Finding the culprit behind my natural gas usage

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I recently moved into an apartment. I received my first bill. On it, it states I used 26 therms of NG. I was sort of shocked to say the least as I have only been present at my apartment for roughly half that time (the other half, I have been out of town).

    With that said, I called my landlord and was told the ONLY appliances that use NG are my fireplace and water heater.

    There is a pilot light on my fireplace that has 4 flames that runs continuously. I take usually 1 shower a day, sometimes 2 and they are maybe 5 min a piece.

    My utility company said the readings were done in person. Having lived in apartments before, I know I have had places in the summer months that used gas heaters as well use no therms in the summer months (perhaps electric water heaters and gas furnace?).

    Does 26 therms for a pilot light seem like too a month? What should I look at further? I have not used the heater in my place at all.

    I am also, the only one that lives there

  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    That's more than a pilot light will use, yes.

    26 therms isn't much at all if you're heating, but you seem not to be (since it's summer).

    However, it could be all on your water heater. A therm is 100 cubic feet, or 100,000 Btu (don't confuse Btu with Btuh!). A typical water heater might use 20-25 therms in a month, depending on its settings and efficiency, and apartments are notorious for using relatively inefficient equipment (since the tenant is footing the bill).
  3. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Have you tried turning down the temperature of your water heater?
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Thinking the same thing. Set all the suspects close to zero and see if there is a change. If you drop probable demand by more than half and the bill drops 10%, something's off.
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    There's a fart joke in here somewhere, instead, I'm going to just quietly monitor this thread because I should be getting my first gas bill for my new house soon :p
  6. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    Do you have access to be able to look at the meter yourself?
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    This seems like the most likely solution.
  8. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2013
    The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
    I've got about 2200 square feet. Right now my mother in law is staying with me. so 3 adults and 2 children. We take showers every day, use the stove and/or oven every day and use the dishwasher almost every day.

    Just got my most recent bill and we used 16 therms last month. Last year it was the same amount.

    Over the past 12 months. November to May are the only times I go over 25 therms.

    I am in NY, and last year we had a really cold winter (forced hot air furnace).

    I think something is wrong with your meter or another apartment may be connected to yours.

    I also have my water heater about 75% of the way to the max setting because the dishwasher works better with really hot water.

    Attached Files:

  9. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I just happen to have received my bill for last month. 35 therms for a large single family house. Gas powered water heater, cooktop, grill, two furnaces (1 pilot) PLUS an LNG electric standby generator that runs 5 minutes every week.

    Something is wrong with your bill.

  10. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    seems WAY off.

    ditto ^^^. well except the large part. 3/2 single family detached, old 80s tank style gas water heater, gas stove/oven, 1 always on pilot light -- 15 therms. that was higher than last year same period due to a visitor, more cooking and showers.

    wondering if turning off the pilot on the fireplace that you're not using is possible? seems a waste to have it running in the summer. just my two cents. best of luck.
  11. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Well I called my apartment and asked them to

    1) turn off the pilot light to the fireplace. I don't plan on using it much as it doesn't even have a blower

    2) Adjust the water heater settings

    These are the only two appliances that use NG according to my apartment

    Hopefully this solves it. Hard as I won't be at my place for a month to verify

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