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Country Discussion Topics
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How's YOUR electric bill?
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F14    Posted 03-03-2002 at 11:52:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
My electric bill is a major PITA. I average between 1200 and 1250 KWH/Month. Before deregulation, total cost with electric, delivery and taxes ran a touch either side of 14/KWH. Since they did us the huge favor of deregulating those pirates, it's gone up to 17.

I have oil heat and a gas stove. So my electric load consists of washer, dryer, water heater, pump, dishwasher, refrigerator and two freezers, plus the usual assortment of lights and kitchen appliances.

I talk to other folks around here that claim to use about half the power I do, with similar appliances. What-the-heck am I doing wrong?

TB    Posted 03-06-2002 at 17:33:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
George is right a refrigerator or freezer over ten years old con coast $20 a month to run each, where a new one coast less than $5 a month to run. Also loose connections in your panel can cause excess heat and current draw and run your bill up. And last you should have your panel balanced so you have the same amount of current on each phase if your loads are all on one phase your meter spins at a higher speed. If you are not familiar with electricity you should call an electrician to have your panel balanced and retorqued. He can also tell if you have a heavy current draw on any of your circuts that may need looked into.

George8nFL    Posted 03-05-2002 at 01:05:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
You didn't mention the age of those appliances. If there old they need replaced you will get the cost of them back in a few years. A easy trick is to raise the temp of the watrer heaters. You don't need it hot enough to boil eggs. Also you can turn that water heater off until you need it. You may have to open the breaker if you don't have a switch. Just turn it on a 1/2 hour before you need it and you will be fine. They hold the heat pretty well. Maybe add extra insulation to it and the pipes.

Ludwig    Posted 03-04-2002 at 09:24:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I read once that even in New England solar
hot water heating will give nearly 20% roi. Try
getting that in the syock market!
I dropped our power bill almost 1/4 over last
year, mind you this is an apartment, last year
we used 216kwh in feb., this year its 168.
Got almost all the bulbs switched to compact
flourescent, lights of america is a good brand.
They're cheap and come on quick unlike the
more expensive GE brand.
Then I switched to a coffee pot with no clock.
Actually I broke the other one, which facilitated
the switch. I put any other appliance with a
clock on a power strip so its off when we don't
use it, did the same for the computer. When
we get a house I'll shop for appliances by
power usage, might pay a little more to begin
with, but it'll pay back quick the way things are
Unfortunately Maine doesn't have any
incentive plans for putting in Solar power, but
there is an "Energy Efficiency" payout, but I
don't know if you qualify. Standard reasoning
is that $1 of efficiency is worth $5 of
generating capacity.
I'd bet if you switch to compact flourescents
and kill those phantom loads (the little clocks
and such) you'll cut your bill by 1/4 or more.
Try walking through the house at night, every
little light you see if power going down the
drain for no use whatsoever. has more stuff too.
Wade through the left wing whacko stuff and
theres lots of good info.

Les...fortunate    Posted 03-03-2002 at 18:22:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
F14, you and I have some of the highest rates in the country. Two big items: your water heater and dryer. A few years ago, I said when my electric water heater sprung a leak, I'd replace it with gas. Shortly thereafter, it obliged and my electric bill dropped dramatically.
The only dryer we've ever had is a solar one out in the back yard. This time of year, dry your laundry in the house. The air is so dry, the moisture is a big help. That's what we do.

Donna    Posted 03-03-2002 at 13:55:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
We are total electric, no gas here, it scares the dickens out of me, I have a wood cook stove and a wood heating stove, our bill still runs us over $100.00 a month, we have elect. hot water heater, washer and dryer, pump, 2 fridges, 1 large deep freeze, I don't have a dish washer, never wanted one, the bill ran 112.00 last month

Cowboy Joe    Posted 03-03-2002 at 13:24:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're probably not doing anything wrong. Here in Manhattan our electricity is given to us by a monopoly - Con Ed. Typical Summer bill - 130 bucks a month.

Home made hot water preheater- PCC-AL    Posted 03-03-2002 at 13:17:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi F14,
Someone posted about solar power over on the N Board and I replied. Maybe this will work for you. Since you have an electric hot water heater this may save you a few bucks.
It is a home-made hot water preheater that is solar powered. Find an old hot water tank that doesn't leak-junk yard has lots of them- and remove outside shield and insulation. Paint it flat black and build a box that it will fit in. Paint inside box black also. Cover one side of box with glass and place it toward the most sun. Connect water pipes so that cold water source comes into the tank and then goes to your electric hot water heater. The sun will preheat your water and lessen the work of your electric water heater. Good luck.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-03-2002 at 12:51:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Your usage is not that high compared to mine. Some time people like to make it look like they are using less. Last months bill for me was $203.00 for 3,100 KWHs aprox .06 per hour. I have 3-Refrigerators, 3-Big Freezers, 1-1 1/2 hp well pump, 1-stock tank heater, 1-pump house heater, 650watts of HPS night lights, 2-electric water heaters, 1-electric house oven, 3-10,000w Convection ovens in the cookie room (they make $80,000.00 worth of Dog Cookies-14,500lbs a year tho)1-big mixer, 3-part-time (morning) electric heaters in the Pantry, 1-computer set/up 24hrs a day on, 1-block heater for the Bus (part-time use) Lots of power tools and I heat with wood too. I sure would hate to pay your rates!!! The big chunk of my bill makes us a living too. The 3-10,000 watt ovens go at least 4 hours a day. The Freezers have 2-cows, 2-Pigs and a years worth of Veggies from the Garden we grow in them for us and our Dogs Food (big dogs eat a lot) but I do know people who have a lot less electrical items and still use just as much. I do have a 400 Amp Service & 4-big buildings to light up. Mark H.

bob    Posted 03-03-2002 at 12:15:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
i use about the same amount of juice but only pay around 08 cents per killowatt about half yes that deregulation was a bbaaaaaaaaaad thing I workedfor utilty company and they wanted employees to promote it and we told them we couldn,t afford it. have a frind in ca that buys elec for state to resale and he said it was such a mess of greed he had ever seen thank ENRON

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