Energy Bill, Outrageous

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by it5five, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I got my energy bill today, and again, I find the actual khw usage to be questionable.

    For the last two months, apparently my total use in kWh has been steadily increasing, but we have not changed our habits/touched the thermostat since November, when our monthly kWh usage was MUCH lower. I called the power company, and they told me they were getting normal readings. This leads me to believe that either:

    1) The power company is full of it
    or
    2) A certain electric product in my apartment is drawing much more power than is necessary.

    Is there a certain way I can go about finding out what it is that is using so much power? I plan on completely unplugging it (it's my DVR/Digital Cable receiver) from the wall when not using it, but is there a (cheap) way I can monitor the power usage from that one particular thing?
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    http://www.cgets.com/item--Kill-A-Watt--kill-a-watt

    Looks like it might work for you, at least for devices that plug in. I agree that it's often difficult to tell what causes spikes in electric usage.

    Of course, over the holidays we tend to be home more, so I'm never surprised to see November/December bills higher than previous months, but I would expect January's to dip.

    Unless it's been particularly cold. Even if you set the thermostat at 68° consistently, when it's 50° outside it won't run as often as if it's 15° outside.
     
  3. it5five thread starter macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Thank you. That should work very well.

    It's funny, because our Nov/Dec usage was lower than any other month in the year, almost by half. Then a huge spike in January where we used more electricity, apparently, than any other month previously (including summer). I figured something had to have gone wrong, since traditionally, the summer months have been the worst because of the AC running (I live in Phoenix).
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    Also, check for extension cords running to your neighbor's house. ;)
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    How old is your meter? Does it automatically record and send your power usage to your electric company, or does a meter reader come by and read it? If it's the latter, there's a chance your meter was misread, but if that's the case it will automatically balance itself with next month's bill.
     
  6. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #6
    I've noticed similar discrepancies with the utilities. For example, our gas consumption by volume (independent of price) was down for January over last year, yet temperatures are listed as x% COLDER. Hydro bills are also mysterious in their reasoning. We qualified for a bonus on our September billing since we reduced our consumption by over 10% from last summer, yet this year we ran the A/C much, much more.

    I wonder if there is a light/heater/appliance that is running more than one realizes. My 18 month old son loves to turn on the heater in his room just before we leave in the morning.
     
  7. it5five thread starter macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    That was my first thought, so I went around my apartment building in search of my meter. Unfortunately for my wallet, it is a digital meter that the power company downloads the information from.

    I'm pretty much going to be on wasteful power consumption patrol this month, and am going to buy that Kill-A-Watt when I get paid this Friday. Hopefully I can bring my bill back to something that won't give me a panic attack when I see it.
     

Share This Page