Friday, January 3, 2020

How Much Do You Want to Pay?

Dawn M. has just completed her first year in the Corporate Communications Department and is here to share what she's learned about controlling her energy costs since starting at MLGW.

Here's the deal -- the amount I pay for utilities each month largely depends ON ME. Just like energy costs at your home largely depend on you and your family.

We, as customers, must decide "is it worth it to me to spend this money, use this time, etc. in order to save money on my utilities?"

This is where my work at MLGW really helps. Yes, there was a cold snap between October and November. I was cranking up the heat so it makes sense I used more electricity. BUT, am I really getting all that I pay for?

Probably not.

My place is in midtown and in an older building. A window unit in my living room provides both heat and A/C. It is not the most energy efficient way to keep my home warm.

What can I do to reduce costs? Again -- I'm at an advantage because of my job -- and immediately five weatherization/ cost saving measures pop into my head:

  1. Insulate the windows in my home with a kit. 
  2. Fill cracks with caulk, use spray foam for bigger gaps or holes. 
  3. Reverse the way my ceiling fans turn.
  4. Add weatherstripping around doors and windows.
  5. Make a couple of draft blockers for my doors. 
What else can I do? 

Check out "My Account." 

Towards the top-right of the same webpage that provides a bill analysis you'll find a link to "Control Costs." 

Side bar -- play around with this when you have a few minutes to spare. You will get asked lots of questions. It is OK if you don't have all the answers. I did not know the answer to many of the questions asked so I guessed. The point is, DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. Just try it. 

Once you fill out the home profile you will see a breakdown like this. For me -- the sections marked "Ways to Save," "Energy Profile" and "My Energy and Water Usage" were the most relevant.

Take a look: 

Ways to Save

The "Ways to Save" asks you to set a goal for yearly energy savings. I split the difference and went with 15% which says I should save up to $246/year. 

Energy Profile

Free stuff! When you fill out the energy profile the TVA will send you an energy efficiency starter kit. 

My Energy and Water Usage

And this part: a graph showing "My Energy and Water Usage."

I don't have a dishwasher in my house, or a washer and dryer. I rarely cook. You can tell by the graph that about 3/4 of my energy use is spent heating or cooling my home and heating water. So yeah...I really need to take care of some weatherization things around the house.

Go back to the top of the page and click the "Ways to Save" button. It will help you figure out what to do. We can walk through it together -- follow this link.

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