lows.

    Probably will be installing a hand-me-down window AC unit this weekend. High on Saturday is supposed be 95. Hoping that will keep the top story and a half cool enough. May was so cool there was never any need. Meanwhile, I already know the heat pump water heater does a nice job cooling the basement. Will switch to full heat pump mode from hybrid if it gets above 70 down there. With the wood stove in the winter, that is what I left it on.
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  17. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    y'all are energy wasters.
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  18. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    Beat this Electric bill!
    We have processed your FPL Automatic Bill Pay® payment
    Here are the details of your payment for account #00000000:
    Payment Amount $16.99
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  19. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    One of these days, I'll have my off-grid property fully online, and I'll just annoy you all by repeatedly saying, "Yep! Still $0.00 electrical bill this month!" :p
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  20. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    i'm sure that my $17.00/month ebill is cheaper than investing in an off-grid electric system.
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