Back in late December, on my birthday in fact, I opened the mailbox to discover a post card from Duke Energy Progress, our power company. The card read
Stop rinsing money down the drain! Get a FREE Save Energy and Water Kit delivered to your door,
Save up to $120 each year.
Okay, this seemed too good to be true. Nevertheless, I filled out the return car and mailed it in the next day.
Now, to a self-described “finance guy,” a $120 gift every year sounds like a perpetuity. Without getting too technical, the basic perpetuity pricing model calculates the amount of money you would have to invest to get a reliable return of $120 per year at the current interest rate.
In rough numbers, our credit union pays 1.0% on a money market account, so to get a safe and reliable return at $120 per year, you would have to invest $12,000.
Yep! Looked at from the right perspective, our power company gave me a $12,000 birthday present!
The $12,000 Birthday Present Arrives
The box arrived in mid January. I eagerly opened the box to find 2 low flow shower heads, 4 sink aerators and a roll of insulation tape for the water pipe.
I installed the shower heads and aerators the same day. It took all of an hour.
We have an adjustable aerator on the kitchen sink, so now we can control the water flow down to 1/2 gallon per minute.
We have shower heads that flow much slower and still get us clean with reasonable water pressure.
We have aerators for the the bathroom sinks. In addition to using less water, our daughter makes a little less mess as she washes her hands and brushes her teeth.
In every plumbed room in the house, we should now use less hot water, one of the most expensive uses of power in our house.
I do still need to put the hot water pipe insulation. After all, our hot water heater is in the unheated crawl space, and so some extra insulation would help keep the heat in and costs down. But that very efficacy is why I also have been dragging my feet on that task a little. It’s cold down there in January!
It’s on the to-do list. Maybe as it warms up in the afternoons this week I’ll tackle it.
Freebies from the Power Company
In the past, we’ve taken advantage of discounted fluorescent and LED light bulbs offered in partnership between area retailers and the power company. We also know that there are a number of rebates available for various power saving services like putting in insulation or solar panels…if you use a participating contractor (I’m more of a Do It Yourself kinda guy.)
Don’t ignore the power of working with your power company to save money. I’ve seen programs where power companies offer discounts on energy efficient appliances. programmable thermostats, and furnace maintenance. I’ve seen power companies offer home energy audits and a ton of money saving tips and tricks. I’ve seen programs where you can pay a lot less to load shift your usage.
This is our first freebie from the power company, and I recommend checking out your local power company to see if they have any programs you can use to save money on power. For a money outlay of zero dollars and very little effort, we should shave a little off of our power bill each month by using less hot water. All it took was a few minutes to fill out a postcard and mail it back.
You never know, you might end up with a perpetuity of your own.
Thanks Duke Energy Progress! I didn’t expect anything from you at all except reliable power, much less a $12,000 birthday present!
Have you checked out the freebies and discounts from your power company or other utilities? What’s the best one you’ve found?