The wife has been work8ng from home sinch March. I used 13% less electricity. Huh?

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Somehow I used less energy this year than last. And my wife is at home all day running air conditioning, 2 or 3 computers, and a 10 year old is there too. Figure tablet and TV for her. That should not be the case. I should have used much more energy. The only difference I can think of is a new roof. At the end of 2019's summer, I had a new roof put on. I went from a dark grey to 1 step darker than an energy star certified white roof. Its like a light grey. I barely got the wife to agree with it. So, if the world hadn't gone into light lockdown in March, i might have been looking at a 25% savings over last year!

I never thought that roof color could make that much of a difference!
 
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qwee

Member
Jan 17, 2013
77
How is your roof constructed? Insulation? Cathedral ceiling? How does air get into and out of attic? Do you think your attic is cooler now which is lowering your A/C needs? I knew about the heat absorption difference between dark and light roof color so I compromised and went with a medium color.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I live in a post war cape. The upstairs is finished off into 2 rooms. 12wx25l, cathedral. I believe its r21 or so in fiberglass. If id known then what i know now, I'd have scraped more cash together and had it foamed. That'll happen in the future, but not for a while. The drywall was airsealed as best as possible. Kneecaps were sealed with foam board. The other room is small, 12x10 or so. Flat ceiling. I blew r60 in cellulose on top of it.

All that happened about 8 years ago. The only thing that changed was the roof color. I use window air conditioners as needed. But whereas before they were only on in the evening, they were used all day this summer. I also had plenty of computers going.. My electric bill should have been much higher.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Possibly. I hadnt thought of that. Maybe the wife is wearing pants multiple times a week. It's amazing how fast laundry piles up though.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,201
Downeast Maine
Possibly. I hadnt thought of that. Maybe the wife is wearing pants multiple times a week. It's amazing how fast laundry piles up though.
I switched from the Laundromat to doing laundry at home this year. The power bill is up a few bucks, but I'm spending much less to wash the clothes. We use hot water, to wash our clothes. It's not as bad now that I have the cookstove heating the water, but over the summer we pushed our bill up by $30-50, but that is not saying much when it was only $50 before doing laundry at home!
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
969
South Central Minnesota
Somehow I used less energy this year than last. So, if the world hadn't gone into light lockdown in March, i might have been looking at a 25% savings over last year!

I never thought that roof color could make that much of a difference!
I was chipping away at our KWH usage - switched to all LED lighting back in 2016, HPWH about the same time, electric dryer to LP last year, 22.5 SEER mini split heat pump for the main living area vs running the main central a/c. Previous owner was averaging $175 a month and I had it down to around $80. Wife switched to WFH about the same time as yours and now constantly 20% higher. Office lights, one computer/two monitors and TV on in the background are the culprits. She doesn't touch the thermostat so the HVAC settings are the same as before.
 
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venator260

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2015
361
Huntingdon County, Pa
My electricity bill dropped as well while I'm working from home (since Thanksgiving, more or less).

I think that the biggest factor for me is that I am here to keep my stove cranking through the day, so the electric heat isn't kicking on to keep the dog warm throughout the day, and the house is warmed up so it stays warm overnight, so minimal electric heat usage then as well. This more than offsets the electricity from my computer and the little bit I use to cook lunch.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
I was chipping away at our KWH usage - switched to all LED lighting back in 2016, HPWH about the same time, electric dryer to LP last year, 22.5 SEER mini split heat pump for the main living area vs running the main central a/c. Previous owner was averaging $175 a month and I had it down to around $80. Wife switched to WFH about the same time as yours and now constantly 20% higher. Office lights, one computer/two monitors and TV on in the background are the culprits. She doesn't touch the thermostat so the HVAC settings are the same as before.
Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. That's a nice reduction. The space for office in the home is deductible. That may bring back the savings.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
There are many other places to look for savings also. Since my wife isn't driving to work there is very little wear and tear on her car. Gas, breaks, tires... she canceled her parking spot in the parking garage. She never has to buy lunch anymore. Our insurance rates changed when we told them of her new commute too.