How do you keep your electricity bill low?

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Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:50 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:Is anyone allowed to irrigate anything in California right now?
Central California still contains some of the most fertile farmland around, and much of it is worth irrigating even at high cost. California grows 80% of the world's almonds - that alone takes up something like 10% of the water used by the state. Agriculture is very big business here.

I'm mostly planting "yard" areas with drought-tolerant native species. I'm not a big believer in expanses of grass, and allergies are no small part of that. I got such allergic reactions from running through fields growing up.
Since water rights are not fully tradeable, we cannot really assert that. Ie whilst it is true that California supplies the winter salads for North America, plus as you note almonds etc (although that agriculture has had some pretty frightening consequences for the bee/ apiary industry) that might not be as high a value as the economy places on other industry and residential needs in CA.

It's the economics of opportunity cost. If you live in a very high wage place like Switzerland, say, although a house cleaner might get paid say $20k Swiss Francs pa (c. USD 24k), the Swiss are not the house cleaners-- there are too many attractive higher paying options available to them. In America say there are waves of people to do those jobs for say $16k, but less so in some very rich places.

CA is one of the world's most affluent regions (if not the most affluent, up there with Munich area at least). So if 1 gallon of water generates higher value for Intel making chips or for Hollywood residents (remembering Angelina Jolie is herself probably worth something like $1bn in GDP, simply from the extra value she brings to movie ticket sales) then in a truly free market, the price will rise until it matches the marginal benefit to those high value add users.

What I *think* is going on is that CA doesn't have a state wide water market, nor a state wide water movement network. So if it is used in a lower value add activity in the Central Valley, that's not stripping water away from LA. And if the water is a 'right' that a farmer in the Central Valley has, but cannot sell, then it is rational for him to consume that water.

This all works (sort of) until you get a situation like now, where as I understand it, water supply is now so far below 'normal' (our perception of normal may just be wrong, there are 200 year periods in the tree ring record of southern California, where it *did not rain*) that push is coming to shove.

However as I say if that water can't get out of the Central Valley or its 'owners' can't sell it, then that is all academic.

It won't be academic if this all goes on another 2-3 years, as I understand the problem. People are going to start to have to move.

Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:12 am

jlawrence01 wrote:We live south of Tucson, AZ. Our monthly electric bills range from $30-80. Here is what we do to keep our electric bills low:

1) Bought the right size house. Why heat 3-6 rooms that we would never use?
2) Bought a house constructed of slumpstone (concrete) - has a lot of natural insulation.
What is also working in your favour is that the temperature is 30-40 degrees lower at night? 110 in the day, 70 at night? And so the thermal mass of the concrete works very well. It takes all day to heat up, then it slowly releases that heat at night (Epsilon Delta's post above takes you through the logic).

That doesn't work as well east of the Mississippi. The American summer climate there is generally *humid*. Clouds and moisture in the air trap the heat close to the ground at night. 90 degrees in day, 80 at night. Thermal mass is not your friend then, one reason why Southern homes are often built of wood.

A relative has an electric ground source (geothermal) heat pump in Ontario (house is exposed on a ridge). In summer they set it for c. 78 (hot humid summers) and in winter for c. 68. They do also have one wood fire in a huge chimney structure at centre of the home (with glass doors-- fireplaces without those can actually cool your property due to air currents). It works a treat, and paid back in about 7 years at c. 13 cents/ kwhr for electricity. Much cheaper than electric baseboard or propane or heating oil.
3) Solar screens on all windows to block morning sun's heat. We will switch back during the winter months as that will help heat the house in the winter.
Yes, especially if the screens are *outside* the windows.
4) AC only runs between 10 am - 5 pm during the summer months. At night, we generally have 70F weather which makes AC unnecessary. I plan to buy a fan to get the circulation moving a bit.
5) Only heat to 60F in the winter. With all the sweaters we have from living in Chicagoland, there is no need to heat much higher.
I don't know about Arizona, but there are all of these hot dry climate places in the world where the houses don't have heating systems. Mexico City. Johannesburg. Melbourne. You bleeding *freeze* to death in winter! Jo'burg is on a plateau for goodness sakes!
Our bigger concern is how to minimize the water bills but we still have some way to go until we maximize our savings in that category.
I imagine you have done these, but just to explicitly state them:

- rip up the lawn and replace with native plants, which are adapted to a low water environment. The green lawn is an artefact of 1700s Britain and social class-- aristocrats would have green lawns, meaning that they were rich enough to have servants to manually cut it. It's an import to North America-- Kentucky Bluegrass is not even a native species (who knew?)-- and it doesn't work well in water poor areas. Or just have a very small patch of lawn

again I imagine it is illegal to water your lawn in the day? I am pretty sure it is in Las Vegas, for example (and this is enforced using aerial surveillance and anonymous tips).

