Is my electric bill high?

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Luckywon
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Is my electric bill high?

Postby Luckywon » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:52 pm

I'm in Southern California, in a 2500 sq. ft. house. Just the electricity part of my utility bill averages 1500 kWh/month which is about $300. It's always seemed high to me but I have no basis for comparison. Would love to hear usage and charges/month from other members!

Added detail: I have a pool where I have to run a pump 6 hours/day. Almost never use AC and heat is gas. Most major appliances are gas.
Last edited by Luckywon on Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dm200
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby dm200 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:55 pm

Luckywon wrote:I'm in Southern California, in 2500 sq. ft. house. Just the electricity part of my utility bill month averages 1500 kWh/month which is about $300. It's always seemed high to me but have no basis for comparison. Would love to hear usage and charges/month from other members!


What does electricity cover? Stove? Oven? Dryer? Water heater? Air conditioning? If AC/ then is it a heat pump?

August
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby August » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:57 pm

Mine averages $60.00 in the winter and $100-110 in the summer (due to AC). I live in NC. ETA: I have a 1500 sq foot house.

alaskantraveler
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby alaskantraveler » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:08 pm

I live in Alaska. Power Bill is usually around $80/month. Have a gas range oven, gas heat, and gas dryer, no AC. house 2300 sq ft.

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ryuns
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby ryuns » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:21 pm

That's pretty high, but note that electricity bills in California tend to go up in a hurry due to how steeply tiered the rates are. You say that you don't use the AC much, which makes me think you're in a forgiving climate. Unfortunately, those tiered prices tend to spike even faster in areas with forgiving climates precisely because most folks don't use the AC much. Makes a certain cruel sense, but it punishes folks who have other big electricity uses. You also say "just the electricity part of my utility bill", which makes me think you're in LADWP or SDGE territory. Do their websites have comparison tools so you know if that's out of the ordinary for your area? That would give you a much more complete picture than folks from other areas. I'm in SMUD territory and their online analytical tools are great. After doing that:

* Is the pool pump sized properly, and does it really need to be running 6 hours a day? (My mother slashed her electricity bill when some helpful pool guy advised her that her pump was twice the size it needed to be.)
* Have you had a home energy audit? That's a good way to get a holistic look at your energy use.
* Once you've exhausted your options for conservation, you might look into solar. Seems like it would be a no brainer for someone with consistently high bills, a SoCal location, and an exposed roof.
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munemaker
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby munemaker » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:34 pm

Seems like you use a lot of juice!

2,100 sq ft home in NW PA.
- average 655 KWH per month @ about $100/mo.
- No pool, no central air
- gas water heater, gas heat
- electric dryer and window A/C.

Just two of us.

livesoft
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby livesoft » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:42 pm

Here is the answer to your question:
viewtopic.php?t=146178
Yes.

Here is another thread:
viewtopic.php?t=194121

We average under $100 a month for a larger house in a hotter more humid location.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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btenny
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby btenny » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:43 pm

Yes that seems high to me. But maybe it is just high AC costs in the hot months. Can you tell us your usage for the last 12 months by the month so we can see how low it is in winter and the cooler months? How old is the house and how old are the AC units? What appliances do you have? How many kids or people are living in the house?

I know some people just use a lot of electricity. I was at my nieces for Easter dinner. Her husband said they are spending $250 to $300 per month for electric year round. They have a pool. They have two wine coolers and a regular refrigerator. They set the temperature inside at 71 for the day for the party. They set it at 75 for most other days so it is cool for their dogs. They have 20 year old AC units. All these things use a lot of electricity.

My electric bill was $38 last month in Phoenix. I do not have a pool. I have one refrigerator. I have not run my AC yet as it is set to 77. The house is nice and cool but I have shade trees. So I don't use much electricity.

Good Luck.

