Attacking Your Power Bill

Infographics are one my favorite communication tools, because they are easy to understand and interesting to learn from. It’s one the reasons I love Shrinkage is Good and often link to it here and on Twitter.

The folks at Energy Authority have put together this awesome piece showing the average ways your home uses energy, and some quick tips for slicing that usage. (Click on the graphic for the larger version).

I rarely point to this kind of stuff, but this graphic is full of goodies and new information that I have always been curious about.

Here are a couple of interesting conclusions I drew after reviewing the diagram:

  • Heating & cooling is it. I knew this intuitively, of course, living in Florida and seeing my power bill fluctuate with the setting on my thermostat. But 45% is outstanding, and what’s cool is the number of ways (especially cheap ways!) you can help your cooling/heating system out, a few of which are mentioned in the graphic. This is definitely the place to start.
  • Hot water. This is a larger percentage than I expected. Suddenly, tank insulation and tweaking that thermostat makes more of a difference than I thought.
  • Washing/drying. Something that definitely depends on the age of your equipment. It’s also a bigger percentage than I expected, and I like the tip about washing in cold water.
  • The little things add up. The other items on the list seem insignificant, but taken together account for a good chunk of the power bill. Taking little steps to make small changes in each of these areas can really add up.

Have you cut your home power bill successfully? How did you do it? How true are the percentages indicated here in your own situation?

Lower Electric Bills Graphic courtesy of Energy Authority; post photo by NeoGaboX.

8 thoughts on “Attacking Your Power Bill

  1. the first step to saving money on your power bill is to see how much you use in a typical month. Average out the last 6 months, and take into account different seasons. This way you can see which months cost you more, and you can focus your energy on fixing your power consumption in those months.

    1. Good point, though I think we can stand to save money in all seasons of the year! Each one presents some unique power challenges.

  2. I’m shocked by the amount of energy the hot water heater takes up. I would have guessed refrigerator was higher.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    .-= RJ Weiss´s last post: How to Stop Junk Mail and Protect Your Identity =-.

    1. Me too! We have the side-by-side, which apparently is the least efficient model. I had no idea that there was a significant difference between different setups!

  3. Electricity is around now 17 cents a kwh, but three years ago, it was around 29 cents a kwh and The bill was around $160. I turned off the hot water heater during the day, washed dishes by hand, stop using the vacuum cleaner and swept the wood floors by hand, kept the heat at 60 degrees/cooling at 80 degrees, and switched the light bulbs to lower usage ones. The biggest difference was in the dryer. Hanging the laundry knocked $40/month off the bill during the low usage months. Now my bill is around $100, using the dishwasher and keeping the water heater on. The biggest jump is the heating during the winter. The heat is gas, but the fan is electric, so we get hit twice.

    1. Wow, thanks for sharing your story in such great detail. Cutting your bill by almost 50% is pretty amazing!

  4. We cut our power bill very successfull, by doing both minor and major improvements. (Things like replacing doors & windows, adding attic insulation, changing to CFLs, unplugging items when not in use, etc.) It appears we were a little TOO successful, because our bill kept going down and down. The electric company came out and installed one of the first smart meters. The next month our bill went up — their response was that smart meters are much more accurate than the old types of meters. I still wonder if that’s true, but haven’t gotten around to checking in greater detail.
    .-= Jackie´s last post: Do It Now =-.

    1. Wow, talk about calling you out! What they did sounds a little unfair, but what can you do, right? (Install alternative energy, I guess).

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