- front loading washing machine- c. 1/4 the water per load is possible. Modern dishwashers are also more efficient in water than hand washes

- water saving shower head-- makes for a gentler spray, but otherwise not noticeable

You'd be amazed, but drought is a constant threat in southern England (parts of England get less rain than Portugal- -the E and SE of England are very dry). The general trend that winter is wet means that there is not a lot of municipal water storage, and groundwater depletes easily. However we now have had 18 month periods with far below normal rain. Summer rain tends not to recharge groundwater because plants absorb it, it is winter rain that does that. In summer the excess just runs off(also true if the ground is frozen). London has built a desalination plant at great cost.

We have 500l of rainwater storage (about 120 gallons) for our garden, and it's possible to put in a 1500l system (underground tank with electric pump). If I had been clever when I redid the house, I could have also used that as a thermal store for hot water-- I have seen some really good systems where the water is heated for 6m of the year by a solar HW system, and then can be drawn down in the winter months with some auxiliary heating system.

Pizzasteve510
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Pizzasteve510 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:34 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
LongerPrimer wrote:I don't use the heater function on the washer bidet seat and I do a cold water wash :moneybag
I just have to say, there are some fantastic bidet seats out there that are well under $100...mine remains one of the best gifts I gave myself.
+1

We have 2. One of ours has deodorizer and drier (which we never use) and a wall mounted remote control. The company we ordered from accidentally sent us a deluxe model by mistake and didn't notify us until after we installed it. 8-)

lululu
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by lululu » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:41 am

Valuethinker wrote: What tends to happen is people have a 'beer fridge' which is 20+ years old sitting in the basement or garage, cheerfully unaware that it it is costing them $20-30 a month.

...

California also has a 'white roofs initiative' to increase the thermal reflectivity of roofs. Most homes have some flat roofs which can be so painted without altering the aesthetics.
Not being a beer drinker, I assume this is for parties? And the suggestion is unplug the thing until the day before? It's hard to imagine daily beer consumption being large enough to impact the regular refrigerator.

I had to replace my roof a few years ago, and it was impossible to find white/really light colored shingles that would meet the code wind resistance standards where I live.

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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by lululu » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:51 am

Valuethinker wrote: And if the water is a 'right' that a farmer in the Central Valley has, but cannot sell, then it is rational for him to consume that water.
Hopefully the fact that the water table is dropping like a rock will lead them to conserve somewhat.

Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:39 am

lululu wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: What tends to happen is people have a 'beer fridge' which is 20+ years old sitting in the basement or garage, cheerfully unaware that it it is costing them $20-30 a month.

...

California also has a 'white roofs initiative' to increase the thermal reflectivity of roofs. Most homes have some flat roofs which can be so painted without altering the aesthetics.
Not being a beer drinker, I assume this is for parties? And the suggestion is unplug the thing until the day before? It's hard to imagine daily beer consumption being large enough to impact the regular refrigerator.
It's a 'for anything' fridge. Just tends to be for cold beer ;-). And not just for parties. The point was people don't realize the 'spare' fridge is burning 3-4x as much electricity as the main one. It's counterintuitive, just how far fridge technology has come in a relatively short period of time.

No you shouldn't unplug the thing. In that it is easy to get a mold problem then (unused fridges are also a terrible hazard for small children-- too easy to play a game of hiding inside-- our law requires that if they are outside eg waiting for disposal,the door must be removed). One should get rid of it (in an approved way, so the CFCs/ Freon are not just dumped into the environment). Unless you throw big parties the average North American fridge is big enough to hold enough beer and coke ;-).

