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:
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.