Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cutting Your Bills In Half

I played around with numbers yesterday and learned some interesting things. First I took all our household bills and totalled them up. Since paying them is my husband's job, I didn't even have a good idea of what we spend per month on gas, electricity, etc.

I totalled up our electricity costs and the amount of kilowatt hours we used last year, and then I totalled our natural gas costs (what we use to heat the house) and how many gigajoules we used last year.

I took these numbers and plugged them into several different carbon footprint calculators. The results were interesting. One, made by a company called Livclean, says that we have a slightly larger footprint than others in our area.

Another, DirectEnergy, says that we have a lower footprint than others in our area.

That was a little frustrating, but I played around with the calculators and learned something more helpful: the largest portion of our carbon footprint comes from two sources - our minivan and our natural gas heat. We can cut back on our electricity use until the cows come home with very little difference in our footprint - our electricity here comes mostly from renewable sources - British Columbia's raging rivers.

Any reduction we make in car usage or natural gas heat use makes a big difference in our footprint.

As far as money goes, our health insurance costs and our phone/DSL bill rank #1 and 2, but both of them are a far distant second to the amount we spend on food. I'll be talking about all our different bills one at a time; where they stand currently, what kinds of reductions we could possibly make.

And I just remembered - I need to write down how many miles I have on my minivan, because I'm just guessing about our yearly mileage at this point.

I'm curious to know if anyone else has played around with carbon counters. What did you find out?

1 comment:

The Team at Tucson Websites said...

Interesting perspective on the bills.

I have two points,
I thought you have free health care there
and a tip, I always post the mileage of the truck on the back of the receipt when I fill up. That way I can keep track of millage, etc

I'm inspired to take a look at my bills this way now too