Skip to Content

“Your new bill is available online”

Seeing that email subject line this month filled my heart with dread. It’s been an unusually cold month(at least for where I live!), and the heat pump has been running an awful lot even to keep the house at 65 or less(62 or 63 at night). I was pretty sure that the bill was going to be $400 or more.

But, the bill is “only” $367.63. I don’t know what’s more sad…that it’s possible to rack up a bill like that when your house is never above 65, or that I can even consider putting an “only” in front of that number! Sigh. I really miss our lower rates. Back in the day, a high winter bill was $120, and now even in months when we use no heat or AC our bill isn’t that low.

We did save up $450 to use for the winter bills, though, which was enough to cover us for three months of $350 bills(we budget $200 a month already, so for each $350 month we need to take $150 out of our savings). Last month, though, our bill was $273, and so I only had to take $73 out of our savings. This month, I’ll have to take $167 out, and that will leave us with $210 in our electricity savings account.

If our February bill is $350, our savings account will be down to only $60. March is normally not quite so cold, so I expect that the $60 left in the account will be enough to cover the bill for that month. Soo, unless we get some unusually warm weather, it looks like our electricity savings account will be down to $0 by the beginning of April(which is when we’ll probably have low bills and be able to start saving again).

While I’m on the topic of electricity, I thought I’d update you on my whining about the cold. When I wrote that post, it was really, really cold here. Like, in the single digits, which is VERY cold for this area. When it’s that cold outside, the house starts to feel colder, even though the thermostat is set at the same level. Happily, it hasn’t been quite that cold ever since, so I’m feeling a tad more cheerful about living in a 65 degree house.

In addition, I’ve taken the advice of several readers and I’ve been eating more hot foods-hot oatmeal for breakfast, hot leftovers at lunch, and hot tea in between-and it definitely helps me feel better. Some days(the kind where I’m running around the house a lot) I’m even managing to leave the house at 63 for part of the day(maybe, just maybe our February bill won’t be so bad?).

I’m also feeling slightly more optimistic now that January is over. February is a short month, and then in March it usually starts to warm up a bit. It’s not shorts weather or anything, but at least the single digits should be long gone by then.

How have your winter utility bills been so far?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 6th of February 2009

Stacey, maybe misery loves company? lol

Julia, if it makes you feel any better, lights are not a HUGE consumer of electricity. Things like the dryer, hot water heater, and heat pump are way, way more expensive. So, maybe it won't be too bad.


Friday 6th of February 2009

It made me strangely happy to hear about your bill because I thought for sure we were wasting energy somehow. We keep the house at 62 all the time, and I'm cold 24/7. We do budget billing, but our usage last month was $365. I almost fainted. We're going to have to live without lights and A/C this summer to make sure we don't have to pay overage at the end of the year! lol...


Friday 6th of February 2009

Our bill is $164/month for gas and electric on the budget plan (1450 square foot duplex). We are in the Seattle area and I think our power is lower because it's from a dam and not coal plants...However when the power company does the yearly adjustment, I'm sure we'll end up owing them, since our house was for sale and we had to leave ALL lights on for a couple hours at a time a few days a week for showings. I am a strict "turn out the lights when you leave the room" kind of person and it just made me crazy to turn everything on and drive away. I never have more than a couple of lights on even when we are sitting in a room! After all that, the house didn't sell, so we took it off the market. All that electricity wasted!


Friday 6th of February 2009

Shana, our electric heat used to be as cheap as your gas's only since the rate hike that it's been so bad. I know heat pumps aren't very efficient, but in this neighborhood it's either that or oil heat. Sigh.

Our heat pump is a new one(just a few years old, and we bought a good one). Mindful Mama, I know what you mean...each time, the heat pump installers were all, "Oh, your bill will be so much lower now!", and it just hasn't been a big difference. At least ours didn't cos $14K, though! That's a lot of money.

Emily, you are my hero. I don't think I could cope with 55. =P


Friday 6th of February 2009

Ours was about $160 this past month (though actually, because of the way we are billed, it is actually December's usage we are being billed for...bit of a delayed billing system we have). Which doesn't seem like much, except when you consider that our house is the size of a postage stamp, 50% of the time my heat is completely off using just the wood stove for heat, and the other 50% of the time we have the house set at 55....and yet this bill is literally 5 times what we were paying the the summer. Its crazy. I am soooo ready for spring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.