Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

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mav12
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Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm

First, you guys are an awesome group of people. I value very much diversity of your thoughts and ideas.

I live in an all electric house. We purchased it some time ago and didn't really pay close attention to $350-$400 electricity bills monthly. The house was unfinished, but (I guess, it was up to the code, build in 1997). We paid extra to finish the "attic" and converted to two rooms. There is no crawl space above the 2nd floor, no access to the attic, but through an unfinished garage. The garage is not insulated and you can climb on top, but the contractors "bolted down" access to the rest of the house. Although, by climbing through the garage I can see insulation (seemed like a cheap recycled material) on top of the first floor.

We have no duct work, heat by space heaters.

Looking for ways to save on electricity, heat and water heater. I live in Oregon and was considering replacing a water heater (manufactured in 2007).
There are so many options, such as a hybrid electric, which will cost about $2000 installed, up next is actually connecting a gas line, gas access is $650 +$1350 to run pipes from the outside to a water heater + a gas water heater, for a total around $2700-$3000.

I'm also about to replace a roof and was thinking of taking down the roof and add extra insulation .? Is it doable?
Is it worth converting to a gas or get a hybrid? The down-side of the hybrid that in Oregon we have temps at or below 40F from Oct/Nov through March, so don't know it the hybrid is worth it. The other alternative is a condensing gas water heater, cost $6000 installed.

Or just sell the house and find a more energy efficient one?

Very much appreciate your thoughts.

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fortfun
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by fortfun » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:53 pm

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
First, you guys are an awesome group of people. I value very much diversity of your thoughts and ideas.

I live in an all electric house. We purchased it some time ago and didn't really pay close attention to $350-$400 electricity bills monthly. The house was unfinished, but (I guess, it was up to the code, build in 1997). We paid extra to finish the "attic" and converted to two rooms. There is no crawl space above the 2nd floor, no access to the attic, but through an unfinished garage. The garage is not insulated and you can climb on top, but the contractors "bolted down" access to the rest of the house. Although, by climbing through the garage I can see insulation (seemed like a cheap recycled material) on top of the first floor.

We have no duct work, heat by space heaters.

Looking for ways to save on electricity, heat and water heater. I live in Oregon and was considering replacing a water heater (manufactured in 2007).
There are so many options, such as a hybrid electric, which will cost about $2000 installed, up next is actually connecting a gas line, gas access is $650 +$1350 to run pipes from the outside to a water heater + a gas water heater, for a total around $2700-$3000.

I'm also about to replace a roof and was thinking of taking down the roof and add extra insulation .? Is it doable?
Is it worth converting to a gas or get a hybrid? The down-side of the hybrid that in Oregon we have temps at or below 40F from Oct/Nov through March, so don't know it the hybrid is worth it. The other alternative is a condensing gas water heater, cost $6000 installed.

Or just sell the house and find a more energy efficient one?

Very much appreciate your thoughts.
It will take you a long time to break even on those improvements. Even if you move into a more efficient house, I bet you'll have a combined gas/electric bill of $200 a month, so I'm not sure buying a more efficient house will save you a lot of money. Does your electric company or city provide free energy audits? If so, I'd have them come out and give you a recommendation on what to do.

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mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:56 pm

fortfun wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:53 pm
mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
First, you guys are an awesome group of people. I value very much diversity of your thoughts and ideas.

I live in an all electric house. We purchased it some time ago and didn't really pay close attention to $350-$400 electricity bills monthly. The house was unfinished, but (I guess, it was up to the code, build in 1997). We paid extra to finish the "attic" and converted to two rooms. There is no crawl space above the 2nd floor, no access to the attic, but through an unfinished garage. The garage is not insulated and you can climb on top, but the contractors "bolted down" access to the rest of the house. Although, by climbing through the garage I can see insulation (seemed like a cheap recycled material) on top of the first floor.

We have no duct work, heat by space heaters.

