FRIDAY, NOV. 16: I didn’t win, but I won.

I wasn’t in the top three in Government’s Energy Limbo: How Low Can you Go contest. Due to my competitive nature I would have liked to have finished on top and earned bragging rights, but I certainly can’t complain.

Over the course of the past 11 months my energy consumption has decreased 25.82 per cent. My wife and I used 3,467 less kilowatts.

To put in perspective, that’s $1,528 less we spent on electricity this year, than last year. That works out to $138 every month, which certainly isn’t chump change.

As you can see from the chart below, we lowered our electricity usage every month except for the August billing period, when we fell off the wagon and had the air conditioners cranked up.

The contest is over, but the lifestyle change will remain. 

What we did during the contest, we’ll continue on doing: turning off lights in rooms, not letting the A/C run if we’re not using that room; and unplugging our water heaters when they are not in use. We were already using CFL bulbs for our lights when the contest started and as they burned out, started replacing them with LEDs.

Part of our success was The Energy Detective device installed in our home, which showed us real-time use and cost. That helped keep what we were spending — or wasting — at the forefront of our minds.

We did grow a bit complacent over the last four months and did not check it as much, but after a couple of $500 BELCO bills jolted us back to reality, the TED has helped us keep focus.

I’ve had several people ask me about the savings, and the main piece of advice I give is this: Regardless of what happens to the price of oil, you have the power to lower you bill.

MY ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 

THIS YEAR

LAST YEAR

Month

KWH

KWH/D

KWH

KWH/D

Nov

821

24.88

776

26.76

Oct

1,031

36.82

1,151

39.69

Sep

1,145

39.48

1,892

55.65

Aug

1,219

35.85

1,032

33.40

July

808

27.86

1,303

40.72

June

735

22.27

884

29.47

May

544

18.76

653

22.52

April

719

23.97

1,007

30.52

March

875

30.17

1,438

51.36

Feb

1,049

33.84

1,505

55.74

Jan

1,010

32.58

1,782

52.41

Total

9,956

 

13,423