Care to compare electric rates?

CynicJanuary 29, 2008

Thought it might be interesting to see how electric rates compare around the world. However you can't just take the rate they show on the bill. You need to get your true cost, which would include taxes, fees, etc. To get this figure, take your electric bill, divide the amount you're billed for electricity (including taxes and other fees, since you have to pay for that) and divide it by the number of Kilowatt hours you used. For instance, my bill this month was \$40.66 for 330 Kwh used. So I divide \$40.66 by 330 to get the per KwH rate. \$40.66/330=\$.12321212121212, which makes my total cost 12.3 per KwH. (FWIW, a couple years ago my rate was about 14Â¢/KwH - some things are cheaper these days!)

I like the feature on my bill where they compare the last years avg temp and cost per day to this years use. We were much colder this year than last year during this period and accordingly my useage was higher.

So, what's your 'tricity costing you?

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pkguy

Great minds think alike.. I was going to post this same thread. Need to go find my last power bill... BTW.. can you quantify your basics,,, house size, location, gas or electric heat, gas or electric cooking, dryer type, how many fridges, freezer if need be. Just to give a better comparison of where everyones power is going.

January 29, 2008 at 4:15AM
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mikie_gw

Mine runs 13.5 cents per kwh during the summer.
Right now its 15.3 cents per kwh because I dont use so much during winter to offset that customer charge and city franchise fee.

The more I use, the less it costs per kwh... somehow, that doenst make cents.

January 29, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Cynic

Good point. I had thought of that before, but forgot to put it in. BTW, I noticed I used the last month's bill. The latest one figures to 12.4¢/kwh (for 385 kwh), including county & state taxes, "City Req Fac" surcharge, Basic Service Chg, Environment Improvement rider and my favorite, fuel cost charge! The starting cost for the electricity is \$0.058070/kwh

Some of the basics: Tri-level (front to back split level) 32 yo west-facing 3 BR, 1064 foundation square footage with poor southern exposure in Minnesota. Natural gas FA heat (original furnace), 40 gal (10-15 yo) gas water heater, electric stove, electric 7.4 cu ft dryer, 28 yo top-load washer, 18 cu. ft. Top freezer/frigerator about 20-22 yo. No freezer anymore.

Probably should start a separate thread for Natural Gas but FWIW, my latest bill covered for December, \$181.38, used 171 therms and figured to \$1.06/therm. Prior months bill was \$1.03/therm.

Some other comments: I have CFLs in virtually everything I can, including the motion floodlights outside and the outdoor lights used most often. I close off rooms I don't use but the door to the basement stays open for feline access to litter boxes. I like the temp around 63°- 65° and when I have company I turn it up to 70°-72°. One other difference than with many places is I have no window in my bathroom so lights are used often, but I have a 4w fluorescent nightlight in there that gets used a lot (and lights it up surprisingly well especially when you get up at night you don't want a bright light blasting you) and CFLs in the light fixture anyway. CFLs have made a big difference in my electric bill. I use the microwave fairly often, and have a small convection oven (one of the glass ones with the heater lid that sits on top - looks like a big dutch oven) that I use very often. I have a double oven stove and use the top oven which is smaller - don't use the big oven much. (Can't remember the last time I used it!) Used to use an electric frypan often but lately use the stove. TV and laptop computer going often! Social security number is ... uh, too much??? :)

All things considered, I think my utilities are pretty reasonable.

January 29, 2008 at 3:19PM
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pkguy

I still haven't received my latest bill but here's the previous one...based on two months usage from Sept 14 to November 13. (61 days)

3 bedroom 4 level split, gas heat and water, electric stove and electric dryer, one fridge, one small chest freezer. All my lighting is compact fluoresents and or fluoresent tubes in the garage, workshop etc.

1147 kWh used at 0.0524 cents = \$60.05
delivery charge a whopping \$60.46
regulatory charge \$7.61
debt retirement charge \$7.69
Total 135.81
tax 8.15
subtotal \$143.96 for 61 days
or \$72 per month.

Avg daily usage 18 kWh

So in reality I'm not paying .05 cents per kWh but 12.5 cents

Seems the delivery charge is always more than the actual electric used around here.. LOL

January 30, 2008 at 6:12PM
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Cynic

I was just thinking, they used to have a "conservation" credit if you used less than a certain number of kwh per month you'd get a credit. That's what started me to pay attention to what was being used. Haven't seen or heard of that for a long time. No surprise, huh?

February 2, 2008 at 1:51AM
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green-zeus

My rate is 9.25 cents per KWH but then I'm on a co-op. We only pay for what it costs to generate the power and there are no fees or transmission costs.

February 3, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I just got my new bill. The reading dates are 12/17 thru 1/17...31 days.

Total bill \$125.89 divided by 1411 kwh used is 8.92 cents per kwh.

Electric heaters and just heated the 'living' areas, one bath, and a little in one bedroom.

I use gas for cooking and the dryer and was quite pleased as this past month was the first 'real' test of what the electric heaters would be versus the LP gas in past years. LP has skyrocketed, and my gas furnace is noisy which I hate! I am in Indiana, and am also on a coop.

