Friday, January 25, 2008

Bills, Bills, Bills

Well, it's that time again, when my most hotly anticipated bill arrives. (Sidenote: you know you're old when you HAVE a hotly anticipated bill.)

My electric bill arrived yesterday. And "Freeze Yer Buns" has been good to my pocket, because my monthly electric charge including taxes and the extra I pay to participate in the GreenLA Program is a mere $16.18. Huzzah!

Just for fun, I plugged in my electric usage into the Riot 4 Austerity calculator. My current electric usage is now 11% that of the average American's.

Of course, I'm lucky living in California. So far my total heat usage this winter has been one half-hour with the space heater on, and I'd guess that my apartment has probably never dropped below 60 degrees. So it's not entirely fair to compare myself to the average American.

But I CAN compare myself to Past Me, and handily, my electric use for this time last year is on my bill. My power usage last year? FOUR times what I'm using this year!

So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good about my electricity use. I had other ideas to further cut my electricity use (like trying to find a used power strip with a timer) but frankly, at this point I feel like I'm pretty happy with my current usage, and I'd rather expend the effort in other areas of my life. When some of my financial issues get figured out, I'll probably just switch from 25% green power to 100% green power.


Jennie said...

I went to fill out the questionnaire at riot 4 austerity and I have a lot of work to do. I can't answer most of those questions.

ruchi said...

Yeah, it does require a lot of homework. I have no idea how to figure out the food math, and since water is included in my rent I also have no idea how much water I'm using.

EcoGeoFemme said...

Good for you! Our apartment has been really hot lately, I guess because it has been super cold outside. we have radiators that we can't control and they have been running almost constantly. It's so different from last winter, when our living room never got above 64F. Since I can't control it, I secretly like the warmth (but I feel guilty liking it). I know that if I complain, it will get really cold and I don't want that either.

ruchi said...

Heh, don't feel guilty Ecogeofemme. When I lived in the Midwest, we couldn't control our radiators either. My favorite place to study was on the window sill with my legs dangling over the old-fashioned radiator. I adore heat. (Might be why I live in LA.)

And I will readily admit that I enjoy going to public places (restaurants, bars, etc) because it's warmer there than in my apartment.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I don't think I knew you had lived in the Midwest (maybe I knew?). I would love to live in a nicer climate, but I don't really want to leave the region, or my current city really. Even though I complained so much about the midwest when I was a teenager.

ruchi said...

I LOVE the Midwest. Love it. But the last year I lived there, it snowed in May and my mind was made up to leave! But I miss it desperately every fall. Nothing is as beautiful as a Midwestern fall.

Jennifer said...

That's a really big difference! I noticed a huge cut in my gas bill...even after adjusting for average temperature differences. Just a little bit will do a lot.