Winter Savings

THUNDERSTORM WARNING

April 18th, 2013 at 2:35 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, Winter Savings

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…

NORTHWESTERN CLAY COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS…

CUMBERLAND COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS…

EFFINGHAM COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS…

WESTERN JASPER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS…

* UNTIL 200 PM CDT


Winter Savings-Results

March 23rd, 2011 at 5:03 pm by under Winter Savings

News 10 began a project last November to help a local family try and save money on their energy bill this past winter.

 We’ve updated you with their progress along the way.  We returned to the Stanley family’s home each month this winter (December, January, and February) to see if they saved. 

 Turning off lights, shutting doors to rooms when no one is in there, and unplugging appliances are just a few things the Stanley family agreed to do to save money this past winter.

They also kept the garage door shut.

“We got a digital thermostat.  We put one in soon after you had left in November.  That might have made it a difference.  It made it easier controlling the house,” Homeowner Jay Stanley said.  The temperature was set at 68 degrees and turned down even lower when the family was sleeping or away for a long time.

“Making sure the latches are both tight, securing the window and making sure no air gets in or out,” Stanley said.

There were a few surprises when the family received their electric bill each month.  Weather was an important factor in the bills.  In December, the family’s bill went up to $347.48 due to cold weather.  In January, it was still high at $346.02 due to colder weather and a higher rate.  In February, the family’s bill finally decreased to $302.79.  This was due to warmer weather, and using less energy. Even thought their rate was still high.

Overall, the family saved in energy usage from the 2009-2010 winter, but the amount they paid was higher due to the rate increases.

 ”You know you’ve got the weather going down, and the price going up, so you try and change everything else around the house to off set those two things.  We did and we think that it worked and saved a little bit of money,” Stanley said.

 After it’s all said and done, the Stanleys were happy with the results.

 ”It’s something that we will probably continue doing.  Everyone’s trying to save a buck,”  Stanley said.

 Duke Energy told us different variables increase the rate charged by the company.  In fact, the rates can change from month to month, but it always has to be voted on and approved before the homeowner is billed.


January Bill

February 10th, 2011 at 5:28 pm by under Winter Savings

The Stanley family received their January eletcric bill.  

It increased due to their electric rate increasing.  Everything else on their bill decreased, and overall the bill was lower.  This year, their January bill was $346.02 versus $354.17 last year.  They saved $8.15.

Their cost per kilowatt increased from .07 cent/kWh to .08 cent/kWh.  This accounted for a $45 increase.  Less billing days decreased the bill by $39 and their average use per day decreased by $15. 

Comparing their watt usage to others in the neighborhood, they are one of the lowest.  Their bill was also one of the cheapest.

We spoke with the family today and they are curious as to why their kWh cost would increase.  We will dig around and try to find that answer.


December Bill Jumped From Last Year

January 6th, 2011 at 5:46 pm by under Winter Savings

The Stanley family received their December 2010 bill.  It jumped about $50 compared to December of 2009. 

I visited the family today and we discussed why it was so high. 

“Unplugging things, making three trips, opening the garage, instead of three, doing it once. All the things that we’ve done to cut costs, and we saw the bill and we were pretty surprised,” Jay Stanley said.

The extremely cold weather in December 2010 was to blame.  There was just nothing they could do.  The average temperature in December of 2009 was five degrees warmer than in December of 2010.

The Heating Degree Days jumped this year as well.  Heating Degree Days is a way to measure the demand of energy it takes to heat that building.  The Stanleys had an increase from 964 HDD in 2009 to 1310 HDD in 2010 (an increase of 346 days).

The Stanleys will continue to try to cut costs for January and February.  Jay says the tips to save money have become a routine in the family.  Now we are all just hoping for a warmer January and February! 


Waiting for the Bill

December 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am by under Winter Savings

The Stanley family is waiting for their electric bill from this last month (December).  Last year their bill was $263.69. 

They are continuing to have their home temperature set lower than normal when they are out of town and sleeping.  The family just returned from celebrating the holidays, so they saved some money with a consistently lower house temperature when they were gone.

The family had timers on their Christmas lights, so they weren’t left on all night.  Small space heaters have helped to warm up their colder bedrooms.  Doors are closed to rooms that aren’t in use, and when they leave a room, the lights are turned off.   The garage door is always closed when it’s not used.  The family is also continuing to unplug anything not being used.

When the family receives their electric bill, we will compare how much money they saved this December versus last December.


Winter Savings-Week One

December 6th, 2010 at 8:53 pm by under Winter Savings
Here is our first update from the Storm Team’s Winter Savings family.  As we introduced to you a couple of weeks ago, the Stanley family in Terre Haute is trying to reach a goal of saving $50 per month on their winter bills. 
Taryn Stanly says:
“Jay installed a programmable thermostat, so we have it set to lower temperatures while we’re gone and sleeping.
We have small fan-like space heaters for the bedrooms.
We’ve tried to be very vigilant about turning lights off and keeping doors closed in rooms that aren’t being used.
We put timers on the Christmas lights outside so they won’t be on all night.
We’re keeping the garage door closed when we are staying home.
We’re TRYING to unplug things…but this has proven to be difficult.”
Estimated savings so far this week:
  • about $2 from unplugging anything not being used.
  • about 3% on their heating bill, or $11.27, from decreasing the temperature one degree.

Stay tuned for more updates on how the family is saving money this winter!


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!


Winter Savings

November 16th, 2010 at 9:39 am by under Winter Savings

We are taking winter weather savings a step further, our family will have more simple and creative ways to save money the next few months.  To keep track of all they save and how..visit the “Winter Savings” blog at wthitv.com.