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Controlling our Utility Bills


I am convinced that using the programming feature on our heating and air conditioning unit has made a big difference in our utility bills this year. And maybe for the first time!

Granted we are setting our heat to a lower temperature than ever before. And we are also being more conscientious about turning off lights when we leave rooms, etc. But my electric bill was just $57 this month. I think that’s the lowest it’s been in the almost 3 years we have lived here.

Of course, the week of 70ish degree weather doesn’t hurt either.

The twins gave me a digital/electronic deadbolt for Christmas. I love it. And it got me thinking about the other digital interfaces you can now purchase for your home. (Don’t worry, we kept the original deadbolt to put back on the door when we move out.)

Does anyone in the BAD community use “smart” appliances in their home? Other than ease of use and security, have you seen a cost savings?

I am not considering making any changes to this rental house, but am definitely enjoying watching video reviews and hearing about people’s experiences with them. I really like the idea of being able to turn lights on and off with my phone using our home WiFi.

My parents received a video doorbell for Christmas from my siblings. They had requested it due to stolen Amazon packages around their neighborhood. But now they find it annoying because anytime a car drives past their house, they get an alert on their phones. And yes, they have been modifying the alert settings but have not found one that works for them. Even while my mom has been here these last few days, we constantly hear a ping from her phone regarding activity at her door.

So tell me, what do you think about all these smart/wifi connected appliances? Are you a fan or not?





  • Reply angie |

    Not a fan of smart everything and home speakers like Google and the like. I don’t really see the point in upgrading things that work perfectly fine already. To me it is all just driven by consuming and not useful enough. It’s also just more things to break, get hacked into, or collect your personal data. The only thing ive been wanting lately is a WiFi thermostat, since heat is so damn expensive to give us the ability to turn it on/off when were away. I only really thought of it when the buttons on the one we have broke so it’s a pain to change the temp. I think our furnace is too old though.

    FYI. You likely broke your lease terms by changing the locks.

    • Reply Hope |

      I checked with the landlord before we replaced one the deadbolts. He didn’t mind.

      It was the thermostat I have been most interested in as well and for the same reason. As nice as the program is, when we run late or get in early it would be nice to be able to adjust the temperature appropriately to continue growing our utility savings.

  • Reply Shanna |

    I really like having our alarm and thermostat on apps. I can manage heat/cooling and i think it must save something since i can control turning it off if we aren’t home. It’s also nice to be able to turn lights off and on remotely.

  • Reply sam |

    Our utilities and interest is included in our lot rent but I do not abuse it. Helping control the electric and water keeps every ones cost down and just the right thing to do.

    • Reply angie |

      Mean?! It is a statement, with no judgement about Hope whatsoever.

      Some people honestly don’t read their leases and are unaware of the nuances in it. It was really a hey, check this out and tell your landlord if you haven’t. If I changed the locks on my place my landlord would take a pic and keep that evidence to break my lease at their convenience. Or charge a $100 non-access fee next time (and everytime) they came over. It’s a major violation. I got one of those violations not that long ago because the PM couldn’t get their key to work. It was a PITA to convince them otherwise and get the $100 charge removed, which also included an eviction threat. I’d rather keep someone from even having to deal with it.

      • Reply jj |

        Hope’s landlord has seemed nice enough – there was talk of Hope buying this place from them. I think the way it was written out came across a little harsh – could have just said hey, ensure your landlord does not mind you changing the deadbolt because mine would not be happy.

      • Reply Emily N. |

        That’s great that your utilities have been lower! I’d be curious to know if you’ve compared newer statements against older ones to see if your usage is truly lesser or if the rates are lower. Either way, it’s certainly good for your budget!

  • Reply JP |

    We have automated lights for our porch. They’re not fully “smart” in that we can’t control them through phones/computer, but they do adjust themselves throughout the year for sunset/sunrise. (I didn’t want them on a set time, it just reminds me too much of Home Alone when the burglars can time the lights 🙂 It’s really nice to come home to a lit-up house, and also makes sure the lights are on if we get home late for safety measures, plus I don’t have to remember to turn them off either.

So, what do you think ?