Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-17-2011, 11:47 AM   #21
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 916
Nothing on the list really, use a laptop & dishwasher for convenience but....

- I switched to all CFL bulbs a few years back when the electric company offered rebates to cover the cost

- Changed to a 97.5% efficiency furnace when it was time to replace a 15 year old unit needing work and leverage the tax rebate - still keep temps low at night & when no one is home during the day
__________________

__________________
Aiming_4_55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-17-2011, 11:56 AM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
A $72/month average electric bill for a 1600 square foot house in the New Orleans heat may seem high, but the point (at least MY point) was not to boast. Sorry that you misunderstood!

The point that I was hoping to get across is that a savings less than $72/month simply isn't enough to motivate me (or many others, I would imagine) to expend the time and effort to put additional "energy saving tips" in place. Right now I am happy enough with the energy savings I already have in place. When energy rises in price by more than an order of magnitude (if that should happen in our lifetimes), many of us might be more motivated to think about changing our habits to conserve further.
Sorry, but I didn't misunderstand, I didn't take it as boasting, I just thought it provided two interesting data points.

I guess I'm always looking to save money, regardless if it is on a $72, $720, or a $7.20 monthly bill. A $ is a $. But I agree with you that as far as energy goes, most of these things take more effort/investment than they are worth. I keep looking, and I keep getting disappointed (That new fridge does use ~ half the energy, but that is out of $9/month, not such a big deal)!

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Somewhat, in that it is something we pay attention to, turning out lights in rooms no one is in, that sort of thing. When the house was built we also paid for extra insulation and Tyvek house wrap, an option at the time. I think it's fairly standard now. Looking in the attic, it looks to be about two feet of insulation in there!

But we also keep the house warmer than most people in the winter, and figure what we spend on natural gas then, we save on summer A/C costs because we also keep it warmer than most in the summer. The outside lights are all compact fluorescents (we leave them on all night because to me that's a safety issue) as well as the inside ones that are not on dimmer switches.

And although we haven't significantly altered our driving habits yet higher fuel prices definitely have our attention. When vehicle replacement time comes we'll be paying close attention to fuel mileage.

I definitely believe in task lighting. If I'm gonna not be in the other room for awhile, I turn off the lights there. When on the computer or desk doing my bills, I only use one task light instead of a task light and overhead light on.

It's gets me when I see some who are in the habit of the exact opposite. They'd leave lights on all over the house knowing that they'd be in only one room for hours. Or they'd leave a fan blowing on before going shopping for several hours.

IMHO, that's like purposely leaving the water at a trickle without reason, or purpsosely leaving the front door cracked open when turning on the furnance in the winter
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #24
Recycles dryer sheets
Ready-4-ER-at-14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: chicago
Posts: 141
I have a hot water heater that I chose not to insulate as it is in a heated area that is used in the winter that tends to be a little too cool for comfort anyway.

CFL's are used where they make sense in a cooler climate. Our kitchen ceiling fixture takes three screw in bulbs. I put in one old incandescent for instant on and two older CFLs that can come on slowly when it is quite cold. The heat from that one regular bulb does wonders in helping the cfls brighten quicker than if without. Incidentally I saw an ad for a CFL that has an instant on halogen in it that shuts off once the CFL is working properly.

In the really cold exposed interior places I still use incandescent or led bulbs for the instant on. In fact I've found that you can use CFL flood lights in a motion sensor if you have one regular bulb and one cfl. No idea if this is a potential fire hazard or not but it is on a masonry garage and electric is in conduit so little risk other than tripping a circuit breaker I assume.

I have a timed thermostat and when only myself in the house tend to let home get cool in winter and wear a robe over regular clothes and some sort of zone heating even if just a small electric heater at my desk. I do increase the heat automatically when the rest of the family is to be here.
__________________
Ready-4-ER-at-14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #25
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
(That new fridge does use ~ half the energy, but that is out of $9/month, not such a big deal)!
Yes, I probably would still have the old refrigerator had it been up to me, but Hurricane Katrina made that decision for me.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,128
I live on my own in less than 300 sq feet of space and utilities are already included in the rent. My main motivation to watch my consumption is that it's an old house with old wiring, and if there is too much electricity usage between my neighbors and I, the circuit breaker trips. If it's late at night and a bit chilly, then we all sit in our rooms hoping that someone else will volunteer to go outside and reset the breaker!

