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511 KWH on the last electric bill. Can you beat that?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Sandor, Jun 15, 2007.

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  1. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    OK, got the last bill in the mail. EVERYTHING in the house is electric.

    I live with 'da women, and two girls, 12 and 16.

    We used 511 Kilowatt hours last month. The bill was 52 bucks.

    This is the lowest bill we have got in the almost two years I have been living here. As a side note, I installed a dishwasher for the women for her birthday 3 months ago. She said it would raise the bill, I said it will lower it. I win.

    Deregulation of the electricity market is going to hit Virginia this year, so tightening up electric use is a priority.

    Electric, for the convenience it provides, is an incredible bargain.

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  2. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    Around 500-550 kwh is my normal winter usage (read highest of the year due to more dark hours and colder temperatures running the boiler more often). That said I haven't had a $50 electric bill since probably 2001. We aren't suffering by candellight or anything and we watch plenty of TV/listen to the stereo, use the hair dryer, dishwasher, electric clothes dryer, ceiling fans, leave the computer on for hours, etc. What I have a really hard time figuring out is how on earth other people must live when they use 511kwh in a month and think its low. I'm not slamming you with that, I'm genuinely curious.

    To be fair though, my heat/hot water system is an oil burner, so I'm sure it uses considerably less energy that your electric heat/hot water system...so kudos to you for being able to keep the energy consumption that low. How did you do it?
  3. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southeastern, Ct
    My last electric bill said I used about 480kwh. That's the lowest I've ever had for my 2300sf house. I think the biggest savings I see is in the use of CFL's. we don't have AC, and the water is heated off the boiler. I've found that the April to June time of year is my lowest electric usage period of the year. Sandor, watch out for that deregulation, my 480kwh cost me about $90.00 in CT, where prices run around $0.18/ kwh. UGH :grrr:
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Our house is now total electric too. Our bill was about twice that, right around 1100kw. With lower electric rates I hadn't noticed, but even in August we used 900kw. How is this so? Very little was running during that time other than hotwater and the washer/dryer. We have cfls too, front loading washer, no AC, etc. I'm going to put the kilowatt meter on the computer systems to see how much they're drawing, but this seems pretty high in comparison to what others are reporting and we keep our usage pretty low.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I have a feeling that the comcast modem box which turns coax cable into telephone, internet, and television burns a few watts BG. Lots of lights on that thing and an onboard battery that it keeps charged. I thought you mentioned you were on comcast as I am.

    My electric bill is consistently 100$ even through the cold part of the winter, not sure how low it will go in the summer or what that translates to in KWH. I have three females in the house too. Hah!
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    I figure maybe 300.
    May included my effort of electric chainsawing the log pile. :)

    From the utility web site:

    5/30/2007 NYSEG 360
    4/25/2007 CUSTOMER 273
    3/29/2007 NYSEG 296
    2/26/2007 CUSTOMER 315
    1/30/2007 ESTIMATED 38
    12/28/2006 CUSTOMER 189
    11/29/2006 NYSEG 479
    10/24/2006 CUSTOMER 227
    9/28/2006 NYSEG 364
    8/25/2006 CUSTOMER 537
    7/28/2006 ESTIMATED 289
    6/30/2006 CUSTOMER 351
    5/26/2006 NYSEG 338
    4/27/2006 CUSTOMER 261
    3/27/2006 NYSEG 469
    2/17/2006 CUSTOMER 305
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I don't understand how we would be so consistently higher with the numerous energy saving improvements we've done. Now I'm wondering if PSE meters are off. But I suspect it would be the electric clothes dryer, hot water heater and the refrigerator in that order. We'll see, we're running on the clothesline for drying now. Couldn't do that last summer with all the construction.

    I'll put the meter on the entire computer system (at the UPS plug). This covers the modem, computer, screen et al.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I was surprised that the tv and dvr took about 35 watts all the time. I have them on a timer now (that programmable HF unit I mentioned elsewhere). The TV is still on plenty in the evenings. We heat our water with oil, but have an electric dryer. We only have a laptop for computer and that hibernates. We do have a radon fan (15 watts) running all the time and a well pump. All compact flourescent bulbs. The washer's a new front loader. There are only two of us, although the wife takes a daily bath).