We don't replace my mum's ancient fridge, because she heats electrically. In winter, the 'waste' heat keeps the kitchen warm.
I had to replace my roof a few years ago, and it was impossible to find white/really light colored shingles that would meet the code wind resistance standards where I live.
Reading through those links I posted, there's a lot of work been done on all this. Not all heat reflective roofs now are white. Hopefully the next time you replace your tiles (assuming you live somewhere that has a very hot summer) those options will be available.

There has been some stuff whether you lose as much heat in winter, raising heating consumption, as you save in summer on AC. The general conclusion as far north as NYC was no:

-the sun shines fewer hours per day in winter
- the intensity of the sun is lower, so losing it has less impact (not symmetric)
- the angle of the sun is much lower in winter

Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:41 am

lululu wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: And if the water is a 'right' that a farmer in the Central Valley has, but cannot sell, then it is rational for him to consume that water.
Hopefully the fact that the water table is dropping like a rock will lead them to conserve somewhat.
Farmers are in business and they have bills and mortgages to pay. They will keep extracting water as long as they can, are allowed to, and it's there.

The most successful water conservation schemes have allowed 'owners' of water to sell their extraction rights on the open market. You get farmers retiring on their water rights.

Remember that US states vary between Riparian Right and the other system. For example in Colorado, it's illegal as I understand it to put a rainwater collection system on your property. The extractors downstream 'own' your water. That seems weird, but as I understand it it is the case in a number of US states. One should not take steps without consulting the legal position first.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:28 pm

lululu wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: And if the water is a 'right' that a farmer in the Central Valley has, but cannot sell, then it is rational for him to consume that water.
Hopefully the fact that the water table is dropping like a rock will lead them to conserve somewhat.
Only if they own it. When ground water is available to anybody who sinks a well the rational thing to do is pump it dry before your neighbor does.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:57 pm

Valuethinker wrote: No you shouldn't unplug the thing. ... (unused fridges are also a terrible hazard for small children-- too easy to play a game of hiding inside-- our law requires that if they are outside eg waiting for disposal,the door must be removed).
Once upon a time this was true. Fridges had mechanical latches that could not be opened from the inside. In the US these were banned in 1958. All newer fridges can be opened from the inside with a force of less than 15lb. Today this is a tiny risk, limited to a minuscule number of museum pieces and a tiny risk to very small children from chest freezers and fridges laying on their backs if the child can't reach the lid. So problem solved, but I suppose the disposal law will go on forever, and in 2200 people will be wondering why they have to remove the force field generator before disposing of a fridge.

Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:07 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
lululu wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: And if the water is a 'right' that a farmer in the Central Valley has, but cannot sell, then it is rational for him to consume that water.
Hopefully the fact that the water table is dropping like a rock will lead them to conserve somewhat.
Only if they own it. When ground water is available to anybody who sinks a well the rational thing to do is pump it dry before your neighbor does.
Gareth Hardin ("Tragedy of the Commons") vs. Elinor Ostrum ;-).

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/afc5377e-1026 ... z3CediCPZo

http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.co. ... aring.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/thpop

In point of fact even if you own a resource you might extract it faster than is ecologically sound (or even Net Present Value maximizing). This is true if, for example:

- there is uncertainty
- you have a significantly higher discount rate than 'society' as a whole eg no heirs

The classic paper by Solow is below

http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles//Files/ ... olow74.pdf

Valuethinker
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote: So problem solved, but I suppose the disposal law will go on forever, and in 2200 people will be wondering why they have to remove the force field generator before disposing of a fridge.
"Roads? Where we're going you don't need roads"

-- Back to the Future

jlawrence01
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:33 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
jlawrence01 wrote:We live south of Tucson, AZ. Our monthly electric bills range from $30-80. Here is what we do to keep our electric bills low:

1) Bought the right size house. Why heat 3-6 rooms that we would never use?
2) Bought a house constructed of slumpstone (concrete) - has a lot of natural insulation.
What is also working in your favour is that the temperature is 30-40 degrees lower at night? 110 in the day, 70 at night? And so the thermal mass of the concrete works very well. It takes all day to heat up, then it slowly releases that heat at night (Epsilon Delta's post above takes you through the logic).