However, there's only so much damage a single person in a room can do. In my last apartment, which was 500 sq feet, my gas and electric bill was always under $30/month combined. My main extravagance is leaving a desktop computer with 5 hard drives on most of the day.
__________________
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:50 PM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
Beryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R

A $72/month average electric bill is not high for a 1600 square foot air conditioned house in the New Orleans summer heat, but the point (at least MY point) was not to boast. Sorry that you misunderstood!
I understood completely.

$72/mo for one person in a 1600 sq ft house in cooler CO is good also per Xcel Energy averages. I average a little under $90/mo for my 3000 sq ft house but I close off 1000 sq ft of unused areas year 'round. I also follow many other common energy savings tips (adjust thermostat, turn off lights, unplug unused appliances, etc) and some of those listed in the OP. It adds up after a while.

I'd love to go off the grid with solar.
__________________
Retired - Class of 2011
Beryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 01:48 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiming_4_55 View Post
- I switched to all CFL bulbs a few years back when the electric company offered rebates to cover the cost
I switched to mostly 5500K CFLs because the color is much more pleasant. (But my wife is stuck on those sickly yellow incandescents, which is why it's only "mostly".)
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
DW likes it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than I do. After many years I realized I was expending more energy (mine) trying to save energy by getting her to change her ways. So now I am doing my part in conserving energy by letting her have her way.
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:11 PM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,189
We do most of those things not necessarily thinking of energy savings. We do try and watch the watering and the thermostat.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #31
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat44 View Post
So now I am doing my part in conserving energy by letting her have her way.
Same here ..

I guess if DW was responsible for any expenses related to the house (or anything else, for that matter), she would be more inclined to worry about the cost.

Oh well, assuming I die first, she will find out quickly how much it actually costs to live "in the manner that she has become accustomed" ...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:18 PM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beryl View Post
I'd love to go off the grid with solar.
Why?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #33
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Quote:
9 Unexpected Energy (and Money) Savers


Here are a few surprising and simple ways to cut your energy bill this season.

Put lamps in the corners: Did you know you can switch to a lower wattage bulb in a lamp or lower its dimmer switch and not lose a noticeable amount of light? It’s all about placement. When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter.
Rarely turn lights on.

Quote:
Switch to a laptop: If you’re reading this article on a laptop, you’re using 1/3 less energy than if you’re reading this on a desktop.
Done.

Quote:
Choose an LCD TV: If you’re among those considering a flat-screen upgrade from your conventional, CRT TV, choose an LCD screen for the biggest energy save.
Unplugged TV & cable a/o Nov '10

Quote:
Give your water heater a blanket: Just like you pile on extra layers in the winter, your hot water heater can use some extra insulation too. A fiberglass insulation blanket is a simple addition that can cut heat loss and save 4% to 9% on the average water-heating bill.
Water heater says doesn't need blanket (why would anyone want to heat hot water?)

Quote:
Turn off the burner before you’re done cooking: When you turn off an electric burner, it doesn’t cool off immediately. Use that to your advantage by turning it off early and using the residual heat to finish up your dish.
Have gas stove.

Quote:
Add motion sensors: You might be diligent about shutting off unnecessary lights, but your kids? Not so much. Adding motion sensors to playrooms and bedrooms cost only $15 to $50 per light, and ensures you don’t pay for energy that you’re not using.
Don't have kids.

Quote:
Spin laundry faster: The faster your washing machine can spin excess water out of your laundry, the less you’ll need to use your dryer. Many newer washers spin clothes so effectively, they cut drying time and energy consumption in half—which results in an equal drop in your dryer’s energy bill.
*Dryers- To help clothes dry quicker, place a clean dry towel in with wet clothes; Also, when done unplug or turn off breaker to dryer. It will continue to draw power even when it's not in use.
Don't have dryer.

