So, what's your typical monthly electric/gas bill?

jamesrgeibSeptember 28, 2006

I've paid two electric/gas bills since moving in to our new home. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount due. I decided to keep the house very comfortable (cool) for the first month to get a realistic bill, and I kept the water heater set pretty high since my wife likes hot showers, and my dishwasher likes hot water.

We run the dishwasher a few times a week, and do about 3 loads of laundry per week.

Most of my appliances are Energy Star rated, and my HVAC unit is a 13 SEER.

All exterior walls are cellulose insulated, and Tyveked (I'm sure Tyvek will appreciate the creation of a new verb!)

Brick veneer exterior.

Half crawl space/half unfinished basement.

Total heated/cooled square footage is 2780, one level.

One 50 gallon gas water heater.

One 50 gallon electric water heater (Feed from the gas heater)

Gas cooktop.

Two refrigerators.

POrtable air purifier running 12 hours a day.

Argon filled, low E windows.

Blown cellulose attic insulation (R30)

My first bill during our hot July was $185

Our second bill, with milder weather, was $170

I imagine the next bill will be less, as I've lowered the water heater temp a bit, and the AC hasn't been running much. I've also been more anal about turning off unused electric 'things'. (lights, fans, etc..)

I'm curious as to other people's bills compared to their square footage, insulation type and appliance set-up. I'm sure exterior walls insulated with cellulose and good windows have helped a lot. I just wonder which has helped more. (I was also very anal about sealing every nook and cranny around the windows and doors before we insulated and put up the drywall.)

Hope this isn't too personal,


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What do you keep your AC at? that is something that will greatly affect your bill.

our house is over 150 years old. It is 1800sqft. Don't know what kind of insulation we have. We have gas heat and stove. We don't have an AC system. We do keep an AC unit in our bedroom. We do have new windows.

Anyways, our bill during the summer is usually about 150 bucks. We have an inground pool (pump is on about 8 hours a day) We also have a pond. That pump in on 24-7.

During the winter we have bills ranging from 150 to 400 dollars. We use alternative heating as much as we can however the heat is on while we are at work, it is set to 60.

I think the most important question is how much electric and gas is where you live. you can't compare costs untill you compare that.

My sister lives in a tiny cape cod house in New England. They spend over 500 dollars a month on oil during the winter.

Oh, our gas/electric company also just charges us for having a connection and that is 30 or 40 dollars a month. I can't rememeber the exact amount/month. It makes me so mad I have to tune it out. so really, my bill is only slightly over 100 during the summer, for the electric/gas we actually use.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I'll do some calculations to determine cost/kwh and cost/therms used. We keep our AC set at 73, and the ambient temp actually feels cooler than our old house, which had to be set at 68 to be comfortable. (Humidity level differences?)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 10:54AM
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2400 square feet house built 1966

Electric $83 year-to-date monthly average
price to compare: 4.286 cents per KWH
generation charge: .03835 per KWH

Natural gas: $121 year-to-date monthly average
commodity charge: $8.2873 per MCF
This average will change as the prices were really high last winter and are dropping -- ~$12 in Jan to ~$8 now and falling....

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 11:13AM
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1800-square-foot house built in 1974. Just me and I work outside the home. Gas furnace, water heater, range, dryer. Pretty much every electrical item that can be is Energy Star rated and I have compact fluorescent bulbs in almost every light I use frequently. Half the windows have a low-e coating and all are double-pane casements. Central A/C set between 75 and 85 in the summer; heat set between 60 and 68 degrees; all of this is controlled by a setback thermostat. Average electric bill: $25 per month (includes a wind-power surcharge). Average gas bill: near minimum charge in the summer (one month I used all of one therm) and around $125 per month during heating season (Oct-May).

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 1:42PM
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Electricity powers stove, fridge, freezers (2 - one stored for son, that has some of his stuff in it, so operating), washer, dryer (used only in coldest weather in winter), dehumidifier to keep stuff stored in ancient basement from deteriorating, farm yard light, water pump (2, one for house, one for barn). Also a couple of small space heaters that I use before turning on furnace in fall, and in bathroom through the winter, as furnace turned low and I dislike sitting down on cold seat (I also claim that civilized men sit down to pee - or clean the bathroom).

