In November I challenged myself to cut my winter heating bill. Seeing that the wall-mounted room heaters did little to warm the place, I turned to my winter camping clothes to stay warm. Every night after work I’d don a camping outfit, topped off with a quilted vest for extra body warmth. I wasn’t much to look at, but even when I could see my breath in the air, I was warm.
At first I only ran a little heat in the morning, so I could comfortably get dressed after my shower. In December, however, when the outside temp dropped low enough to make even a polar bear cold, I ran the bedroom heat all night long. A bathroom-safe portable heater made my frigid bathroom tolerable in the morning, thanks to a built in clock and timer feature.
Were the savings really worth this misery? Yes!! It’s better for the environment. Plus, I don’t want to waste a single penny on excessive heat when I could be stashing it in my savings account for items such as my beloved Mitchell Gold sofa. Once I have that sofa I won’t feel the chill of 2010’s cold apartment one bit.
So has all that sacrificing paid off? Here’s the breakdown of what I’ve saved in the past two months:
|Winter2008-2009||Winter2009 – 2010||Savings|
|November||$ 272.00||$ 42.00||$ 230.00|
|December||$ 440.00||$ 92.00||$ 348.00|
I’ve already saved over $550, and winter’s only half over!
I’ll admit some nights it was almost cold enough to make me give up. I didn’t keep the kitchen as clean as I would have liked, because it was just so darn cold – I didn’t want to be in there. No biggie, it was worth it.
These past two months have really showed me just how effective those small changes can be. I’ve gotten really good at monitoring my energy usage – keeping lights off in rooms I’m not using and unplugging appliances when not in use. Now I find myself with a new problem. When I think about buying and using an appliance, my first thought is “gasp” – how will this affect my power bill? Yeah, I’m a little obsessed. But I’d rather be overzealous and thrifty than naive and wasteful!
Here’s a shot of my power bill for proof. (Note: When the usage history says “Dec” it really is referring to Nov, because it billed me from Nov. 6 – Dec. 5, etc.)
How have you changed your habits or made changes to save a few bucks on utilities?