Over the last six months I’ve noticed that my SDG&E bill was slowly creeping up. At first I thought nothing of it. I had heard that a new, tiered program was being implemented by the electric company and I thought this might have been the cause for the increase.
MISSION: SAVING MONEY WHILE ALSO SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT
Over the last six months I’ve noticed that my SDG&E bill was slowly creeping up. At first I thought nothing of it. I had heard that a new, tiered program was being implemented by the electric company and I thought this might have been the cause for the increase. When I received my November bill and saw that it was $453, I was shocked. This might not seem like a lot to some of you, however, I live in a 2,154 square foot home in which I keep the lights on only in the room I’m occupying so this seemed like a ridiculously high bill. I spoke to one of my neighbors who lives in a larger home than mine and has a family of four. He told me that their bill had only been $141 that month. I therefore found it even more puzzling when I received my December SDG&E bill for $488 which, though only $35 more than my November bill, didn’t seem to take into account the fact that I was away from my home 11 days in December. So how did my electricity bill increase instead of decrease?
With the higher bill as motivation I decided to do some research and it became the reason for my article. I spoke to a “High Bill Specialist” at the electric company and after an hour on the phone with her I learned so much that I now want to share the information with all the readers of PREMIER. Over the next few months I will continue to share this valuable information and how it caused me to monitor and alter my behavior in order to lower my monthly bill to a more manageable amount. I will tell you about my mistakes and my new-found insights and I hope you will find the information edifying as well as useful.
As appliances around your house start to break down or wear out they drain more electricity. This lesson saved me $192 on my February electric bill.
I was accustomed to placing my comforter in my washer but because it was oversized it had thrown off my washer’s spin cycle quite some time ago. A repairman provided me with a quote of $400 to fix it. I figured that despite the irregular spin cycle the washer still had some life left in it so I decided to utilize it until it completely wore down which it did in early February. At that time I replaced both my washer and dryer. But appliance mishaps happen in twos and my microwave also died in early February so for the remainder of the month I lived without a microwave. I now realize that a microwave is like a cell phone; you don’t realize how much you need it until you don’t have it. Admittedly, the previous owners of my home must have misused the microwave as it took a minute and 20 seconds to reheat a cup of coffee which it now takes my new microwave only 20 seconds to do.
With a new washer and dryer, a non-functioning microwave and no other pattern changes my February bill went down $192. My conversation with the High Bill Specialist took place March 1st so my new changes had not yet been implemented (I’ll share these new changes in the May issue). If I had replaced my washer when it started to break down I would have saved over $1,400 in electric charges. Waiting to replace a malfunctioning washing machine might have delayed the inevitable cost of a replacement but it also cost me over $1,400 in wasted electricity. Though I paid $1,500 for my new washer and dryer, in reality it ultimately cost me $2,900. This is one expensive mistake and one I will never make again.
Coming in the May issue: My High Bill Specialist gave me some great tips on conserving energy and saving money and I will tell you about some of the changes I’ve implemented on March 1st to take advantage of her conserving and savings tips. When I receive my March electric bill I will share with you the impact of my changes in the hopes that it will benefit you, the readers of PREMIER. Of course as I continue to make these changes in stages and I will continue to keep you apprised of the necessity and importance of each of them so stay tuned!