Tracking Winter Savings

November 23rd, 2010 at 2:23 pm by under Winter Savings, WTHI Blog

Saving money is on everyone’s mind these days.  Cutting costs has been more and more difficult to do lately.  One family already does a great job saving energy and money in their home.  But when I showed up, I showed them how to save even more.

 Jay and Taryn Stanley already:

  • put in energy efficient windows several months ago…retail cost: $6,000.
  • they keep the lights off, door shut, and vents shut in their extra play room when the kids aren’t in there
  • instead of turning up their household heat, they turn on a space heater to heat their northwest-corner bedroom (it bears the brunt of the cold winter air flow the most).  
  • Outside, Jay puts foam over exposed pipes…retail cost: under $1.
  • he puts boards over their crawl space entrance…retail cost: $0 (it was an old piece of plywood they had lying around.

I went over the Stanley’s bill from last winter.  Their January 2010 electric bill totaled $379.  That was the highest bill they had during the 2009-2010 winter, but each month was above $300.  During December, January and February, they spent about $1079 on their electric bill alone.  The goal is to save $50 per month.

The Stanley’s and I went back through the house to find more ways to cut costs.  We decided they will also:

  • close the garage door when it’s not in use.  The garage is attached to the house and is an easy way for heat to escape if it’s left open for a long time. 
  • In their living room, they have double doors facing south.   The family will open up the blinds and let the sunshine in at least for a couple of hours during the day, allowing the sunshine to heat the house with solar power.  After the sun sets, they will close the windows to help keep in the heat so it doesn’t escape.
  • unplug anything not being used, including DVD players or stereo systems.  Throughout the house we found a total of 11 outlets, using up energy for nothing.  This “Phantom Energy” can account for 10% of household-power consumption.
  • power down their computer when not in use.
  • turn their thermostat down from 68 to 67 degrees starting out this winter.  Lowering the house temperature one degree will save about three percent on their bill each month.

There are additional ways to save money outside of the home, including transportation, and running daily errands.  You can keep track of how much the Stanley family saves during December, January and February right here on this blog.  We will update it everytime they family saves inside and outside of their house!

So stay tuned to see if  the Stanleys reach their goal of saving $50 per month on their winter bills!

One Response to “Tracking Winter Savings”

  1. James McDowell says:

    I think, Pamela, a retraction is in order on the worst news story of the year. When devices such as lamps, coffee makers, toasters, electric skillets, etc, etc, etc, are not on, the switch is OFF and no electricity is being used. I wonder how many elderly people are unplugging everything before they go to bed and possibly falling???? Bad journalism!!!!