That doesn't work as well east of the Mississippi. The American summer climate there is generally *humid*. Clouds and moisture in the air trap the heat close to the ground at night. 90 degrees in day, 80 at night. Thermal mass is not your friend then, one reason why Southern homes are often built of wood.

A relative has an electric ground source (geothermal) heat pump in Ontario (house is exposed on a ridge). In summer they set it for c. 78 (hot humid summers) and in winter for c. 68. They do also have one wood fire in a huge chimney structure at centre of the home (with glass doors-- fireplaces without those can actually cool your property due to air currents). It works a treat, and paid back in about 7 years at c. 13 cents/ kwhr for electricity. Much cheaper than electric baseboard or propane or heating oil.
3) Solar screens on all windows to block morning sun's heat. We will switch back during the winter months as that will help heat the house in the winter.
Yes, especially if the screens are *outside* the windows.
4) AC only runs between 10 am - 5 pm during the summer months. At night, we generally have 70F weather which makes AC unnecessary. I plan to buy a fan to get the circulation moving a bit.
5) Only heat to 60F in the winter. With all the sweaters we have from living in Chicagoland, there is no need to heat much higher.
I don't know about Arizona, but there are all of these hot dry climate places in the world where the houses don't have heating systems. Mexico City. Johannesburg. Melbourne. You bleeding *freeze* to death in winter! Jo'burg is on a plateau for goodness sakes!
Our bigger concern is how to minimize the water bills but we still have some way to go until we maximize our savings in that category.
I imagine you have done these, but just to explicitly state them:

- rip up the lawn and replace with native plants, which are adapted to a low water environment. The green lawn is an artefact of 1700s Britain and social class-- aristocrats would have green lawns, meaning that they were rich enough to have servants to manually cut it. It's an import to North America-- Kentucky Bluegrass is not even a native species (who knew?)-- and it doesn't work well in water poor areas. Or just have a very small patch of lawn

again I imagine it is illegal to water your lawn in the day? I am pretty sure it is in Las Vegas, for example (and this is enforced using aerial surveillance and anonymous tips).

- front loading washing machine- c. 1/4 the water per load is possible. Modern dishwashers are also more efficient in water than hand washes

- water saving shower head-- makes for a gentler spray, but otherwise not noticeable

You'd be amazed, but drought is a constant threat in southern England (parts of England get less rain than Portugal- -the E and SE of England are very dry). The general trend that winter is wet means that there is not a lot of municipal water storage, and groundwater depletes easily. However we now have had 18 month periods with far below normal rain. Summer rain tends not to recharge groundwater because plants absorb it, it is winter rain that does that. In summer the excess just runs off(also true if the ground is frozen). London has built a desalination plant at great cost.

We have 500l of rainwater storage (about 120 gallons) for our garden, and it's possible to put in a 1500l system (underground tank with electric pump). If I had been clever when I redid the house, I could have also used that as a thermal store for hot water-- I have seen some really good systems where the water is heated for 6m of the year by a solar HW system, and then can be drawn down in the winter months with some auxiliary heating system.


Thanks for the response.

I have lived in the Midwest for 52 of 55 years. The ONLY time that I have ever used the air conditioning is 1) when we have the carpets cleaned I'm order to dry the carpet out and 2) when recuperating from surgery. Had someone from St. Louis asked the same question, I have a list of things we did in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago. and Detroit to avoid air conditioning. Our monthly electric bills have been $30 or so for the summer months over the past fifteen years.

We do have heating in the house. We well do the reverse of what we do in the summer months - windows open in the afternoon, solar screens off, and the like. The only additional expense will be that we will invest in an electrical blanket to insulate our water pipe outside the house.


As for water, we have installed low volume shower heads and limit the showers to five minutes. We have installed a hot water pump to as our water heater is outside the house and it was taking three minutes to get the hot water.

We will install low volume toilets once we replace the flooring in the bathrooms in 2016.

In this area, NOONE has a lawn or has anything but desert landscaping. To water plants would make me a pariah in the neighborhood. Besides, water is expensive. In all fairness, we never watered when water was cheap and plentiful.

