Utility Bill in Our Tiny House On Wheels
We get asked a lot about our utilities and the only utility we pay is electric. The campground we live at includes water and sewage. Although Sam covered the huge benefit of living in an RV park, me being Mr. Frugal I enjoy this part of the park also. The only thing our home that isn't running off electricity is the oven and hot water which are propane. We have two 20lb propane tanks in the booty of Tiffany.
Typically we fill up once a month. We try not to let it get low because the shock of the cold water in the middle of a warm shower keeps us from letting it get empty. We have these gauges that come super handy to give us a rough estimate of the fuel levels and when its time to fill them up. We used to exchange the tanks down the street but decided to go to u-haul and get them filled there. It costs a little less if you average it out, but "every penny counts" is what my mom would tell me. Roughly it would be $35-40 to fill both tanks up.
For the last couple months out electric bill has been in the $35 range. Tiffany is a low energy home. All the lights are LED, of course, our LG fridge is energy efficient. The Smart LG AC split unit (LSN120HSV4) works wonders. The unit has this "AI" feature that will auto adjust the temp based on a variety of things. Typically it keeps the house pretty normal if we have it around 76 before we crank it down at night to 70. I am sure the spray foam insulation helps tremendously for our home temperature.
As far as laundry goes, we do multiple loads a week and we thought that might cost a chunk of change. but we were surprised it didn't. Typically we do laundry every other day since the loads are smaller.
With lighting being a concern for energy, the house has been converted to all LED, even the fridge and hood lights are changed out now. It's crazy to think what is next after LED since such low wattage is being drawn from our lighting. It's also helpful that the Lutron system notifies us when we left a light on when we leave, they keep adding software features like this to their system. I get asked a lot why don't we use solar and the reason we haven't is because I have not done the research to see if it will pay off in the long run. We plan on living in Tiffany for at least 4 years and at $35 a month for electricity, it will have to make financial sense. We take notice at what uses energy and wanted to keep our home from using the least amount of energy possible.
It is crazy to see the price difference in utility bills based on the physical size of our home and appliances. I don't think our habits have changed much, we try our best to consume less with our utilities. The only thing that really has changed is the size of the home and in turn the things in our home. It takes less to cool and heat our home since we don't have unnecessary rooms in our house. Our smaller fridge has never had a problem fitting our food. According to the California Energy Commission, a gas stove will cost you less than half as much to operate (that is if you have an electronic ignition like ours and not a pilot light). Our lights are closer to us so we don't our need lights as bright even though they are made for larger rooms. Using less energy is a huge factor in our life. Leaving a smaller carbon foot print is important to us. In a world where many consume/want more than they need, I feel we are taking steps towards doing our part to consume less. It feels good to know we are using less just by going tiny even if its not the "off-grid" style of living. $35 without even really trying. Can't beat that.