Home Energy Savings For Energy Watchers: December 2009 Archive

Keep Track of Your Energy Costs

With New Year's right around the corner, it's time to think about your energy-saving resolution for the new year. May we suggest that you start keeping track of your energy costs?

It is vital to know how much energy you are using — otherwise, how will you know if your efforts to save energy are effective? Energy Watcher is happy to offer our free Utility Bill Tracking Spreadsheet as a tool to help you get started.

And if you are one of the hundreds of people who have downloaded our spreadsheet in the past year — please let us know what you think! We are eager to hear how you have used it, and would be extremely happy to share your results with the rest of the Energy Watcher readership.

Go Easy On the Christmas Lights

Use LED Christmas lights for holiday decoration. They can last up to 10,000 hours, are just as bright and twinkly as the old-fashioned lights, and use 90% of the power, which can add up to big savings over the holiday season.

Go Easy On the Christmas Lights

And put your Christmas lights on a timer!

Add Extra Blankets & Turn Down the Thermostat

Add Extra Blankets & Turn Down the Thermostat
Here's a tidbit to think over — it is just as comfortable and far cheaper for us to run electric blankets overnight than it is to heat our house while we sleep.

It'll work for you, too.

If you're cold at night, an electric blanket will keep you toasty and warm without heating the entire house. You can program your thermostat to turn itself down overnight and use an electric blanket to warm up the 18 or so square feet that you are actually occupying while you sleep.

And if you want to really save money, just put a couple of extra blankets on your bed — and program down your thermostat to turn itself down overnight.

Buy Each Other Energy Star Appliances For Christmas

Buy Each Other Energy Star Appliances For Christmas
Quick, guys, what's the least romantic thing you could possibly buy for your wife this Christmas? That's right, Energy Star appliances.

Let me give you a tip — you know your wife wants a new kitchen. Why do you think she watches HGTV? If you offer to replace one of those old, inefficient appliances with a new Energy Star appliance, without being prompted, I guarantee she will love it.

The average American home spends about $2,200 on energy costs every year, and there's only so much you can do with furnace filters and weatherstripping to keep costs down. When the time comes, smile and reach into your wallet for new, sexy, modern, efficient appliances. (If it helps, think about the $100 or more that you will be saving on your utility bills each year.)

November 2009 Utility Bills

November was warmer than usual, which led to a $150 savings this month over November 2008, even though electricity and water costs are both up over the same time period. Of course, setting the thermostat to 60°F overnight and 65°F during the day helps a lot, too.

Due to the warmer weather, fewer people living in the house, and let's not forget the energy-saving tips found here on Energy Watcher, we have reduced our BTUs consumed per square foot of living space by half over November 2008!

November 2009 Data

 Electricity, in kWh Cost / Unit Gas, in Therms Cost / Unit Water, in CCF Cost / Unit BTUs / Ft2
This Month 564 $.101 69 $1.15 6 $2.15 2,523
Last Month 823 $.096 40 $1.16 5 $2.35 1,946
Last Year 713 $.096 157 $1.32 7 $1.95 5,184