My electricity bill from February was a bit of a shock. I have a one bedroom apartment, approximately 700 square feet. To heat this space (and to use any electronic devices) last month, I’ll have to pay $236. That must be the highest amount I’ve ever paid for electricity in one month. The bill provides some useful information, though. The average temperature in February was 27 degreed Fahrenheit, compared to 40 degrees last February and 43 degrees more recently in January.
I have to say that I haven’t been energy-efficient lately. Here are some of the issues I’ll try to deal with for the remainder of the winter and I’ll keep in mind next year, where ever I may be.
* I haven’t been careful when leaving the apartment in the morning to turn off the heat. I am pretty sure I left the heat on for an entire weekend I was out of town.
* Cold air enters my apartments underneath my front door, around my window (I only have one window in the apartment, and it’s in the bedroom), and around the sliding door to my balcony. A quick trip to Home Depot for less than $20 in materials should fix these problems. When I get a chance, I’ll pick up weather stripping for the door and plastic to cover the window.
* I usually keep my thermostat at 70-72 degrees, and it’s still not warm enough for me. I could lower the thermostat and wear more layers of clothing. I could lower the thermostat even further for the time I go to sleep.
* While I generally turn off all my appliances when not in use, in some cases, power still goes to the devices. I should turn off the power strips when I’m not watching television or using a computer.
Now, I’m not a complete waster of energy. I do use compact fluorescent light bulbs in most of my lamps. I use my dishwasher infrequently. Obviously, this isn’t enough. I just checked my records in Quicken; my February 2007 expense of $236 unseated the previous high score, $199, a tie between February 2004 and March 2004.
Published or updated March 8, 2007.