I thought we were in cruise control, fully optimized with our recurring, monthly bills. Until I got an email from our energy supplier.
We’re in Philly with PECO as our energy utility/distributor. About a year ago, just pre-FI for us, I made the switch to a renewable energy supplier, sourcing all wind-powered energy. I can’t remember the intro rate, but it was a good rate – cheaper than the traditional energy providers, and I strongly believe in supporting renewable energy. Plus, they had an incentive of an annual rebate of 3% of your annual charges back in an account credit. If I did my math right, that’s about a $60 credit we’ll get. This rebate email is what prompted my energy bill digging. The email didn’t state the amount of credit was I getting, just that it was there to claim. There was no amount or timeframe. This lack of info was annoying. So, I dug in:
- Our bill has been steadily rising. They don’t provide the KWH rate for each billing period (ugh), but I see we’re paying a bit more and not always when we’re using more energy.
- I’m pretty sure that whatever intro rate I had has since gone up; I’m going to take my 3% credit and make a switch to a lower cost supplier that is also renewable. You can do this in PA!
- Our energy use is rising.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has a program called PA Power Switch which allows electric utility customers to choose from a wide selection of energy providers. They vary by proximity, variable versus fixed price, term length, contract fees, and percent that’s renewable energy. This sounds confusing, but it’s not. It’s a very user-friendly search tool and even I understand it.
Here’s where I’ve landed:
- Our Current with a Renewable Supplier: 0.1429 per kWh
- Cheapest Traditional Energy Option: 0.0585 per kWh
- Cheapest Renewable Energy Option: 0.0725 per kWh with 24 month term
Because of my love for this planet, I’m going to support the renewable energy option that offers a kWh rate of 50% lower than my current. (I don’t mind the 24-month term.)
And the PECO site also offers great energy usage analysis and some easy energy savings tips. We’re are doing the following immediately:
- Cold water laundry – my boys stink, I feel hot water is necessary, but I’ll switch to cold and see
- Unplug electronics
- Turn off power strips – why do we leave WiFi and the other office components on all day when we’re not home?!
- Adjust TV brightness – apparently the factory default is a “showroom” setting. We have it on 0-2 hours per day, so not sure this will have much of an impact.
- Tell everyone to turn off the lights when they leave the room!
So, we’re lowering our usage and lowering our rate. It will be very interesting to see how much we actually save per bill. Full transparency: Our last bill was $175 with an average daily use of 25.8 kWh. I will update in a month!