Mar 31 2007

A utility bill worth looking at?

Published by at 1:34 pm under Technology   

Here in Dardenne Prairie, MO (a suburb of St. Louis; see what WikiPedia has to say about it) our electricity is supplied by the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative. CREC surprised me this month with a genuinely informative addition to the data on the bill: a graph of usage over the last year.

My expectations of utility companies, most of whom operate as monopolies, have not been high. CREC, though, in addition to do a good job supplying electrical power (without the long outages that have plagued the next county over), supplies data which may help me figure out how to consume less of their product!

Of course I already knew we use far more power in the summer than in the winter; but to quantify that amounts I would have needed to sift through a pile of old bills. Seeing this chart, I wonder why our baseline (winter) usage is so high; I’m inspired to get out my Kill-A-WATT and investigate.

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “A utility bill worth looking at?”

  1. I get the same kind of usage bill from Missouri American Water here in Cottleville . . it was highly instructive to see the usage during August 2002 when we left the sprinklers running 24/7 by accident during a vacation. And to see the very tall spike disappear finally after 13 months.

  2. Hey Kyle,

    I have CREC also and was pleasently surprised to see the graph. The other unique value on the bill was the presentation of cost per peak/off-peak times of day. I have always been cautious about leaving lights on at night because of the cost. But my bill shows that the cost for leaving the lights on at night (for security reasons) may be worth the added benefit of having them on!

    Great work.
    Jason