Good News From The Gas Company

I was really nervous about our gas bill.  The period for the last bill (early/mid-December to early/mid January) was cold.  We had a lot of days where it didn’t get above 20 and the nighttime temperatures were in single digits.  The furnace clicked on and off at a pretty rapid rate.

Still, I was hopeful that the bill wouldn’t be too high because, prior to the heating season, I discovered and repaired a leak around the fan in our master bedroom that had been whisking air into the attic at what had to be a pretty alarming rate, since the leak was occurring at the highest point in our home.  I know that the fix worked because our bedroom, which had been noticeably colder in the winter in years past, was now a more comfortable temperature.

Years past had given me the following bills for the same month:
2008: $185
2009: $219
2010: $246

I think gas rates went up a lot between 2008 and 2009, and the increase last year was explained largely by the fact that it was the first year that we kept the temperature higher all day rather than dropping it down during the year, since my wife was now staying at home with our child.

Still, this year’s cold temperature made me think it could be higher yet again.

So, I was happily surprised when the bill turned out to be $227.

We actually decreased our usage by about 5% from last year.  This with what I know was one of the colder months we’ve had since we moved in.

I would love to see that go down again next year.  I’m hoping that new glass block windows in the basement and re-caulking around some of the windows (things I have on my 2011 to-do list) will continue to improve our energy efficiency.

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3 thoughts on “Good News From The Gas Company

  1. Beagle-
    That is COLD! Good luck with your energy efficiency measures, they tend to work out well (and you could be eligible for a tax credit if you havent used it already).
    As for the bill, my utility company will prorate your bill if you ask them to. They'll take your historical averages and just charge the same amount every month, so even though you're using more heat in the winter, you'll still be paying the same amount, you'll just get charged more for what you use in the summer. Does yours do something like that?

  2. @Jeff – Yes, both the electric and gas companies offer that but I've never used it. I prefer to just level the expense myself by contributing a fixed amount each month based on historical bills plus adjustments for forecasted rate increases. Most people that have used that have either complained that they take too much each month (while it's nice getting a little refund, it sucks giving them an interest free loan) or too little (in which case you end up getting a catch-up bill anyway). I've been cool with contributing the same amount into a 'sinking fund' each month. So far, so good.

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