Utility Bills

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #1
    So I got my first utility bill...

    276 buckerinos for 48 days for both gas and electric

    seems way high...as you can tell this is my first direct experience with it

    I used 938kwh over 48 days and 71therms. Period was from Jan 30 to March 19

    Does that seem normal?

    I hardly use much electricity, all lights are off if not in room, barely if ever turn on tv or ps3 and usually only use my computer

    I just remember paying 60 bucks for gas/electric/ internet when i had 2 roomies back in co so this does seem relatively high as im not at my place for the majority of the day and keep the thermostate at 55ish all the time

    thoughts?
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    What runs on gas and what's electric? Heater, stove, water heater, dryer?

    How hot/cold has it been where you live?

    How big is your house?

    My house is all electric, and 276 bucks for 1 1/2 months isn't bad at all. It's basically springtime here, so we hardly need A/C or heat right now, and the elec bill is as low as it gets - around $200 a month. In the summer it averages about $275 and in the winter around $350. (We have a vaulted ceiling and it's hard as hell to heat in the winter).

    EDIT: Using ballpark numbers of $1 a therm and 13.5 cents/kWh, plus taxes and usage fees, your bill doesn't sound all that out of whack. But check the fine print just in case.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Sounds about right ... my electric bill is between 200-350 every month.
     
  4. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #4
    i believe everything is electric, including water heater excpet for gas heat. the reason i say water heater is electric is because there is a switch for it in my circuit breaker box

    as far as weather, its been pretty cold until this week.
     
  5. eldy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    The City
  6. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Wow. That is a pretty big bill. My entire bill was $65 last month, with 509kWh used.

    Granted, I didn't use the A/C or heat at all last month, but even during the summers here in Phoenix my monthly bill doesn't exceed $130. How big is your house? Does your power company offer different rate-plans (my electricity is cheaper between 9pm and 9am, so I do all of my laundry and run the dishwasher at night)?
     
  7. jabrowntx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #7
    You ought to live in Texas during the summer. My electric bills run upwards of $500/month in the summer.
     
  8. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #8
    He's not kidding. Our power bill last July here in south Texas was $554.
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    And I thought mine was high at $350.

    When I lived in S. Arizona, it was at most around $70 ...
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #10
    I do live in Texas. My highest summertime bill in my current house was $285 or so. But I have two A/C units, and programmable thermostats, so it helps to be able to run only the upstairs unit set at about 85° when we're not home, and turn the downstairs unit off altogether.
     
  11. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #11
    I try to stay within my maximum allowed kwh, although that number fluctuates month to month. I don't know if it's the same case for you, but after a certain amount of kwh used it changes. e.g 1~230kwh @ $X.XX 231~230 @ $X.XX then the higher you get the more obscene the price becomes per kwh. Usually that number changes with weather condition, as far as I was able to tell.
     
  12. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    #12
    I was lucky to live in a tiny little apartment, my electric bill was usually only around $45 (seriously) and I kept it at around 70 degrees all the time. Mind you it was a 500sq ft apartment and I found the cheapest provider I could get while I was there.

    I am renting a room only now and the electric is included in what I pay for the room. But yes, my parents used to pay upwards to $500 a month on electric for the house I grew up in during the summer. Lucky in Texas we don't often need heat during the winter (at least not in Central Texas) and so could just turn the unit off all together. We had a fireplace for when it got cold enough.
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #13
    Mine is 30 a month :p The joys of Southern California beach living. You never need to turn on heat or AC.
     
  14. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #14
    Do you not have a fridge, computer, tv, oven, microwave, water heater? :cool:
     
  15. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #15
    If you read carefully you'll see he actually lives on the beach.
    So i guess it can be cheap. Just need a large ice cooler.
    :D
     
  16. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #16
    Other than the water heater (which could be gas), none of those items use very much energy at all. Refrigerators are much more energy-efficient than people give them credit for, simply because it's easy to keep a cold box cold on the inside when it's well-insulated. Computers, TV's, ovens, and microwaves don't run at high power output for very many minutes out of each day, unless you have a server farm rendering a movie or something.
     
