No gas bill this month!

joann23456February 28, 2010

We've always kept our heat pretty low (67 during the day, 60 at night), but I've been especially good this year about turning it down when we go out. I also used foam tape in a few new places this year.

So I went online today to pay the gas bill, only to find that there wasn't one. We have balanced billing, and this is the month they even things out. Well, we lowered our gas usage enough that there was no bill at all this month!

I'll bet there are even more places where I can insulate or cut usage somehow, and now I'm inspired!

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Cool! Haha! I signed up for balanced gas billing just this month.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 8:37AM
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that's great, Joan - you must have really done some foam taping! Congratulations.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Congrats, Joann ... who sure knows how to count to 345!

Another use for an even better insulating product than duct tape!

I had a small amount of furnace oil added to the tank in first week Nov. (under $100.) ... and none since.

Sweaters (especially ones for Christmas or birthday) sure save on the heating bill (even in this coolish area)!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 2:12PM
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There's so many things a person can do, many are small but effective. Make use of the sun. Open up the shades and drapes on bright sunny days and close them at night and even cloudy days, especially if they're windy. I have insulated drapes in my living room and bedrooms and that makes a huge difference. Simply opening and closing them - very little effort and no cost. Window quilts are a great idea. I'd like to make some like those roll up shades (are they called Roman shades?)

What's made a huge difference here is one quilt hung on a tension rod to close off the kitchen, basement steps and garage access from the living room and stairs to second level. I keep the upper bedroom doors closed so the major heating is confined to the living room area rather than waste it everywhere else. I burn less gas and have the used area 8-10° warmer than I used to do. I'm all for frugality but I enjoy comfort too and my health benefits from it too. My sister has a comparable size house but won't close anything off, zone heat or anything but keeps it at 60-65°. Her gas bills are far higher than mine. Yes she has a gas stove and dryer, but ironically, her electric bills run quite a bit higher than mine too! And we live only about 8 miles from each other and have the same utility providers so comparable rates.

Around here they call the adjustable billing the "Budget Plan" and I've never liked it. You always pay more for it, seldom know what you're consuming and I did use it one time when my roommates soared my bills out of site - it was a no interest way to pay it off over time but once that year passed I said no way, never again. I'll pay my way. It's fine for people who can't budget money and don't care what they spend. But I knew that this winter would be higher gas bills with the cold weather. I was pleasantly surprised actually since the prices were lower than predicted so the dollars were cheaper than years past. But I also don't have to pay a high price to them during the summer when I only heat water. I'd rather save my money in my bank account than in theirs. Same with electricity. I know with the furnace the electric will be a little higher and more darkness, more lights will be used so a little higher in the winter but $10-$15/mo tops. People can't budget for that? And you don't get a "free" month. You still have already PAID for the fuel/electricity. You're just working off a credit so they've used your money interest-free for months. When I was on Budget, I usually wound up with 2 months and sometimes a bit more that they owed me. Then they recalculated and started again. So I was paying about $70 when the ACTUAL bill for that month was about $5-$10. I thought I could handle it better than that. But some like it.

Another idea, if you have an entry way and can close it off a bit, it'll buffer some of the cold air as people go in and out. If you have windows in an are you seldom use, cover them with bubble wrap. Those window insulator kits are quite effective. And those switch/outlet insulators are surprisingly effective and cheap. This is a good time of year to buy that stuff too. They'll be clearing it out if they haven't already.

BTW, if you have dark colored furniture, tables, and things near the windows, they'll absorb more heat and actually radiate a little into the room. I'm not talking huge savings, like unplugging the second unneeded refrigerator, but a little bit here and there adds up over time.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 2:43PM
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