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Old 01-21-09, 05:35 PM   #1
Binger
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Default Apartment winter utility sucess story

My family lives in a 2 story, 2br, 2ba, town home style apartment...total SQFT is just over 850ish.

Our winter utility bills are pretty consistent...right around 120. Our bill from mid dec-mid jan is $118. I'll tell you what we've done and what the utility dept told me the previous tenants bill was for the same period last year. (keep in mind this winter was colder with stronger winds than last year)

The apt has 4 windows that I sealed with a heat shrink kit. Even though they all are new windows you can still feel alot of cold ambient air off of them and the heat shrink cut that way down.

The bedrooms both have 2 60W CFL bulbs in the ceiling and a lamp with one 60W CFL. Both Hallways, stairs, kitchen, entry way, and living room have a single 60W CFL. The bathrooms and a lamp in the living room has a single 40W CFL.

We try our best to only plug in the laptop when it absolutly needs to charge...but we usualy plug it in while at the coffe shop.
The surge protector for the TV/surround sound is turned off when not in use.
Our TV is a 30" CRT so it is pretty efficent compared to the newer LCDs.

We turn off the electric water heater when we are not using any water, It held a mid 90s temp while off when we were gone for 3 days. We do our laundry on cold, and we turn off the lights everytime we leave the room...even if we need to go right back in.

The furnace is electric, and it does ok it usualy only runs every hour for about 10min. When were gone its turned down to 60and the upstairs vents are closed, if were home we set it at 67-70 and open the vents in the rooms were in, then for sleeping its set to 65.

One thing I noticed is that the since we are on the end of the building there are 3 walls that are exterior walls that I think are not sealed at the bottom of the dry wall. In our kitchen I an feel the wind blow out of the baseboard. So I need to get the land lord to put in some expanding foam or something to fill that gap.

Now as for the previous tennants...their utility bill for the same time period last year was $198 ours is only $118

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Old 01-21-09, 05:40 PM   #2
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Nice job! How much does the 30" CRT use?
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Old 01-21-09, 06:23 PM   #3
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Thats quite the savings over the previous tenant. Very nice job and thanks for the explination.
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Old 01-23-09, 02:59 PM   #4
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Wow - impressive. That makes me wish I could find out the previous tenant's bills here.
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Old 01-23-09, 03:31 PM   #5
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You could ask.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:40 PM   #6
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I am honestly not sure, I don't have one of those monitoring units.

One thing I do know is my reciver is more efficent now. I just switched my old Aiwa shelf system speakers that were 6ohm and only about 75DB efficent for a pair of Klipsch speakers that are 4ohm and about 98DB efficent. I do not have to turn the volume up nearly as loud as I used to to get the same out put...and as a result the amp is much much cooler.

As for the utilities...I just called the dept of utilities and asked them what the previous tennants paid during the same period last year.
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Old 01-27-09, 12:56 PM   #7
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so my wife found out yesterday that I've been turning off the water heater...she wasn't thrilled about it but I reminded her that she hasn't noticed and it hasn't affected any of our day to day activities...and this is also part of why our bill is so much lower than the previous tennant.

I guess if its to save money shes willing to change!
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Old 01-27-09, 01:33 PM   #8
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Binger - you've inspired me. I'm going to go see if I can find out past bills next time I pay mine (in the next 2 weeks).

Glad your wife is behind your efforts too.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:24 PM   #9
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yeah...just tell them you want to compare yours to theres and they can look it up. Even if they try to say its none of your buisness its public information (at least it is in america)
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Old 01-28-09, 04:07 PM   #10
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1 - Definitely seal that baseboard gap! Ask the landlord first, but if you do the work and give him/her the receipt for the materials I would think you should be reimbursed or have it deducted from the rent. Even if the landlord won't reimburse you, it will make a BIG difference in comfort for those drafty rooms for a little money.

2 - Have you insulated the water heater? A water heater insulation blanket can double R-value of an older heater for ~$15. The insulation blanket will reduce the heater's thermal standby losses and increase it's efficiency. This is another cheap upgrade that your landlord may reimburse you for. Here's more info - The $15 Water Heater Upgrade | EcoDaddyo.com

Re: More efficient speakers. Your more efficient speakers may or may not reduce your electricity use depending on the type of amplifier you have. But the Klipsch speakers probably sound a lot better, so you're ahead anyhow 8*).

FWIW,
Tim

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