During the winter, I often pay well over 100$ for electricity (forced air electric heat in a nearly 40 year old trailer). I expected a bigger drop in May, but alas and alack, it did not come. Down quite a bit, but not to summer levels. The furnace was off, but I was using the oven to cook and finding things to cook in there so I could mooch the heat off the oven. It was still frosting over night into June. Also...sometimes a space heater was necessary.
The June bill from the city just came and my electric is FINALLY down to about 35$. That's pretty minimal. I'm going to try to get it under $30 for July and August. That would be awesome. We also get this little bar graph now showing how the usage compares to the the past 12 months. Big drop in electric usage. My water usage is level because it isn't actual use, just the levels they bill at...the lowest level is well over 3 times my usual monthly use and costs about $14.50. Cripes. Then there is 40$ of sewer bond. 43$ of sewer and something for garbage pick up (which I hardly use because of my whole reduce-reuse-recycle system and the 2 composting systems). So, if I can get a bill UNDER 150$ for my non-phone utilities, I'm pretty excited.
Major steps to be taken to conserve electric this summer:
1) Shut off the hot water heater if I'm gone for more than 24 hours. It heats back up in like 45 minutes and the bill drops. People tell me it's cheaper to just keep it hot but I have not found that to be the case.
2) Eat mostly uncooked foods (I don't want to say "raw" because I'm not a "raw foodist"). Lunch was salad with 3 or 4 kinds of lettuce (THANKS CSA!), side of chips and hummus, and possibly a green worm for protein but I'm pretending that was just a pea in the salad. There were actual peas in the salad and I did wash it so if it WAS a worm, it was a clean worm. Maybe even a ceviche worm since I washed the lettuce in vinegar water.
3) Avoid opening the fridge and just standing there.
4) Do something about that gap in the fridge insulation thingy.
5) Shorter showers. No more meditating until the hot water is gone. With the chlorine filter on the shower I can't use one of those on/off shower heads. Those cause too much back pressure and blow out the 35$ filters in about a week. Normally the filters last a year or more. So, shorter showers and probably washing hair in the sink rather than in the shower.
6) Become devout about cooling the place overnight and closing up at just before sun-up. This is a bit rough but then I think about all the Muslims who get up at dawn to pray, AND they are in Ramadan this month so they really have to get up in time to eat and drink for the day. Getting up and shutting a few windows and taking out a couple of fans, then hitting the sack again is nothing and I get a big pay off. Today I walked home for lunch in over 90 degree heat (I walked very very slowly so I wouldn't need another shower) but it was not quite 70 inside the trailer. WOO! The laundry I left on the line this morning had shrunk in the heat! (not really but if the pants are tight I'm using that excuse)
I think those are my major steps for the summer.
1) Keeping the water heater at 120
2) Using a hotpot rather than the stove when just heating water
3) Unplugging appliances and electronics when not in use (sometimes via a circuit breaker) including the stove. For the stove I flip the breaker as this is much much easier than emptying the bottom of the cupboard and prying the plug out.
4) Hanging laundry to dry (haven't owned a dryer in nearly 9 years)
5) Washing in cold water most of the time. Once in a while I use warm water to help get the residual soap out of the clothes.
6) Keeping frozen water bottles in the freezer to help stabilize the temperature
7) Keeping drapes/curtains shut during the day