Big Dog
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Big Dog » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:46 pm

2,200 sq ft, also in SoCal, 7 miles from the beach, so not considered inland. My bill last month was $9 bucks after some type of Edison rebate. Normal in March is $30. Our usage generally fills up Tier 1 rates ($0.16), unless summer ac is on, where the bill will hit $100/mo, but rarely $150.

fwiw: gas furnace, dryer and water heater. All electric kitchen. No pool/spa.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Broken Man 1999 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:13 pm

Eh, seems high to me.

I live in the "Sunshine State", and my last bill was $183. Home is 2800 sq ft, and I keep home temp at 72 degrees. We used average 50 kWhs/day in March 2017, 56 kWhs/day in March 2016.

This spring has had some high 80ties degree days already; I shudder to think what August will bring.

Oh well, I refuse to be uncomfortable, sweating in my home just isn't going to happen unless one of the ACs break down.

I have levelized payments, so instead of paying the actual bill of $183, I will see a bill of $222 each month. Smooths down the summer month's billings.

I have tried very hard to keep my body well-hydrated. :beer

Broken Man 1999

rgs92
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby rgs92 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:48 pm

$370/month here on a budget plan for electric and natural gas combined (NYC metro area) for about 2700sf (gas heat), so your total bill sounds OK to me. It depends if you are in the CA desert or inland empire of course.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby GoldenFinch » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:54 pm

That sounds very high, even with a pool pump. Any neighbors you can ask for a local comparison?

Gill
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Gill » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:58 pm

I think the key is the price you pay per kWh which seems to be 20 cents. This is about double the price in this part of Florida which is about 10 cents per kWh. My high bills for the year are about $300 which is with a 4,200 square foot house, two A/C units, two water heaters, four refrigerators and a pool pump.
Gill
Last edited by Gill on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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knpstr
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby knpstr » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:58 pm

yes on both fronts.

You seem to be using a lot of kwh, and you seem to be paying a lot per kwh. But you are in CA...so I don't know those rates, but I have to pay about 11.5c per kwh, where you are at about 20c per kwh.

:beer
Last edited by knpstr on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HueyLD
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby HueyLD » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:00 pm

Luckywon wrote:I'm in Southern California, in a 2500 sq. ft. house. Just the electricity part of my utility bill averages 1500 kWh/month which is about $300. It's always seemed high to me but I have no basis for comparison. Would love to hear usage and charges/month from other members!

Added detail: I have a pool where I have to run a pump 6 hours/day. Almost never use AC and heat is gas. Most major appliances are gas.

My guess is that the pool pump is the energy hog.

Does your electric utility offer some kind of home energy audit at a reasonable cost (or no cost)? You may also want to change all lighting in the house to LED light, etc.

I know a family in Arizona with a house size comparable to yours and their peak electricity usage during the hot summer months (100 - 110 F) was about 1,000 KWH.

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SurfCityBill
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby SurfCityBill » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:00 pm

Luckywon,

my circumstances are very similar to yours except no a/c here. Live in SoCal with an average monthly bill of $80. $60+ in winter, $100-120 summer. I've learned to cheat a little on the pool pump. Run it consistently in summer but skimp a little in winter with no water quality issues. Turned off the extra refrig in the garage and that saved about $30/month. All that being said, my neighbors house is under 2000 sq ft and his bills were $150+. He just went solar but we could never figure out why his was so much higher than mine.

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CAsage
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby CAsage » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm

Mind boggling. So I was able to retire because I don't have a pool? So Cal, few miles from beach, AC only in Aug/Sept (or more with global warming...). Peak electric bill in summer maybe $80, average $35 most months. Good grief! 2000 sf house, lots of LED.