Also air conditioners occasionally - I have two, one quit working over a day or so a couple of years ago when I installed it in my city townhouse, I don't know whether the other works or not: probably not. Here on the farm, if I open the door on the furnace and turn it on in late afternoon or evening on really hot (i.e. over 90 - 95 or so) summer days, it blows basement air up into the house to take the edge off of the heat.

Power usage is only part of the billing here ... then there's line loss, distribution charge, admin., payment to retire old debt from former co. that under-charged years ago (if we object to which, our choice is to cut the power service). And add some tax for both prov. and fed. govts.

Didn't turn on oil furnace until mid-November last year: oil people called after first delivery to make sure I had enough, as bill was less than $100.00.

My monthly bill for power is about $100. Paid about $700. - 800. for furnace oil, last winter, I think.

Have stuff piled in the wreck (sic) room around and over the wood-fired heater that heats that addition to the house that isn't served by the furnace, and, though being at one end, would add some heat to the rest of the house. But it would be wise for me to shut off that part of the house in winter - or mostly live in it. I could put a bed in there, but kitchen and bathroom would be chilly.

Hope you can keep your cool in summer - and warm in winter.

Recruit some friends who are full of hot air and invite them over for coffee on a chilly winter evening ... by the way, do you know any politicians?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 2:56PM
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everything in my house is electric except the dryer, with 2 seperate OLD HVAC systems with electric heater elements.

our electric bill averages about 400.00 a month, milder weather it can be as low as 190, but during the hottest and coldest months it is over 500.00.

gas is propane and with just the dryer on it we have to fill it once about every 3 years. the gas company charges us 30 bucks a year rental on the tank since we do nto use that much gas.

at the very least this winter or spring the oldest HVAC system will be completely replaced. when the heater kicks on it draws probably 60 amps continuous (breakered at 100 amps!!) and the meter goes nuts! plus during the summer it runs 20 hours a day even if set back to 85 degrees. for some reason the tstat locatin seems to get a little warmer than the surrounding areas and falses the unit into coming on or int eh case of heat into staying off.

we have programmable tstats on both units, with the bedrooms system set to be basically off at 80 during the day and on at night, and the front system set to 80 while we are out or in bed, and 73 when we are home. for heat they are set to go to 55 during the set back times, and around 68-70 during desired heating times. I cannot sleep in a warm room, or the AC would be cut off at night.

water heater is turned up rather high, and it is the next thing to convert to gas. just trying to decide if we want tankless or not.

all bulbs in the most used areas are CFL. the light above the stove is a 40 watt and burns all the time.

we have tons of electronics, so phantom current draw is a large culprit at our house. My winter project will be to install timers on some of the home entertainment stuff to cut the off most of the day.

forgot toe mention the house is ~2400 sq ft. built in 77-78 with rolled in insulation in the attic covered by about 5-6 inches of blown in cellulose. no idea what is in the walls. ALL windows are single pane and original. none have drafts around them, but they do allow for a temp differential since they are single pane metal frame windows. these are on teh larger projects list to be done in a few years.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:51AM
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$243 = monthly average for electric and oil.

Electric bill averages about $110 a month. Central air, electric dryer, lots of musical equipment and computers, big barn and garage. All of our appliances are new, including the central air.

I think we fill the oil tank about four times a year, at $400 a fill these days. The furnace provides hot water year-round, as well as heat in the winter. Furnace is new.

1950 square foot masonry single-story house in Pennsylvania, newly insulated.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:21PM
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2,550 sq ft. Central Texas coast, two counties in from the coastline. Built in 2004. 9' and 10' ceilings. Double-pane windows. Blown-in insulation. All-electric, 300 amp service feed. 12 SEER heat pump, setback thermostat, 82°F-77°F cooling, 60°F-70°F heating. Tankless water heater. All new appliances (self-cleaning range, OTR microwave, SxS refrigerator, self-heating dishwasher, hi-efficiency washer & dryer) except a 10-year-old top-freezer refrigerator in garage. Private water well & septic system. Most lights used regularly are fluorescent, including some outdoor decorative/security lighting.

