How low can I get the electric bill?


At first it was just for fun, then it got interesting, then kind of exciting. When we bought our condo a few years ago we asked BC Hydro what would be a good rate to set the equalized monthly electric power bill to. They analyze the old owners’ power use, take the annual amount and divide by 12. Equalized payments mean fewer surprises so I prefer this. The amount recommended was $120 a month. Once we moved in I noticed BC Hydro’s web site offered data that tracked daily power consumption. You could see how much power you consumed every day. After living in the suite for a year we could then compare this years usage with last year in an effort to lower energy use. This when the real fun began.

23 days power consumption, 2021 compared to 2020. The spikes in dark blue are last year when we used the dryer. Guess how many times we have used the dryer this May, so far? (light blue bars = zero spikes) Zero!

As you can see in the graph, some days power use spiked. The culprit? The clothes dryer! Any day we dried clothes the bar jumped considerably. We had a drying rack so we started using it more and more. It became a running gag at home. I’d say “Jan, you used the dryer yesterday didn’t you!?” After a year the power company dropped my equalized payment per month from $120 to $60! Wow! Half! What else can we do to save power? We heat via electricity but our sunny facing condo and being on the 7th floor meant we didn’t have to use the baseboard heaters much. And after seeing the blue graph jump when we did use them, we decreased the amount of times we turned them on! As the months went on we started using the dryer less and less, even for sheets which we carefully hang on various parts of the furniture to dry. Summer or winter. Open a few windows. Tip: Put your drying rack by a ceiling fan. Put ceiling fan on high! We also replaced every light bulb or fixture with LED. This also helped. Another year and the power bill dropped to $34 a month. Wow!

Something else that uses a lot of power – is your range. Fortunately we don’t bake much.

One of my friends said “I love a dryer dried towel, they are so soft”. My thinking lately is – “I love a rack dried towel, they are nice and crispy so I know they are fresh and clean!” With the kids gone and a pandemic providing time – putting clothes on a drying rack versus stuffing them in the dryer takes longer – but we have the time.

We have a natural gas fireplace which seems far more efficient than electricity to heat with. So that helps our bill, too. But between the LED lights, slashing the dryer use and minimal electric baseboard heater use – it’s amazing the difference it makes!

A few months ago I received our 3rd annual adjustment from BC Hydro. Now $24 a month. Can it possibly go any lower?

If you want to lower your power bill.. you need a partner that is on board if you live with someone. Jan certainly is. A pandemic certainly gives you plenty of time to think about this sort of thing. Sweaters on rather than cranking a thermostat up also help. So it’s largely attitude. Have fun with it. A power bill from $120 to $24 a month! Fun. I don’t think we could possibly go any lower. Unless……………… hhhmmmm…

3 Comments

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3 responses to “How low can I get the electric bill?

  1. Leon Mills

    Wow, that’s awesome Kevin, congratulations on saving energy and money!

  2. Unbelievable but b/c you tell this story > believable!! I too hang clothes with just a few quick spins in the dryer and then hang shirts and T-Shirts on hangers and hand press. Having read this I will put on a sweater in my lower level office vs. turning on an electric heater.
    Hugs to you and Jan.
    I am hoping to be in Victoria in September to celebrate my Aunts 101 Birthday. Perhaps a coffee and wee visit with you two. I will let you know in advance if I do go and Aunt is alive. Hope you are both well. Betty

  3. Nicoline Warnock

    You have too much time on your hands,,,,I love using my new stove,,,,:)

    >

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