Gill
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Gill » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:05 pm

I don't think pool pumps use all that much power based on 40 years of having several in Florida. Air conditioning is the big factor in Southern areas.
Gill

Bwise1
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Bwise1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:30 pm

SoCal Valley here. 70-80 bucks in the winter and 90-140 in the summer. Only DW and I for now and we are out of the house for most of M-F. No pool though (for now)... 3700 sqft

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jesscj
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby jesscj » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:07 pm

Colorado last month electric was a total of 41.97, 374kWH $28.24, monthly fee $12.40,tax $1.33
2200sq house forced air heating. electric oven,drier.
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hdlnr2001
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby hdlnr2001 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:58 pm

Upper Midwest. 4,075 square foot brick home with two furnaces, two AC units, two refrigerators and a stand alone freezer, gas range and water heater. Our "budget billing" (24-month average) for electricity and gas is $236. Looks like our most recent cost per kWh is just under $0.11 (winter rate). Gas cost per ccf is about $0.77.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby unclescrooge » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:01 pm

You need a more efficient pool pump.

Also, you probably have single pane windows.

inbox788
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby inbox788 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:08 am

Yes it's high.

You should look into solar. You might be able to lease and save some money each month right off the bat. Even more if you use AC in summer.

Also, solar thermal heating system for the pool can be cost effective.

Angelus359
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Angelus359 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:23 am

I have a corner top floor (2 story building) condo near Chicago that is 1100sqft with my electric bill ranging from 35 to 55$ a month, with no restrictions in place in regard to air conditioning, or heating.

Summers hit 105f here, and winter's hit as low as -20f
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jharkin
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby jharkin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:46 am

I love how people jump on solar without first addressing usage, or blame your heat,AC or windows(?) even after you mentioned that your heat is gas and you dont use the A/C in the first post :oops:

Electric rates vary wildly across the country so lets ignore the $$ to start and look at usage. 1500 kWh per month IS high for a household without large electric heat, appliance or AC loads.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3
Nationally the average American household uses 900kWh per month. This average includes all electric households and A/C heavy homes in the deep south so we would expect a mild climate household not using electric heat or AC to be lower

You need to figure out where all that power goes. For example - I live in an old house and use an average of 1000 per month year round but I know exactly why - I have a damp basement and a dehumidifier runs 24/7 to the tune of about 300kWh per month year round. Subtract that out and my use is about 500- 600/mo in winter and about 800-1000/mo in summer during heavy AC months.


The pool pump is a likely culprit. You should look for a label on it and find the consumption and multiple that by the hours per month. Once we know that if whats left is still high then you need to do some investigating. This is an interesting series of from a solar power hobby site about how one family reduced their electric usage by half: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Co ... #PowerHogs

Do you leave lights on all the time in rooms that are not being used?
Do you have high efficiency LED or CFL bulbs all around?
Do you tend to leave TVs and computers on?
Old appliances?
etc?

To help trace down the culprits you can buy a device called a Kill-A-Watt. you plug in appliances to it one at a time for about a day each and it will measure the exact consumption.
https://www.amazon.com/P3-International ... ill-a-watt.


Address consumption FIRST. If you get the kWh numbers down to a reasonable level and the $ bills are still high then look at switching to a competitive supplier or consider solar to further reduce the $$.....

Tamarind
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Tamarind » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:02 am

August wrote:Mine averages $60.00 in the winter and $100-110 in the summer (due to AC). I live in NC. ETA: I have a 1500 sq foot house.


My situation is very similar to this (also on gas heat) and I'll note that my home is relatively poorly insulated. In SoCal, it makes sense that you would seldom use AC, but if that's the case it makes your bill seem higher still!

If it's not the pool pump: Some utilities will lend you (or you can purchase) a usage meter that you plug appliances into to get a reading of their true usage (including when turned off). Check TVs, computers, refrigerator, as small appliances that are left plugged in even when they are off.

