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Old 12-12-2009, 09:49 AM   #41
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Johnnie, check that waterfall, it may be a big part of the culprit. We had one that pumped water up about 3 feet, although I am not sure of the gallons per minute, it wasn't a lot.
That thing drew 300Kwh per month! It was a quarter of our summer power use.
Shut that thing off real quick and things got much better.
The setting for the thermostat at 72 in the winter is probably another energy guzzler, especially if you have an older HVAC unit.
I have heard that you will save 3% for every degree you turn down your thermostat in the winter. So a setting of 68 will save you about 12%.
Ok, scratch that part about the thermostat, I see you are in Florida, 72 should not put your HVAC through too much work
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:36 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
I haven't been on the portal in quite some time but just returning, this thread peaked my interest. I can't get over some of the monthly bills y'all are talking about. Ref my own: For a 2025 sq ft house in west central Florida, and I'm on the "equal monthly payment plan", my levelized bill is $211/mo for the year.
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I can't get over your monthly bills either!

..... I do have a nice big "Energy Star" refrigerator that I bought in 2005 after Katrina ruined my old one.
.
I assume JOHNNIE is on electric heat though? And electric Dryer? That right there would make comparing to W2R with gas heat and gas dryer apples-oranges. Gas heat is much cheaper than electric (not too bad with a good heat pump model though). If you add in W2Rs gas bill, and adjust for the expected differences in fuel costs, I bet the delta would not look so great after factoring in some lifestyle differences.

If JOHNNIE is serious about reducing the bill, I'd suggest two things - get off the fixed monthly bills so you actually see the differences month-to-month and invest ~$24 in a Kill-a-watt meter. Between that meter and reading name plates on things that are tough to plug/unplug or are on 220, you should be able to find where the energy goes.

I doubt that fridge/freezers are a big hitter. My Freezer is ~ 22 YO and it uses ~ $6/month. Refridge is 17 YO, only uses about $10/month. And our utility will pay you to upgrade to a new fridge/freezer - doesn't make sense to me. I don't plan to upgrade until we redo the kitchen. From reading the energy star labels, the new ones are supposed to use almost half the energy - $50/year would be a long payback, doesn't seem worth it to replace a functional unit.

One thing I learned with my Kill-a-watt meter - I keep my printer ON all the time. The standby mode draws barely 1/2 watt. For 6 cents a month to keep it on, it isn't worth the wear and tear to turn it on/off. Plus, I was worried that maybe my fridge or freezer had degraded over the years with wear, but these numbers seem to confirm they are probably as efficient today as they were when new.

-ERD50
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:57 AM   #43
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I guess deflation-Inflation varies. My power rate went from .19 to .14 this year in in Houston.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:15 PM   #44
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Electric for four unit apartment building of about 5000 square feet, where we pay electric for three of the apartments, is 6.88 cents per kwh, totalling 60 to 80 a month. No air conditioners as we are air conditioned by lake superior. Mostly energy star appliances. But, we heat with natural gas and our budget is about $400 a month.
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Costs of Electricity
Old 12-12-2009, 12:45 PM   #45
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Costs of Electricity

I am with W2R. Why pay to light rooms you're not even in? I live alone in a townhome, and my electricity bill was $30 last month, for 177 kWh. Substract the $1.14 wind energy surcharge (which I pay voluntarily), the cost is roughly $0.16/kWh.

Knowing how the power supply system works, I really wish they would install smart/timed meters for everyone so we are more aware of how much extra it costs the system (and therefore rate-payers) to use electricity during peak hours. For example, off-peak, wholesale power is often $0.01 - 0.02/kwh, while during peak it is not unusual to see $0.2/kwh in real time. It is because the energy source used during peak is often natural gas or sometimes even fuel gas, and off-peak it is generally nuclear, coal, and wind.

For those that like data, you can monitor the wholesale energy prices at midwestern hubs and nodes in real time (updated every 5 minutes) at:
http://www.midwestiso.org/page/Market%20Info

Then click on "Contour Map & Data" on the left.

I am sure other grids have data, too, but I'm only familiar with the midwest.

These prices are per MWh for GENERATION ONLY. Just divide it by 1,000 and you get the KWh price.

And don't forget to then add the distribution costs charged by your utility and taxes, which in my case are about $.10/KWh.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:11 PM   #46
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I'd also love to lower my electric bill, which runs around $250 a month. I can conserve all I want, but with 6 people in the family, I'd spend all day running around shutting lights out (instead of the half day I already do). Two computers on most of the day, just one TV / satellite combo, but that is just in the evening. I have replaced almost all the lights to CFL's, but the 2 refrigerators plus freezer and the electric hot water tank are killing me. I could probably get by with one fridge, but the freezer is pretty much a required appliance given the distance to the store.

On the positive side, I have reduced my oil consumption by 2000 gallons per year (to zero), with the install of a wood boiler...and soon the hot water will also come off of that boiler -it'll be interesting to see how much that cuts the electric use.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:05 PM   #47
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Just got a notice in the monthly elec bill. Rates are dropping roughly 0.1 cents due to reductions in fuel costs and lower than expected costs to implement an energy efficiency rebate program. However the almost 100% increase in a mandatory Renewable Energy surcharge offsets most of the rate decrease. So I'm paying for renewable energy whether I care to or not. I guess that is how they pay $0.20 per kWh to "green" producers when the market rates are $0.08 and net meterers receive only $0.04. Little dribs and drabs on every customer's bill to pay for green energy. Can ya feel the green love?
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:19 PM   #48
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I'd also love to lower my electric bill, which runs around $250 a month. I can conserve all I want, but with 6 people in the family, .... and the electric hot water tank are killing me. ...


On the positive side, I have reduced my oil consumption by 2000 gallons per year (to zero), with the install of a wood boiler...and soon the hot water will also come off of that boiler -it'll be interesting to see how much that cuts the electric use.
I'm sure the electric water heater for 6 is a big part of it. Putting that on the wood heat should make a big difference.

One of those Kill-a-watt meters will tell you if your cooling units are running at good efficiency. Down to < $21 at amazon right now...

Amazon.com: P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor: Electronics

-ERD50
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:38 AM   #49
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ERD50, thanks for the input and yes my water heater is electric. Everything down here in the Tampa area is electric. There is little to no natural gas. If you want gas you have to go to propane. I'm sure my waterfall eats up some power as usage was down this summer when the water shortage in the area required me to shut off the water fall due to evaporation. No water "features" in the county were allowed unless you had fish involved (like fountains in lakes). I'm going to reduce my consumption this winter by toughing it out on the cold mornings and keep that A/C unit off. Wish we had a heat pump instead of my unit utilizing heat srtips. I'm getting rid of our freezer as DW wants to install a laundry tub and we don't have room for it without eliminating the freezer. Two old retired f@#%s don't need a freezer.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:43 AM   #50
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North of Houston with a Co-op for poser. Total power is 0.0938.
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