How did we manage to save 50% on our electric bill?
It’s been slightly over a month since we have been in the small house and the initial results of our energy usage for all of our power needs (lights, cooking, heating, air conditioning, two all-electric cars, etc.) is finally available.
Overall cost for electricity for power, heating and cooling of our 536 sq ft house and for charging two electric cars: $63.34 in September 2015
Overall cost for electricity for power, heating and cooling of our 1,500 sq ft house and for charging two electric cars: $126.68 in September 2014
What does this mean for total savings for a year in the small house?
Actual 2014 cost of electricity for the big house and electric car charging for 12 months (roughly 14,000 miles of electric car usage): $2,977.34
With an estimated 50% savings rate, a year in the small house will save us $1,488.67 in electricity (assuming no further improvements).
Now, before you run out and buy or build a tiny or small house of your own, you may want to read our Real Talk of Tiny Living series debuting in November where we get real with what small living is all about.
Cost Per Kilowatt Hour
Notably, our cost per KWH was $0.19 for the small house in October 2015 v. $0.14 for the big house in October 2014, which is an increase of 46%! Ouch. The reason? Well, we didn’t know it when we established electric service at the small house, but the small house has a different account number than our big house. As a result, we never shopped around for an electricity provider for the small house and got stuck with PPL’s ridiculously high rate.
What does this mean? With our new $0.14 rate, we would have had a $45.95 bill for the small house, which is 36% of the big house. Since we only have one data point (month of September), I’m assuming 50% savings for now rather than 64% savings.
Shopping Around to Lower Our Supply Price
The very first thing we did when we received our bill was to go to PA Power Choice to find a reasonably priced supplier with 100% renewable power; fortunately, we found Green Mountain offered a promo rate for the next three months that will cut our supply price in half. (We shop our electricity provider at the end of every promotional period–highly recommend PA Power Choice for PA residents.)
Applying Mindfulness to Our Electricity Usage
We’re practicing mindfulness to improve our electricity usage, not just our bill. We have all the usual suspects working in our favor: LED lights, power strips to turn on/off power when not in use, higher-efficiency appliances, and a hot water tank that’s 40% smaller than the one in the big house.
However, how many times do we use electricity unnecessarily, without even thinking about it? Do we need lights in the living room when the sun is out, shining on the front of our house? No. We’re working to identify those opportunities that we can continue to decrease our usage.
Related post: Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 1: Clutter