It's also possible that you are using AC more than you think. I got a Nest as a gift and it has helped keep the gas bill lower this winter because I was able to see how often the heat was running while I was out of the house, and could set a different schedule for when I'm actually home vs when I'm "usually" home as with the standard programmable thermostat. We'll see if it continues to pay for itself over the summer.

bloom2708
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby bloom2708 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:48 am

jharkin wrote:I love how people jump on solar without first addressing usage, or blame your heat,AC or windows(?) even after you mentioned that your heat is gas and you dont use the A/C in the first post :oops:

Electric rates vary wildly across the country so lets ignore the $$ to start and look at usage. 1500 kWh per month IS high for a household without large electric heat, appliance or AC loads.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3
Nationally the average American household uses 900kWh per month. This average includes all electric households and A/C heavy homes in the deep south so we would expect a mild climate household not using electric heat or AC to be lower

You need to figure out where all that power goes. For example - I live in an old house and use an average of 1000 per month year round but I know exactly why - I have a damp basement and a dehumidifier runs 24/7 to the tune of about 300kWh per month year round. Subtract that out and my use is about 500- 600/mo in winter and about 800-1000/mo in summer during heavy AC months.


The pool pump is a likely culprit. You should look for a label on it and find the consumption and multiple that by the hours per month. Once we know that if whats left is still high then you need to do some investigating. This is an interesting series of from a solar power hobby site about how one family reduced their electric usage by half: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Co ... #PowerHogs

Do you leave lights on all the time in rooms that are not being used?
Do you have high efficiency LED or CFL bulbs all around?
Do you tend to leave TVs and computers on?
Old appliances?
etc?

To help trace down the culprits you can buy a device called a Kill-A-Watt. you plug in appliances to it one at a time for about a day each and it will measure the exact consumption.
https://www.amazon.com/P3-International ... ill-a-watt.


Address consumption FIRST. If you get the kWh numbers down to a reasonable level and the $ bills are still high then look at switching to a competitive supplier or consider solar to further reduce the $$.....


+1 for looking into your consumption.

I have two of the Kill-O-Watt units. You set your rate (avg) and then plug a device in for a period of time. It will give you the daily, monthly, yearly cost of running said device.

Switching to LED lights can make a difference. Our home has ~50 recessed lights in the different areas. When I moved in, each had a 120 watt bulb. Some had 150 watt bulbs. Changing to 16 watt LED bulbs, that is a 7 to 1 conversion. Using LED bulbs in the frequently used lights is a good place to start.

Check refrigerators, freezers, the pool pump seems a likely culprit as mentioned. Outdoor lighting, desktop computers, humidifiers, de-humidifiers. The age of the AC unit and the SEER rating (multi-stage) can also make a huge difference in electricity used.

If you can work your usage down to that 900 to 1,000 KWH range (or under), then you can address the cost to some limited extent.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HoberMallow
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby HoberMallow » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:38 am

We're in inland LA county (near Pasadena), in an 1800 sq ft house. We have an electric car (Chevy Volt) and a pool. Last year our electricity consumption was 500-600 kWh per month in the winter. Our peak consumption was 1100 kWh in July when the AC was running constantly. Charging the Volt uses around 250 kWh per month - without that our consumption would be more like 350 in the winter and 850 in the summer.

The pool pump is probably the culprit. You should look into a variable speed pump. I've heard claims that they reduce consumption by 80%, but we don't have one so that's unverified. Many utilities have rebates as well.

I also think most people run their pool pumps way more than necessary. We just had our pool replastered. This was planned since last summer, so I went very light on pool maintenance this winter, since I knew we'd have to drain all the water anyway. I kept the chlorine level up and the pH in range, but only ran the pump for a couple of hours per week. The water stayed balanced and we had no problems with algae or anything else. We have a robot pool cleaner and I ran it every couple of weeks to pick up the accumulated leaves and debris. After it did its thing, the pool looked great. In the winter when the pool isn't in use I'll bet you can cut the filter back to an hour a day with no problems. Our pump draws 2 kW. If yours is the same, this change alone would cut 300 kWh from your monthly consumption.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby DaftInvestor » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:05 am