Looking for ways to save on electricity, heat and water heater. I live in Oregon and was considering replacing a water heater (manufactured in 2007).
There are so many options, such as a hybrid electric, which will cost about $2000 installed, up next is actually connecting a gas line, gas access is $650 +$1350 to run pipes from the outside to a water heater + a gas water heater, for a total around $2700-$3000.

I'm also about to replace a roof and was thinking of taking down the roof and add extra insulation .? Is it doable?
Is it worth converting to a gas or get a hybrid? The down-side of the hybrid that in Oregon we have temps at or below 40F from Oct/Nov through March, so don't know it the hybrid is worth it. The other alternative is a condensing gas water heater, cost $6000 installed.

Or just sell the house and find a more energy efficient one?

Very much appreciate your thoughts.
It will take you a long time to break even on those improvements. Even if you move into a more efficient house, I bet you'll have a combined gas/electric bill of $200 a month, so I'm not sure buying a more efficient house will save you a lot of money. Does your electric company or city provide free energy audits? If so, I'd have them come out and give you a recommendation on what to do.

Good point, thank you. I checked with a few contractors and they want to remove walls from outside or inside to access the existing insulation or add extra siding, which may cost about $6K . ?

PoppyA
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by PoppyA » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:58 pm

I saw a YouTube video that showed one of the biggest energy sucks in a home is the cable box. No kidding it equaled a refrigerator. DH said when we went from 3 boxes to 1 box there was a huge electric savings

Starfish
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Starfish » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:01 pm

The water heater uses energy only if you use hot water. Do you use that much water? Mine a negligible addition to the bill.
My washing machine and dishwasher heat water locally, so there is not much you can do there.
Unless you have giant shower heads and use a lot of water I don't see how the water heater can make much of a difference.

Starfish
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Starfish » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:03 pm

PoppyA wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:58 pm
I saw a YouTube video that showed one of the biggest energy sucks in a home is the cable box. No kidding it equaled a refrigerator. DH said when we went from 3 boxes to 1 box there was a huge electric savings
A refrigerator takes 1-200Wh. The average american house uses about 1MWh of energy per month. It's not insignificant but not a large percentage.

Topic Author
mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:13 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:01 pm
The water heater uses energy only if you use hot water. Do you use that much water? Mine a negligible addition to the bill.
My washing machine and dishwasher heat water locally, so there is not much you can do there.
Unless you have giant shower heads and use a lot of water I don't see how the water heater can make much of a difference.
I don't use water much. Same here in regards to a washing machine and a dishwasher. I noticed an uptick, when I wake up and to to bad and when we do laundry (and maybe using a dishware). We stopped "air" heating for a month now, just to see what might consume. Of course w/o space heaters the total bill dropped and we cut on frequency of laundry.

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mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:25 pm

PoppyA wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:58 pm
I saw a YouTube video that showed one of the biggest energy sucks in a home is the cable box. No kidding it equaled a refrigerator. DH said when we went from 3 boxes to 1 box there was a huge electric savings
i saw that too. I have a CenturyLink router, DSL service for $35/mo. i haven't checked, but I would guess that router consumes a negligible amount.

Steven in NC
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Steven in NC » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:41 pm

Wire in a timer on/off switch for your water heater. Simple DIY job or easy 1 hour electrician job.

http://www.outofdebtagain.com/2008/10/e ... ter-timer/

MathWizard
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by MathWizard » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:43 pm

Space heaters would be costing you lots of money. I would think that would be much more
than for your electric water heater.

Do you have AC? That could also cost you lots of electricity, so I would look into replacing heat and A/C
before worrying about the water heater. A hybrid water heater is an air source heat pump, pulling heat from your
home to heat the water, so in the winter, you'd need to spend more money on your electric heater to make
that up as well. I suspect that your electric bill will go down so much that other changes will not be needed.

If you can get a meter on where the usage is
With no ductwork, I would look into a minisplit system for heating. This is an air-source heatpump which
should work well in Oregon for both heating and cooling.

