THE HEAT EXPERIMENT

Loyal readers, some of you know that in previous years I attempted a challenge in which I tried to keep the heat off in my apartment year round. Of course, this was really only a challenge in the winter time. I successfully went without heat for a few years in a row by adding layers of clothing, wearing socks, and taking advantage of some mild winters in Vancouver.

This year though, I decided to do something different. I wondered exactly how much money I was saving myself. There were many times where it got quite cold in my apartment and I really wanted to just turn on the heat instead of bundling up in multiple layers. Was I going through all this trouble just to $5 a month? Or was it a more substantial amount?

So this year, I decided to turn the heat on during the winter for an approximately two month period of December and January. I also set up some guidelines for this experiment. I would only turn on the smaller electric baseboard heater in my bedroom. The thermostat would be set at 15 degrees Celsius when the heat was on, no higher. The heat would be on only during the evening, usually after sunset and mostly after I got back from work. I would also attempt to turn it off when I left the room. The heat also would not be on overnight while I slept. Sometimes I would forget this part but the majority of the time I slept, the heat would be off.

I thought these were conservative ways to heat a portion of my apartment. After two months I received my electric bill for those months just last week. Historically, the months of December and January would garner me a bill of around $43 without any electricity devoted to heat. The latest bill amounted to $88.

Turning on the heat doubled my electric bill. I checked the rates and there was no sizable increase from last year. This was purely from extra consumption. I was quite shocked, no pun intended. Even with those guidelines that I set out, it was expensive to heat one room in my apartment using electricity.

Since receiving my bill. I have gone back to using no heat in my apartment. At this point, the comfort of a heated living space is not worth the doubling of my electric bill.

Now I know!

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