Electric Heat Woes

Guys, electric baseboard heat is expensive where I live :(

Billing is every 60 days - from October 20th to today, the cost is $773 for 6,582kWHs! November wasn't even that cold! BCHydro breaks the rate down into a step 1 and step 2 rates. It's meant to encourage conservation, which might work for homes that have alternative heat sources (my community has a lot of wood heat), but for homes with electric heat, the rate jump is pretty brutal.

  • Step 1: $0.08290 /kW.h for the first 1,350kW hours 
  • Step 2: $0.12430 /kW.h for the rest.

Our house in Alberta, which was about 2,700 square feet cost us about $450 for the same time period.  There of course was electric on top of that for lights and the like - maybe another $100?

The home we're in now is closer to 3,300 square feet - a fair bit larger.  We have all LED lighting, the thermostats are set to 17 or 18 degrees during the day and closer to 15 in the evening.  We have put up insulating plastic on all of our windows and have rolled up towels at the bottom of our doors for draft reduction.  We hang up most of our clothes and cloth diapers to dry, and wash them using cold water.

Given the temperatures, I'm now expecting the bill for December 20th through to the end of February is going to be closer to $1,000.  I'm not too sure what else I can do to manage the cost.

Do you guys do anything other than what I mentioned to save money on electric heat?  Are our rates here, more or less then the electric rates that you pay?


  1. We usually spend about $12-1500 a year on propane. We keep our house anywhere from 72-73°. Propane is cheap this year so it will be closer to about the $1200 range but I have paid much more in years past. We could keep our house colder but I simply dislike being cold when I'm in the comfort of my home.

    1. I hear you on that! We've been keeping warm with sweaters and blankets, and hanging out in my Little Man's room!

  2. Ugh, that's brutal! When I was a kid, we switched from electric + wood to only wood. And it's a lot of work to do wood heat, but electric was ridiculous. Some fans might help circulate the heat since it tends to stay near the heater. Maybe an area rug or two... My dad switched my grandma from baseboard to those ceramic space heaters, and he seems to like it better, although I can't find any stats on if one is really cheaper or not. They do have a built-in fan, though, so maybe that's the key.

    1. I feel like your fan idea is a good one! We might have to check that out. Jordan would really like wood or a pellet stove, but because there is no ducting in the house, I worry about how expensive that would be just to install it! I think though, in the spring, if he wanted to get a quote and then we could ask around about the cost to do wood (and/or time), and figure out a real comparison. I could add in Mom's propane too just to see.


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