Sue

February 3, 2008 at 11:41AM
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County electric cooperative. Last bill received, for period of 11/26 thru 12/24, 1050 KWH, \$89.99, \$0.0857/KWH.

Generation Charge = \$0.03605

Transmission Charge = \$0.01256

Local/Customer Charge = \$0.037095

Should get next bill in a few days. It'll be higher, a rate increase was announced.

February 3, 2008 at 3:15PM
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clg7067

You can also look here...

February 4, 2008 at 10:05AM
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nancylouise_gw

The bill I have is from 12/15/07-1/16/08. So that would included Christmas lights and decorations. We tend to go overboard with them. lol

769 kwh @ .087994 =\$67.67
sales tax .08
delivery service =\$50.10
sales tax .06

total= \$117.91

This is for a 12 room farmhouse, full basement and attic, 3 bay garage. 4bdrm, 3bth. oil heat tankless hot water. radiatiors. 2 fridges, dishwasher,washer and dryer on electric- daily use. NancyLouise

February 4, 2008 at 11:08AM
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New bill.

Period covering 12/25/2007 thru 01/23/2008. 30 days. 1359 KWH. \$129.99.

Generation charge \$59.86.

Transmission charge \$19.79.

Local/Distribution charge \$50.34. Includes \$18.08 "customer" charge and \$16.75 "minimum usage" charge (475 KWH).

Aggregate \$0.09565/KWH.

February 5, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Cynic

Ah yes, the Christmas lights! I forgot about those. My guess was that it would add about \$5 for the month I used them and the look of my bill that seems about right, give or take.

nancylouise, I went WOW when I saw your post. For the size of house and relative useage, that seems like a pretty low kwh use. You must be doing some things right in the conservation department! FWIW, yours averages to 15.3¢/kwh in net cost.

dadoes, In what part of the world are you located? Pretty cheap rates! Also curious on what your circumstances are. Higher use compared to the others here. Just curious.

clg7067, thanks for the link. I just wish they'd include the added costs so it's a more accurate comparison. For instance they show me at about half of what I actually pay. True, the basic cost is close, but you still have to add in the fees and taxes to give the true cost. By comparison in the chart, chemocurl pays about 1/2 of a penny less per kwh than do I, but in reality (with taxes, fees, etc), I pay roughly 3.5¢/kwh more. I know every community will be different, which is why I posted to get some informal info. But it's still interesting to see. Care to post your info?

February 6, 2008 at 12:40AM
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nancylouise_gw

I know cynic, compared to our friends that live in the same town we have the lowest electric bill. Maine has high electric costs. Some things we do to keep our bill down is only full loads in DW and WM, lights on only in room you are using, we switched out all the old type light bulbs and put in the new curly cue type ones (sorry I don't know what they are called). We don't leave the computer on when we aren't using it. When we are done using small appliances we unplug them. (toaster, coffee maker, grinder,etc.) Every little bit helps. NancyLouise

February 6, 2008 at 6:32AM
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cynic, my house is 4 years old, 2,550 sq ft with 9' and 10' ceilings. All-electric. Includes water well and septic system, heat pump, two refrigerators and the usual array of other appliances, whole-house tankless water heater (although I'm very conservative with hot water). My computer runs 24/7 but I turn the monitor off. A 2nd computer I use for work doesn't run continuously. Two battery backup units (UPS) kept powered. Lots of electronic gew-gaws on "standby" -- several clocks, two DVD players, three VCRs, audio receiver, subwoofer, plasma TV, 20" CRT TV, power conditioner for the A/V equipment, washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, range all have electronic controls.

NancyLouise, yours is a conservative usage figure, but for comparison your heat and water heating are not electric.

February 6, 2008 at 11:10AM
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pkguy

Just got my latest bill

November 14 thru January 11 (59 days)

1505 kWh (59 days)
Avg daily usage 24.4 kWh
cost of power; 0.0500 X 1505.27 = \$75.25
Delivery charge \$69.73
Regulatory charge \$ 9.81
Debt retirement charges \$10.09
Power charges total \$164.89 for 2 months

Now I have to figure out why my consumption went up since my last bill reported above. Hmmmmm

February 6, 2008 at 8:57PM
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lexi7

Cynic your posts are always so good. Congratulations on the low electric bill. I cannot find my last power bill stub, but my bill was \$56.90. We do not have all the fees and taxes that some of you mentioned. Three of us share a little brick ranch around 1000 sq. ft. We have gas heat and a gas water heater. I would like to hear your helpful hints for a lower bill please.

February 7, 2008 at 10:10PM
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Cynic

Why, thank you lexi7, you're very kind. Yes the taxes and fees result in quite a difference. Now if our Governor could understand that a "fee" (which he is fine with) is no different than a "tax" (which he claims to "oppose", change the name of a tax to a fee and "FeeFee" is fine with that!) but I digress, anyway the impact on the pocketbook is the same.

Offhand, a few things I can think of but have to give more thought. One is read this forum! LOL There's a lot of good ideas, some not bad, some flakey and some, well, no comment. Use what works for you. One big difference is lighting. Changing to CFLs easily cut my bill 25%. Percentages depend on what you're using so in reality it cut my bill at least \$10-\$12/mo which easily offsets the cost of the bulbs in short order. I got many on rebate and on sale, and at the time they were more expensive but math showed how it would offset in a matter of months.

