Sept. 16-Oct. 16 energy bill posted today. (I can’t believe it’s already the 16th.)
Last month: 255 kwh, $43.63 bill ($30.50 for energy)
This month: 184 kwh, $36.96 bill ($23.96 for energy)
Factors involved in decrease:
(1) This billing period was 2 days shorter than last month. Even so with an average use of 6 kwh/day, had it been the same length, I would have only used 196 kwh, which is still a difference of 59 kwh.
(2) Regional temperature decrease, which also accounts for a decrease in air conditioning use.
(3) Calculated “blackout” periods. E.g. When I went to Virginia last weekend, the only draw on the energy was the refrigerator. Everything else I turned off and unplugged.
(4) Cooking in bulk for multiple meals, so that less energy is required for food prep during the week.
(5) Setting the food and freezer to lower (see: warmer) settings, usually one below the factory recommendation, and setting them on energy saver mode. My food isn’t spoiling so I think we’re okay.
I don’t have a heating bill this month (heating is by boiler, by the way) because they have yet to turn the heat on, so this will probably be my lowest cumulative utilities bill (this + internet = $71.91) for the year. In the next few months, I expect my electric bill to continue to decrease while my heating bill increases.
So, living expenses for Greensboro in October:
Groceries: $308.70 (estimated based on the last receipt)
In other words, my $1300/mo stipend from the university still allows for beer money, the occasional movie, and the occasional meal out. If I wanted to decrease my overall spending, I would probably take it out of groceries by buying more frozen and canned produce and mass-produced rather than local bread and cheese.