    BG, the construction guys probably used a lot of electric too. The electric hw heater probably is a big draw.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I share your frustration, BG, here on the other coast.

    Our usage is usually around 1,100 kw per month, no matter what we do. In the winter we heat our hot water exclusively with wood, so you'd think it would go down compared to our (current) use of the electric water heater. We don't have AC and the clothes dryer is gas. But it doesn't.

    Go away for two weeks and leave one light on in the house and--you guessed it--no drop in the electric bill. Have company stay for a week and everyone's using more gadgets, hot water and lights and--you know the routine--no change in the bill.

    How can this be? Sometimes I think our utility just has us pegged for 1,100 kw, and that's that.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's weird. Maybe some are estimated like mine (seems like they come out every other month.)
    You could do your own readings as a sanity check.
  11. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    We got down to 550 kWhr last month, and a little lower when we're gone for most of the month in the winter so the lights and A/C aren't running. Typical non-cooling-season bill since replacing most lights with CFLs is around 600 (down from 900 pre-CFL). I also turned off a couple of computers that had been running 24/7, and a printer that hadn't been used in 5 years. I'm sure there are lots more hidden power sinks, I need to do some sort of audit. Water heater and range (and the furnace I no longer use) are gas, so that bill is always around $40.

    This month the A/C was going most of the time, so we were up to 980 kWhr, which costs a cool $150 in these parts. We've been as high as 1360 in the last year, but that was pre-CFL.
  12. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    CFL's make a difference no doubt about it. Don't forget to check with your local hardware stores for cfls that are subsidized...you won't often them discounted at the big box stores. I get mine for $1 each and the color is warmer than the ones HD and Wally World sells.

    The electric dryer is possibly the biggest energy hog you can turn on in your house short of electric heat or hot water. When its running it uses a massive amount of electricity to not heat the clothes, but also to pressureize the drum and spin it. On high heat I wouldn't be surprised to see 2000-2500w consumption...when you consider it may take as long as an hour at this setting to dry a full load you're looking at 2-2.5 kwh per load. Do 2 loads per week, every week and you've accounted for 16kwh...you're getting near 5% of your bill there.

    Fridge is a big eater too...make sure to keep those coils clean and the exhaust clear too. Mine seems to run incessantly...its only a couple years old and its done it seince new...we don't stand with the door open or anything and I've got the energy settings as low as they'll go, but it still runs constantly. I probably ought to replace the seal on the door as I'm sure it wears out and I've probably got a few pinhole leaks on it.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well I have to give Sandor and Disco a congratulations and job well done. If you're doing this with an all electric house, that's great.
  14. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Don't give me too much credit (note above I'm not all electric like Sandor). Other than buying CFL's I haven't really done much beside unplugging stuff I wasn't using anyway. My central AC unit came with the house and is probably 25 years old now, I'm guessing something like 6-8 SEER (which is bad; modern units are 14+). But it still doesn't cost enough to justify replacing it on $$ alone, and it just won't die even though the outside fan died last year (a $30 part I replace myself) and the compressor overheated repeatedly. I also have two ancient fridges and a newer dishwasher with the "temperature boost" option on. House is 2000sf, not terribly well sealed or insulated.

    In short, I'm a little amazed to be on the low side of average on here.
  15. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    Flint Hills of Kansas
    05/23/2007 29 Meter Read 1325 $94.13
    04/24/2007 29 Meter Read 1055 $72.26
    03/26/2007 32 Meter Read 1099 $77.53
    02/22/2007 28 Meter Read 1131 $78.49
    01/25/2007 34 Meter Read 1471 $95.95
    12/22/2006 31 Meter Read 1312 $83.00
    11/21/2006 31 Meter Read 1205 $81.68
    10/21/2006 30 Meter Read 1168 $83.45
    09/21/2006 30 Meter Read 2544 $197.27
    08/22/2006 31 Meter Read 2020 $168.41
    07/22/2006 30 Meter Read 2584 $214.18
    06/22/2006 30 Meter Read 2241 $171.66
    05/23/2006 29 Meter Read 1274 $104.71
  16. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Well, you sure beat him!

