I actually lowered my electric bill by $1272.30 this past winter alone. I didn’t buy any expensive equipment or re-wire or anything drastic. I am going to tell you exactly how I did it, but keep in mind this is for us poor people where an electric bill can make or break us. For example my lowest monthly bill over the last 3 years was $91.43 and my most expensive, $619.63. That kind of fluctuation can kill a budget and make you scramble to search for income and maybe even make you contemplate your existence in this world and what does it all mean?
I have broken up the year into two seasons: Winter and Summer.
For the purpose of this article: Winter is from October – March and Summer is from April – September
My first winter at my new apartment, I spent a total of $2047.35 on electricity and my first Summer here I spent a total of $1889.52. The total for the year was $3936.87, that is an average monthly bill of $328.07.
Halfway through the next winter, something wonderful happened, my heater broke. My 2nd winter total was $1612.67. When summer came I tried to figure something out and it took a month or two to figure it out, however I ended with a summer bill of $1264.14. My total for the year was $2876.81, which is an average monthly bill of $239.73.
This past winter, from the start, I was able to implement what I had started halfway through last winter. So I was excited to see what the results were going to be for an entire winter. My total bill for winter was $775.05. Can you believe that! That is a monthly average of $129.17, over a 60% savings, reducing my bill by over $200 a month from the first year. That is just crazy! This is something I am very happy about, not just the money I saved, but to actually accomplish it.
For summer, I will have my first full summer doing this, but just by doing this for half of the summer I was able to lower my summer monthly bill by over $100 a month. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I will of course update this page after this summer with the figures.
- 1st Winter = $2047.35 average monthly bill $341.22
- Last Winter = $775.05 average monthly bill $129.17
- A savings of $212.05 per month!
- 1st Summer = $1889.52 average monthly bill $341.92
- Last Summer = $1264.14 average monthly bill $210.69
- A savings of $131.23 per month!
Now before I reveal my wonderful discovery I would ask that if you try this yourself and save some money that you come back a give a small donation at the bottom of any of my pages as way of saying thanks
So, to save hundreds of dollars a month in the winter you simple do not use your central air & heat system for heating. This is what I did to make sure I stayed warm. On nights when the outside temp was going to get into the thirties I would turn on my electric oven to 375 degrees and crack the door. Also, I would turn on one of the heating elements on the stove to medium heat. This heat was able to maintain a temp of around 54 or so inside the home. Still too cold to run around in, but I had a secret weapon: An electric blanket. There are many different kinds of electric blankets and you can search for anyone you like, the one to the left is the one I used. To search for others, just click the link, it will take you to the right area. Anyway, under that thing I never noticed the cold at all. I made it through the entire winter without turning on my heater once. However, I did have my stove on for 4 days straight one time. So that was all there is to saving a bunch of money in the winter.
Now summer is a different story. Where I live the apartment complex doesn’t allow aluminum foil on the windows and the outer material of the walls is some sort of stucco that absorbs heat like a MF. Seriously, the outer walls get so hot you can’t even hold you hand on the wall without having extremely pain. My apartment is upstairs and once the sun crosses it’s zenith it starts to cook my upstairs loft. Literally, my downstairs will be 69 degrees while the upstairs is 90 degrees. It is crazy, I know, but that is the design and placement of the huge window that faces right into the sun for the entire 2nd half of the day.
So, naturally I had to figure out how to shield it. I first tried foil and got hit with a notice from the apartment management that it was unacceptable. However, while I had the foil on it was nice and cool. So, that gave me an idea. What about using thermal blankets? They are cheap and it couldn’t hurt to try. My window was huge so I had to use two, but as you can see to the left they are very inexpensive. After thinking about how to make them effective it took me a moment to realize they radiate heat back, hence the name “thermal” blanket. Anyway these paper thin sheets worked marvelous. Here was how I made them work almost too well. First I put up a dark blanket, probably should have used a white one, but I only had a black one. So, I stapled that up covering the entire window. I then covered, the black blanket with the thermal blankets. I used regular Scotch tape for that and taped the edges covering the black blanket. Immediately I could feel a reduction in the heat coming through. Then, just because I didn’t like the look of “foil” like stuff covering my window, although I am the only one that sees it, but anyway, I then added another blanket. Although this blanket was some funky multicolored thing.
Lastly I added some black “Thermal” “Blackout” insulated curtains like the ones on the left. The important thing on selecting the curtains is make sure they use the words “Blackout” and “Thermal” and fit the width of your window. You can find cheaper ones than what I used, just click the link and it will take you to the right area of Amazon to continue your search. Now, I should warn you, the first half-a-summer, I did this, it actually melted my blinds, the ones that came with the apt. I now just leave the shades drawn up because they are all warped. So, it goes to show you how hot it gets and how much heat is being radiated back and being blocked from entering the apartment. However, getting so hot between the thermal blankets and the window that the blinds melted is crazy. Just a warning if you don’t want to destroy your blinds.
Below you will find a video on some of the stages I used for putting up my thermal protection.
I hope you are able to use the information I have passed on and it saves you some money. If it does, then please, come back and make a small donation it will be greatly appreciated.