Other things, I use the microwave and small convection oven a lot. I don't like things with electronic controls and didn't think of the vampire drains until recently, so I benefit from my preferences. I don't need a toaster and coffeemaker with a clock and remote control. I'm fortunate that my refrigerator, although it's rather old, is pretty efficient so it's not a power hog. Plus I'm good about checking and cleaning the seals and adjusting the doors as needed. Less cold air leakage equals less electricity used to maintain temp. I don't need things like electric can openers, letter openers and electric pencil sharpeners. I use my laptop exclusively now so I save money from the desktop unit. I turn off lights that aren't needed. Just put CFLs outside and even when it was -20° or so last night, they came on! I like to leave the lights on for the paper carrier so it burns 26 watts instead of 150-200 watts and last night they ran about 6 hours, you can do the math on that, but this is a weekly useage now and even when they're used during the week, it adds up to a savings. I like low-light anyway, it's relaxing. And when the lights are lower, I turn down the brightness & contrast on the TV to make it easier on the eyes and that results in a pwer savings. I use fans during the summer to limit a/c use. I have wallwarts on power strips and/or switches so I can shut them off when not being used, again to save on the vampire loads and save on fire hazards. If I'm on the computer and not paying attention to the TV, I shut it off. If I'm leaving the room for a while and have the TV on, I shut it off. I guess just living a more frugal lifestyle automatically results in savings. Plus one other thing that makes a difference is I've been through rough financial times and was forced to economize and that tends to stick with you. When you get in the habit of turning off lights, why change? When I go to the bathroom, I don't need to turn on a light all the time, even though there's no window or skylight in there. Ambient light works well most of the time, and I have a nightlight in there that works a good percentage of the other times! I do use an electric dryer for most loads, but I'm not a fanatic that needs to change clothes every five minutes so my laundry isn't that much. I can handle changing into the same sweatpants/shirt that I used the day before when I get home from work and if I have an easy day at work, sometimes only a couple hours, I can wear the same shirt and pants more than once before washing them. And I can dry my hands on the same towel more than once before washing it too! I use reason and ration and a little thing called common sense. I like things clean, but I don't have a germ phobia. Life is too short as they say!

Others can kick in their successes and give you more ideas. Again, what works for one isn't gospel for all, pick and choose. Some things I tried and quit doing (can't think of examples offhand, sorry) but again, it's what works. Being consistent helps. And some result in additional savings. For example, turning down the thermostat to save gas, results in electric savings too, since the fan doesn't run as much.

February 10, 2008 at 12:03PM
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pkguy

Cynic, that's sort of my philosophy as well. Over the past year I've switched all the lights in the house over except of course the dryer and oven. I still go round and turn lights off just as before if I'm not going to be coming back in say less than 10 minutes in which case I would leave them on. The one area I don't scrimp on though is heating. I'm home all day most days and with hot water heating it's not the quick warm up like forced air furnaces so I keep the place about 70. I have however insulated the hot water pipes since we bought the place, locked the fireplace damper closed, we don't use it, had the boiler tuned and the rads checks and cleaned etc.. Our gas heating bill now now is running \$100 less per month than the previous owners were paying who were also on the equal payment plan we took over when we bought the place.

February 10, 2008 at 6:23PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I need to go back and read more of these posts to get myself back into gear on utilities. My family of 6 used 638 kwH and our bill was 103.64. 15.75 was for a monthly administrative fee and \$6 went to taxes. My hot water, heat, dryer and cooktop are gas so I need to find ways to start reining this in. Dh is very much opposed to CFLs right now though and I am working on training the little ones on their usage, they are 9, 6, 3, and 1. The most difficult one is the 3yo who has autism and needs to turn on lights and leave the TV running.

February 12, 2008 at 5:38PM
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joyfulguy

Latest electric bill arrived recently, service type: Farm, single phase, covered Dec. 10 (I read) to Jan. 11 (I read), 32 days, average electricity used per day 22 kWh.

Reduced rate Nov. - Mar. moves 600 kWh @ 5.00 cents/kWh to 1,000 kWh @ 5.00 cents/kWh.

699 kWh @ 5.000 cents \$34.95
Delivery \$50.33
Regulatory \$ 4.58
Debt retirement \$ 4.48 (cost over-runs building nuclear plants, ditto early refurbishing, and under-billing years ago)
GST (Federal) \$ 4.72
Sentinel light rental \$ 7.00
GST \$ 0.35
Total \$106.41

Usage 699 kWh at full cost \$106.41 is \$0.15223 per kWh.

Landlord's shop 32' x 48', well insulated, 2 large doors, wood stove ... has power on same meter: water pump, micrwv, radio ... they do repair work in winter, welding, wirebrush, sandblast eqpt. for painting, etc.

He pays a bit under 1/4 of bill - having chosen a separate service would have cost extra \$40./mo.

Older home, low level insuln., none in base't, several dual pane windows, 2 br., 1 bth, kitch, dr, lr, rec rm (rec rm heated wood stove, not heated by furn., usually chilly in winter).

