Is my electric bill high?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Valuethinker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:56 am

Angelus359 wrote: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

Where you live? Many of these posters have heat pumps or don't have gas heat or big AC loads.

You haven't told us your consumption in kwhr, just your bill.

$40 a month in parts of the US South is c. 500 kwhr pcm (8 c/ kwrh. In parts of Connecticut and New York, apparently, it could be 250 kwhr pcm (20 c/ kwhr). With California tierred pricing, it could be less than that (25 or 30 c/ kwhr for higher tiers).

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby tigermilk » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:05 am

Houston 2400 sqft house with gas heater, water heater and stove, all else electric. Will range from $50 or so in winter to $250-$300 in the summer. Just paid the latest bill yesterday for about $125. The a/c has been on a fair amount the last month - getting to that time of year. Gas will run us $20 or so in the warmer months and highly variable between November and February. Was rather mild this winter with the heater not getting much use.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby bluebolt » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:40 am

FYI for folks wanting to use Kill-A-Watts for a one time check on their home - some libraries have Kill-A-Watts and let you check them out.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby jlcnuke » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:48 am

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.

Using the "average" rate for California of 15.42 cents per kWh, your bill would be $228. Being in Southern California, your rates are probably towards the high end of the rates in the state, so probably more than that. I'm guessing your pump is running during the peak hours (where you're charged more per kWh)? If so, see about switching the schedule for that to an off-peak time to cut back on how much it costs. Not sure what else is using up your electricity though as you seem to be using a lot more than the average household.

In 2011, the following was concluded in this article ... your-state
The average price people in the U.S. pay for electricity is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. (Context: A typical U.S. household uses about 908 kWh a month of electricity.)

In summary, you're paying more than the "average" person would for the same usage (but California has higher than average prices for electricity so that kinda makes sense) but you also have higher than average usage which contributes to your higher bill.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Rob54keep » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:10 am

I live in north Texas so the summers are indeed hot. We have a home that is 2770 sq ft with 2 levels and 2 AC units (build in 2010). For the last 5 years we avg. 1272 kWh/mo with an avg costs of $155/mo (summers ~$200 and winters ~$90). I pay by using a 12 month avg billing so each month bill is always around $130.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby monty » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:58 am

I live in Mpls and I've always had a monthly bill of $100-$140 and it was much higher than my neighbors. I finally picked up a meter and the main culprits were 2 home theater multi channel amps that I just left on, thinking that they didn't use much in standby. I now turn them of when not in use and with other changes(ditched plasma tv and bought lcd, replaced old basement fridge and turn off lights when not needed) We've cut our electrical bill in half, $57 last month, the meter paid for itself in one month.
Another thing I did was take daily readings on my meter to track usage and figure out what was causing changes from day to day. That's something you could do with your pump.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby Angelus359 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:58 am

My annual average is 287kwh per month.

I live in Illinois about 30 miles Southwest of Chicago.
IT Coordinator for public sector

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby furikake » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:57 pm

I'm in North Texas, so it's hot here in the summer. Highest bill last year in the summer was $156. Our house is about 5,000 sqft, 1-story. No pool. We do have 2 big AC units, and fans in all rooms. We're home everyday also, but no pool.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby RCL » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Here are some things I found when I started researching my homes power usage

My garage refrigerator (over 20 yrs old) used over 4 kw's per day according to my Kill-a-Watt survey. I replace it with a newer cheapo one that was not Energy Star Certified, and it only uses about 950 watts a day.

According to the power meters from SCE and the solar company, my variable speed pool pump, when operating at low speed, uses 1/5 the power of what it uses on High speed!!. Better yet, the automatic pool cleaning device still operates when the pump is running at low speed.

After researching how much energy was being sucked down by the 1989 era HVAC, I decided it was prudent to change it out as well a few years ago.
After a few more small changes, my electricity usage was cut in half. Currently, my solar covers everything, and SCE (Southern California Edison), has to pay me at the end of each 12 month period.

I found all kinds of other electronic devices that were using power when you wouldn't think they would be. The largest user was the DVR!

Good luck on your quest to reduce your overall power can actually be a fun project

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby blurryvision » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:03 am

boglegirl wrote:
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.

Just saw this notification now. We are in north-west Orange County, in Brea. Our most recent bill was $3.33! That's not a typo. This is due to a California Climate Credit, so I'm guessing everyone here in California with SCE received the same credit. We used 204kWh last month.

Previous month's bill was $44.90 with 269kWh use.

We have all LED or CF lighting, electric stovetop, LED TV, and energy efficient refrigerator, microwave, washer, dryer. Our biggest electricity hog is definitely the A/C. Thankfully it's been cooler lately and we haven't used our A/C in a while.

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Re: Is my electric bill high?

Postby sabhen » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:17 am

My net electrical bill for April is -$40 (a refund) from SCE. I live in Southern California and I have a pool with a constant speed pump that runs about 5 hr a day. I am looking into variable speed pump. I have solar panels. I also upgraded to an energy star fridge and do not watch TV. installed LED bulbs. Love these solar panels :happy. Also I unplug computers when not in use most of the time.

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