$367.17: Can you do better than that?

electric_bill (Sharon Steinmann / Chronicle)

We wrote this morning about how Houston utility bills stack up against other big cities. The $367.17 average compiled by WhiteFence.com for Houston-area consumers in July breaks down like this:

Electricity: $215.68
Television: $59.61
High-speed Internet: $36.03
Phone: $31.84
Natural gas: $24.01
Total: $367.17

I was curious how my family’s monthly utility bills stacked up, so I took a quick look through the filing cabinet at home last night. Our break-down:

Electricity: $187.83
Television: $45.95
High-speed Internet: $54 (add $11.18 for taxes related to both TV and Internet)
Phone: $24.92 (not including cell phones, just in-home)
Natural gas: $17.98
Total: $341.86

We fared better on the electric bill likely because we’re on a month-to-month plan at 10.3 cents per kwh, riding the low natural gas prices. **(Note: Since some people asked, we have a 1,700-sq. ft. house with a pool, but we just replaced our a/c unit which makes a big difference in usage).** We did better on the phone too, because we’re on Vonage and don’t make many local calls. We talk to the out-of-state in-laws using a video camera via Skype. Clearly we’re not getting the best deal we can with our TV/Internet combo via Comcast.
How do your combined utility bills for July compare? It may take a bit of digging but take a look in your files and let us know, including any smart shopping tips you have.

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