Elect. fridge, stove, microwv, (dish wash in sink by hand), chest frzr, top-load wshr, dryr (used only coldest weather - now box-full clothing, awaiting mild spell to hang on outside clothesline, which means somewhat larger qty clothes ... though I can hang on washline in basemt, which helps humidify house, which in cold weather is dry as desert, not using humidfr).

Oil furn., some electr. fan heaters for occasional use bathrm, aiming at computer, spot heat, etc. Dehumidfr used in basemt in summer. Couple small fans, no a/c.

Ordinarily keep heat low 60s, but turned up when had a cold a month ago, not turned back down (softie!) - 67 at the moment.

pkguy,

Looks as though you live in Ont., as well: don't you just love subsidizing that power that consumers underpaid for, years ago?

ole joyful

February 13, 2008 at 8:56PM
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pkguy

I love it as much as I love paying those exhorbitant delivery charges on the bill as well. Not to mention still paying a "touch-tone" service charge ont the Bell phone bill when they don't even offer "dial" service anymore. What's with that.

February 14, 2008 at 12:35AM
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joyfulguy

pkguy,

I think that those delivery charges look rather high, as well.

Are you an urban service? What are your rates per kWh, and the gradations of price at various levels of consumption? Do they vary during winter, as I indicated that mine do?

As for touch-tone service with Bell ... Ggr-r-r, also!

I was on pulse service some years ago and had a set that would allow me to use some of the touch-tone uses. They told me that I could continue the pulse sevice, but that it was no longer offered and if I changed service I couldn't have it later.

When I installed a different line, was told that pulse service was no longer available ... but I still had to pay the "Touch Tone" premium.

So - why do I have to pay a premium rate for the base service??

I gave them a piece of my mind! Not too large - don't like running on deficits!

As a (recently hatched) shareholder of BCE, I offer my apology.

About to have my shares hijacked by those big pension funds and that N.Y. (predatory?) Mergers and Acquisitions outfit.

By the way - this being hunting season for RRSPs by banks and other financial institutions (have you entered one lately and looked around at the signs/brochures??)

I offer that, for many taxpayers, one exception being folks with a spouse lacking a pension plan, but including especially younger taxpayers, I think that for many there may be preferable ways to fly than using RRSPs.

One of my reasons being that, being a low-income person, I saved about 26% going in ... and now, receiving 3 pensions plus RRIF payout (required) ... am tax-liable at about 36 - 38% going out.

Plus about three ... or more ... others.

Did manage to pay about 8.5% of gross income in tax in 2005, though, slightly higher last year I think.

Hope you're enjoying winter - we've had about three substantial shots of snow lately, though not nearly as much as farther east, incl. TO ... and they were mostly followed by rain that melted most of it.

Think TO may be about to call in the army, again? I rather doubt it ... I think they're still stinging a bit over the ribbing that they took over the last time!

Hope you have a week that includes a few laughs - the best medicine!

ole joyful

February 19, 2008 at 9:43PM
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mc_hudd

I have several to compare! :) We are living in a 1400 +/- sq. ft. home right now, but fixing up a 1050 +/- sq. ft. house in the country, so we have 2 electric bills.

In the house we're in now we have a kitchen that takes up about 1/3 of the space in the house... the door opens to the north, this is the room we're in 90% of the day; It has a large patio door facing south which lets lots of sun in, but also lets lots of cold in. 2 bdrm., 1 bath, sep. dining room (that never gets used). 1 fridge, a smaller side by side, gas dryer, gas forced air heat, gas range, gas ventless wall heater, microwave, electric 50 gal. water heater, mostly flor. lighting. The TV is on 90% of the time & my comp. is on approx. 75% of the time. We have 2 inside/outside dogs that like to run in & out, so that may be a huge factor. Also, the huge kitchen is an addition that was done approx. 12 yrs. ago & apparently when it was done, they didn't want to waste \$ on insulation, so this room never warms up to the thermostat setting... I hate it!

The house we're fixing up has 3 bdrms., 2 baths, eat-in kitchen & living room... pretty simple, which is what I love about it. It has elec. water heater, 40 gal. I think, gas range, gas forced air heat, micro., cfl's in most fixtures, also north facing front door. Keep in mind, we aren't living here, just running back & forth working on things, that's why we don't have much usage.

House currently in:

Dates: 12/19 - 1/23 -- 35 days
Usage: 1024 KWH
Cost: \$59.76
= 5.8 cents per KWH

There is also a municipal charge on our bill of \$17.03, but the Nat. gas & elec. is billed together so if you split that 50/50 the cost comes to 6.6 cents per KWH. Not too bad I guess, but the gas cost kills us!

For the other house:

Dates: 12/26 - 1/26 -- 31 days
Usage: 152 KWH
Cost: \$29.44 + .44 tax = 29.88
= 19.6 cents per KWH!

There is a minimum charge just for having the meter for the elec. company, I think it's \$15/month, so that would make my usage costs = 14.44 which would = out to 9.5 cents per KWH. This company has the some of the highest rates in the area... obviously.

PS~ I live in Missouri.

