Water Usage a case study
I received my water bill from the City of Ottawa yesterday, and when I opened it, I was surprised. This bill was approximately 50% less than what I normally paid for my water bill. I scratched my head a little and assumed this might be due to a shorter billing period or something, but I then checked the bill itself and saw that the bill was for 72 days (normally I get billed for around 2 months), which is in fact the longest billing period for the last few water bills.
My wife was surprised by this result as well, but we both agreed that this is most likely due to the fact that we purchased a new front load washing machine in December (that only got delivered in February remember that was Chutzpah!). This water billing period was the first full one with the new washer and dryer set up.
Given how much my water bill dropped I think it points out:
- How much water my old washing machine used, and how little my new one uses.
- How many loads of laundry get done in my house
Washing Machine Usage
The second point is actually the interesting one to think of. When my daughters decide to wash their basketball uniforms (an incredibly small load), a large amount of water was used in my old washing machine, whereas my new one seems to figure out that only a small amount of water is needed and thus it saves water. I would guess these small loads are where my big savings on water is, given they seem to be the majority of the loads being done by my family. Yes, we do “large” loads as well, but there continues to be a constant dirge of daily small loads being done as well.
Seeing this drop in my bill made me happy, until I heard that the City of Ottawa is now considering a different billing methodology to ensure they make enough money to support the sewer/water infrastructure, sort of penalizing those who don’t use much water, by making them pay a minimum amount, even if they don’t use the minimum amount.
This billing issue reminded me of my Grandfather who lived in a small cottage in Wales. The house itself was heated with a small coal stove in the Kitchen, and while there was electrical wiring throughout the house, my Grandfather stoically refused to use much electricity to the point where one month the meter reader came by and told my Grandfather that the Electric Company owed my Grandfather 20p, because the meter had actually run backward that month.
Now this is a plausible story of thrift (or cheapness depending on your point of view), since the meter’s wheel is spring loaded so it might spin backwards if it had no resistance, but more likely than not the previous month’s reading was wrong, but still a fun story.
Could I live with little or no electricity? No not at all, but I do try to turn off as many devices as I can (but then again many devices are never truly off either). I do wander the house turning off lights and heaters, which hopefully saves me a few bucks over the year, but are there other ways to save money?
Question:What ways do you try to save on your utility bills?