Since we’ve been on a journey to financial freedom, and we consider ourselves pretty “green” (despite the 4 kids), we have been cutting back on energy and water costs as part of our overall efforts to reign in spending.
I was really proud of the energy bills we’ve had for the past 6 months. They’ve crept down to $150 (includes gas and electric) which is at least a 30% drop from last year. It’s helped that the weather has been cooperative, and we’re making small improvements to our home’s energy efficiency.
Learn more: 15 Simple Ways To Live On Less
Last month the bill crept up to $180, not too bad considering the heat had been on a bit here and there. So I was shocked…shocked! when our energy bill came in at $300 and change for this month! The heat hadn’t been on THAT much, and that was the PEAK bill we had last winter.
So I did some looking, and thinking and then suddenly it dawned on me that we had plugged in the ancient freezer since we had gotten our beef share (more on that another time). I think it’s at least 30 years old, and came with the house.
Using a great, detailed post at Small Notebook I figured I could find out how much the freezer is costing us. Much to the chagrin of our basement dwelling cats (they go to bed in the basement so as not to wake the little people with their nocturnal antics), I went down to the basement and started trying to move the freezer out so I could find a tag on the back. Funny thing though, there was no tag that I could find anywhere, and I almost busted the entire thing by trying to move it when one of the wheels got stuck on the rug.
I decided I’d focus in on the fridge instead, which is newer but still old. I looked inside and found out it is from 1990. It’s in it’s 18th year! So I tried to use the calculations on Small Notebook, but found they were deceiving for a fridge. I mean it doesn’t run all day, so I couldn’t multiply by 24 hours. I could buy a Kill-A-Watt, but that’s spending.
While doing research, I googled onto this fascinating electricity geek site, and figured out my fridge is costing me somewhere around $60/year to run, maybe more! I enjoyed reading the site though. It sure was motivating to look at how to cut costs. Maybe I can borrow a Kill-A-Watt and figure out how much those ancient appliances are actually costing us each month.
I’m thinking I’ll keep an eye out on appliance sales, maybe I can find a good deal on a freezer and fridge after the holidays.
We have cut back on electricity elsewhere, though I still haven’t given up incandescents altogether. I am think the big energy suck for our house is heating and cooling. We’re trying to do some further weatherproofing but I think we made need to invest in more insulation for our attic and crawl spaces.
What do you think your big energy costs are? Do you think you can cut back your energy bill further? What drastic measures would you take if you had to cut back due to price increases?