February 19, 2008 at 10:28PM
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clg7067

3br/4ba in Ohio. Finshed space 1608 sq ft, plus finished heated basement 800? sq ft. Built in the 80's all electric, heated by heat pump.

Dec 6 to Jan 9

2039 kWh used at average of 0.0256 cents = \$52.27
Rider FPP (?) part of generation chgs = \$17.82
delivery charges = \$102.90
distribution customer chg = \$4.50

Total for 34 days 177.49

Avg daily usage 60 kWh

February 21, 2008 at 9:31AM
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clg7067

I guess that's \$.087 per kWh total.

February 21, 2008 at 9:33AM
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ronniroo

My electric bill is out of control and I can't figure out the issue. Here is my latest:

kWh used: 1915 (this is an apartment with oil heat, we don't pay heat. 1100 sq. feet. We have a few computers, 6 of us live here. My washer and dryer are front loading h/e ones. All my lights have cfl bulbs in them. The appliances in this place are awful and probably very inefficient, but could that account for SO much electric usage?)

Here's my charges for the month:

CUSTOMER CHARGE 15.00
ENERGY CHARGE 213.58
REGULATORY CHARGE 0.52
CURRENT CHARGES 327.28

Again, this does NOT include heat at all.

February 22, 2008 at 12:47PM
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clg7067

A friend of mine had an apartment in LA. When he moved out, the common area washers and dryers stopped working. Turned out he had been paying the electricity to run the common laundry. He had also been wondering why he had such high electric bills.

February 22, 2008 at 3:58PM
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pkguy

Ronmiroo.. that does sound excessive. If I were you and assuming that you have access to view your electricity meter I would turn off and unplug EVERYTHING, absolutely EVERYTHING in your apartment including the fridge and then go and look at the meter to see if the "wheel" is turning. If nothing is running in the apartment then the wheel should be idle. If it isn't.. then something else is using electricity you are paying for.

February 22, 2008 at 8:20PM
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Cynic

I agree, that sounds high! Plus you're at 17¢/kwh which is a bit high but you have no control over that of course, but it makes it worse. Do what pkguy said and see what's happening. Keep in mind to unplug everything since the little "wall warts" take electricity just being plugged in and many appliances do too. You're probably running other loads on your bill.

When I had the store, we were in a mall and our bill was high. When an electrician was out, we found out that we were paying for some of the mall's signage and lighting! They wouldn't do anything until I shut off the breakers to it.

February 22, 2008 at 9:07PM
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ky114

Ronniroo, your usage is very high for 1100 square feet and no electric heat. You may wish to call your power company; usually they will send someone out to help you investigate unusually high electric usage. They can also check your meter to make sure it is not inaccurate.

You said your washer and dryer are high efficiency, but that probably applies mainly to the washer. If you are doing many loads of laundry, the dryer will still draw a lot of power. Do you have multiple refrigerators or freezers? Think of anything that heats or cools, such as space heaters, waterbed heaters, etc. An electric water heater, if you have one, will use a lot of power, especially if it's set too high. Also, if you have an electric hot water heater, a leaky hot water faucet can really drive up your power usage.

February 24, 2008 at 12:33AM
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lexi7

This thread has inspired me to lower my electric bill. My electric stove uses 220, but the plug is behind the stove. Since the space is tight, moving the stove to unplug it is not practical. Do any of you have an opinion about turning the stove's power off at the circuit breaker? The stove has a double switch with nothing else on that switch. Would I risk making the breaker lose or anything? Would the wear on the breaker cost more than the electricity I would save?

February 24, 2008 at 9:47PM
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ky114

There is no reason to unplug your stove - when it is off, it is off, and using no power (other than maybe a TINY amount for a clock). And, as you suspected, using a breaker as an on/off switch is not a good practice, as you can wear it out or cause it to loosen in the panel.

February 25, 2008 at 8:08AM
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lexi7

ky114 thanks for the input, but appliance actually do "leak" electricity according to a representative of the power company. At a previous location, my stove's power supply was beside the stove rather than behind it. I started unplugging it after learning it was safer and my power bill was much lower after I started unplugging appliances when they were not in use. I think you are right about the breaker though. Maybe I will just switch it off when I will be out of town for a few days. That might be a good idea.

February 25, 2008 at 11:43AM
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clg7067

6 people in 1100 sq ft! Please let us know what you find out. I hear some of the ancient refrigerators are real hogs.

February 25, 2008 at 11:47AM
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ky114

Lexi7, no, the stove will not leak power when it's off. It is controlled by switches that break the circuit when the burner or oven is off, and no current flows.

If you don't believe me, think of it this way: If the stove is using power, where is the current going? If it's going through a burner or oven element, that element would have to be warm. Do your burners or the oven stay warm when the stove is off? I hope not. If they're cold, there's no power going through them. That's all there is to it. Even the small wall chargers, such as cell phone chargers, will indicate to you that they are drawing a couple watts of power by being slightly warm to the touch.

The power company rep was either wrong, or his or her statement was misunderstood or misapplied. There is no benefit to unplugging a stove when it's off - other than saving a couple of watts by disabling the internal clock. There could be a benefit to unplugging appliances that have internal power supplies, or wall chargers, and most TVs and computers. But if you add all this stuff together it probably comes to a dollar or so a month in power.

