Step 1 - Set Your Baselines
To begin Greening with Gratitude, the first step is to establish a baseline in order to compare energy spending. I like to think of this as an average bill that I could afford going forward.
For myself I found the simplest way to set a baseline is to look at my spending last year in the same category. Most of my bills were bimonthly, so having bimonthly amounts for each category simplified this whole process. There are more apps and websites available to easily compare use from last year's amounts such as MyHydroLink and SwitchHop.
One significant challenge to setting a baseline is how to factor flexibility for changes in needs, energy rates, or how to handle expansions like a new business or family. I have found that again a simple comparison to last year for each category of spending will solve most of this. That way the the first year of a new addition will become the new baseline and savings can be found in the second year.
For changes in rates (fuel/electricity) I have found that looking at the overall bill is still helpful because it will lead you to find energy choices that are not wildly fluctuating (another advantage of geothermal, wind and solar).
Here is a spreadsheet you can use to calculate your savings. Click download once inside to enter your values.
To see how I have calculated my savings click here.