Definition of a nag:
Why do I think I'm a nag? Well, look at the woman above. She's mad at her partner because he's pretending to be listening to music so she won't nag him. I, on the other hand, nag my partner (and my daughter) because things like headphones, computers & their charging devices, cell phones and their chargers, power bars, iron, table top fountain, LIGHTS, TVs, fans, air conditioning, etc etc etc, are plugged in, turned on and forgotten about.
So why do I bother to nag? Because electricity is not FREE!!
It seems free. You plug something into a socket and VOILA!! It works, it's like MAGIC!!
I found this handy dandy little chart and added it to my post because I thought you might be as interested in this as I am being as most of you are frugal-type people, and yes, you may be a nag too! Now you can understand what you're nagging about!
You might be breathing a sigh of relief when you see that HEAT takes most of the electrical pie chart's money (you've turned your heat off, right?); however, if you are like me you heat with natural gas, mucho cheapo. So my hydro costs must be from other stuff.
So that takes us to the next slice of the pie - cooling! Yesterday, here in London (the smog capital of Southwestern Ontario) temperatures rose to 32c, add in the humidex we were at 40c all day (that's about 100F for my American readers)!! Even I, thrifty as I am, had to put the central air on for awhile when I got home from work. I set it high (27c) and then raised it higher when I went to bed (it didn't run during the night) and then switched it right off and opened up the doors and windows at 6am this morning. (that was me trying to rationalize my use of central air in case you didn't notice :)
The next biggest chunk of $$ goes to the hot water heater though since mine is also natural gas it can't be costing me too much. Next up - appliances: stove, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher etc. I don't think we're doing too badly in that area since we don't have a dishwasher and our dryer is natural gas. That leaves our fridge (can't turn that off) and our stove. We use the top of the stove regularly, the oven infrequently.
After that comes lighting at 12% which really surprises me, I didn't think lighting was that expensive. I don't know if that refers to the older style light bulbs of which I still have a few for my 3 chandeliers or the new compact florescent bulbs of which I have between 25 and 30. Don't know.
Electronics come in at 4%. Again I don't know what the average amount of electronics would be - we might be above average with 3 cell phones, 3 laptops and an old PC (doesn't get used often), 2 TV's, 2 DVD players, 2 VHS players (still watch the odd, and I mean odd, VHS movie), 3 iPods, a Kindle, 2 tuners and probably more but I'm brain dead... Still 4% isn't as bad as I thought.
I like having the above info - it will help me figure out where our biggest power costs are so I (WE) can try to reduce them. Fortunately, Michael is getting on board (I won't tell them about the table top fountain dear) and had the great idea of using our laptops' batteries more rather than having them always plugged in, as well he had all of his chargers and the iron unplugged when I got home today. Love you!
Hurrah for nagging (kidding, really I'm kidding...)
Why the all-consuming urgency?? Well, take a look at.....
The rates weren't put into effect last May as originally planned; our government isn't that good (hardy har har) but rumour has it that they will be taking effect by the end of spring, 2011 which would be June 20th. The only way my bill won't end up costing more is if we use electricity mostly between 7pm and 7am as well as weekends. So, gotta get creative!!
For some activities this is manageable: laundry can be done on the weekends.... or while we shower! And... we could change up our eating habits by just eating baked beans straight from the can! That would eliminate the need for the washing machine, fridge and the stove! By God I'm smart! I'm a smart-meter-beater!! Woot woot!
Let's see...what else?
Air conditioning? Let's hope the hottest days occur on the weekends (yeah right!) I know, I know!! We'll make those laundry-washing showers cold ones! We can stay cool, clean and laundered all at the same time. Criminy! I should be the friggin' Prime Minister! The lights? I guess we could go to bed when it gets dark around 9pm...or use candles...I also have a couple of those flashlights that you charge up by shaking them - kind of an empowering aerobic workout...get it?
Ya gotta hate the government...right now the rate I pay per kwh is 6.4 cents. The LOWEST rate on the new Time-of-use plan is (currently) 5.9 cents. As we HAVE to use power during the mid-peak(8.9 cents) and high-peak(10.7cents) parts of the day (think fridge, freezer, and all the other electrical gadgets that are plugged in and always using power such as my trust alarm clock, TVs, DVD players etc etc) and we're going to have a VERY hard time keeping our hydro bill close to what we're paying now.
An average month at 6.4 cents per kwh is between $60 and $70 for us. During the summer months when we use the central air (only when absolutely necessary) our bills go up another $10 to $20 per month. I REALLY don't want to see our bills going up over $100, especially when I'll have another hydro bill out in PEI to pay.
Does anyone else think I'm getting overly obsessed about this??