February 25, 2008 at 12:48PM
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mikie_gw

New bill in the mail = 14.222¢/kwh;

\$ 8.03 Customer Charge
1.03 Gross Receipts Tax
2.52 Municipal Franchise Fee
3.18 Municipal Utility Tax
17.96 Energy Charge 1st 1000kwh 329kwh@5.460¢
.00 ditto above 1000kwh 00kwn@6.460¢
14.07 Fuel Charge 1st 1000kwh 329kwh@4.278¢
.00 ditto above 1000kwh 00kwh@5.278¢
\$46.79 Total Due

11 kwh/day Daily Average Use
51 kwn/day Use One Year Ago
Daily average electric cost \$ 1.34

February 25, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Cynic

My current bill is for 300 kwh and works out this time to be 12.93¢/kwh... creeping up a bit.

mikie, interesting cut in use from last year! From 51 kwh/day to 11! What'd ya do?

February 27, 2008 at 4:43AM
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houndhandler

The island of Kauai has a rate of .40 KWH !

March 1, 2008 at 1:06AM
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mikie_gw

From 51 kwh/day to 11! What'd ya do?
Imagine buying that little green pocket notepad and scribbling into it the utility meter readings every morning at about the same time,,, making notations of anything unusual that may have added extra to the kwh's.

Paying attention to kwh's used day by day ..think that made me very aware of where my power consumption is and how my habits on different things affect daily consumption.

That along with a new laptop that actually sleeps at 1 watt. Eliminating a desktop computer/server and all its perificals from running 24/7.

Went around taking off and labeling their watt's with a tester, all the power bricks in the house that I absolutely didn't need. They are marked what they are and watts now. Mostly five watts and less.

Paying close attention to refrigerated items placements to allow flow around the back and sides inside the box - plus keeping a couple gallons of water in the bottom of it when there was room. Had a 2 liter soda bottle once roll to the back of top shelf... quickly showed up as lots of extra KWH's!

This winter hasn't had much real cold here so have not used electric heat affects that kwh difference greatly. Except for one partial night this winter that I used a portable task heater,,, I used 2 portable, about 700 watt dehumidifiers for their heat gain, after all they are a heat pump... turning their Rh settings down a couple nights made them run a bit extra, adding a bit of heat ... interior temps I don't think have ever dropped below 61F here this winter, so a sweat shirt and blankets work good enough for me.

I play with door and window sealing and also don't mind buying and using some caulking and weatherstripping ... never-ending awareness for air leaks and their fixing.

I use hepa filters & when the house is sealed well, don't really need them running, so that saves some watts.

I put some redi-shades up,, paper pleated blinds in almost all the windows. I already had a lot done but added more to the darkness... figure 9 or 14 watt twisty compact fluorescents as task lighting is cheaper than free window lighting, if they save some temperature power... They seem to be worth \$5 per month each window on the power bill during cooling months,,, I cant say exactly how much they might save for heating months, but seem to help.

I could go on and on, but basically I'm constantly energy aware and trying to save more power, but I think I've bottomed out on things to do .. that don't cost much anyhow.

March 1, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Cynic

Well done Mikie! I thought I was doing well having cut consumption by more than half and without really giving up much of anything. Some shifted use. Used to leave some outside lights on but decided why? Now I can use more in other ways and have a net savings. Don't have to read by homemade candles. I do like the CFLs. BIG savings there.

Course I grew up in a rather frugal household. Not a good idea to get caught leaving a light on! :D

March 2, 2008 at 7:10PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I must admit that I am intrigued. Can someone please provide a little more information on air circulation in the refrigerator? Does the same concept apply to the freezer? Both my fridge and freezer are stuffed to the gills right now.

March 4, 2008 at 1:29AM
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mikie_gw

If air cant circulate those thermostats are either going to let the stuff get too warm, or switch on that compressor trying to get them cool. On&Off cycling constantly in my over/under freezer/fridge.

My refrigerator apparently relies on cold air dropping out of the freezer to cool it, and that 2liter cola bottle reduced the cold air flow through that 'ducted' airway.

For a while I thought the fridge was going bad and turned the therm to get things colder. Had to bend or squat down to see that bottle back there.

Pretty much the same deal with my freezer,,, if I block the airflow coming out the vents in the back,, cold air doesn't get in very efficiently... block it on the sides and there's vents there that I assume feed some of the cold from the freezer to the fridge below it.

Complicated thing, my refridge... I stuck a meter on it... only uses about 1.5 kwh per day,,, go get some grocery's and stuff that freezer and make that air circulation difficult up there, and watched the kwh used per day rise.
Enough to con vice me to leave air movement room - except in the bottom of the fridge where all that cold air rolls out onto the floor when you open the door. Block that area some.

