UPDATE: October Cost Cutting Challenge
Last year, I went on Twitter & Facebook and asked how people were keeping their electricity costs down. It felt as if I wasn’t managing my power well enough because my costs just kept running up and every month it seemed I couldn’t make it to the end of the month without having to top up on my units. A couple of good folk offered suggestions but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t tried. We weren’t being careless with electricity but we weren’t being as purposeful with it either. So I came up with this long and ambitious list of things that I was going to try to cut our costs and it’s been long enough that I can do an objective update. (Do note however that the cost of power per unit did go up in January so if you’re not seeing an improvement but your costs are remaining the same, this can indicate an improvement on consumption for your part).
The verdict: With one extra person in the house, our electricity bill (unit purchase) has actually managed to stay the same which tells me that we’re doing better on power.
What I can say worked for sure
Easing up on using appliances in the kitchen for things that you can do in other ways. The biggest one was I stopped using the defrost on the mircowave by planning meals ahead of time. I definitely noticed this within the first month that units per day were significantly less.
Another thing we don’t use willy nilly is the fryer. Unless we’re making chips on Fridays, we tend not to use it. For smaller things like Mandazis, I would advise getting a karai. Gas is now tax free.
We also reduced the number of bulbs in the living room limiting to having them on only one fixture and not all of them.
What didn’t make any difference
After reading up extensively about how KPLC dishes out units, it doesn’t seem like there’s a real difference when you buy your units. There will always be a fixed charge and the price per unit increases the more you buy. More on that here. Still, out of habit, I buy units on the 1st of every month. Here’s a quick calculation that shows you what it would look like if you bought units for Kes 3,000 once and then for Kes 1,000 later in the month. Note how the price per unit goes up.
What we didn’t do (because change is hard)
Since getting a full time nanny, clothes get ironed every day. This is mainly because I allow her to plan her own work and rarely interfere with her process. Since she does laundry every morning, there’s always something to iron in the afternoon as the tot takes her nap. I’ve let this particular one go.
We probably did even more TV time after I posted this! (The shame!) Although now, we’re better about it. I try to read as much as possible in the evenings and anyone with a baby knows TV time is a rumour anyway so it’s sort of worked itself out.
Hubbs still leaves lights on so I basically follow him around switching them off because the fight isn’t even worth it. Team work keeps the light bill down! (Ha.) The tot also hates the dark so we keep a night light on for her.
To sum up
So we didn’t cut our power costs but we managed to keep them constant which is a pretty big achievement considering we are now a 3 (and a half) person household. I would still recommend trying out some of the things on this list and seeing how they work out for you.
Did you do the challenge? I would love to hear how it worked for you!