More Cold Equals More Costs

There is nothing like stating the obvious. The colder it is out the more it will cost to keep warm. Would you rather spend more or less to keep warm in the winter? Most people would choose less unless there was a opportunity to earn more money elsewhere.


Winters are colder than every other season and 1/2 of the cost of electricity is used for the year is used during this time.  If the reason for the energy usage during this season is cut in half the total energy cost for the year should be cut by 1/4. The 80/20 rule is well in effect; I’m sure if the steps I take to help during the winter will have some effects on the other seasons.

One of the goals of the $50 Energy Project was to not drastically change lifestyle while accomplishing the goal. Certainly I could just turn the heat down totally to gain on the costs but, the house would get cold. Lifestyle is then changed. Wearing winter coats in the house is not my idea of fun.

Below is the raw kWh usage for December in the last three years. It appears that the cost has gone up this last year.


Looks can be deceiving. There were a few differences year to year. The amount of days in the billing cycle varies from year to year depending on when the electric company decides to bill you.


There was a drastic increase in days billed year to year. 10 days between 2014 and 2015 is a big amount of time. The best way to compare is to limit the days billed to 31 and use the average usage per each year for the month of December. The picture becomes more accurate:


The result is not quite one half from 2013 to 2015 but, it is in the right direction. Part of the high cost still in the winter months may be the result of the heating only with an electric powered heat pump. At about 40F there is a heating element that gets energized to provide heat for the intake of the pump rather than just depend on the heat in the ambient air.

Some low hanging fruit would be to seal the windows with some winterizing plastic. Putting it on the North facing windows would be the most cost effective way to install them. They are really cheap and help reduce leakage from the windows.



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