I agree with others - would take a close look at the pool pump. How old is it? Should be easy to verify if you have a meter that is readable by yourself- check your daily consumption by looking at your meter and then don't run your pool for one day and look at your meter that day.
It might not be that you need a variable or a special pool pump - the pump may simply be old and drawing far more power than it should be for its HP.
I run my pool pump for about 9 hours a day. Unlike the prior poster, even though I keep all my levels correct - I have found with anything lower (I tried cutting down to 6 hours one year, then tried 7 one year, then 8 one year) I start to get problems (this likely highly depends upon climate, etc. - I live in a climate that is very hot and humid in the summer versus the prior poster where the air is cooler and there is less humidity) - they do say if you don't run in contiguously so the pool isn't stagnant for an extended time you are also better off and may not need to run it as long (e.g. rather than run it for 6 hours straight - you might be able to get away with running it for 2.5 hours during the day and 2.5 hours at night).

Also - make sure there aren't any electrical cords plugged into your outside outlets running over to a neighbors house - maybe someone is steeling your electricity :)

blurryvision
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby blurryvision » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:15 am

Yes your bill is high, I think it's your pool pump.

We also live in Socal (Orange County) in a 2500sqft 2 story home. 2 of us and a baby. Our electric bill runs about $40 to $50 a month in the non-summer months and in the summers can be as high as $80 to $100 if we use our air conditioning. Our A/C is definitely a huge electric hog, but we are not going to let our baby sweat.

pshonore
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby pshonore » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:30 am

Average about $95 (500 Kw) per month in Central CT - little higher in Dec/Jan when oil burner is running and July/Aug when Central Air is on. Oil fired heat and HW, electric stove and dryer. My bill dropped about 10% when I replaced my Plasma TV, and outdoor lighting, etc with LEDs. 2400 sq ft Colonial with two occupants.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Sheepdog » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:33 am

Electricity in Indiana is not high in comparison. Our home is single story brick 2000 sq ft. No pool, however. We heat, cook and supply hot water with gas. Total electric cost in 2016 was $1,023 or an average of $85.25 per month. (Gas averaged $59 per month.)
However good or bad a situation is, it will change

fishandgolf
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby fishandgolf » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:54 am

Upper mid-west, 2800 sq ft. gas heat, elec. dryer. Have two refrigerators and one upright freezer. Also running a night light for security purposes.
During the summer months, I run a dehumidifier, which I know uses a lot of energy.

Avg. monthly is $150.00. Low of $111.00 in March .....high of $192.00 in August. Cost of $0.13111 per kWh

carolinaman
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby carolinaman » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:02 am

Our electric utility provides comparison of our bill with averages for our type of usage and also compares against efficient home. Since usage varies by locale, that is helpful for us. Does your utility do that?

Also, many utilities will do free energy audits that can identify things to do to reduce consumption. We did that and it was a thorough audit that was really helpful for us.

fishandgolf
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby fishandgolf » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:09 am

carolinaman wrote:Our electric utility provides comparison of our bill with averages for our type of usage and also compares against efficient home. Since usage varies by locale, that is helpful for us. Does your utility do that?

Also, many utilities will do free energy audits that can identify things to do to reduce consumption. We did that and it was a thorough audit that was really helpful for us.


Our electric utility provider also provides a comparison to homes in our area of similar size and appliances. I recently did an energy audit (verbal) and the auditor told me that most families only have one refrigerator and no upright freezers. I find that hard to believe. In any case, our usage is ~20% higher than the average home in our area.

msk
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby msk » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:26 am

