2007-2009: Reducing Consumption

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Reducing our energy consumption

Reducing consumptionBack in 2007, in a three month electricity billing cycle (September, October and November) our household:

    • consumed 5750 kwh of electricity;
    • at the rate of 63 kwh per day.

For the use of this electricity we paid

    • $695.00 for the three month period;
    • at the rate of 12c per kwh;
    • or $7.60 per day.

In an effort to balance our household budget by reducing our energy consumption, we all took shorter showers (well, most of us), reduced machine washing cycles, returned unused parts of our home to darkness in the evenings, and wore more warm clothes on cold days.

While this certainly reduced our consumption of electricity, it didn’t save us any money.

Consumption down – Costs up

After two years of our electricity usage reduction strategy, in the corresponding Spring billing period in 2009 our household:

    • consumed 4439 kwh of electricity from the grid;
    • at the rate of 48 kwh per day (down 23%);

For the use of this electricity we paid:

    • $791.00 for the supply of this energy (up 13%);
      • Yes – despite using nearly 25% less electricity for the quarter, our electricity bill increased by 13%;
    • 18c per kwh for electricity (up from 12c in 2007);
    • or $8.60 per day for electricity (up 13% from 2007).

Graph - Usage down costs up

So, our reward for reducing our consumption of grid electricity from 63 kwh per day in 2007 to 48 kwh per day in 2009 – a 23% reduction in our use of electricity – was an increase in our overall electricity bill of 13%.

Discussions with friends and colleagues indicated that many others in the community were also striving to reduce their spend on energy by reducing consumption, only to discover that this reduction in consumption resulted in increased costs, as energy companies endeavoured to protect their income by increasing their unit costs to compensate for a reduction in sales to annoyingly thrifty consumers.

So, it seemed the only way to escape the gouging of electricity providers was to begin our disconnection from their supply grid.

We have started saving funds to install solar panels.

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