Anyhow that's my unskilled experience on my fridge power consumption \$\$\$

March 4, 2008 at 4:06PM
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ronniroo

OMG, mad mad mad. After investigating my over the top power consumption, I discovered why it's been costing me so much. This apartment was advertised as "fuel included" but they neglected to mention that the fuel heat is only supplementary to the electric heat which I AM paying for. Heating a drafty, old, poorly insulated apartment in arctic conditions (interior of Alaska, think weeks at -45F) is VERY expensive. I guess I can stop fussing at my kids for running up the bill now. The good news is we are closing on our house this week and will move out this coming weekend. The bad news is the new house is heated with heating oil, which will probably be more expensive than the electric, haha.

March 4, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Cynic

I'm glad you found out what the issue is. I wouldn't be toosure that oil will be that much more expensive. Often it's cheaper. Really depends on location and of course it varies. Check what the prices are and you can probably find out. If you're buying a new house, it should be well insulated, and if not you should be able to find out what it's cost to heat and get an idea of costs. At least find out how many gallons they usually would go through, compare their use to your expected use for anticipated gallons and then figure at current rates. Might as well expect the rates to go up for a while anyway.

Hope the move goes smoothly and you enjoy the new place. Let us know how it goes and how the bills turn out!

March 4, 2008 at 9:56PM
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christieb199

Ok, I just looked at my last bill and it seems to a bit outrageous compared to others.

I live in a 3 bedroom split entry ranch. Finished basement. 2 bathrooms, where one is not all the way finished so it rarely gets used, 3 car detached garage, well water, oil heating system, 1 desktop computer, numerous TV's but never kept on, I travel for work and my husband works full time and overtime so he is rarely here.

I contacted the electric company before wondering why our bill was so high or why I was using so many kWh, and they basically just gave me energy saving tips that I already knew about with no other answers.

Ok so here is the breakdown.
Meter Read Information for Meter Number:
Present: March 2008- Actual 7911
Prior: Feb 15 2008- Actual 7737
Difference: 174
Total kWh Used: 2088

Current Charges
Customer Charge: 7.00
Supply: 2088 kWh @ 7.1560-------- 149.42
Transmission: 2088 kWh @ 1.23---- 25.76
Distribution: 2088 kWh @ 4.23---- 88.35

Total: 271. 09 !!!!!! ** For one month that is**

It is only me and my husband that live here, and we are rarely home.
Does anyone else think this is high?
Thoughts, opinions?

April 8, 2008 at 4:40AM
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western_pa_luann

"Total kWh Used: 2088

Total: 271. 09 !!!!!! ** For one month that is**

It is only me and my husband that live here, and we are rarely home.
Does anyone else think this is high? "

I think that is very high!
We are a family of three now... and I am home most of the day, and we have many electronic devices AND an electric dryer. We average less than 1000kwh per month.
Last month: 959kwh at a total cost of \$75.55

April 8, 2008 at 8:33AM
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christieb199

Ok, I suppose I have electric everything because I have #2 oil fuel that heats my house and everything else is ran of of electric, which would be the stove and the dryer, we have a well, so there are some electric pumps that get the water to our house?

I tried to look at it in regards that I do not have a water bill, but it still does not equal out and should not make one bill higher.

My stove i probably ran the most 3 times per week.
And my dryer, although it is new, I have to run it 2 times to get my clothes dry. Starting soon, I think I am going to be hanging clothes outside.

What does anyone suggest that I do in regards to my high bill, even though I am already trying to be very cautious in our electricity use?

April 8, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Cynic

How does this compare historically? What have your last year or two been for monthly bills? How does it compare with neighbors?

Your actual rate is about 13¢/kwh, which is about what mine is. But I have electric dryer, electric stove/oven and run about 300 kwh/mo this winter.

I'd go around and make a list of virtually everything electric that's on the meter. Unless you're running some big arc welders, lighting the neighborhood or something, I find it hard to see that kind of useage with what you've mentioned. Once you have a list of the bigger things, you can use a chart and figure out what they're taking.

dadoes is running over 1000 kwh, which to me seems high and you're double that. I'd definitely look into it if I were you. Definitely check what appliances, lights, and anything that consumes power continuously.

By chance did they miss or estimate a month or two and are catching up?

April 8, 2008 at 10:32PM
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christieb199

We have been in our house for 2 years and every month they are about the same, give or take 20 bucks. Some months our b ill is in the 300's.
I called the company and voiced my concern, but all they did was tell me how to save on energy, something that I feel as though I am doing already.
My neighbors.. well to the say the least, they are a little odd. Had a child go to jail for rape and the other one sadly took his life, so I tend to say away from them.

I feel as though I should be lighting the neighborhood but we are not and we are not running anything large, just normally everyday life.Lights, washer dryer, alarm clock, TV in the evenings usually, my computer is on all day but hiberates after about 10 minutes.

No, the comany did not miss anything, the bill is usually around the same every month.

I am going to give them a call, and ask them to an actual meter reading and see if something can be done.

April 8, 2008 at 10:44PM
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ChristieB199,

You may want to have some of your household mechanical systems checked. If you have a water leak (hot water, particularly), that'll keep your water well (and water heater) running more than it should.

