Archive for June 29th, 2009

Surprise Savings

Monday, June 29th, 2009

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I was at the Southern California Edison website working on electricity usage in our house. There was a surprise. Our average bill suddenly decreased by $40 per month sometime after Jan 13 this year. It was odd to see. Normally, there is a spike around Christmas, but after January 13, we start seeing bills lower than at any time since September. Why?

I rack my brain trying to figure it out. What are we doing differently? Then it hits me – that was when I dumped my last, old CRT monitor. The only tube-based screen in the house left now is a rarely used TV set in our bedroom. Computers are all laptops and my office computer now has the HP flat screen monitor hooked to it that you see above. Wow. That made a big difference.

If you were considering swapping your CRT for a flat screen LCD, I strongly suggest it. It made for a big savings on electricity.

ADDENDUM: I looked up usage statistics, and for ‘modern’ CRT’s, the electric usage is just slightly more than LCD’s. Either my old one sucked energy for being a dinosaur (10 years old) or it had a short in it. It certainly might have had a short – it acted mighty funny for several months before I replaced it. Or this is another explanation entirely. $40 a month is like plugging in a refrigerator, so this is not a small amount.

FURTHER UPDATE: I think I know the reason. I was playing Fallout 3 on the Xbox 360 until mid-January, and Grand Theft Auto before that. I think the $40 might be partially the monitor, but mostly the cost of running the Xbox, which is a known power hog.