Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Anatomy of a utility bill

If you've been wondering if you should swap your older refrigerator for a new, energy efficient model, wonder no more. Just do it.

This summer I finally replaced my second-hand fridge I had bought from someone at work when I first moved into my placed six years ago. My electric bill is now consistently lower than my (fixed) garbage bill. And I use the green power option, which is the most expensive electricity option.

For example, for the two months of service ending 12/06/05, my total kwh usage was 125 compared to 402 last year. That's an average of 1.95 kwh per day versus 6.70 kwh per day a year ago (which was lower than usual anyway, for some reason).

So my total electricity charge for the most recent two months was $20.59, and the "refuse service" fee was $22.56 for the smallest size bin.

The gas bill, of course, went up considerably, from about $15 to $17 per month to $25 on the last bill.

Of course, these are Southern California-level utility bills. I don't even turn on the "central" gas heat (central, so-called, because the old gas wall heater is located in the middle of the hallway in the center of the duplex). And I haven't yet plugged in an electric space heater this winter.

[Typo corrected 12/18/05.]

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