Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Flat Rate Program
Old 08-18-2010, 06:17 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,884
Flat Rate Program

My utility provider has a program (as I suspect others do) that offers to level out my rates over a 12 month period. If anyone else is also enrolled in such a program, could you compare your monthly rates with mine? I have been in the program for several years and I appreciate the way that the monthly statements are less volatile than they previously were.

Electricity rate~0.10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Natural gas- $1.42 per hundred cubic feet (CCF)

Minimum monthly electric charge $15. Minimum monthly gas charge is $15. (I suppose this means that no matter how frugal I take it, I still have to fork over $30.)
__________________

__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-18-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
You really need to ask your utility provider how they calculate your monthly payment. Frankly a monthly charge of $15 for each is VERY reasonable. Odds are the minimum charge for the service wouldn't be a lot lower than that.
__________________

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,286
I guess I don't understand what you are looking for. Utility rates vary across the nation. Comparing your rate to another region doesn't tell you anything about your flat rate deal.

Factors Affecting Electricity Prices - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy

If you're asking if the flat rate deal is better than a variable rate, you need to compare your own sources. But offhand, I doubt the utility is looking to give anyone a 'deal' with the flat rate. Maybe break-even, but generally you need to pay to reduce volatility. Only you can decide if that price is 'worth it' to you.

I prefer to pay-as-I-go. KISS principle for me. The bill is on auto-pay, EZ. I don't care to guess whether the utility hedge is going to hurt/help me. From what I've seen, you have to essentially have some of that in an 'escrow' - so you are pre-paying. It might not look that way, but they don't want to loan you money, so you start paying the higher level rate during the low season, or have to start with a big balance or something.

FWIW, the fixed part of my electric bill is ~ $11.00. I would pay that if I used zero KWHr.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
I have used the twelve month budget plan for years in Florida and in New Jersey . I like it because it keeps me from getting shell shocked in the summer or the winter in new Jersey . Is it cheaper ? Well it saves my sanity so for me it is worth it .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
I will tell you what I have but don't think you can draw comparisons that easily. Our home is 100% electric. Our rates are as follows:
Energy Charge (the cost to produce the electricity we used). Does not include fuel.
$.05774/kwh for first 1000 kwh
$.06774/kwh above 1000 kwh
Fuel Charge: Cost of fuel is passed through with no mark up by our utility company.
$.04167/kwh for first 1000 kwh
$.05167/kwh above 1000kwh

Last month we used 1843 kwh. 2050 sq ft house. Our utility bill was $210.57 plus $5.40 tax =$215.97

Biggest used is A/C which we keep at 78 degrees all the time. Two TV's and a computer on most of the time. All lights are CFL's. Come next April we will go on a "levelized" payment plan (kind of an average of one years charges).

Does that help you? We are in Tampa area so A/C is biggest usage.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 02:33 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
I am on equal pay (that is what they call it here) and I like it because of the expected monthly amount. They 'review' your account every 6 months to make sure you are not creating to big of debit or credit on your account. I guess that way you are not loaning them money or vice versa for too long.
The bill shows actual usage and then you pay the equal pay amount. So every month I see if I am building a credit or debit. It will of course just lower or raise my payment in 6 months or less, but it isn't a drastic jump. My electric just reset and thanks to being in a new house with no history of electric usage, it went from $190/mo to $230. But my actual usage last month was $580.

Now where am I going to put that windmill
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 03:30 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
I prefer to pay-as-I-go. That way when I get a bill for over $200 in Jan for the month of Dec. it's a reminder that I need to be careful how high I turn the heat up the rest of the winter. Summers are no big deal as electricity only costs me <$50/mo and nearly half of that is hot water. My average over the course of a year is <$100/mo. and everything is electric(no gas,etc).

I would only go with the "equal payments" plan if I was living paycheck to paycheck which I will hopfully never have to do again.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 03:46 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
I am on the "budget" amount for my natural gas provider: $63.00 a month. I keep the heat set at 65 in the winter and use the gas log fireplace in my den if I am chilly at night.
I pay a variable amount for my electricity, anywhere from $18.00 to last month's high of $43.00 with the A/C set at 70. I should say that I live in a newer, small-ish house with really good windows and what my builder told me was a high insulation rating.
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I prefer to pay-as-I-go. That way when I get a bill for over $200 in Jan for the month of Dec. it's a reminder that I need to be careful how high I turn the heat up the rest of the winter.
I think this would be true for most people. It's human nature that you respond to more immediate feedback. The new 'smart meters' are showing real-time, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly usage. If we are interested in conservation, they really should make these sorts of 'level billing' plans illegal.

Please, I mean no offense to anyone here saying they are on a flat billing plan. You have chosen what works for you. But I do think that overall, these plans are a negative for conservation practices.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 06:48 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,625
Help me with my confusion. We have available "average billing" where you pay the same amount every month ... more than you use in the winter (no A/C), less than you use in the summer (more A/C) ... that is meant to help folks with budgeting.

But that is not flat rate, where it seems to imply that you might get a break on the cents-per-kwh.

To compare to JOHNNIE in Tampa, we are in a similar climate (temp & humidity) and used 1935 kwH the last 32 days in a 3100+ sq ft home for a cost of $196.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Here is a Citizens Utility Board site that discusses four (!) different flat-rate plans from NICOR, a northern Illinois natural gas company:

Citizens Utility Board | Nicor Advanced Energy Plans

The CUB finds none of the plans to be advantageous to the consumer.
__________________

__________________
Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first? J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Utility Flat Rate mickeyd Other topics 15 08-15-2009 09:44 PM
(Utility) Flat Rate Program mickeyd Other topics 3 08-22-2008 09:03 PM
S&P flat for 9 years? laurence FIRE and Money 34 06-14-2008 04:11 AM
Best Buy in a flat screen TV? maddythebeagle Other topics 5 06-27-2007 09:36 PM
I yam Cb (pronounced C flat)... Cb Hi, I am... 1 06-25-2002 11:39 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:04 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.