I think the focus should be on the kWh/month so it would be easier to compare. 1500 kWh for a house that size in a fairly mild climate is IMHO excessive. Are there kids who leave air conditioners running excessively? Power hogs are anything to do with cooling or heating (cooking with electricity? heating the pool with a resistive heater rather than a heat exchanger?). I use, on average over the year, about 3500 kWh/month for a 14,000 sq ft house with 4 occupants, pool, and in a much hotter climate than California. Up to 4500 kWh / peak summer month. My pool uses solar heating (tubing rather than photo-electric) and has an over-sized pump, hence I run it only 6 hours a day. Cooking is by LPG except ovens and microwave. We have 3 fridges and one bulk freezer. I would suggest that the items to check ought to be:
Your pool pump may be way oversized for your use of the pool. Cut back the timer by an hour each day until the water loses some clarity. Perhaps only 3 hours is enough? Pool heating using a resistive heater can get excessively expensive. If you need pool heating switch to either solar or a heat exchanger.
Change all the light bulbs in the fixtures you use for several hours a night to LED.
Make sure kids do not run air conditioners with a window open. It happens...
Your electricity meter may be defective. I owned 30 rental units and every few years a meter somewhere needed to be changed out.

niners9088
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby niners9088 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:37 am

It looks like you have both a consumption and cost issue.

On the consumption side I've found that if you truly are operating the pump only 6-8 hours per day it seems most likely you are using about 300-500 kwh for it. You can get a Kill-A-Watt device to verify but can also look at setting a timer for having it run. Likewise you should examine the other areas in your house where you could be getting a large electricity usage. Think big appliance, Fridges, Dryers, Water Heater, HVAC system, etc.

On the cost side the national average is around $0.12 per Kwh. Looks like you are at close to $0.20 or 40% higher. If you are on a tiered structure you could set the pool pump to operating in the lowest tier which will save some. After you examine your consumption it would then make sense to look at solar options.

Frisco Kid
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Frisco Kid » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:43 am

in our part of the Bay Area rates are tiered. Last month used 337 kWh @ 20 cents (Tier 1) plus an additional 305 kWh @ 28 cents (Tier 2). Total bill $152 for electric only, we have gas for stove, hot water and heat with no AC. House is 1400 square feet with partial insulation. Earlier in the year additional usage had us in Tier 3 @ 40 cents for 235 kWh due to use of Xmas lights. That months bill electric only was $254. Middle of summer we will be around $125. Like others have said, only way to compare is cost per kWh and California looks to be on the higher end of cost............. Lucky us!

pshonore
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby pshonore » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:50 am

niners9088 wrote:It looks like you have both a consumption and cost issue.

On the consumption side I've found that if you truly are operating the pump only 6-8 hours per day it seems most likely you are using about 300-500 kwh for it. You can get a Kill-A-Watt device to verify but can also look at setting a timer for having it run. Likewise you should examine the other areas in your house where you could be getting a large electricity usage. Think big appliance, Fridges, Dryers, Water Heater, HVAC system, etc.

On the cost side the national average is around $0.12 per Kwh. Looks like you are at close to $0.20 or 40% higher. If you are on a tiered structure you could set the pool pump to operating in the lowest tier which will save some. After you examine your consumption it would then make sense to look at solar options.
Kill-A-Watt is great to measure usage but you have to plug in the device to a standard 120V plug. No stoves, dryers, oil burners, HVAC, Hot Water heaters, well water pumps, outdoor lights, wired light fixtures like ceiling lights, etc.

Valuethinker
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:57 pm

Luckywon wrote:I'm in Southern California, in a 2500 sq. ft. house. Just the electricity part of my utility bill averages 1500 kWh/month which is about $300. It's always seemed high to me but I have no basis for comparison. Would love to hear usage and charges/month from other members!

Added detail: I have a pool where I have to run a pump 6 hours/day. Almost never use AC and heat is gas. Most major appliances are gas.


As per others, you are too high for someone who heats with gas and never uses AC.

Pump is likely villain. Old fridges and freezers (more than 20 years old) are quite possibly another one. And old fashioned halogen and incandescent bulbs.

squirm
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby squirm » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:13 pm

Apples to apples requires comparing usage not cost.
Your usage is high, but not too bad. Our usage is about half, but we don't have a pool.
Consider going into a time of usage rate, so you can run the pool at night. You probably already know about lights, etc etc.
.

