Electric bill out of control! Help!

Like many of us we started out in apartment as a single guy or girl and maybe had a roommate or two. I remember tapping the windows and it almost felt like a thin layer of hard Reynolds wrap or sushi paper.

I knew after tapping the window that the winters and summers were going to be hard on my wallet because all that Texas air conditioning would be sucked up by the hot Texas sun right through that pathetic super thin pane.

The winters would make my window almost like an outdoor heater as the heat seemed to be blowing out my window as if it wasn’t even there. The heater and air conditioning ran continuously and nothing ever stabilized.

I lived alone in a 800ft, all electric, second floor apartment. I kept it as hot as I could stand in the summer, and as cold as I could handle in the winter. I barely used lights or air. In the spring/fall, when I didn’t use air at all, my electric bill fluctuated around $150. In the summer, it was as as high as $200. This was way too much money for me to spend on such a necessary thing. I frequently wondered what I could do that didn’t include permanent modifications to the apartment to lower my energy costs?

It turns out I simply had a few misconceptions about how to tackle my energy usage. I constantly kept my light turned off and my heating and air conditioning was set just enough to keep me alive it sometimes seemed like.

What ended up reducing my electric bill the most was buying weather stripping and placing it on the windows and doors. Adding thick curtains to the windows also had a huge influence on the reduction of my electric bill.

After making these minor adjustments my air conditioner and heater did not have to work as hard at keeping me a comfortable temperature and I was good to go from there with an energy bill that never went above $100 a month.

How to Use The Google Smart Meter in Texas

Google PowerMeter DeviceGoogle PowerMeter is a free energy monitoring tool that helps you save energy and money. Using energy information provided by your Texas electric utility smart meters and energy monitoring devices, Google PowerMeter enables you to view your home’s energy consumption from anywhere online.

Benefits of Google PowerMeter

  • Find What Devices and Appliances Are Always on
  • Predict Your Energy Costs
  • Plug in Your Fixed Electric Rate per kWh to customize your data
  • View How Others Have Used Google Power Meter
  • Track Energy Usage Over Days, Weeks, and Months

You will be able to quickly see patterns of electric usage during certain times of day and pinpoint what devices are using most of your energy. You may have never even thought about what appliances in your home causes you to spend the most on your electricity but the data available from Google smart meter will allow you to plan and budget to plan how you use your energy and how to lower costs.

Even if you are not the type of person to budget nd plan the Google Smart meter application that is available online keeps track of all the data for you. The application even automatically creates the graphs and shows you the patterns for where you can save the most money.

This online application is perfect for me and considering Oncor electric utility which is agressively impleneting smart electric meters in their service area is my utility I will not have to wait long to use this app.

If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth area chances are you already have a smart electric meter installed by Oncor Electric Delivery. If so I encourage you to go to the link below and sign up with Googles application.

http://www.google.com/powermeter/about/about.html

One of the neatest things about the Google smart meter app is the dark green area of their chart. The dark green area shows you what applianxes in your house are always on. Many people do not realize it in Texas but many of the appliances we use suck energy out of the electric outlet even when you turn off the device.

The Google Power meter will help you pinpoint those devies and retrofit the outlet or device so that it no longer takes energy from your usage while not being used. If you do not want to spend money on retrofits you can atleast begin unplugging those devices from the wall as an alternative.

If nothing else this app is very cool and interesting to play around with and review even if decide not to implement in changes in your electricity usage consumption and behavior.

Oncor is not currently listed as a PowerMeter partner but you can easily purchase a cheap device to use with this application in correspondence with your smart meter. Below are a couple of devices that can be purchased that are compatible with the Google PowerMeter application.

http://www.currentcost.com/powermeter/

http://www.theenergydetective.com/store/

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