I will NOT replace my laundry equipment. The machines were built in 1982 and 1978 and work well and have electro-mechanical controls. Yes, they are old fashioned BUT highly reliable. I want nothing to do with the modern versions. I worked in that industry years ago when quality was a primary concern. In the last twenty years, the emphasis has been producing the cheapest product possible.

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DonCamillo
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by DonCamillo » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:53 pm

I have trees shading the house. They help with keeping it cooler in the summer, but at high cost. I have spent over $6,000 on tree surgeons in the past five years, and have had over $5,000 in damage from fallen limbs. Also, the shaded roof from my oak trees prevents me from installing solar panels.

I have purchased the most thermally efficient windows I can find, and have use temperature monitors to find poorly insulated walls and insulate them.

I have a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor that tells me how much any device plugged into it is costing me in electricity.

I have two Nest thermostats, and game them to earn more "green leafs."

But I also did something very unBogleheadish. I bought enough dividend paying electric utility stock to pay my electric bill and enough oil stock to pay my fuel oil bill.
Les vieillards aiment à donner de bons préceptes, pour se consoler de n'être plus en état de donner de mauvais exemples. | (François, duc de La Rochefoucauld, maxim 93)

WhyNotUs
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by WhyNotUs » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:06 pm

Not sure if the OP is still around but So Cal Ed was an early adopter of energy audits and you can start by getting one. Not sure how they do it there, but here they start with reviewing your usage over several years, ask about appliances and fixtures and new demand such as your Volt. Sometimes you will get a blower door or infrared analysis by a technician at your house. The product is a report with a series of choices for reducing usage, starting with the simplest and highest bang for the buck moves such as setback thermostats and blinds and going up to bigger investments such as an evaporative cooler to replace your AC. They will also tell you about the rebates that they offer to help you move forward. It gives you facts based on your situation.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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Tycoon
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Tycoon » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:17 pm

DonCamillo wrote:But I also did something very unBogleheadish. I bought enough dividend paying electric utility stock to pay my electric bill and enough oil stock to pay my fuel oil bill.
I like this! I've often thought about buying enough ATT stock to have the dividends pay off my phone bill. You've actually done it for electricity and fuel. Excellent!
Appeal to Pity:When pity is envoked to support a statement | Appeal to Popular Sentiment:Appealing to unrelated prejudices and attitudes | Hasty Generalization:Too little evidence to support the conclusion

LongerPrimer
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by LongerPrimer » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:07 pm

Pizzasteve510 wrote:
interplanetjanet wrote:
LongerPrimer wrote:I don't use the heater function on the washer bidet seat and I do a cold water wash :moneybag
I just have to say, there are some fantastic bidet seats out there that are well under $100...mine remains one of the best gifts I gave myself.
+1

We have 2. One of ours has deodorizer and drier (which we never use) and a wall mounted remote control. The company we ordered from accidentally sent us a deluxe model by mistake and didn't notify us until after we installed it. 8-)
So you drip dry too. :sharebeer

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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by blurryvision » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:08 pm

playtothebeat wrote:
Leif wrote: Are you kidding? I'm also in OC. I have a 3300 SF house. I'm on a level pay plan of $37/mo.

We don't run the AC until 78. We never run the AC at night. We open all our upstairs windows in the summer.

I'm also on a plan with SCE that allows them to cycle off my AC in high use periods (they installed a box near my AC). As far as I know they have never done that. However, it saves me around $200 a year in discounts off of my bill.
That's impressive. I honestly have no idea how you can stay at $37/month, unless you just don't use any lights, don't watch tv, don't use many appliances, etc.
We are also in the OC (north OC). We live in a 2500+ SF 2 story home, and we pay around $28 to $38 a month. In fact our last few bills this summer have all been less than $30. We are on the SCE plan that allows them to cycle off AC during peak energy period.

We watch quite a bit of television on our energy efficient LED television.

We are able to get by with a cheap electricity bill because we don't use AC all that often. During the daytime, we enjoy the AC at our workplaces, by 5:30pm when we get home, the temps are much cooler. If it is extremely hot, we will use some AC, but most of the time we just leave our windows open and a fan by the window.

