I got my power bill today. I am currently signed up for budget billing, which means that my bill is the same amount every month. The power company takes my annual usage and divides it by 12 and that is how much my bill is. The risk with budget billings is that if you use more electricity than what they’ve estimated, you will end up owing the power company money. If you use less, they will have gotten to keep your money interest free until they return it. In the end, I like knowing exactly how much my bill will be each month.
Even though I know exactly how much I owe the power company each month, I still make sure to study my bill. This month I wasn’t surprised to see my heat portion of my bill take a big leap because it has been 20-below-zero for several nights last month. But I was surprised to see my electric and hot-water bill take a leap.
The increases in those two parts of my bill have forced me to more closely examine what we’ve been doing the last month. First of all, I attribute the increase in our electric use to the fact that we were home a LOT in December, and it is also the darkest month of the year. I also realize that we’ve been running the dishwasher and washer and dryer a lot more this month.
The bill was a wake-up call to me – to remember that I must be diligent in my energy conservation. This means I need to stop leaving lights on, leaving the computer on all day, and running not-quite-full loads of laundry and dishes. I need to be aware of those things that quietly steal electricity even when not in use.