  17. eatbacon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    #17
    I have a couple of thoughts...

    First, you might want to invest in something like a Kill-a-Watt -- a device to measure the power consumption of anything that plugs into a wall socket. You can get them online for about $20. I was surprised to see how much power many of my electronics were using even while they were powered off (so called phantom load). Now I have everything plugged into power strips with switches and shut them off at the power strip when not in use.

    If any of your appliances are very old, especially the fridge, they may be consuming a lot more power than you realize.

    Your usage is around 20kwh per day. The average household usage in the US is somewhere between 25-30kwh per day. So, you are below average, but it sounds like you are also below the size of the average household. (And I wouldn't be too proud of using slightly less than the largest consumers in the world.) After eliminating the phantom loads in our house and putting compact fluorescent light bulbs everywhere we could tolerate them, we (a family of two in a northern climate) are down to 7kwh per day. That does not include heat, hot water, or cooking, as all are gas. Other than the two changes I mention, and some common sense (which you already have -- turn off lights you aren't using, etc.) we don't do anything in particular to preserve electricity. I use my computers too much, watch plenty of TV, etc.

    Also, electric hot water heaters are notoriously large power consumers, but just because it has a switch in the circuit breaker does not mean it is electric. Ours is gas and requires power for the exhaust fan (due to venting out the side of the house).

    EDIT: One more thing... I once lived in a house where it was difficult for the utility company to read the meter. As a result they only read it a couple of times a year and estimated the other readings. When I first moved in, they were using the previous owners usage to estimate mine. They used around 4 times as much power as I did, so my first several bills were ridiculous. Worth checking your meter to make sure they have the right readings.
     
  18. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    I have a mini fridge, a macbook, 37" samsung lcd, xbox 360, oven, water heater, and a microwave. I never use the oven or microwave as I only eat cereal and subway subs, and snack stuff (fruits, graham crackers).

    Don't get jealous though. Rent makes up for it.
     
  19. Galley macrumors 65816

    Galley

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #19
    I live by myself in a 1500 sq. ft. house. I do try to conserve energy, and my avg. electric bill (including heat and A/C) is $55. My lowest is $36 and highest is $80.
     
  20. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #20
    Winter months, my gas bill will edge towards 200 while my electric bill will head towards 150 (it takes a lot to power a furnace - even a gas one). Last electric bill (ended march 20th or so) was 90. When the weather gets mild my utility costs drop.

    Lets see, highest indoor temp during winter is 66 (ceiling fans help btw) as well as a heating blanket. Sometimes I use a space heater in the bathroom. Summer I peak around 130 to 140 for A/C (Dallas, Georgia - we do get hot). 78 low ball temperature

    Size of house is 3900 square feet.

    I replaced all the lights I use most often with CFLs. I plugged all outer wall plugs with child caps. I keep blinds closed in summer on sun facing walls. I open them in winter when the sun comes in.

    I use my programmable thermostat a lot.
    Winter Cycle
    Downstairs is 66 day time (for dogs mainly) and 62 at night. Upstairs is 62 overnight 66 when I get up, 62 while I am at work, 64 from home till bedtime (heated blankets are nice).

    AC, 78 while I am home, 78 downstairs all day (for dogs). Allow it to rise to 82 up while I am at work.
     
  21. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #21
    You may want to check with your utility companies and see if they offer something like budget billing or level billing. I have those on both my electric and natural gas, and it is very handy. Yeah, it kinda sucks paying almost $50/month for natural gas in summer, but it is nice in winter, when I am running the gas furnace and still only paying around $50/month. My electric bill has stayed under $100. Of course, it helps that my house is only about 1400 sq. ft.

    I could probably lower those costs a good bit, but it is worth paying a bit extra to stay comfortable. I keep the thermostat between 70-75, depending on season.
     

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