Frankly I doubt metering everything will help much, just look for the obvious, anything that's putting out heat or seems hot.... Plasma TV's, computer that doesn't go into standby, etc.

You're probably hitting higher tiers, might want to cut back on the pool pump, try four hours, see how that affects usage.

But Create an account online with your utility, you should be able to see your three day old data usage in 15 minutes windows, that way you can nail down what's going on.

Consider solar if the cheap and easy remedies don't help much. We have solar, we pay zero and can run the ac when we want during the summer.
Last edited by squirm on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby whodidntante » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:27 pm

My electric bill is $100 a month for a 2,100 sq ft house, but I have no idea how that will help you.

Kill a watt meters are easy to use and are cheap, if you don't know where the money is going.

madbrain
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby madbrain » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:14 pm

Luckywon wrote:I'm in Southern California, in a 2500 sq. ft. house. Just the electricity part of my utility bill averages 1500 kWh/month which is about $300. It's always seemed high to me but I have no basis for comparison. Would love to hear usage and charges/month from other members!

Added detail: I have a pool where I have to run a pump 6 hours/day. Almost never use AC and heat is gas. Most major appliances are gas.


Yes, that's quite a bit given your situation.

We have a 4600 sq ft house in California and have been using about the same as you, 18,000 kWh last year - or 1500 kWh/month on average .
That's including one electric car, also. We just added a second one, so that will push us higher. We didn't run the hot tub last year. We have 7 computers, 3 printers, DVR, home theater, 3 large TVs, a dry sauna (not frequently used), 2 very efficient air conditioners, which we run a lot in the summer.

We have a 9.5 kWh solar system, which offset almost all the electric bill last year. Net electric bill was $60 for the 2016 year.

We just added a second electric car which will push probably push us to 22,000 kWh per year . We may add more solar capacity to offset it.

We use natural gas for the 2 furnaces, 2 water heaters, outdoor grill, and our clothes dryer. We spent more on heating - about $1,000 on an annual basis. Gas bill is under $20 in the summer months, though.

My advice :
- put a kill-a-watt device on anything that's plug-in, and measure things . Lots of devices have "vampire" idle power. You may be very surprised how much idle devices use, especially older ones.

For example, I went from an 80W DVR to a 40W DVR. I went from a 40W idle network printer to a 1W idle network printer. Those 2 changes alone saved about 2 kWh per day together.
- I had a koi pond pump that ran 24/7 and used 100W . Hated the noise, turned off the pump, filled the pond. Another 2.4 kWh per day

Luckywon
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Luckywon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Many thanks for all the great comments and advice! Just for some detail, there are only two of us in the house, and we don't have an electric car.
So, clearly, my usage is high. The charge/kWh is also high, because I reach a high tier.

I'm pretty sure the pool pump is the major culprit. I had a pool contractor come by and he said the pump is more than 20 years old and a new one would probably pull 1/4 the power. I'm going to replace the pump. If that does not work, I will get a Kill-A-Watt and nose around some more.

Hopefully will have some happy update after all that is done!!

Thanks again to all, I appreciated every response!

boglegirl
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby boglegirl » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:09 pm

blurryvision wrote:Yes your bill is high, I think it's your pool pump.

We also live in Socal (Orange County) in a 2500sqft 2 story home. 2 of us and a baby. Our electric bill runs about $40 to $50 a month in the non-summer months and in the summers can be as high as $80 to $100 if we use our air conditioning. Our A/C is definitely a huge electric hog, but we are not going to let our baby sweat.


I, too, am in Orange County in a 2500sqft 2 story home. Please tell me you live on the coast...I am inland OC, and I and my neighbors would cry with joy if we received a $100 summer bill.

