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Utility Savings…

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My cable company sent me a letter last week. They have a new way for you to monitor your usage. Before I tossed it in the shredder, thinking ‘Why should I care how much I use the internet?’, I noticed the bold print at the bottom that said, ‘Why should you care?’

Gotta give them credit for reading my mind.

Turns out, you should take a look at your internet usage. Some cable companies are introducing limits AND extremely high usage could be a sign of unauthorized usage on your system. Uh Oh! So, being a natural optimist (Haaaaa ha ha ha ha), I ran to my computer, immediately assuming my usage would be high because some wacko had hacked in. A few seconds later, the usage popped up.

2 gigs.

No, not 2 gigs a day or 2 gigs in a week. I’ve used 2 gigs this month. And I’m pretty sure both those gigs are from downloading finance podcasts from iTunes. So much for my hacker. But it’s good to check every once in a while and remember to make sure my firewall is protecting me.

Naturally, I became fascinated with other utilities that let me live out my OCD *er* I mean, ‘monitor my usage to save money’.

Our water company offers ways for you to see how you compare to the average user. Their software allows me to monitor my water usage hour by hour so I can tell if I have a water guzzling washer or if my slab is leaking and I don’t know it.

My electric company uses ‘Smart Meters’ so I can monitor by the minute if I choose. They will also help you figure out where your energy drains are coming from. Old TVs? Energy sucking light bulbs?

OK, so maybe this new found power won’t help free up any time, but it will help cut down my utilities by zeroing in on where the biggest power/water/internet abusers are. And for all the sweet hubby’s out there, maybe you can convince your wife that the old tv is sucking all the power and you could save money if you bought a fancy flat screen.

Or not.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Fiona |

    Lol – I’m also obsessed with reading my meters at the moment, I call it “fun”! Making lots of savings, though 🙂

  • Reply Michelle |

    My gas company sends us something similar and for some reason I love reading it, and then beating the averages. I’m a dork

  • Reply kim |

    I did something similar when our cable bill went up yet again – I looked at usage of different levels of cable internet, and realized that the speed we and most people had is too much. I’m working on that with my husband’s cell phone data plan…not working as well as I’d like because he’s not OCD like me (or you!).

  • Reply Lisa Clark |

    Totally off topic I know, but what podcasts do you listen too? I have just found Man v Debit is doing a podcast and I have signed up to Dave Ramsey’s. Is there any good ones I am missing?

  • Reply jolie |

    I like the smart meters that could tell me…what sucks 🙂 I could use one of those to see where I can cut back or what I can change.

  • Reply ArdenLynn |

    My electric company sends me notices every month that I am over the average use for my neighborhood. It ticks me off. We are a family of 10 and I am a SAHM. I am pretty sure I am using more electricity than my empty nest neighbors. Duh

  • Reply John |

    I am way over on my internet budget and usage. I guess I need to invest in a flat screen or they will get me for that too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Mark |

    I’ve always wondered about those smart meters. I wonder if anyone has compared if you actually save money on those.

  • Reply Beks |

    Glad I’m not the only geek!!

    Lisa – I listen to NPR Planet Money, Dave Ramsey, & Freakonomics (along with lots of non-finance related ones like: The Moth – my fav, Wall Street Journal, & This American Life)

So, what do you think ?