I just got my utility bill for the month of May. Finally! Spring has sprung.
Here's the bottom line:
The big difference from April into May was the average temp went from 49 degrees to 60 degrees. As mentioned here before, we helped the thermostat figure out it was spring by turning the heat off at the beginning of the month, and that definitely shows in the therms drop. There's a chance my basement-dwelling roommate has been using the space heater in this marginal period, so the kilowatt hour number may have some more room to go down. (And since I don't have central AC I don't expect it to go up by much.)
Since we have all had pretty much the same schedule for the last month as for previous months, I think this is pretty close to our baseline usage for hot water, dish washing, clothes washing, lights, etc. This means that my best use of money to reduce my usage is for insulation and weather proofing. I'll be doing research on this.
Of the list I made last month about things I could do to lower use, I didn't really do any of them. I did change two of my high-use bulbs and unplugged my halogen so that I wasn't running it accidentally (or conveniently). I also showed roommate #1 the Kill-a-watt meter and she's very excited about checking out what she's using. Yay for toys! Roommate #2 and I have talked about what we're comfortable doing to keep the house cool on hot days. Fortunately, she already knows that shading windows that get sun and closing windows while the house is cool so I don't have to wait for a stretch of really hot weather to demonstrate that to her.
My current home-energy goals are:
1.) Hang a clothes line.
2.) Hang a shade curtain over my south-facing patio doors
3.) Insulate and ventilate my root cellar room. Continue experimenting with keeping food down there instead of in the fridge.
4.) Hire a handyman and get the ceiling fan put up in the living room.
5.) Start hanging foil insulation in the attic.
6.) Insulate the attic door and other spots as needed.
7.) Research replacement windows.
8.) Research weather-proofing options for the fireplace.
9.) Research patterns for window quilts.
10.) Replace fridge with an Energy Star model.