Oh no! The utility bills are here again!

Red arrow showing rising costsWhat’s your reaction when utility bills arrive?  Stress?  I’m always keen to see how well we’re doing with reducing our consumption.

The other day my electricity bill came…and the gas bill…and the water bill. This time I was especially keen to see our electricity bill because it was the first one since our expanded photovoltaic system was in place.  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of power we’d generated over autumn.  Hopefully we’ll be able to cover our winter electricity consumption now…fingers crossed.

Then I looked at our consumption. It had increased! How could that be? Where are low-energy household, so our consumption should at least remain steady – and preferably go down as we take further steps to reduce it.

What’s your attitude to your bills?  What do you do when you find the increase in your use and/or cost of utilities has shocked you?

  • Some people have their bills on automatic payment, and they don’t pay any attention to the content.
  • A lot of people grumble at an increase and then just pay, for their energy and water bills it least.
  • And some people try to work out  what caused the increase, especially for phone bills…

I treat all my utilities the same:

  • I have an expectation of what my consumption is, based on previous years with a slight reduction. (I am trying to reduce my impact on the planet!)
  • My budget is based on my expected consumption + forecast price increases (+ a little extra for buffer).
  • I monitor our consumption as I go along, so I can see what makes a difference. I monitor electricity and gas daily and water weekly.

Thanks to a nifty device called a power meter, I have a fair idea of what my biggest electricity users are:

  1. heating – the amount of electricity that the fan to run the gas ducted heating uses was a big shock
  2. refrigeration
  3. computers

Do you have any idea how much energy and water your household uses each day, week, month or quarter?

Do you know how much energy each of your appliances uses?

Your local library may have power meters available for loan, or you can buy one. Your utilities can let you know how to meet your meters.… Here are the instructions from my utility: http://www.actewagl.com.au/Help-and-advice/How-to-read-your-meters.aspx .

Make use of these resources and start monitoring your energy and water consumption…and post a comment here to share your findings.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!