Electric bill

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
You know, I know something is wrong - we pay obscene amounts for electric.
I know part of it is - I have a big house. Over 3000 sq ft.
I heat and air-condition with electric.
My wife insists on the house a blast furnace in winter and a polar zone in summer.
There are *reasons*. But I just can't keep the bill down.

What is typical for you - with a comparably sized house - and how do you mitigate the cost?
 

RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
You know, I know something is wrong - we pay obscene amounts for electric.
I know part of it is - I have a big house. Over 3000 sq ft.
I heat and air-condition with electric.
My wife insists on the house a blast furnace in winter and a polar zone in summer.
There are *reasons*. But I just can't keep the bill down.

What is typical for you - with a comparably sized house - and how do you mitigate the cost?
If I recall correctly, my highest electric bill was $139.00. Maybe slightly higher, but never over $200.00 a month. My house is 1632 s/f, 2 story, built in 1946 and is TIGHT. I also have a lot of shade trees. I use window shakers for A/C downstairs only, unless I have guests staying upstairs - which is hardly never. :lol: I have oil radiant hot water heat. Oil runs about $150.00 per month, but was DOUBLE that before I replaced my furnace a few years ago. That paid for itself within a couple of years.
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
Would LOVE to use these, as needed - but wife refuses, says they're too ugly and ghetto. STILL trying to persuade.

From all the single men,,,
It seems that the recurring thing is " The Wife " , cut her out of the decision making process.
 

littlelady

God bless the USA
From all the single men,,,
It seems that the recurring thing is " The Wife " , cut her out of the decision making process.
No wonder you are not married. :lol:

And, as far as Sam’s topic, it is surprising to me that our elec bill is cheaper in Mont Cty, as opposed to Cal Cty. Go figure. I think it has to do with how well our house is insulated. It was built in 1965. I was 10, then. I think that is amusing because everything else is more expensive here.
 
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RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
Would LOVE to use these, as needed - but wife refuses, says they're too ugly and ghetto. STILL trying to persuade.
I guess I am ghettotastic! :diva: :lol:

Also, I don't have an HOA and my neighbors use them also. All of our 3 homes were built about the same time, before the day's of indoor HVAC.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
You know, I know something is wrong - we pay obscene amounts for electric.
I know part of it is - I have a big house. Over 3000 sq ft.
I heat and air-condition with electric.
My wife insists on the house a blast furnace in winter and a polar zone in summer.
There are *reasons*. But I just can't keep the bill down.

What is typical for you - with a comparably sized house - and how do you mitigate the cost?

Close to or over $300 a month, about 3200. but I do have five adults and one adult autistic. Two people home all the time. Two heat pumps. Window units effiicency compared to heat pumps is for crap. Especially for such large spaces. One unit, the three ton that does the bottom 2400 sqaure feet is from 2001 and just crapped out. Replacing it next week with a 14 SEER unit, that should help. The small unit is even older. We routinely get the "Bad Neighbor" award from SMECO :) But they go simply by size of house. I've got three neighbors within 1/4 mile with similar sized houses. All older couples with two people in the house.

If you really want to see where your money is going, get one of the energy monitors and see where the drain is. Look at point sources that magnify the warmth and cold. Those can let you drop or add degrees and still feel cool or toasty. I have small fans that help me cool off, ceiling fans can move that conditioned air around better.
 
If I recall correctly, my highest electric bill was $139.00. Maybe slightly higher, but never over $200.00 a month. My house is 1632 s/f, 2 story, built in 1946 and is TIGHT. I also have a lot of shade trees. I use window shakers for A/C downstairs only, unless I have guests staying upstairs - which is hardly never. :lol: I have oil radiant hot water heat. Oil runs about $150.00 per month, but was DOUBLE that before I replaced my furnace a few years ago. That paid for itself within a couple of years.
So Sam, her house is 1/2 the size of yours and when you add her monthly oil costs to her monthly electric it puts her utility cost to around $300 a month. She also only has 1 and sometimes 2 people using utilities at any given time and you have a house full. When you take those variables into account you having a higher electric bill would be an expected 'norm'. How high is your average bill?
 
