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Old 03-08-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
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High Electric Bill


Okay, so I have a puzzling issue with what I feel are abnormally high electric bills. We just moved to an older farm home (1910) on an acreage. The upstairs needs all new windows, but the downstairs isn't so bad.

We are on propane, which runs our furnace and hot water heater.

Our electric bills have been between $170-200 this winter. This is 3-4 times higher than our previous home. (which WAS half the size) I just can't understand what we are possibly using that would be an increase by 3-4 times.

ANy ideas?

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Old 03-08-2013, 08:52 AM   #2
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High Electric Bill


That does sound high.
Look at the bill again and see if someplace it says estimated.
If you just moved in could they have include the reconnect charge or the depostit on the bill?
Just some guesses.

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Old 03-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
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High Electric Bill


Furnace blower?
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #4
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Furnace blower?
I wondered that. We have dual zoned heating and wondered if the inefficient second story is causing the furnace to kick on more and use more electricity with the blower? ??
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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That does sound high.
Look at the bill again and see if someplace it says estimated.
If you just moved in could they have include the reconnect charge or the depostit on the bill?
Just some guesses.
No, its not estimated, but actual. They averaged the last 24 mos and it came out to 150/month. My concern is that typically electric runs lower in the winter and higher in the summer with the A/C on.

We installed an area light on our property, but can't image that doubling our costs. I've considered the furnace blower, but even that seems like it wouldn't add more than a few bucks per month.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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High Electric Bill


I have a new furnace and I run the fan continuously. I put a meter on it and it uses less than a box fan on low.

Your outdoor dawn/dusk light will use some electricity. I think 20 years ago the power company was saying they would cost $30/month to run, so today it may be $60/month, but there may be more efficient lights now as well.

If you want to know what individual appliances are using, get an electrical tester with a hook and an extension cord. Open up the extension cord so the indivdual wires are exposed. put the tester hook over the black wire and set it on amps and it will tell you how many amps you are pulling. You can convert that to watts. Test it on a lamp with a 100 watt light bulb in it and see if you are pulling less than 1 amp.

Last edited by cleveman; 03-08-2013 at 09:09 PM. Reason: because I can
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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Just like magic the Cobra rears it's ugly head from the basket.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:20 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=cleveman;1132839]
"Your outdoor dawn/dusk light will use some electricity. I think 20 years ago the power company was saying they would cost $30/month to run, so today it may be $60/month, but there may be more efficient lights now as well."

cleveman I have 3 outdoor dusk/dawn light and they are killing me on the electrical bill. But for security reasons I can not turn them off. I am thinking I should put two of them on a Timer so they turn off as soon as I come home from work at 3am!
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:38 AM   #9
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What kind of bulbs do you have in them? If incandescent, no wonder.....

I would suggest motion sensing lights.....in addition, replace the bulbs with LED. The savings along would pay for the bulbs in a few months. Also....look at your bulbs in the house. If all incandescent, go to CFL and/or LED.

My house has all CFL or LED. The only incandescent bulbs are in the oven and bathroom....my average electric bill in the summer is around $45. Winter jumps up to about $60 (FAH)
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:50 AM   #10
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Are you comparing your actual usage or only the cost?

Is your utility company the same as it was at the previous house?

Did you live in town and move out to the country?

Around here rural electric is substantially more expensive than electricity is in town. They cover a large area with widespread customers, they may have miles of line that only serve one or two customers, this service costs more. My brother in law moved a few miles outside of town several years ago and his bill tripled. He went from a 5 bedroom house in town to a 2 bedroom house in the country.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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What kind of bulbs do you have in them? If incandescent, no wonder.....

I would suggest motion sensing lights.....in addition, replace the bulbs with LED. The savings along would pay for the bulbs in a few months. Also....look at your bulbs in the house. If all incandescent, go to CFL and/or LED.

My house has all CFL or LED. The only incandescent bulbs are in the oven and bathroom....my average electric bill in the summer is around $45. Winter jumps up to about $60 (FAH)
MH400/U 400W Metal Halide Bulb ED37 MOGUL Base
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
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Me thinks that if someone needs lights on all night.....it might be time to move.....

Assuming that 400w light was running 8 hours a night....and electricity was $0.12/KWH....that would run about $12/month/light
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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To answer the questions above:
The area light is a metal halide lamp with a 100W bulb. I figure it's not costing me more than 10 bucks a month based on usage. We have the same electric company as our previous house, but we DID move from a small home in the city to a larger home in the country. The amount we pay per kW is similar however (within a fraction of a penny).
The only thing I can figure is that because part of our home is drafty, the furnace and blower is running more, causing higher bills. I have also noticed our sump working quite often with all of this melting. I guess it is all adding up little by little. I was thinking that there must be something MAJOR that we are using, but it might just be a bigger, draftier house after all.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:53 PM   #14
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The midnight sun.....that's no lie. My place went from pitch black to bright and sunny when I installed the light.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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Have an energy audit done. It would give you ALOT more information then just guessing what is happening in the home

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