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Cost of gas/electricity per month?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I need to know what other relatively frugal households manage to spend on gas/electricity per month. Please share!

Our bills seem unreasonably high to me - in the winter we tend to spend $150/month on gas as well as $150/month on electricity. We have a gas heater and water heater, and electric everything else including space heaters which we use at night. I often wrap up in blankets and even wear a ski jacket in the evenings indoors.

If you have any tips for how to lower bills, I would love to hear them. My husband keeps saying we need a way to heat just the areas we're in - rather than the whole house. Our house is about 1600 square feet. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 34
Thread Starter 


I should have said, we live in Atlanta.
post #3 of 34
We pay $273 per month all year around (we are on a 'budget' so the higher winter payments are spread throughout the year). This includes gas hot water and furnace (forced air), electric stove and a hot water heater rental.

Our house is about 1400 sq ft and it was built in 1925 so bad insulation etc. We have no air conditioning. We don't have a programmable thermostat and keep the heat fairly high at around 21C. I like to be able to wear just a LS T shirt at home.
post #4 of 34
We spend about $35 per month for gas in the winter (we buy it by the tank - one tank is around $400 MXN or $35 and lasts about a month in the winter, 6-8 weeks in the summer). This covers hot water, clothes dryer, and oven/stove. We have no heater.

We spend around $150/month in the summer for electricity, a bit less in the winter (we have more fans running in the summer, but no AC).

This is for a 2000 plus square foot (I'm not really sure of the size, it's at least that) 5ish bedroom house in Mexico, with no AC or heat. It's pretty comparable to what we were paying for gas/electric when we lived in San Diego(where we had gas central heat that almost never got used and no AC) - it's a little more, but our house is more than twice the size that our apartment was in San Diego.

I know you didn't ask, but our water bill is around $20 a month - less than $20 in the fall and winter, slightly more in the spring and summer due to watering more plants.
post #5 of 34
$215 but on equal pay it's $150 spread through the year. I just turned the garage into a room and added a space heater that's on 24/7 so yeah... I also would love to hear about ideas.
post #6 of 34
Electric is between 60-70 a month in the winter, our propane bill is on a budget plan and it's $145 a month. We are further insulating our attic space this year and hoping that will reduce the cost even more. We are in northern Michigan.
post #7 of 34
We have a 1000sq ft, 3 level townhouse, lots of natural insulation with being in the center and have the basement/laundry on directly underneath the living space. We're in upstate/western ny.
I spend about $35-50 in elec. & $35-55 in gas. My bill (it's together) was about $80 this past month and it's been pretty cold. What's not helping is that the townhouse on one side is up for sale, so they're keeping the heat right at 55. I believe last year the bill was about $110 (total) for January, that's the always the highest.

OP-Elec space heaters might be killing it. I was always under the impression that they take up a lot of elec. compared with gas.
post #8 of 34
In the coldest months, about $175/month for electric. In the warm months, about $50/month. Gas is about $20/month, year round. Only the hot water is on gas.
We live in Toronto and have a similar townhouse to MissedMyDecade - these costs vary a huge amount by area though. Climate makes a big difference, plus the price per unit of electric and gas vary a ton as well.

Redvlagrl - consider looking into how much it would cost to buy your heater. In the long term it is a lot cheaper to own it. Ours was pretty old, so they only charged us $25 to buy it from them! I wish we hadn't waited so long to buy it!
post #9 of 34
1700 sq ft house, 2 floors. Gas heat and hot water, electric everything else. We are on "balanced billing" for both gas ($42 a month) and electric ($152 a month). In the summer, solar roman shades are freaking awesome to keep the sun out and rooms cooler so the AC doesn't work as hard. I keep the thermostat at 76 and if people are hot they can turn on a fan.

In the winter, the thermostat stays at 70, and if someone is cold they can either GET DRESSED (ie: put on pants and socks not run around in shorts), use a snuggie or blanket, or stop whining. Flannel sheets on the beds help too.

Seriously, I grew up in a 200 year old New England farm house, our only heat was a wood stove and furnace. If we were lucky it might get to 60 after we hung blankets up between rooms to keep the warmth in. So my sissy southern born family has no clue what real cold is, and I'm so tired of hearing "I'm cold" and it's 70 in the house.
post #10 of 34
We have 3500 sq ft, and we spend about $100ish on electricity and $15 on gas (only our fireplace is gas) per month. But, it's a 6 month old house and pretty energy efficient thus far (except the driving winds, since there are no trees around...). We keep the thermostat at 68, and only heat the floor we're on--if we're on the main level and need heat, we'll turn on the gas fireplace and then turn on the central fan and living room ceiling fans to circulate the heat. At night, we only need to heat the master bedroom (since all the kids decided to move into our bedroom despite having their own rooms. : ), so we just heat that room with an electric fireplace (a fancy space heater I guess. LOL!)