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GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
We routinely get the "Bad Neighbor" award from SMECO :)

I'm sorta running my own Server Farm ... PEPCO Routinely dings us as using 10x more than our highest neighbors


I'm surprise PO-PO has not raided the house looking for the 'grow farm'
 

MR47930

Member
We pay $129 a month and have 3100 sq feet of living space. In the spring we got 2 brand new AC units and a new washer and dryer so I’m sure that’s helped lower the bill. We keep the AC at 72 constantly.
 
Helpful tools to meet you objective.

$66 a month on the Even Monthly Payment Plan EMPP from SMECO. Just < 2000 sq. ft. Oil for heating and hot water. Expect new higher EMPP rate this month because I've been saddled with a new 'Save The Bay' septic system that runs electric motors and pumps over 12 hours a day. What an environmental joke.

Realize it is going to take some 'up front' money which will require time to get back.

Get a decent 'Kill-A-Watt' meter. This goes between the wall outlet and the appliance to measure electric use (AND ESTIMATED COST) over a short time. I was shocked to discover my old refrigerator (just a few years old) was costing me nearly $25/month!

Insulate, insulate, insulate. Get one of those new thermal camera apps and attachments that work with your smart phone. Or get a full blown FLIR. On the coldest day in winter and the hottest day in summer, snap thermal pictures. Patch the thermal leaks. Insulate the poorly insulated. The thermal cam makes this easy.

Get the new LED bulbs. Yes, it will take time to make back the cost, but it gives you a warm positive psychological feel.

Go solar panel to offset some electric cost, if it will work where you're at. This definitely will take time to recoup costs. Plan on living there a while.
 
In the months no A/C is required, averages about $80-90. Summer months, closer to $250. The A/C was undersized and ran constantly. Just had a new A/C put in, so that number may come down now. I have oil hot air for heat, but use a pellet stove for 99% of my heating. The fan from the central HVAC system uses a bunch of that electric and I can see the difference in the bill when I use central heat vs pellet stove.

Single, 3200 sq ft, not particularly frugal with electric, tv is always on, house lights are on auto turn on-turn off. But I'll bet that if I add in the cost of fuel oil and pellets, my winter bills would equal the summer bills.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
So - for ROI - a window A/C unit - especially if it *heats* also - is worth the money?
I've often thought that - it worked fairly well years ago when I lived in Lusby.

We just have SO MUCH STUFF running electricity - I'm not sure where it all goes.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Go solar panel to offset some electric cost, if it will work where you're at. This definitely will take time to recoup costs. Plan on living there a while.
THIS is where I seem to disagree with everyone, but I'm willing to be persuaded. I can't find one solar option where I am likely to save money, especially if I use a LOT of electricity, which I'd like to cut back on.
 
Window units are far less efficient, but allow you to "portion off" the house, only cool areas that people occupy. In that respect, you can save a lot by not running the whole house A/C.

The thing I don't like about window units is the noise levels. Not particularly quiet. I'd opt for using the central A/C over noise.

If possible, check into the possibility of creating zones in the central air to better control cooling usage.
 
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littlelady

God bless the USA
If possible, check into the possibility of creating zones in the central air to better control cooling usage.
That is, exactly, what our ac guy said that came out a few weeks ago. Our capacitator died. A diy is to use the magnetized vent covers. He said if you block off half of an intake vent, it will change how the air flows. He was right.
 
So - for ROI - a window A/C unit - especially if it *heats* also - is worth the money?
I've often thought that - it worked fairly well years ago when I lived in Lusby.

We just have SO MUCH STUFF running electricity - I'm not sure where it all goes.
You posted you have a ton of stuff that is running on electricity but you seem to only be focused on your heat/AC. That's the same as someone who can't figure out why they keep blowing their budget when all they focus on is the big bills each month and don't consider how much all the less costly extras add up to be a considerable amount of money spent each month.

You have a house full of people that run water, make dirty clothes, make dirty dishes, cook food various ways often throughout each day. You do not have any oil, propane, pellet, etc bills so a $450 electric bill isn't outrageous if you keep your house cool in summer and warm in winter. It's all the extras you aren't looking at that are padding your bill. How many fridges do you have? A separate freezer? How many TVs and don't forget to count accessories to each all of which SUCK electricity even when not being used? Do you guys run a dishwasher and if so why? it takes waaaay less electricity to wash and dry by hand. Filling a tub for baths takes more hot water than quick showers. Do your kids bath or shower? It all adds up to sizable wattage.
 
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