Monitoring Energy Usage

Every month my electric company sends me a letter concerning my energy usage. They keep track of your usage over a 12-month period. This letter covers details about how you compare to similar homes in your area, how your usage changes from month to month, and even how your usage compares to that of the previous year.

I must confess that I’ve not paid too much attention to all the information that the letter contains; I usually look at it to ensure that my usage is similar or lower than similar homes (it’s usually a bit lower) for the month and leave it at that.

This month I actually took the time to read more than the little comparison chart on the first page. I discovered that I’ve used 9% less electricity over the past 12 months than I did the previous year!

I had thought that we were actually using more. It seems as if the bills have been a bit higher, at any rate.

As a result of this I plan to start keeping copies of my electric bills so that I can take the time to review them periodically. I would like to see just how much electricity we use over a period of years in this house, and my electric company only keeps records for the previous 12 months. Since I plan to remain in this home for the long haul, that information would show me if I am slowly lowering my energy usage over time or if last year’s energy savings was a fluke.

Do you keep track of your energy use from month to month and year to year? Has the information benefited you? Please share your stories in the comments below.

How to Use Every Last Bit from a Tube

When I use something that is contained within a tube, I squeeze and squeeze to get the last bits out.  Toothpaste especially gets this treatment.

I have learned that when you can no longer squeeze anything else out that you can cut open the tube and access what is left within, in some cases it will be a sizeable amount.

I recently tossed a “finished” tube of toothpaste, so it will be a while before I can try this method.  Regardless, I thought it interesting enough to pass on. Those of you with expensive medication creams may save a considerable amount of money with this method.

You cut the end of the tube open and just start scooping the stuff out as needed. If you can’t reach any more, cut a little more off of the tube for better access until you have used everything that is in the container.  Store the unused portion in a plastic baggie or a small storage container to keep it fresh until you have used the very last bit it contains.  You paid for it—use it!