My electric bill was still crazy this month, and I’ve been burning the whole time! Any ideas?

lugoismad Posted By lugoismad, Dec 15, 2008 at 4:55 AM

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  1. lugoismad

    lugoismad
    Member 2.
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    May 5, 2008
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    Loc:
    Ohio
    My regular electric bill last summer with the AC running was $130 for my 1400sqft older house.

    I installed my wood burning furnace this summer, and started burning full itme all through november.
    I just got my electric bill, and its still $110. What the heck?

    The only thing I have running is one PC, one laptop (my machine and my girlfriends laptop),
    I have a 40 gallon hot water heater (that I just put a new bottom element and thermostat in).
    I really can't imagine where all of my electric is going to. Theres only two of us, and we don't use electric excessively.

    Any ideas as to what could have caused this? The blower on my wood furnace is only 2 amp.
    2amp x 120volts = 240 watts. Thats roughly the same as a few lightbulbs on. I wouldn't think it would have used that much electric as compared to my AC / Heatpump.
     
  2. Diabel

    Diabel
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Jan 11, 2008
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    Loc:
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    Is the bill an estimate or actual meter reading?
     
  3. lugoismad

    lugoismad
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    May 5, 2008
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    Ohio
    Thats the first thing I thought too! I called, and it was an actual reading.

    At my last house of the exact same size, with a gas furnace, our electric was around $50 or so.
     
  4. lugoismad

    lugoismad
    Member 2.
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    May 5, 2008
    91
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    Loc:
    Ohio
    I forgot to mention, my electric water heater is in an unfinished and unheated basement. Its whats called a "half basement" I think. Its an area about the size of a bathroom, with just enough room for the hot water heater, electric panel, and you can crawl up onto the slab to to get to the crawl space area. I just bought an R-10 blanket for it for $30, it should be here later this week. However I couldn't imagine that making THAT big of a difference.
     
  5. claybe

    claybe
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Nov 13, 2008
    317
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    Loc:
    Colorado
    Are you on an average bill that averages out over the entire year? We have that option with our electric company to even out the bill throughout the year so there are no months where the bill spikes. You might have signed up for it and didn't know it???
     
  6. Corey

    Corey
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    I think we already covered the average bill. But, the dollar figure could mean anything...what is your actual KWh usage? No electric clothes dryer, cooking stove, oven, etc? These are the usual big energy hogs. Refrigerator working overtime due to warmth from the stove?? The electric water heater will be working a lot harder in the winter simply because the water coming in is cooler than during the summer. My gas bill usually doubles...from ~$25 to $50, just due to heating up the extra cool water and the only thing we have on gas is hot water...the furnace never fires because of the wood stove.
     
  7. North of 60

    North of 60
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    Jul 27, 2007
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    Are you sure your main blower is only 2amps. What hp is it? most residential furnaces Pull at-least 4-5amps on a 1/4 to 1/2 hp. Do you have a combustion bower also. Maybe thats where you got your reading from. $110 still sounds high though. Sounds like allot of hot baths and clothes washing for that. Have you had to plug in any of your vehicles lately overnight? just thinking...
    N of 60
     
  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Nov 3, 2006
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    I wouldn't mind $110.00, Mine averages $150.00 a month.
    Of course the OL & her daughter have to have the electric blanket running from September to May ;(
     
  9. karl

    karl
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    Apr 9, 2007
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    Are you heating soley with wood? Heat pumps don't pull that much power, but if something is wrong with it and the resistant heat is kicking in that will run up your bill alot.
     
  10. begreen

    begreen
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Insulate the heck out of the HW heater and the hot water pipes. It takes more electricity in the winter to heat up water because it's coming out of the ground (and into the heater) at colder temps. Sometimes as much as 30 degrees colder. You might also set the thermostat on the HW heater down to 120 degrees. Also, you are most likely using more lighting in the winter due to less daylight hours.
     
  11. Summertime

    Summertime
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    Sep 3, 2008
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    I just switched to a Rinnai tankless water heater (lp gas ) and save between $50 and $60 per month over my old electric heater, yes there is a increase in lp usage but not nearly that much..
     