Seasonal variation typically ranges from about $90 to $160, with the peak being in summer.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 2:52PM
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However, keep in mind that it's more accurate to compare KWH USAGE instead of DOLLARS. Electric rates vary widely.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 3:59PM
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Dadoes, I agree about the KWH usage. I actually work for a utility. I was just curious as to what other people actually paid each month.

I know that comparing KWH/Therm usage and then determining the amount paid/unit would help determine who paid more or less per KWH or Therm, or who used more energy. I was just interested in the dollar amount out of curiosity.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 5:11PM
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Dadoes, I'm in Central TX and am wondering what your KWH usage is? Last month, mine was 2994 at $265.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 10:14AM
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Our "juice bill" is between $50-60/mo.. We heat with oil and $1200/yr. would cover the heat and hot water handily.

Our home is on 5 heating zones and we live primarily on the second floor of our home. The "wildcard" is my elderly mother. Her suite is on the groundfloor and on its own zone. She is not particularly good about closing her bedroom door and the furnace runs more than it needs to... .

We have a woodstove, too. We use it to keep the primary living area roasty-toasty warm for Mum. Now, if we could only drill it into her brain to close the door behind her, lol! We have discussed adding a programmable thermostat to her room; one that provides X amount of heat until thusandsuch an hour and then curtails heat to the area in question. I think that may be the pragmatic solution to her inability to "remember". She's happier "upstairs" in the bright and cheerful living area anyway.

No air conditioning, no dryer, no dishwasher. We live in the "stone age", lol..

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 2:47PM
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KellyEng, this is the usage history since moving into this house January 2005. More details are provided when they were recorded in my records.

Period 1/21/2005 to 2/xx/2005, 1,004 KWH
Period 2/xx/2005 to 3/xx/2005, 696 KWH
Period 3/xx/2005 to 4/15/2005, 727 KWH
Period 4/16/2005 to 5/17/2005, 34 days, 655 KWH
Period 5/18/2005 to 6/18/2005, 32 days, 1,296 KWH
Period 6/19/2005 to 7/18/2005, 30 days, 1,471 KWH
Period 7/19/2005 to 8/18/2005, 31 days, 1,521 KWH
Period 8/19/2005 to 9/18/2005, 31 days, 1,651 KWH
Period 9/19/2005 to 10/18/2005, 30 days, 1,384 KWH
Period 10/19/2005 to 11/16/2005, 29 days, 833 KWH
Period 11/17/2005 to 12/18/2005, 32 days, 1,263 KWH
Period 12/19/2005 to 1/17/2006, 30 days, 1,103 KWH
Period 1/18/2006 to 2/19/2006, 33 days, 1,083 KWH
Period 2/20/2006 to 3/19/2006, 28 days, 760 KWH
Period 3/20/2006 to 4/19/2006, 31 days, 831 KWH
Period 4/20/2006 to 5/19/2006, 30 days, 1,075 KWH
Period 5/20/2006 to 6/20/2006, 32 days, 1,523 KWH
Period 6/21/2006 to 7/19/2006, 29 days, 1,756 KWH
Period 7/20/2006 to 8/20/2006, 32 days, 1,877 KWH
Period 8/21/2006 to 9/xx/2006, xx days, 1,476 KWH (haven't yet received this bill, but I know what is the usage)

Note the significant increase in usage since the 5/20 period. My air conditioning had a problem in early June, a circuit board went bad and the blower wouldn't run. The repair tech wired the blower to run continuously while waiting a replacement part, which took about six weeks (fixed on 7/21). I expected the bills during that time (for periods ending 6/20 and starting 6/21) to be a little higher than usual due to the blower running, but not that much higher! AFTER the repair, usage increased even more. I even INCREASED my A/C setback period by a couple hrs per day. After some investigation I discovered on 8/29 that the system either had another problem that got missed the first time or had gone wonky again, and one of the HEAT STRIPS was running whenever the blower was OFF. The repair tech said it was stuck on continuously, but I don't think that's the case or usage would have been even higher. It'd run for a few seconds until it overheated (due to there being no airflow) and shut off from the limit switch, then when it cooled to reset the limit switch, it'd come on again for a few seconds. The longer setback period I used for cooling, there was more time during which the system didn't otherwise run which made for MORE time during which the heating element kept cycling on and off.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 6:16PM
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House 4,110 sf. new construction, R23 walls (including heated basement); R32 attic; low "E" argon-filled windows.