In the summer, our electric bills were even lower because we were out so much and rarely kept on the AC.

ETA: And we're in the Columbus, Ohio region.
post #11 of 34
Kyamo - Thanks for that! i didn't know it was apossibility. i will ask.
post #12 of 34
I haven't gotten a gas bill yet in our new apartment (I'm hoping it's low!) but my first electric bill was $14 for 1/2 a month. So I'm going to guestimate $30 for a full month during non-summer months when we'd be running the A/C. Our heat and water heater are gas. We only use space heaters for the bathrooms so we don't freeze to death and the thermostat is set at 62, though I might have to go a little higher.

I know some people in much older houses that have $200 gas bills even though they keep the thermostat below 60 (yes really!). I think most of it has to do with the efficiency of the house not how low you keep the thermostat.
post #13 of 34
I live in North Dakota, and it gets COLD in the winter! It also gets hot and humid in the summer, so we run the AC a lot.

On a budget plan, our gas and electric together are $141/month. We have a gas furnace, electric everything else; the house is 20 years old, 2000 sf, and we are a family of two adults and two teenage boys. We have a plan with the electric company that they turn off our water heater during the day (during the week), and we have a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature when we're gone during the day, and at night.
post #14 of 34
We have had pretty much gas everything in our houses.

And since we rely on natural daylight unless the sun is actually down, our electric bill has been reliably under $50.

Gas bills are something else though. Gas stove (I cook a lot), gas water heater, gas dryer, and gas whole-house heat. In the worst months of winter, we get at least one 400+ bill, and that's in smaller houses, with us wearing a lot of sweaters. Course, in the summer it goes way, way down, as we don't have the heater on, I use the crockpot more, and we use less hot water.
post #15 of 34
2600 square feet, all on one level in the foothills outside of Denver.

$85 - $115 for electric - higher in the winter as we run fans to distribute air in the house as well as on the fireplace insert. Also, we normally buy a portion of a cow in the fall, so the deep freezer will be plugged in, but this summer it wasn't.

propane - $80 a month in the winter, maybe $20 a month in the summer. (furnace & hot water heater)

However, we only heat the house to 50 degrees with the propane heater in the winter, and use wood heat to provide all additional heat.

Lots of windows, but they are double paned which helps some. house is not sealed tight (need to do this ASAP as huge drafts around doors leading to the outside.)
post #16 of 34
NE Ohio here with a 1956 ranch/crawl/poor insulation/1500 sq ft.

We have gas heating,stove,water heater.All the rest is electric.
Oh also septic with aeration so elelctric pumps.

We have maybe 150-250 gas bill in the winter.Electric was 48 this last bill down from 67.

I am thinking maybe your space heaters are causing the high electric.I try to unplug things when not using them.Did the new light bulbs and on/off cover the windows in the winter. I set the heat for 67 or 68.I would do 66,but get to much whining.

Maybe get a free home energy audit to see what other options there are.Close off spare rooms and close the vents in those areas.
post #17 of 34
Our current 12 month average is just under $130 for an all electric house, including heat and hot water. We use energy efficient lights, turn them off when we leave the room, unplug tv, etc. at night, hang clothes outside 8 months of the year, keep the heat at 14C /58F at night and 18C/64F during the day. We also don't have any a/c and use fans instead during the summer, but it gets cold here and we need heating from October-May.

Adding that there are 6 of us, and the house is about 1000 sq ft plus full basement, which is also heated.
post #18 of 34
Electric in the summer tops out around $185. Usually $60-70ish during the winter. We have a gas furnace, in the winter I think the most expensive has been $90. Usually around $27 most warm months. I budget the high amount for each, for every month during the year. We use the months where there are leftover funds as needed for household stuff, otherwise it gets shipped off the savings account.
post #19 of 34
I thought we paid an insane amount for electricity/heating due to waste (need more insulation in our house) but after reading through we don't sound that bad. I think our rates are cheaper here.

Just under 1000 sq ft home, electric baseboard heaters as only source of heat. We paid $1600 for electricity last year varying from $40/mth in summer (no a/c) to $250/mth in winter.

Waiting to see how much improvement there will be this winter with newer insulation and upgrades this past summer.
post #20 of 34
average electric usage per household, USA:

11,040 kWh, an average of 920 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month.... Tennessee had the highest annual consumption at 15,624 kWh and Maine the lowest at 6,252 kWh.
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