Topic Author
mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:46 pm

Steven in NC wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:41 pm
Wire in a timer on/off switch for your water heater. Simple DIY job or easy 1 hour electrician job.

http://www.outofdebtagain.com/2008/10/e ... ter-timer/
Good idea, but wouldn't it take more electricity to kick back in and to bring the water to the temps when I turn it on?

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mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:50 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:43 pm
Space heaters would be costing you lots of money. I would think that would be much more
than for your electric water heater.

Do you have AC? That could also cost you lots of electricity, so I would look into replacing heat and A/C
before worrying about the water heater. A hybrid water heater is an air source heat pump, pulling heat from your
home to heat the water, so in the winter, you'd need to spend more money on your electric heater to make
that up as well. I suspect that your electric bill will go down so much that other changes will not be needed.

If you can get a meter on where the usage is
With no ductwork, I would look into a minisplit system for heating. This is an air-source heatpump which
should work well in Oregon for both heating and cooling.

Thank you for your on-point suggestions. I have in a window AC. Using it rarely, only when it's really hot, like 95+F outside. A PGE guy suggested the same, minisplit system. What is the difference between the minisplit and portable circulating air space heaters?
Would a hybrid water heater make sense w/ our cool temps?

Starfish
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Starfish » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:54 pm

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:46 pm
Steven in NC wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:41 pm
Wire in a timer on/off switch for your water heater. Simple DIY job or easy 1 hour electrician job.

http://www.outofdebtagain.com/2008/10/e ... ter-timer/
Good idea, but wouldn't it take more electricity to kick back in and to bring the water to the temps when I turn it on?
Unless the insulation is bad, this is not a good idea.'
Go and touch your water heater. Does it feel hot or warm? Then you are losing heat. Is it at the room temp? Than is nothing you can do there.
Usually water heaters are well insulated. I would focus my efforts somewhere else.

Steven in NC
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Steven in NC » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:46 pm
Steven in NC wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:41 pm
Wire in a timer on/off switch for your water heater. Simple DIY job or easy 1 hour electrician job.

http://www.outofdebtagain.com/2008/10/e ... ter-timer/
Good idea, but wouldn't it take more electricity to kick back in and to bring the water to the temps when I turn it on?
That hasn't been my experience. I heat water from 6:00am to 8:00am and 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Just this amount of on time provides "hot enough" water thru out the day. Occasionally we will manually flip it to on during the off hours on the weekend. I have had these manual timers for 10+ years. Just an idea...if not to your liking then don't bother.

Topic Author
mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:22 am

Steven in NC wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm
mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:46 pm
Steven in NC wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:41 pm
Wire in a timer on/off switch for your water heater. Simple DIY job or easy 1 hour electrician job.

http://www.outofdebtagain.com/2008/10/e ... ter-timer/
Good idea, but wouldn't it take more electricity to kick back in and to bring the water to the temps when I turn it on?
That hasn't been my experience. I heat water from 6:00am to 8:00am and 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Just this amount of on time provides "hot enough" water thru out the day. Occasionally we will manually flip it to on during the off hours on the weekend. I have had these manual timers for 10+ years. Just an idea...if not to your liking then don't bother.
Thank you for the idea, exploring my options. Just asking if the switch actually saves $ on electricity in reality.

ddurrett896
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by ddurrett896 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:54 am

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
We have no duct work, heat by space heaters.
If you use heat often, this is a major drain. Add mini splits. My neighbor just did a 5 room addition and added 1 outdoor unit with a head in each room and his power bill didn't significantly change.
mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
Looking for ways to save on electricity, heat and water heater. I live in Oregon and was considering replacing a water heater (manufactured in 2007).
There are so many options, such as a hybrid electric, which will cost about $2000 installed, up next is actually connecting a gas line, gas access is $650 +$1350 to run pipes from the outside to a water heater + a gas water heater, for a total around $2700-$3000.
If you do a tankless, go gas.
If you do a tank, go with a basic unit (non-hybrid). Recovery time is bad, even on 80 gallon tank being used by a family with kids.
mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
I'm also about to replace a roof and was thinking of taking down the roof and add extra insulation .? Is it doable?
There should be insulation between the rooms sheetrock and the roof sheathing. If not, that's a major loss. The roof guy might be able to cut a hole and shoot insulation in the bay.