Our bill is about $120 without A/C (we have an old, inefficient spa pump that runs 2 hours a day and I'm not sure how much that adds), and about $200 with A/C (we have a very efficient new A/C system that we run a LOT during the summer so I guess I'm happy it only costs $100 or less a month for the A/C).

ETA: The minute I posted this I remembered that the spa was drained for a long time when we first moved in, so we didn't run the pump, and our bill was never under $100. I just can't imagine you pay only $40/month for lighting, refrigeration, appliances, TV, computing, etc.!! We have approx 75% LED lighting, plus modern appliances and gas cooking/water heating, so I think we're pretty efficient.

TheEternalVortex
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby TheEternalVortex » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:16 pm

Ours is around $300 but we use AC a lot. So it seems not that unreasonable.

finite_difference
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby finite_difference » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:09 pm

A few more ideas:

-Replace all your lights so they are LED. CFL/fluorescent is OK if you already have that.
-Check your AC filters and replace or clean them on time.
-Get a programmable thermostat if you don't have one and learn how to use it. Apparently 50% of people don't program them right.
-Adjust the temperature gradually higher to acclimate yourself. I can handle up to 77-78 now lol.
-Check all your windows to make sure some aren't accidentally cracked open.
-Another big energy hog is heated floors, especially if electric. Doesn't sound like you have those though.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Angelus359
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Angelus359 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:17 pm

It terrifies me that my monthly average is around 40$, and you all have such high electric costs.

I have a 65 inch TV, several videogame consoles, a gaming desktop computer, a gaming laptop, a tablet, 2 cellphones, 1000va battery, run my furnace fan continuously, and my AC is on whenever it's needed, when my area gets to 105F

My place (condo)is 1100sqft, has 50% exposed walls with no insulation at all, topfloor with roof with 3 inches of fiberglass insulation when building code saids 12 inch is minimum

What's going on here?

Why are my bills so different
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sabhen
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby sabhen » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Live in Southern California with pool running about 5 hrs a day. My average usage for March is -2.8 kWh/per day. almost never use AC. installed energy star fridge, energy efficient bulbs. Cut the cord and do not watch TV. More importantly has solar panels installed by previous owner. Replaced the AC/DC inverter. I expect a rebate from Edison at the end of the year. Cannot complain about that. The downsid is my water consumption is high because of the pool.

socalsri
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby socalsri » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:30 am

boglegirl wrote:I, too, am in Orange County in a 2500sqft 2 story home. Please tell me you live on the coast...I am inland OC, and I and my neighbors would cry with joy if we received a $100 summer bill.

Our bill is about $120 without A/C (we have an old, inefficient spa pump that runs 2 hours a day and I'm not sure how much that adds), and about $200 with A/C (we have a very efficient new A/C system that we run a LOT during the summer so I guess I'm happy it only costs $100 or less a month for the A/C).

ETA: The minute I posted this I remembered that the spa was drained for a long time when we first moved in, so we didn't run the pump, and our bill was never under $100. I just can't imagine you pay only $40/month for lighting, refrigeration, appliances, TV, computing, etc.!! We have approx 75% LED lighting, plus modern appliances and gas cooking/water heating, so I think we're pretty efficient.


I'm not the OP, but I live in the OC as well, about 12 miles from the ocean. We live in a 2200 sq ft home and our average usage is around 350 Kwh a month. The highest over the last 12 months was 550 Kwh. We pay 0.16/kwh in the lowest tier and are usually about 100Kw into the next tier which is 0.25. In dollar amounts, our usual bill is about $50/month and on hot summers can hit $100 with A/C use. BTW, our A/C is relatively new, but it's not a high efficiency by any means (14 SEER I think). We have all LEDs around the house and our windows are all dual-pane. Fridge is a pretty efficient one as well. Besides me, the rest of the family (wife and 2 kids) don't exactly do a good job of turning off unused lights so I'm thankful for the LED efficiency!


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