Also, your heating/air conditioning. I had a situation couple years ago with a bad circuit board in my heat pump which caused the backup heating elements to turn ON whenever the indoor blower was OFF, EVEN when in cooling mode. With no air blowing over them, the elements would heat up for a few minutes until the overheat protector tripped and shut them off. Then it'd cool, and they'd come on again ... cycle repeating over and over. This was during the summer months. I was working, not at home for up to 16 hrs per day ... and always raised the A/C setting to 82°F when gone, so the system didn't run majority of the day ... which gave the heating elements ample time to be cycling on/off ALL DAY LONG. The first high bill that came, I reacted by raising the temp higher, to 84°F, when out of the house ... which did nothing to help the problem. I found it by going up in the attic and checking the air handler, happened to put my hand on it in the right place and it was hot.

Just some ideas/suggestions for you to investigate.

April 9, 2008 at 3:41AM
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Cynic

Another thought, you can buy for about \$30 or so a meter, and some places will loan them, that you hook up to an appliance and it'll show how much it's using over a period of time. I think two names are Kill-A-Watt and Watts-Up? Not sure on the second name but perhaps your appliances are using more than you think.

Another thing to do is literally unplug everything in the house and check the meter to see if it's moving.

Believe it or not I had a neighbor (and a relative on top of it) run a line underground and connect it to my circuit box to give him electricity! Not saying that is happening to you, but strange things happen. Maybe you have some things running somewhere that you don't know about.

April 11, 2008 at 5:18AM
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mikie_gw

We had a neighborhood kid order DSL for his next door neighbor. Apparently he watched for deliver of the modem and had run a telephone wire 'arial' from the neighbors house in though his bedroom window.

heh. Guess his parents wouldnt let him use the internet all night long. He found a money savings way around that.

I bought one of the kill-a-watt meters, handy little thing. Most of the computer and other plug in wall-wart power supplies are 5 watts ,Plus or Minus one.
My fridge was amazingly cheap on power, figured it would be lots more but there's just one of me. Top freezer 21cu/ft, old, I forget exact, think 1.6 kwh per day.

Desktop computer 130 watts prox, just sitting there all day and night with the hard drive spun down and monitor blanked.

Newegg had them on sale recently for about \$20, think it was delivered free too. I bought one off ebay a couple years back for \$25 round numbers.

April 11, 2008 at 7:37PM
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christieb199

Hi again,
Ok milkie, I am a little confused.
First you stated that...
Most of the computer and other plug in wall-wart power supplies are 5 watts,
Then...
Desktop computer 130 watts prox, just sitting there all day and night with the hard drive spun down and monitor blanked.
Is the computer really taking 130 or 5 per day?
Do other people turn off their desktop computers when they leave?

I think that I am going to unplug everything and see if my meter is still ticking.

So this kill a watt meters, how long do you let it stay on an appliance and if you discover that something is probably using to much, what is there to do about it besides buy new?

April 21, 2008 at 1:48AM
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mikie_gw

My desktop doesnt do sleep mode and it, and the monitor, with no power packs for printer or scanner draws 130watts. The monitor power consumption is only about 5watts of that total with the graphic card blanking its screen - the monitor is EnergyStar and that energy saver mode virtually switches it off.

Sort of costs me nearly \$13 per month, when I'm not actually sitting there using the computer by not turning it off.

The little Wall Transormers I have plugged into a seperate power strip. Think the most energy hungry wall transformer was the one on my router and it was 7 watts.

My laptop on its ac adaper, other than while defragging or other intensive use, is 21 watts running, turn off its display and its usually 15 watts, put on a screensaver and its slightly more than 21 watts - some of the 3d screen savers it jumps the watts up considerably higher. At 45 minutes of non use the laptop goes into its sleep mode and then its using just 1 watt.

The digital cable tv box 19 watts when turned off, 20 watts when turned on.
My 32 inch tv, its EnergyStar rated - 155 watts, for commercials anyhow. The watts fluctuate maybe 30 watts depending on what's playing. Would think perhaps the TV producers could save the whole of americas some energy in their production methods.

The TV has a couple of options for energy savings, I use them and the typical tv program is 80 watts but at commercial time it will jump to around 100watts. News channels use a bit more watts, maybe 120watts in energy saver mode.

April 21, 2008 at 9:02AM
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mikie_gw

The Kill-A-Watt unit records the wattage, and hours. So you can easily average the watts per hour with a little math. I usually leave it on things for a few weeks but a typical 24 hour period would give you a good look at that typical days power consumption on most anything.

My power bill has been running about \$45 monthly for the past several months. But I havend had any ac runniing for those months here in florida. Do have two power hungry 65 pint portable dehumidifiers that might be using close to \$10 on those bills.

April 21, 2008 at 9:10AM
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garymunson-2008

Anyone in Florida needs to consider a heat recovery unit on their A/C. Gives free hot water and makes A/C run cheaper.

Gary

May 20, 2008 at 4:28AM
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luckydee

I'm in Hawaii where our electricity is made from oil. We have solar for hot water so that helps. A family of three adults with several computers, tvs etc.

403 Kwh / \$158.06 / 39.2 cents/Kwh

My neighbor's bill runs \$400, no solar...around 6 adults.

May 28, 2008 at 12:24AM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Ours was high this cycle due to numerous holiday related events.

1245 kwh - \$102.34

January 16, 2013 at 11:07AM
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