I consider myself a pretty conscientious person when it comes to how much electricity we are using. Last summer I even went to such lengths as drying my clothes outside to save money on our electric bill. We had record temperatures! Why not use mother nature as a dryer? She was just as hot!
This winter has been pretty mild so I haven’t been too concerned about it. I never see the bill anyway…it comes in the mail, Dear Husband presses a few magic keys on the computer and it’s paid for.
A few weeks ago we signed up for OG&E Smart Hours. It’s an OG&E program that allows the customer to be on top of how much energy they are using and how to turn that knowledge into saving money on your electric bill. After I signed up online (go to www.smarthours.com to sign up) I made an appointment for new thermostats to be installed. They are “smart” thermostats and are no additional cost to the customer. The guy installed our new thermostats, breezed through the features and left me with the instruction manual. I can read…I wasn’t too concerned that I didn’t quite catch all the features.
You can program it to cool or heat the house at different times of the day. When you wake up, when you leave, when you come home from work and when you go to sleep. It’s called a “smart” thermostat because (among other things) it tells you the price of energy (kilowatts per hour – kWh). Why do I need to know the price of kWh? Because whether you like it or not the price will go up during the summer. Eeeekkk! Not all summer long but during “peak hours” during the months of June – September. Those are the hours during the day that the power plants are being maxed out. This super high-tech thermostat will send you messages before hand to let you know when the price is going up so you can adjust your energy use accordingly. In other words…so your bill won’t go through the roof.
Stay with me here
Here’s the interesting part. When you sign up for the Smart Hours program you log on to a site called myOGEpower.com. It breaks everything down for you. How much energy you are using, your projected bill for the month and why it has gone up or down from the previous month. It even breaks down your energy use by the hour.
This is a screen shot of part of our energy report. The horizontal graph across the middle shows our energy use hour by hour in a 24 hour period.
I thought we were doing good and then I saw that little graph in the top left. It’s comparing our bill to a similar sized home in our area. It’s TWICE as much as a home that is really efficient and about 1/3 more than our neighbors. WHAT?! I turn out lights (most of the time)! Thankfully myOGEpower has tips on how we can lower our bill.
So, I’m off to Home Depot for new light bulbs and I’m having a home energy audit done on the house in a couple of weeks.
If you’re an OG&E customer consider signing up. It can’t hurt to keep a better watch on your electric bill because guess what…the summer is coming and hell’s coming with it. It’s comin’ like Kurt Russell in Tombstone but this time instead of a rifle he’s got a flamethrower. How will your energy bill hold up?