November 2008 Utility Bill - Home Energy Savings For Energy Watchers

November 2008 Utility Bill

Getting at $289 utility bill sucks. It's not a record — hopefully our record $476 bill from August 2007 will stay in a class by itself. As predicted, November in Atlanta was cold, and I expect December to be colder.

Here's the thing, though. As documented in this blog, we have done several energy-saving projects around our house in the past 18 months — more insulation, more efficient lighting, less water usage. As you would assume, our utility bills, compared to the same month last year, have trended downward. When there is a discrepancy, it can be explained. So why was our natural gas usage up 50% over November last year when the number of heating degree days (HDD) this November was only up 25%?

Our water usage is up slightly over November last year, but only slightly, so we cannot blame this on hot showers. We have programmable thermostats, of course, and they are set at 65°F except during the hours of 6am-8am and 6pm-10pm, when they are set at 68°F. The whole family wears sweaters and I have taken to wearing a hat around the house — have I ever mentioned that I'm bald?

So I have to ask what else has changed in our house since last November Right now this is only a theory, but it's the only theory I have: Our middle daughter started driving her own car, which she parks on the driveway. Instead of leaving the house every morning through the front door, she goes out through the garage — and leaves the garage door open when she leaves.

We are going to try an experiment and see if closing the garage doors will make a significant difference in our heating bill in December — and, if I can find the time, install some more insulation in the basement.

November 2008 Data

Electricity, in kWh Cost / Unit Gas, in Therms Cost / Unit Water, in CCF Cost / Unit
713 $.096 157 $1.32 7 $1.95