Frankly unless you plan on staying in the house forever, I wouldn't do much in terms of making it more efficient. If you think 10 years, I'd do the mini split. 20 years, I would do the insulation.

craimund
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by craimund » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:13 am

Space heaters are probably electric resistance heaters and would add a good chunk to your electricity bill in the colder months. Mini splits mentioned by someone above or ducted heat pump system would be a good investment if you plan on staying in the house long term.

Hybrid electric water heater would offer some cost savings over an electric model. Not nearly the bang for the buck but you may want to consider in you have an older electric model. I replaced an old electric water heater in my garage with a Rheem hybrid model about 2 years ago. Added bonus is it cools off the garage in the summer. Can ask the installer what the cost difference would be.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:21 am

You don't say where in Oregon you are but IF you are west of the mountains AND your electricity is from Bonneville, you are paying very little for electricity. A mini-split will cost about 1/3 to operate as compared to your resistance heaters. You can calculate how much that will save you and how long the payback is.

As an air conditioner, the comparative electricity savings are even higher.

You describe "cheap" insulation, if it is blown in cellulose you have a fine product and one that, if space permits, is easy to add to. That could be a DIY project. Fiberglass batts, very 20th century and usually not installed carefully leading to poor results/
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alter
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by alter » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:36 am

You may want to think about solar, so you can produce your own electricty. I just signed on a solar lease for enough panels to produce 75% of my own electricity. $400 a month is a crazy amount of money.

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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by FBN2014 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:43 am

I would do the energy audit first. The utility company should be able to give you an estimate of your cost and savings for various fixes. Some utilities offer rebates when you install energy saving features. If the payback period is over many, many years then I would consider selling the house and finding a more energy efficient one.
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6p24qtn
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by 6p24qtn » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:09 am

My wife likes to take a hot bath every night in our large bath tub to sooth her joint pain. I have always been suspicious as to how much electricity our electric water heater is consuming. A month ago, I installed a
power monitor on the water heater circuit. After a month's worth of recording, I have found that nearly half our electric bill is due to hot water. In NH, there is a $500 utility rebate for hybrid water heater. I think the breakeven point will be less than 3 years for us. I see a new water heater for us in the near future. BTW, I would take a natural gas heater over the electric hybrid if we had a natural gas service, but we only have propane in our rural area.

pshonore
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by pshonore » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:27 am

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:25 pm
PoppyA wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:58 pm
I saw a YouTube video that showed one of the biggest energy sucks in a home is the cable box. No kidding it equaled a refrigerator. DH said when we went from 3 boxes to 1 box there was a huge electric savings
i saw that too. I have a CenturyLink router, DSL service for $35/mo. i haven't checked, but I would guess that router consumes a negligible amount.
No way its the same as a Frig. I actually put Kill-a-watt device on mine to measure it. Frig used about 3kW per day depending on the season, cable box about .8kW per day. Actually it depends on the cable box. If it contains a DVR that typically records continuously by default even when switched off, it will use a lot more than a box that just switches channels. And you can turn off the continuous recording in the settings



ously

Smoke
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by Smoke » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:28 am

About the most a hybrid water heater will save you is 2/3 of your hw bill.
Figure aprox 500 per year with straight electric, save 330 per year.
I have a add on heat pump (that they don't make anymore) and thats what is saves me at my electric rate for the past 9 yrs.
Your $ amount will vary due to electric rates and usage.
Not much per month. but it is something, especially over time.

