Hey guys! Hope you’ve all got a fabulous weekend planned!

Okay, over here at Chateau Frugal, I’m wrapping the final day of my Operation Frugalight Experiment. My goal: to have my July, 2010 electric bill come in at LESS than my July, 2009 bill, this despite the fact that rates have been raised 30% since last year. Actually, I have to expand upon that last statement, as I’ve just been informed by the electric company that the rates may have been raised even MORE than that, given that it’s a “sliding scale” on rates dependent upon usage prior to the increase…whatever the freakin’ heck that means.

Okay, so the month is almost up, and – compared to last July – here are the specific strategies I’ve used in my quest to make the bill nosedive:

(1) switched our electric over to Dominion.com, which guarantees a 15% decrease in rates. The switchover to Dominion was on July 8th, so hopefully that’ll make a good sized dent.
(2) last july, I was still drying clothes in the clothes dryer. This July, I’m doing everything on the clothesline. It’s been doing us a lot of good since we started doing it last September; with any luck it’ll contribute nicely to lowering this month’s bill.
(3) last july, I was still using my dishwasher. This july, the dishwasher is ME. I use the actual dishwasher as a drying rack only, and run it once every two weeks just to keep it in good shape.
(4) I replaced eighteen 60-watt bulbs with the new squigeldy GE Energy Star bulbs (they’re 13 watt bulbs that light like 60 watts). Boiling down the math as described on the back of the package, I’m supposed to save approximately .92 per month per bulb. These bulbs alone should save us around $17. Let’s hope!
(5) Turned off the computers whenever not in use. I used to keep them up & running even when I was out of the house (I know, I know…), but this month, if I was out, the computer was out too.

With any luck, this 5-pronged attack will result in savings over & above the rate increase from last year. I usually receive the bill around the first week of the month. As soon as I get it (sometime around August 8 or so), I’ll let you know how we did. Between now & then, keep your fingers crossed!