All of our lighting is energy efficient

We hang dry most of our clothing (except socks and underwear)

We try not to use much electricity until after 6pm, because the rates for electricity usage are cheaper after 6pm. This includes washer / dryer, vacuuming, etc.

My wife is big on making sure all of our electrical appliances are unplugged when the devices are not in use, I'm not sure how much electricity it has saved.

When it gets extremely hot, we have gone out to watch a movie in the nice air conditioned theater.

I'm always surprised when our neighbors and friends complain about how high their electricity bill is. Then we notice when going for an evening walk where the air is cool outside, most houses in our neighborhood are still running their AC units. :confused

I agree with others that OP should definitely have an energy audit performed.

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gardemanger
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by gardemanger » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:49 pm

interplanetjanet wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:Is anyone allowed to irrigate anything in California right now?
Central California still contains some of the most fertile farmland around, and much of it is worth irrigating even at high cost. California grows 80% of the world's almonds - that alone takes up something like 10% of the water used by the state. Agriculture is very big business here.

I'm mostly planting "yard" areas with drought-tolerant native species. I'm not a big believer in expanses of grass, and allergies are no small part of that. I got such allergic reactions from running through fields growing up.
Point of terminology - landscape professionals use "irrigation" to mean watering systems for all kinds of landscapes (whether sprinkler, drip, etc.) I have a degree in landscape architecture and learning how to design an irrigation system is one of the head-hurtiest things I've ever had to absorb. I *suffered* for the right to use the jargon :shock:

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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by placeholder » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:43 am

jlawrence01 wrote:I have a list of things we did in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago. and Detroit to avoid air conditioning. Our monthly electric bills have been $30 or so for the summer months over the past fifteen years.
I live in St. Louis and the way I look at it is that a tough AC month is about $150 more than one with none so for $5 a day (what some people pay for a fancy coffee) I'm going to have reasonably cool dehumidified air in my house for me to relax with.

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interplanetjanet
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by interplanetjanet » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:31 pm

gardemanger wrote:Point of terminology - landscape professionals use "irrigation" to mean watering systems for all kinds of landscapes (whether sprinkler, drip, etc.) I have a degree in landscape architecture and learning how to design an irrigation system is one of the head-hurtiest things I've ever had to absorb. I *suffered* for the right to use the jargon :shock:
Yes, I meant it in the broadest possible sense - any watering system for either agricultural use or not. No warranty for fitness or suitability implied. ;)

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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by bpp » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:09 pm

Tycoon wrote:
DonCamillo wrote:But I also did something very unBogleheadish. I bought enough dividend paying electric utility stock to pay my electric bill and enough oil stock to pay my fuel oil bill.
I like this! I've often thought about buying enough ATT stock to have the dividends pay off my phone bill. You've actually done it for electricity and fuel. Excellent!
I don't think using a company's dividends to pay bills from that company is a stable equilibrium. Any adverse conditions for the company are likely to force it to raise rates, and cut dividends. Which would make one's bills higher, and the income earmarked to pay those bills lower. Actually kind of the opposite of a liability match.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:29 pm

I bought a tabletop fan, which enables me to reduce the amount of time I run my two air conditioners in the summer.

Of course, that means I've reduced the utility of all that capital expenditure, too. I'm not convinced the units won't degrade over time, even with less usage, although perhaps it'll happen more slowly. I don't imagine manufacturing, selling, and transporting them happened without energy expenditure all along the chain, and since I'm the end user, I'm sure I must have paid for it.

I do like my little fan, though.

PJW

Ron
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by Ron » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:39 pm

placeholder wrote:I live in St. Louis and the way I look at it is that a tough AC month is about $150 more than one with none so for $5 a day (what some people pay for a fancy coffee) I'm going to have reasonably cool dehumidified air in my house for me to relax with.
:thumbsup

- Ron

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pennstater2005
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Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:25 pm

I still use incandescents throughout my house but am considering switching to LED's soon. I've always used the incandescents because I like the soft, warm light and CFL's, for me, could never quite get it right. And they took too long to light up fully. I want instant light when a switch is turned on, I know, first world problems.

But, I've seen some newer LED's that simulated incandescent lighting rather well and they are bright instantly. I also like the significantly longer life than both CFL's and incandescents. I just have to take the plunge. Soon, I think.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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