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Old 08-16-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
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What would cause 9,000 KWH Residential in One Month?


Hi All,

Thought you guys might be able to give us some ideas. We got a bill in July from ComEd for $1100 thats about 5 times what it usually is.

And a bill this month for $1600 and it says we used over 9,000 KWH.....WTF?

They are giving us a hard time telling us we must have something "new" plugged in....well we don't.

We turned on and off breakers and each time it did slow down but was still spinning higher then usual and did eventually stop when all breakers were off.

We had an electrician friend over and he looked at the panel and it seems to be balanced and did not see anything drawing excessive current.

ComEd is telling us their is no way it's a faulty meter that "never" happens and we had to "twist" their arm to get them to come out on Sept 24th....holy crap 5 weeks seriously????

Any ideas guys?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angcangi View Post
Hi All,

Thought you guys might be able to give us some ideas. We got a bill in July from ComEd for $1100 thats about 5 times what it usually is.

And a bill this month for $1600 and it says we used over 9,000 KWH.....WTF?

They are giving us a hard time telling us we must have something "new" plugged in....well we don't.

We turned on and off breakers and each time it did slow down but was still spinning higher then usual and did eventually stop when all breakers were off.

We had an electrician friend over and he looked at the panel and it seems to be balanced and did not see anything drawing excessive current.

ComEd is telling us their is no way it's a faulty meter that "never" happens and we had to "twist" their arm to get them to come out on Sept 24th....holy crap 5 weeks seriously????

Any ideas guys?
Did they actually read the meter in each of the preceding months, or did they estimate your usage? Some power companies will only actually read the meter occasionally, and estimate your probable usage in other months. If their estimate is seriously incorrect, then you can end up with a huge bill when they actually read the meter because they will "catch up" to your true usage all at once. That would explain it.

If not, then you should check your major appliances first. It could be something like your oven is left on, or your furnace/AC is operating continuously. I once saw a heat pump with auxiliary electric heat stuck on in the summer. Not only did that use lots of power for the heating element, it used even more power for the air conditioner to fight it!

If you have electric hot water, a hot water leak can cause this, too.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:43 PM   #3
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That's about a stead 50 amp draw, 24 hours, for 30 days. Over the past year, has your usage been approximately the same for each month and has anything changed in your household electrical usage?
Is the meter attached to the house so there wouldn't be any leakage between the meter and the service panel?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Sorry, I could not help it...





I would try to trace it to a single circuit that seems to be using a lot on it's own, then figure out what is on that circuit. I would suspect a big appliance such as the fridge, that is using more then it should, due to being defective, or something.

How hot is it lately compared to usual? Maybe the AC is running too much, if you have AC?
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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do you have any underground feeds to an outbuilding or such? Done any work or gardening over where a line might be?


a leaking powerline underground makes a pretty good heater.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:12 PM   #6
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Did you compare the reading on the bill to the actual reading of the meter. It would not be the first time the meter was read wrong.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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Is this a single house or a duplex or an apartment building?

Turn off all the breakers. Then turn on only one breaker at a time. Is there one breaker (or two breakers) that spin the meter a lot faster than any of the others?
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Did you compare the reading on the bill to the actual reading of the meter. It would not be the first time the meter was read wrong.
Oh, yeah that's the first thing we checked it was read correctly and the meter was spinning like hell!
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
Did they actually read the meter in each of the preceding months, or did they estimate your usage? Some power companies will only actually read the meter occasionally, and estimate your probable usage in other months. If their estimate is seriously incorrect, then you can end up with a huge bill when they actually read the meter because they will "catch up" to your true usage all at once. That would explain it.

If not, then you should check your major appliances first. It could be something like your oven is left on, or your furnace/AC is operating continuously. I once saw a heat pump with auxiliary electric heat stuck on in the summer. Not only did that use lots of power for the heating element, it used even more power for the air conditioner to fight it!

If you have electric hot water, a hot water leak can cause this, too.
It was not estimated but read in July as scheduled and they came out in August at our request and read it again....it was even higher in August!

Our AC is kicking on and off as you would expect it to and set at 75...it has been excessively hot here all Summer but not enough to account for 9.000 KWH....and we did have an A/C Guy come and check the AC just to be on the safe side....he found nothing wrong.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
That's about a stead 50 amp draw, 24 hours, for 30 days. Over the past year, has your usage been approximately the same for each month and has anything changed in your household electrical usage?
Is the meter attached to the house so there wouldn't be any leakage between the meter and the service panel?
Yes, the meter is attached to the house. And yes, we went back and checked through to January of 08 and the only time there was any kind of significant spike was during a hot month as you would expect, but nothing like this kind of spike.

We have not bought any new appliances and can't think of anything that would draw that kind of ampage.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Sorry, I could not help it...





I would try to trace it to a single circuit that seems to be using a lot on it's own, then figure out what is on that circuit. I would suspect a big appliance such as the fridge, that is using more then it should, due to being defective, or something.

How hot is it lately compared to usual? Maybe the AC is running too much, if you have AC?
Ha Ha! Great Video wish I could send it to the ComEd CS dept!

It has been a very hot summer here in Chicago, 90's most days...we had an AC guy come out and he said the unit seemed to be working fine.

It's kicking on and off not running continuously.

We did turn each breaker off one at a time...and the meter would slow with each turn off but was still spinning at a higher rate then usual.....but no one breaker seemed to show a significant slow down....when all breakers were off it did stop though?
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:19 PM   #12
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Just a thought, it might be a grow op. What that is you get someone who rents a house next to you and steals your electricity so they can grow Mariana plants in that home. That would explain the recent spike in your electricity bill. It happens over here all the time.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angcangi View Post

ComEd is telling us their is no way it's a faulty meter that "never" happens
Sorry to be frank, but that is a load of......

There was a front page article in the news paper here 2 days ago about how WE energies (large power co in WI) makes millions of dollars a year in billing errors due to meter problems. They just back billed a local business something like $18,000 due to a meter problem.

I would get a competent electrician out with a RMS clamp meter to look at exactly what circuit is using what.

If it appears to infact be a meter or power company problem. File a format complaint with your states Public Service Commission, you will move to the top of their priority list. Utilities hate the PSC. About 10 years ago, the telephone company (a public utility as is the power co), Ameritech was jerking around the new competitive phone companies. The wisconsin PSC handed down the largest PSC fine in history, something to the tune of many many millions (100+ million I think).

Every complaint I have filed against a public utility over the years has had very prompt attention and resolution.

Jamie
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:40 PM   #14
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Did your POCO ever swap or calberated the meter ??? I know some case they are reading wrong so check it out.

A simple test turn off the main breaker and leave it alone about 10 minutes or so it should not be turning at all maybe a midge that about it but if more more than just a quarter turn or so tell them to get the meter recalbered.

If the meter still moving pretty good speed even with main breaker is off then it will be good time to yelp at the POCO to investage it they have to check with proper test meter not just a simple voltmeter at all.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #15
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9000KWH per month is 300KWH per day, or an average of 12.5kw per hour per day.
If your A/C is really a heat pump, make sure the heat strips aren't coming on with the A/C.
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