Winterizing...gas/electric bill shock!!!

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  1. So I got my gas/electric bill today and guess what $921!!! I am in utter disbelief. It has gone from app. $350 to $600 to $900 over the last few months. This is crazy. And I am being very conscious of turning things off and using a programable thermostat. You would think I have it at 90 degrees in here. I keep the temp from 69-71 degrees.

    Enough ranting, my question is what measures do you take to cut costs during the winter months. I remember my dad used to put plastic in the windows to help insulate and keep cold air out. Unfortunately my husband doesn't lift a finger when it comes to stuff like this so I am on my own trying to figure this out.

    I have to do something ASAP because I can not continue to pay this much. HELP!!!!
     
  2. #2 Jan 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
    Yikes! That is a lot!

    First thing I'd do is turn down your thermostat. We are in the mountains and keep our thermostat on 65 during the days and 60 at night. I wear a fleece or sweater during the days and we have a big fluffy down comforter at night. It's really not as cold as you'd think (well, at least to me).

    Do you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove? You could use that during the days and evenings before bed to generate heat.

    Next, check your insulation. Some companies can blow insulation into your walls and roof even during the winters. Also, weather-strip your exterior doors and windows. If drafts come in underneath your doors, block them off with a towel or a draft blocker - something like this: http://www.organize-it-online.com/itm_draftdodger.html?cmpid=Froogle

    My mom made insulating window coverings for our older, drafty house that she'd put on in the winters. Take insulating quilting material and cut it to size over your windows. She put in hooks and hung the window quilts over the windows. She did this every year so installed velcro to the coverings and window frame to seal it tightly. I remember using mine in my room during the nights and the room was much warmer.

    Buying insulated curtains might be easier though. Here's an example: http://www.improvementscatalog.com/product/grommet-top-insulated-curtains.do
     
  3. my electricity bill for my small apartment goes from $40 to $150.
    I couldnt leave the apartment with the heat completely off because I have pets at home, I bought do it yourself insulation Kit from walmart...it helps.
    also, the bottom of the door usually has gaps big enough to let cold air blowing in, that's my number 1 problem actually, I just stick towels underneath.
     
  4. OMG that is crazy! Where are you located (which state)?

    My bill last month was $135 for gas....I'm expecting it to jump up this month because of the arctic freeze we've had.
     
  5. Holy Heating Bill Batman!

    I am in Texas so I use the AC and the heater, depending on what day it is (sometimes on what half of the day it is - LOL) and mine runs about $250 to $320 - of course my house may not be as big. It's a 3/2/2 brick ranch. The windows are single-paned and old and drafty and I am sure nothing is insulated well.

    That's outrageous! I would be interested to know at least what part of the country you're in. WOW!
     
  6. Is the bill actual or estimated?

    Has the time period changed? That is, is it for only one month of service?
     
  7. I have a programmable thermostat. The temp goes down to 17C at night, in the morning it goes up to 20C then down to 16C during the day while I'm at work and back up to 20C when I get home. On weekends the temp stays at 20C during the day.

    I have an equal billing plan with my gas company too.
     
  8. OK, This post has me scared to DEATH!!! I have been in the process of renovating the top floor of my house for waaaay too long now. The problem is, we are waiting for the inspectors to come and check out the wiring BEFORE they can put all the insulation in. Sooooo, considering it is about 2 darn degrees today, my house is FREEZING and the heater has not turned off in over a week. I got my estimated energy bill two days ago and I'm too afraid to check their "estimate" against the meter in the basement. I am VERY, VERY afraid!!! I've had two space heaters running while I'm home. Say a prayer for me that my bill doesn't force me into forclosure!! :nuts:
     
  9. I'd move. Seriously. There is no place worth a $900 utility bill...something has to be wrong! Good luck honey...I would have passed out!
     
  10. LOL...My heating bill is WAY WORSE!but Im used to it!
    and today is in the TEENS......colder than ever...Im gonna die when i see the next bill!
     
  11. wow I live in colorado and it gets real cold here and my gas bill is no more than $150 and my electric bill is around $150 so $300 total for both at most I have gas heating but I have to use heat lamps on some of my animals and they are electric. My house is 2626 sq ft ranch with partial finished basement.
     
  12. Oh and as for advice of what to do:

    THe biggest thing is to invest in a programmable thermostat (if you don't have already). Program it to be cooler during the day and while you are sleeping.

    Figure out where you are losing heat. You can buy draft stoppers to put under doors and at the base of windows. Plastic on windows is also an option.

    Switch to flourescent lighting.

    Unplug things that are not being used (that can help save more than 10%)
     

  13. So it is true that things that are plugged in but not in use still use energy?! Hmmmmm..... I did not know that! I always thought it was one of those home myths.
     
  14. I'm lucky and my husband works for the power company where we live so we get a 25% monthly discount.
     
  15. Just ditto what everyone else is saying. Turn down that thermostat. No reason for it to be 71 degrees. We keep ours at 68 when I'm home and are trying to wean ourselves lower and lower it to 60 at night and if we weren't sleeping in our basement right now, we would lower it more, but it's like COLD in the lowest level.

    HIRE someone to help you with insulation. Windows should be double paned and LOCKED shut, get insulated drapes and keep them closed during the day, weather strip your doors and if needed, replace your window.

    Now I'm loving living in a townhouse with neighbors on each side as our house is all electric and it's never over $200 and usually way less.