Greater Columbia, Chapin, Irmo, Lexington and Lake Murray.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

High Electric Bills? Part 1 of 3

High Electric Bills This Winter?  Analyze Your Electric/Gas Bills!
Recently on a very cold night, I was working in my walkout basement and went to plug in a laptop on an interior outside wall electrical outlet. I was amazed at the amount of cold air coming in through the receptacle.  I have lived in the home for 8 years and never noticed this previously. This particular night, the outside temperature was about 20 degrees. On the other side of this exterior wall is an unheated outside storage room.

I decided to take action! First, I decided to analyze my utility bills over the past 4 years.  A summary of my electric bill analysis follows (I am on Mid Carolina Co-op).   Over 3 years (2008-2010):

  • My annual usage has increased only 1.62% per year.  From 2007-2009 annual usage remained fairly constant (actually slight decreases for 2 years).  There was a spike up in 2010 (11.75% increase) due to a malfunctioning HVAC system for about 2 months.
  • The bad news:  cost per kilowatt hour has increased 6.52% per year over the past 3 years.   This compares to an annual increase in the Consumer Price Index of only 1.65% over the same period.
  • My electric bill cost has increased 7.88% per year
  • In 2007, my cost per KWH was 8.48 cents; in 2010 the cost was 10.21 cents.  The cost from 2009 to 2010 remained about constant, but watch out for coming increases (nuclear plant under construction).
  • Good news about electric rates in South Carolina... we are below the national average!  For 2009, the national electric rate (cents per kilowatthour) was 11.58 cents; for my bills the average was 10.21 cents - that's 11.83% lower than the national average!
Want a wake-up call?  Analyze your electric/gas bills on a spreadsheet.  Get your monthly bill cost, divide by the monthly KWH and you will have your average cost per KWH (in cents).  You may be able to get these through your utility company website or making a call to customer service.  Knowing these costs precisely will  enable you to want to take action for future energy savings.

What can you do?  Watch out for my PART TWO coming in the next day or so - I'll have THREE SIMPLE STEPS FOR HOME ENERGY SAVINGS AND BETTER HOME COMFORT.     You will be able to perform these 3 steps to cut your energy usage and save money. 

How We Use Energy in Our Homes (2007)

Really Cool! Part THREE:    Watch my NEW Kill AWatt Electricity Usage Monitor in use.

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Realtor

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