Electric company changing charges

deb_paNovember 2, 2011

I read in this forum earlier about power companies charging different rates at different hours of the day. Well our company just sent a notice that next year they will start a program, if you volunteer for it, to put a box on our meter and it will measure usage and charge different rates with the day divided into 2 or 3 periods a 24 hour day. Has anyone heard of these boxes before? I guess it's the only way to charge the right amount for the right hours. Luckily I know someone at our power company and will check it out with him first. Sounds good to me, do your laundry, oven cleaning, showering/bathing, etc during the low hours. Is anyone else involved in this program and have you seen a difference in monthly bills?

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kayjones

Yes, I have Gulf Power and we have the usage box on our meter. It's been in the house since I've been here, so I don't know if it's different without it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 8:38PM
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sushipup1

PG&E has been installing Smart Meters in northern CA, but there's no advertising about getting a price break, but the utility company will be able to if they want. Actually, they've gotten a lot of resistance from people. Google Smart meters and read more.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 8:54PM
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jmc01

It's part of smart grid technology. We've had one for a few years and get no break on electric charges for it. What has happened, though, is that our bill is down because we structure our heavy electricity usage at thelower rate times of day.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 8:45PM
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azzalea

My husband is a utility company employee.

Keep in mind if usage goes down too much in any area, they will just apply for (and get) a rate increase. It's pretty hard to get ahead of the electric company, unless you decide to give up modern appliances completely.

I'd like to see more customers take issue with the 'societal benefits' charges that are added to your electric bill. Like cost-shifting at hospitals, those of use who DO pay our bills are being charged extra for those who don't. Some companies actually list the SB charge right on your monthly bill, some hide it under other names or by combining it with other charges. I think it's time for us all to stand up and insist that we ONLY WANT TO PAY for the power and services we actually use.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 1:11PM
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mikie_gw

I guess then what happens is... if we suddenly need an emergency opperation, the hospital maybe says we have to wait until a certain time of night when power usage demand cost is lower - and those time slots are all booked for the next week or two.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 11:33PM
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joyfulguy

We've had Smart meters in this area for a couple of years.

Haven't heard how much they cost, and some say that we're not paying for them ...

... oh, yeah? Maybe not directly ... but they didn't appear out of thin air!

I didn't notice much change in cost, to cover my household and the landlord's shop, at about $100.00 per month, but, being retired, I'm free to be something of a night hawk.

Some folks have claimed that their bill went up ... and I've heard a couple of persons say something like $20.00 per month.

Our bill is for power, delivery, admin and ... a charge to cover retirement of debt! You'd think that, not having built a major generating station in 35 years, that there'd be money in the till to build new one, about now, not dun us monthly to pay off old debts!

ole joyful (most of the time)

P.S. Some years ago, our (city) utility installed a timer on the hot water tank to run it at 2 a.m., during the low-demand time, and an insulation blanket, and rebated the full amount of the monthly rental that they'd charged.

Later, the provincial supplier, from whom the city had bought their power, took over the water heater end of the business, and my super told me that when they visited, they'd remove the timer ... which they did. And the blanket ... which they did not, following my complaint.

I called their 800 number to ask why they seemed so uniterested in spreading some of the daily usage to a low-demand period ... and was told that they didn't offer such a service.

When asked why not - no answer.

Now, the main (only?)reason given for using the smart meters throughout the system, put into operation at high cost, is to spread the daily/weekly load from high-demand times to low-demand times.

Looks like the provincial utility has got religion!

o j

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 2:24PM
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joyfulguy

Our charge for ``Delivery`` has been more than double the cost of the power itself.

Then there`s a charge of admin. ... and retirement of debt (though they haven`t built a major generating station in 40 years). You`d think that they should have money in the till to pay most of the cost of a new one!

And there`s tax on top of that.

Now ... they tell us that there`s to be an increase in the `Delivery`charge!

We have Smart meters - that charge us at three rates, depending on the time of day.

Some said that their bill went up, after they began using them (we weren`t consulted about the use).

We haven`t found that, for my 2-bedroom farmhouse, and the (sod farmer) landlord`s machinery repair shop.

We paid a little under $100.00 a month, total bill, last year and make a rough estimate of the landlord paying 15%.

It may be less, this year, as we paid $7.00 per month rental on a yard light, last year, plus tax, and it quit working a couple of months ago, so the power company came to remove it.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:27PM
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azzalea

If you're considering letting the electric company install a smart meter at your home, consider this--they emit radiation--in a 600 foot radius!!! That means, in the neighborhood where I live? I'd be subject to radiation from not only my meter but dozens all around me (our lots are only 40 X 100feet).

My husband had a condition caused by radiation he'd received as a child--that resulted in him losing most of his thyroid in his early 30's, and necessitating him taking synthetic thyroid hormones the rest of his life. Even so, he was lucky--his cousin had the same radiation, and she died about 5 years ago, after a long battle with thyroid cancer (in all honesty, my husband was told HE had it before the operation).

I would NEVER permit a power company to put a smart meter on my property. And I'd fight them putting them anywhere where the radiation would overlap my house. Knowing the fear they have of major lawsuits (as I said, my husband works for the power company), I'm pretty sure, that just trotting out his medical records would make them sit up and take notice.

But do your research--find out about the risks as well as the benefits of those things.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 4:35PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Care to cite a credible source about that 600 ft of radiation?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
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kirkhall

If you use any appliance in your house, you have radiation there. You have a silly understanding of "radiation".

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:57PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Yep - light, heat and sound are all radiation!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:42PM
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dreamgarden

"I'd like to see more customers take issue with the 'societal benefits' charges that are added to your electric bill. Like cost-shifting at hospitals, those of use who DO pay our bills are being charged extra for those who don't. Some companies actually list the SB charge right on your monthly bill, some hide it under other names or by combining it with other charges. I think it's time for us all to stand up and insist that we ONLY WANT TO PAY for the power and services we actually use."

Amen. I completely agree. I'd like to take it one step further and get off the grid. At least as far as the electric is concerned.

We bought a house last year. We are renovating it before we move in. Only things plugged in are a fridge and a couple lights. Gas stove and furnace.

Our bills were reasonable for about the first 6 months. Now they are gradually creeping up in spite of the fact that we aren't LIVING there and haven't run the air conditioner. We have a gas furnace so the amount of juice to start it is equivalent to three light bulbs, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Why is it going up? God only knows.

The electric company has no desire to help us solve the issue. Dealing with them is comparable to dealing with the Post Office....

Our next door neighbors have lived in their house for 30+ years. They said a previous resident had solar panels on the roof. We didn't see anything that would indicate this on the outside, but there are some extra wires in the attic. We will be investigating this further.

We will probably look into installing at least a couple solar panels, and think about buying a gas generator. I'd rather pay off a loan to power our own place then throw money down the bottomless hole of a public utility you can never win with.

Seems that the more you try to save, the more you are punished.....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:41PM
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