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Old 09-07-2010, 11:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You're doing better than me ($45.76 last month), but I have electric hot water (solar someday...) and my water is off a well & the pump runs on electricity.

I re-framed the walls on my place too (well, I'm still in the process, but have almost all the living area done), but I took the opposite approach: The new frame's on the outside, and supports 2" styrofoam insulation with new siding over it (the old siding needed replacing anyway), and in the process replaced all the old single-pane windows.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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WOW! I see I have a long ways to go. Just got the $195 electric/water bill for Aug(Two window air conditioners will kill you when it's 98F outside). I've been reglazing the single pane windows, added extra insulation to my attic knee wall, and plan to seal the windows with plastic seeing as it's starting to get cold.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My electric last month was $11.66. I am, of course, single.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Mine was 70$, but it's split 5 ways. We used roughly 750kwh and that's with my roommates loving freezing themselves out with window air conditioners.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow, everyone's utility bills are sooooo low. My last three Electric/Gas bills were over $360/mo. In fact, my last bill (for August) was about $550! I do live in a fairly warm area (Stockton, CA) but the big thing is that my wife runs our whole house at 70deg F all the time. Also, we have multiple computers always on, a hot tub, TVs, and tons of lights. My house is 2700sqft so I would expect a somewhat high bill but now I am really jealous. I will have to look into this a bit and see if there is some 'engineered' method I can use to help reduce our bill without losing any creature comforts.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There's a lot you can do. Turn down the brightness on the TV's, draw the shades to compensate. Use a dark curtain during summer and a white, thermal curtain during winter to keep HVAC loads down. Put certain things on timers, unplug other things and throw them out (incandescent and halogen lamps, for a start). Make sure the house is sealed up tight against air leaks...

Heck, why not have a professional do an energy audit? It looks like it could pay for itself in a month in your case.

Also, Ecofriendly DIY Home Projects .
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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With computers, if you're not using them, put them in Standby (also called Sleep), that way they use almost as little power as being off while still being able to be used within a couple of seconds. For things that are accessed over the network, try to keep them all on one computer.

A laptop left on with the monitor off uses about 15-25 watts, monitor on about 20-30W. In sleep it's 2-5W.

A desktop with monitor off uses about 75-100W, monitor on 100-150W. In sleep it's usually 5-20W (desktop power supplies use heaps doing nothing, it's the same when they are off).
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Cycleguy: Why not turn the computers off when you're not using them? (And likewise with lights, tvs, etc.) Not only does it save money on power (and wear, though that's not really a factor these days), it reduces your exposure to people who might try to hack into your system.

Also, Stockton would seem like a pretty good location for a solar hot tub system.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well the computers all have some purpose which is why they are running. I do leave all of the monitors off unless I am sitting at one of them, but I usually just remote into them. I do think I should look into building up a low power server instead of using the desktops that I currently have set up, though. Also, my wife works from home as an online instructor so she is always on at least one computer (usually while she is watching TV with the kids). I did install a few cfls, but we still have a lot of other bulbs in hard-to-reach spots. I might go buy one of those kill-a-watt devices so I can physically track down our problem devices. All in all, though, my wife will never 'work' at saving energy. She likes the comforts she has and won't be parting with them anytime soon. I don't mind. I just didn't realize that a utility bill could be so low as many of you have experienced.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy View Post
I might go buy one of those kill-a-watt devices so I can physically track down our problem devices.
I've had a lot of fun with mine.

For tips on building a low power server, see silentpcreview.com. Also consider an old laptop, or a PC like this undervolted 760g system:

Robertsmalls' 23W (at idle) computer - EcoRenovator

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