EDIT, I might add that this only saves during the Summer and non heating months IF it is installed within the heated living space, it would not save and make your heating bill higher inside the living space.
Best for in an unconditioned basement or an out building or garage.
Last edited by Smoke on Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

craimund
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by craimund » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:29 am

Image

Graph above shows energy use for a second home since Nov. 2017. My son left heat pump on emergency back-up (i.e., electric resistance) heat in our second home back in December 2017. The January 2018 reading was an estimate based on the previous year (meter not read). Feb. was an actual meter reading. I did not catch this mistake for a couple of months since the house was unoccupied during those months. And this was at a fairly low heat setting (60 degrees or so). This gives you an idea of the added cost of electric resistance vs air exchange heat pump.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

TBillT
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by TBillT » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:32 am

Northeast where we sometimes have real high cost (cents/kWhr) electric, in NJ years ago we switched from elec to oil hot water. Current house the owner switched to gas hot water. But Oregon with low elec costs, one would think electric hot water is not too bad.

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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by jharkin » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:40 am

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:44 pm
First, you guys are an awesome group of people. I value very much diversity of your thoughts and ideas.

I live in an all electric house. We purchased it some time ago and didn't really pay close attention to $350-$400 electricity bills monthly. The house was unfinished, but (I guess, it was up to the code, build in 1997). We paid extra to finish the "attic" and converted to two rooms. There is no crawl space above the 2nd floor, no access to the attic, but through an unfinished garage. The garage is not insulated and you can climb on top, but the contractors "bolted down" access to the rest of the house. Although, by climbing through the garage I can see insulation (seemed like a cheap recycled material) on top of the first floor.

We have no duct work, heat by space heaters.
This paragraph is a bit confusing, can you detangle some things for us so we can help?


#1 - What do you mean "the house was unfinished"? What was unfinished? Was the entire interior bare to the studs?

#2 - You say you "finished the attic" but then say you can access the "unfinished attic" through the garage. Is it finished or not? or are there multiple attic sections over different parts of the house?

#3 There is no need to insulate a garage unless you are going to treat it as conditioned space and heat it. Code might require it to be finished inside these days, not sure... but in the old days garages where all bare framing inside. Cars dont mind getting cold at night ;)

#4 The "cheap recycled material" is probably blown in cellulose. Its actually a very effective type of insulation to use, I much prefer it to fiberglass.
Image


#5 What do you mean by "space heaters"? Are you truly using portable units?? If so I'm not sure how the house got certified for occupancy.
If you have these in each room you have electric baseboard heat. That's not a "space heater" Its valid central heat but it is expensive as you found out.
Image


If you do have electric baseboards, one option is to have mini-split heat pump units installed. Those wont require ductwork, will be far cheaper than baseboard and also give you central air for the summer. Or get the gas line you mention run and have a gas furnace and ducts installed. Or a gas boiler and hydronic baseboard. Either of those is probably going to cost a lot more than a couple grand I suspect, I'd bet 10k+


BTW, $350 combined electric bill doesn't sound tooo bad for me. I'm in New England and we pay $150 for electric + $200-300 for gas in the winter so it all adds up in spite of the cheaper heating fuel..... But then again we see temps below zero in winter. I barely even need to turn the heat on when its in the 40s ;)

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fortfun
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by fortfun » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:45 am

Also, switch to an oil filled radiator type of electric heater. They are much more efficient than the cheap space heater with the spring coils. However, you should get an energy audit before spending much money. Your local library probably checks out a meter that you can plug into each device to see how much energy it is using. Sealing any draft is probably going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Especially, run your hand around all of your doors and windows and see if you can feel any draft. Seal those up first. Again, your library might check out a heat sensor that you can point at each door, window, etc. to detect cold spots.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:17 am

fortfun wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:45 am
Also, switch to an oil filled radiator type of electric heater. They are much more efficient than the cheap space heater with the spring
Electric heat, traditional resistance or the oil filled units, is 100% efficient. You may be referring to effectiveness, which would include more subjective measures of comfort. Ask Reddy Kilowatt :happy
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MathWizard
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by MathWizard » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:03 am

mav12 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:50 pm
MathWizard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:43 pm
Space heaters would be costing you lots of money. I would think that would be much more
than for your electric water heater.

