Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I got one of those energy profile letters from our utility company in the mail yesterday and I was shocked. You can click the photo to make it larger for a better view. I’ve tried to get a smiley face profile report for years.
It says over the last six months I used 60% less electricity than 90 of my energy efficient neighbors. I wonder who those neighbors are. Are they even real people? Wow, I finally see the results of all those LED bulbs and off button surge protectors. The report also says in the last six months I used $48 more gas than my energy efficient neighbors. This is not surprising considering my kitchen stove is gas and I do quite a bit of canning. You think maybe those 90 energy efficient neighbors don’t can as much as I do? 🙂
My water heater is electric so its not that. I did notice my gas furnace running more than I thought it should during the cold months. This was my first winter living in a two story house so I didn’t know what to expect for the heating. I don’t know if the furnace is energy efficient or not either. Plus, our weather did stay fairly cold right up until May. Maybe before winter arrives this year I can afford to have the furnace checked for efficiency. I would love to have a split system installed which I’m sure would be expensive. I don’t know how I could afford it which means a split system will be a someday project. As in, someday if I’m really, really lucky and win the lottery.
My water bill was in the mail too. It was a mix of good and bad. At my old house I got bills based on 4,000 gallons used. That would be 2.000 a month because we are billed every other month. Here at the new house, before I started capturing water and recycling water, I got bills based on 2.000 gallons or 1,000 per month. Even with my new conservation methods the bill says I’m still using 2,000 gallons. I just don’t see how this can be true. I suspect the meter wasn’t actually read and they billed based on past usage.
I began to think about possible reasons for the high consumption in an effort to cut back even more. One reason might be that they only bill in even thousands by rounding up or rounding down. Maybe the canning I do could be the reason but I don’t see how. The canning water is re-used for dishes or mopping or washing while its still hot. Re-using the hot water should be saving water as well as electricity. Some bad news is that our water and sewer companies each got another raise starting with the next bill. They each got 6 1/2 percent. Twelve percent more is a lot to absorb in a limited fixed budget. This means I really need to cut back on water use even more. Hmm… If they got a 12 percent raise would cutting back the amount of water I use by 12 percent balance the bill? It can’t hurt to try.