Central air; electric dryer; dehumidifier; 30 loads of laundry a week! cooled to 22C. in summer,

Hydro (electric) usage last year: monthly kWh usage--3,900-5,200

Cost: from $205 monthly for April June to $317 in August, September, including 6% federal tax.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Rates are: 5.8¢ KWH for the first 1,260 KWH and 6.7¢ a KWH thereafter.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 11:24PM
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My second bill for $171 included:

$73.96 for the first 800 KWH ($.09245/KWH)
$56.73 for the next 562 KWH (&.100940/KWH)
$6.64 for basic facilities
$16.69 for 11 Therms ($1.54233/Therm)
$7.50 for Basic Facilities (Another charge??)
$9.86 for subdivision lighting (Should be discounted since it keeps me up at night!)

So that was 1362 KWH and 11 Therms.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 5:10PM
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1884 Victorian in sw PA
Electic: 1352 KWH @$89.71/month
central air (runs about 3 weeks per summer), 3 refrigerators ( 1 dorm size), dishwasher, washer/dryer, freezer, dehumidifier, etc., etc.,

Gas: 9 MCF @ $140/month
furnace, water heater, range

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:50PM
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I have oil heat, when gas prices went up I entered into a balaced contract, agreeing to pay $228 per month yearround. Not sure if it's a good deal. The contract year ends June 2007 so I'm locked in till then. My electric rates are around the highest in the country (Long Island NY,the provider is LIPA-Long Island Power Authority) and my bill runs around $300 every two months.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:43AM
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3800 SF house, built 2005. Electric lights (obviously), dryer, well pump and AC. Heat and hot water are oil.

Our electric runs about $70-90 per month except during AC months (June through August), when it jumps to about $130. We also run a large dehumidifier in the basement from May 15 through September.

The heat is another story entirely. We go through a tank )275 gallons) every 5-6 weeks.

We also have propane for a rangetop and fireplace, but we have only used about 1/5 tank in a year (300 gallon tank).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 12:07PM
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3,500 sq ft in CT, ranch, finished lower level. 6 people, 7 in summer when my mother stays in in-law apt in lower level. Central air 77/78 in summer, forced hot air 64-67, pellet stove, 2 fridges (3 in summer when mother there) Washer/dryer (couple loads a day) Dishwasher (runs every day)
Electric water heater, electric cooking,electric dryer
August and December are my highest bills.. $375. Other months are $225-$300 on average. We go through 2 tanks of oil heat and 4 tons of pellets (we spent around $1,600 to heat house last winter)
Insulation in attic, house was built in 50's but completely remodeled over the years. All energy efficient appliances. Think that covers it...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 1:09PM
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I'm trying to find some data on the average monthly household utility bill from 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010. I really want to see the pattern of steady up-tick in price per month or annually. My wife and I pay around $350.00 per month. I was telling her that I bet they (monthly bills) have tripled since we were kids... but wages in the last 25 years have not tripled but rather stayed pretty similar to today.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Jeff, one BIG reason why your bills have increased is due to all the additional electrical gadgets in your home. Let's look back to 1970... We had a TV, a "stereo", a clock radio, an electric fridge and range, lights in all rooms. We also had a washer and a dryer. The hot water and heat were gas-fueled. I used a hair dryer, and my husband had an electric shaver. A toaster and a hand mixer in the kitchen, no crockpot or microwave. What else? I think that all items were truly off when they were turned off except the clocks.

Today everything is on a 'vampire' appliance, instantly on.
Just here in my office, there's the computer, printer, wireless router, back-up hard drive, printer/fax, phone with answering machine, clock radio, lights, and assorted plugs for recharging other assorted items. I probably use more electricity in my office than I did in my whole house 40 years ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vampire appliances

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 6:11PM
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