Easy Savings: Dec 2011

It’s December and feels like winter is here. But one benefit of living in an apartment is that my unit is pretty much a box with 5 of its 6 sides touching either someone else’s unit, or the hallway. Which means I don’t have to turn on my baseboard heaters during Winter. This takes no work on my part, and it saves money. Here is a historic look at my energy bill, taken from my electricity provider’s website. (BC Hydro)

 hydro_bill_2011    My usage has been fairly consistent over the last couple of years. No spikes during winter months. By not turning on the heat, even in January, my utility bill year round is really predictable. Even though it’s currently 0° C (32° F) outside, it’s actually a cozy 20° C (68° F) inside. I have to wear more than a t-shirt, but clothes from my closet are free. I’m basically leeching off my neighbors’ electricity (which they pay for)  by absorbing some of their heat through the walls, ceiling, and floor, (but don’t tell them.) This is part of how I’m able to save and invest half my net income.

In the chart above, I used about $22 worth of energy back in Feb 2010. Since then rates have gone up, and BC Hydro wants to further raise electricity rates by 16% over the next 3 years! Inflation can be a pain. But I’d rather save some money now so I can afford a warmer place in the future when I have kids, since utility bills might be twice as expensive by then. Plus, saving energy is better for the environment. Think of all the beavers and polar bears.

*This probably wont work if you’re living with other people.
*Helps if you’re a Canadian. We’re use to cold weather. 
*Won’t work if you live in a house because all sides of a detached home are fully exposed to the cold (brrr)

Estimated Annual Savings by never turning on the heat:$100 (depending on size/location of home)

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12/07/2011 10:10 am

In Nova Scotia, we are often told we have highest rates in the country for power. For a renter, there is a basic charge of $10.83/month plus $0.12074/kWh.

I average about 2.9 kWh per day. That is 3 times less than yours. Do you pay for heating an electrical hot water heater. If so, if you put a thermal hot water heater blanket around it, it will reduce your costs.

Liquid Independence
12/07/2011 9:22 pm

Hi Anonymous from Nova Scotia.
Wow, averaging 2.9 per day is outstanding. I wish people in BC would be more conservative with their energy use. Just because we pay less than other parts of the country doesn't mean we should leave the light bulbs on when we go out. I don't pay for a hot water heater directly. That money goes through my strata instead. The main reason I use so much power is because I didn't upgrade any appliances when I moved in so they are not as efficient as some of the newer models. My refrigerator for example uses about 3 kWh per day by itself lol. Thinking about upgrading though.