  12. mtarbert

    mtarbert
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Feb 23, 2006
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    Loc:
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    Try turning Everything that is plugged in in the house Off and then go look at the meter. If it is still spinning you have something that is on that you don't know about. When not in a room ...turn off the lights...it does Not matter what kind of lighting and Unplug the TVs when you leave the instant on feature uses alot of juice.
     
  13. jebatty

    jebatty
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Jan 1, 2008
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    How many kwh/month are you using for the last couple of months?

    We heat 1500 sq ft with 100% wood heat, two desktop computers, entertainment center, electric hot water heaters which are separately metered at an off-peak rate. Just the two of us, wife and me. If your electric hot water heater is very well insualted (6" all sides, top and bottom), with heat traps, and if hw pipes are insulated, it will use about 1/2 the electricity from not being insulated.

    For us, total kwh, for general electric plus hw were Oct-602, Sep-552. Don't have Nov bill yet, but it should be about the same.
     
  14. woodconvert

    woodconvert
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    May 24, 2007
    818
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    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Same problem here. What i've found with my Elec. Co. is they build a history on you, what you average, THEN they hit you with that average on the bill. I've called and screamed so now what they do is say the readings are actual and still charge the same amount...the problem is, by looking at the snow behind the house it's easy to see if there was somebody back there doing a reading...they don't read it. So when I call to scream and tell them "NOoooooooo, there was no reading" then my next month's bill comes in the mail with ZERO balance, nothing owed.

    It really sucks because you are at the mercy of the elec. co.. Unless you have a clamp on meter to do an actual reading for verification yer screwed....and they know it.
     
  15. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet
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    Jun 23, 2008
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    Do you live in a single family/ detached structure? Or a townhouse?
     
  16. jdurando

    jdurando
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    Feb 24, 2008
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  17. jrob

    jrob
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    Nov 17, 2008
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    most of the readings are done wirelessly from the street now, and sometimes they read the wrong house. it happens sometimes
     
  18. Risser09

    Risser09
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    Jun 26, 2008
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    Sounds very frustrating. Does your girl take 30 minute showers? Has the price per KWh gone up recently? You're just gonna have to check everything to make sure...

    On the other hand, my stove install in my basement is proving to be quite successful. I've noticed a $15 drop on this November's electric bill ($78) compared to last year's November. My unfinished ceiling allows all the copper pipe to rest around 80º-85º, so I can run "cold" water upstairs and it will be warm for 20 seconds. This also has an affect on the water going in & out of my electric hot water heater. I'm also very lucky that my electric company charges every month per KWh.
     
  19. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos
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    Apr 10, 2008
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    A gal I know was complaining about her electric bill and we tried to cover all the bases and found no culprits. Then while making small talk, she spoke of how dry her house was and causing her nose bleeds so she kept a pot of water simmering on the stove 24 hours a day. :ahhh:
     
  20. savageactor7

    savageactor7
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    Jan 25, 2008
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    Somethings not right lugoismad...I agree that you have to compare kilowatt use, so dig so last years bill.
     
  21. Valhalla

    Valhalla
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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Loc:
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    Lugo,

    My electric billing was $69 for the same period. We burn wood about 18/7 with a W-M oil burner and integral Amtrol Boilermate DHW system. Also an electric kitchen range and dryer since there is no gas in our area.

    If it was my bill, I would calculate more closely the actual KWH consumption of all devices and run a simple log. Keep looking for hidden consumers. Good luck.
     
  22. raybonz

    raybonz
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    Feb 5, 2008
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    I live in MA. that is one of the most expensive states for electricity and we pay around $175.00 a month this time of year.. A big factor here is the electric dryer.. It is more of a factor during the winter because the cellar is much colder with the woodstove so the dryer must heat cold air plus the tankless also cycles more due to the cold cellar..

    Ray
     
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
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    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
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    Ya didn't happen to have everybody over and cook a big meal for Thanksgiving did ya? Those electric ranges can spin the dial off of a electric meter.
     
  24. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Oct 4, 2007
    2,027
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    Loc:
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    Folks mentioned it but there is a real chance your electric rates went up. Many utilities have gotten approval on increases.
     
  25. Chettt

    Chettt
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Oct 21, 2007
    269
    9
    Loc:
    Western Michigan
    I read somewhere that those new large screen televisions draw more electricity than most any other device in your house including a hot water heater. Did you buy one of those recently?
     
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