Do you have AC? That could also cost you lots of electricity, so I would look into replacing heat and A/C
before worrying about the water heater. A hybrid water heater is an air source heat pump, pulling heat from your
home to heat the water, so in the winter, you'd need to spend more money on your electric heater to make
that up as well. I suspect that your electric bill will go down so much that other changes will not be needed.

If you can get a meter on where the usage is
With no ductwork, I would look into a minisplit system for heating. This is an air-source heatpump which
should work well in Oregon for both heating and cooling.

Thank you for your on-point suggestions. I have in a window AC. Using it rarely, only when it's really hot, like 95+F outside. A PGE guy suggested the same, minisplit system. What is the difference between the minisplit and portable circulating air space heaters?
Would a hybrid water heater make sense w/ our cool temps?
The portable space heaters I think you are talking about use resistance heat. This turns expensive electricity to heat. Almost other forms of heating are cheaper.

The hybrid water heater typically sold in the US with the air to air heat changer pulling heat from the inside would not help. A split system like they do in Japan, where the condenser is outside, just like the minisplit heat/AC would work .

michaeljc70
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:04 am

As others have said, you need to figure out what is costing what before ripping things apart or spending thousands of dollars. What % of the bill is heat, what % is hot water and what % is miscellaneous? Do you have a smart meter? If not, figuring that out is trickier.

MathWizard
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by MathWizard » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:20 pm

If the space heatersare portable 110V 13 amp style (Sometime sold as 5000 BTU/hr electric heaters), then you could get a Kill A Watt meter rated for 15 amps and plug tgeheater into that to find how much electricity one of these heaters uses in a day.

My guess is that you will find that almost all of your electric consumption comes from these heaters.

I believe that the water heater is so much less as not to be worth the money to replace it, certainly not until you deal with what is costing you the most.

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mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:55 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:04 am
As others have said, you need to figure out what is costing what before ripping things apart or spending thousands of dollars. What % of the bill is heat, what % is hot water and what % is miscellaneous? Do you have a smart meter? If not, figuring that out is trickier.
Are you referencing the electric company's meter, then "yes" PGE installed a wireless consumption meter. They refer me to their site, but there is no breakdown in %.

michaeljc70
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:02 pm

mav12 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:04 am
As others have said, you need to figure out what is costing what before ripping things apart or spending thousands of dollars. What % of the bill is heat, what % is hot water and what % is miscellaneous? Do you have a smart meter? If not, figuring that out is trickier.
Are you referencing the electric company's meter, then "yes" PGE installed a wireless consumption meter. They refer me to their site, but there is no breakdown in %.
No, it is total consumption. But you can do some experimentation by not using certain things and checking the impact. For example, we just had a day where it was 65 here and didn't need heat yesterday and today it is snowing. If I compared the two days, assuming I didn't do other things very differently, I could figure out the approximate cost for the heat was for that one day and extrapolate or at least know the % heat. Of course, the colder it is the more heat you will use so this isn't going to be an exact science.

By the same token, say you are going away for a day. Turn the water heater off for a day (or 12 hours) and check the meter to compute the usage for that off period compared to the prior "on" period.

For other devices (appliances, cable boxes, etc.) you can use a killawatt or other device to figure out the usage.

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GMCZ71
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by GMCZ71 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:12 am

Your old water heater should have this sticker and you can compare to the new ones. Since your 2007 is 12yrs old I would replace it, a cold shower will not make the family happy.

Use some math to figure out how much efficiency you want to purchase in your new water heater.
purchase price + annual cost x 10 yrs =

Mine was $479 in 2014 x $573x10 =$479+$5730= $6209

Hyrbrids should have a sticker showing $60-$150 annual usage.

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John

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mav12
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Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Post by mav12 » Wed May 01, 2019 12:28 am

Thank you, GMCZ71. Yes, I still have that sticker attached and what is odd is that I show the similar consumption, about $580/yr and about 4800 kWH.
Doesn't seem like much improvement from 2007 to 2014.

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