Quote:
Use an ice tray: Stop using your automatic icemaker. It increases your fridge’s energy consumption by 14% to 20%. Ice trays, on the other hand, don’t increase your energy costs one iota. Or what I did recently was when the container was full I just turned it to off so it will stop coming on.
Don't have ice maker.

Quote:
Use the dishwasher: If you think doing your dishes by hand is greener than powering up the dishwasher, you’re wrong. Dishwashers use about 1/3 as much hot water and relieve that much strain from your energy-taxing water heater. Added bonus: you don’t have to wash any dishes.
I love the dishwasher, because I hate washing dishes.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 07:15 PM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Here's our monthly electric bill. The annual spike is due to DD visiting over Christmas, and running a space heater in her bedroom. You can also see our vacations (e.g. 5/2009). $10 per month of the bill is due to the dehumidifier in our bathroom. We pay about $.14 per KWH.

ElectricBill.jpg
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 03:03 PM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beryl View Post
I'd love to go off the grid with solar.
We did in 2009 and are very happy with it. I'd much rather pay for solar panels for 10 years instead of paying the electric company for 30 years. They actually calculated our payback to be 6-8 years depending on the price of electricity.

In San Diego it makes a lot of sense, and hopefully soon I'll have an all-electric Nissan Leaf to plug into it - and not have to buy gasoline either!

We bought a system that should have taken care of 80% of our needs, but then we started shutting off lights more often, replaced a few more bulbs with CFLs and LEDs, and now range between positive and negative depending on use and the weather.
__________________
meekie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by meekie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beryl
I'd love to go off the grid with solar.
We did in 2009 and are very happy with it. I'd much rather pay for solar panels for 10 years instead of paying the electric company for 30 years. They actually calculated our payback to be 6-8 years depending on the price of electricity.
You went off the grid with solar? Doesn't that take a lot of batteries? What's the payback and environmental impact of all those batteries and replacements?

Quote:
In San Diego it makes a lot of sense, and hopefully soon I'll have an all-electric Nissan Leaf to plug into it - and not have to buy gasoline either!
You're going to have to explain to me what 'makes sense' about having other people pay your bills? IOW, do you think it would 'make sense' w/o the subsidies? If not, then does it really 'make sense'?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #37
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I don't do any of those things to save energy, either.

I use a laptop because it is convenient, not for energy reasons. I use my dishwasher because it is easier, not for energy reasons. I don't do the rest.

Oddly, the electric bill for my 1600 square foot home has averaged only $72/month over the past two years despite my wasteful ways.
W2R, do you only have electric or do you also use natural gas? Our electric bill runs about $50/month but like many people up here in cold country, we also use natural gas for heating water, drying clothes, and heating our home (and cooking! whatever that is). That runs about $60 a month so we're paying $110 electric and natural gas average for two people in a house not much bigger than yours.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #38
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
W2R, do you only have electric or do you also use natural gas? Our electric bill runs about $50/month but like many people up here in cold country, we also use natural gas for heating water, drying clothes, and heating our home. That runs about $60 a year so we're paying $110 electric and natural gas average for two people in a house not much bigger than yours.
$60 /year on heating. Have you tapped into your neighbor's gas pipe?
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 04:35 PM   #39
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
$60 /year on heating. Have you tapped into your neighbor's gas pipe?
Smarty pants--maybe we have it billed to a certain retiree living in Houston who is summering across the pond . I corrected it above!
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 04:40 PM   #40
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Smarty pants--maybe we have it billed to a certain retiree living in Houston who is summering across the pond . I corrected it above!
Sorry, I couldn't resist

Shortly after we got here mid-March I went outside at 7:10pm to see a well publicized extremely large moon - very impressive, much like a "harvest moon".

6 weeks later it was still daylight at 9pm. I'd quite forgotten how quickly the nights get longer in these latitudes, even allowing for the clocks springing forward.
__________________

__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How did you save for your down payment for your home? bright eyed FIRE and Money 53 03-04-2008 01:50 PM
building an energy efficient home Martha Other topics 15 02-20-2006 06:10 PM
2005 Home Energy Costs REWahoo FIRE and Money 25 01-04-2006 07:22 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:41 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.