Last Updated on July 17, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
My local electric company is going to start including a power usage comparison on the monthly bill.
For the last several years, they’ve been sending one annually, but it’s not all that hard to miss it. This is why I generally know I use less electricity year over year, but I don’t know how many people actually see the report.
The other quirk is budget billing, which means you don’t immediately feel the results of changes you make, financially. Getting a monthly report makes it much more likely you’ll notice, and gives you time to adjust well before the budget billing cycles again.
I see comments all the time that new light bulbs don’t save any energy. This will reduce those, if the people saying that are coming to that conclusion by looking at their bills. I certainly noticed a difference when I started buying energy-efficient bulbs, but I had to wait a year for it. Maybe the reason I saw was because I watched for it. And as bulbs became more efficient, I kept upgrading, and I added motion detector light switches when they became practical.
The other thing they’ll be offering is a neighborhood comparison. The Post-Dispatch article likens it to social competition, but it also tells you what’s possible. All of the houses on my street were built in the 1960s, and the characteristics of 1960s houses differ some from, say, 1980s houses.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.