    (0.07-0.08/kWhr must be nice...)
  17. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Well Mayhem,

    I figure the water heater runs about 2 hours a day, at 4500 watts, thats 9 KWH/day.

    Multiply that by 30, and its about 270 KWH.

    511-270=241KWH.

    So, If I go 100 percent solar hot water, (or used oil like you), my actual usage would be about 241 KWH.

    Folks, eliminating the electric clothes dryer was worth about 30-40 bucks a month, at 10 cent a KWH.
  18. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I typically use between 500 and 600 kWh per month here.

    The best way to find electric sinks is to buy or borrow a load meter and figure the usage of the devices in your house.

    Our biggest user is the dryer and since we cloth diaper, that causes the bill to be higher.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    In non-cooling months we run around 600-700 a month spiking a little over 1,000 in August. Monthly average over the last twenty-four months is 777 a month. With my office being here and the servers and comm rack up and running from seven to ten or so every day, monster UPS units 24/7, and my invalid wife's TV and computer running twenty-four seven to keep her company that ain't bad. That and her upstairs refrigerator.

    All electric here. It is a ten mile drive to the nearest gas pipeline and I wouldn't have that stuff in my house anyway.
  20. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    357 KWH for the month of May...sounds good, but all the big stuff is gas(range,dryer,water heater)

    That's $18 worth of electricity
    $25 to "deliver" it
    and $2.50 each for a regulatory charge and a debt retirement charge.
  21. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    We're down to about 300 KWH/month (gas stove and dryer), used to be a lot higher. Here are some of the things we did:

    1. By timing the revolution of the disk in your electricity meter, you can calculate the KW that you're actually using at that moment. I had a post on some other forum on how to do this, but it's been archived. You can call your power company to figure it out.

    I turned off everything in the house, unplugged the fridge, and found that we were still using 160 watts.

    2. Bought a Kill-a-watt meter on Ebay to find out what was contributing to this. The image shows the results. The cost figures use the top-tier rate of 17.625 cents/KWH.

    3. We have a number of these things on power strips now, so, for example the printer is totally off when not being used, and we turn off the power strip for the modem and router every night.

    4. When we go on vacation, we turn off (with power strips), just about everything but the fridge and DVR, and always see a nice drop in the bill for that month.

    5. We're almost totally fluorescent.

    6. We stopped leaving the computer on all the time. Also, we now have two laptops and no desktop.

    Now that we're below baseline, we only pay 11.4 cents/KWH.

    Attached Files:

  22. n1st

    n1st New Member

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    Warmguy,

    Boy you sound a lot like us right down to the laptops, killawatt, and gas dryer/stove. We're doing about 4kwh/year. Some additional items (yea, you've got to really be into conservation)...

    Disconnect the doorbell xformer (helps keep the salesmen at bay) if not needed.

    Put the garage door(s) on a power strip. Turn on in the morning, off when you close the door in the evening.

    Watch out for any x10 phantoms.

    Put all TVs, stereos, etc. on a power strip and shut off over-night.
  23. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Funny!

    That doorbell light was always glowing. I found the box in a closet, and it was "warm". If its warm, its using electric. So I disconnected the whole mess. I guess it all adds up.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I switched to a wireless battery powered door alarm a couple years ago. Works great.
  25. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Just got my June electric bill. 408kwh consumed. We stopped using the dryer awhile ago. We're still about 2/5 incadescent, PC (and its speakers, modem, printer, etc) is on a master power off switch, but the 2 crt tv's and DVR/DISH box are always plugged in as is the stereo/VCR/DVD. Coffee pot, microwave and stove, basement heateed floor water pump, boiler control system...all on all the time. Probably an easy 75-100 khw stuck in there per month...just have to do wihtout some minor conveniences.

    Anyone know if there is a mechanical timer power switch? I'm thinking about things like the DVR that have to download system and programming updates overnight, which is why the need to be left plugged in...if I could switch it all off at night and then set the mechanical timer to power it all on at like 6:30 or so.
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