My electric bill is way high..... why?

dave_brogli

Screenwriter
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Mar 30, 2002
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I live in a 2 story 3 bedroom apt.
I do no laundry (at my house atleast)
3-4 Showers (family) a day
1 dishwasher a day
2 lcd screens
computer
1 tv
40 degree weather, so a little electric heat but not much........

im somewhat uneducated as to electric bills. They were always for my family of 5 right around 160-200 which people even told me was high.

any idea why my bill is 350.00? it seems so crazy, and if it keeps like this, when we get our cold wisconsin winter and its 0 degrees out my bills gonna jumpo to 600 !!
Anybody with knowledge care to add anything?
 

ThomasC

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It can be the small things that count. Do you leave chargers for your cell phone and iPod plugged in? Make sure there are no empty power strips that are turned on that are connected to outlets. Scan your entire house for potential power-sucking culprits. Has your bill always been this high, or is this an unusual spike?

What do you turn your heat up to?
 

SethH

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Since you're in Wisconsin, your utility company may be billing you on the average. This allows you to pay the same every month instead having really crazy bills in the coldest month.

However, your bill seems really high. I lived in an area for the past couple years that would stay in the teens and 20's during the night in winter. I paid gas and electric on average and combined they were about $180/month for an 1100 sq ft place.
 

MarkHastings

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Check your bills and compare to previous months...they should tell you how much electricity you've used and the rate. Either your rate has increased, or you've used a lot more elec. (as Thomas has explained) - or both!

My elec. bill increased immensely when they raised the rates and I started leaving my desktop PC on all the time.
 

Chu Gai

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Or, someone might've tapped into you? You could kill the main breaker and see if the meter still spins. Also, your utility company may be able to provide you with a loan of a power consumption meter that you can place on various devices to determine the kW consumption.
 

johnADA

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Mar 26, 2006
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Now, what to do about it????

Get pissed???? Change things???

All compact fluorescent in use here. Total cost about $200, saves me $18 per month on average and havent changed one in 2 years. That I cant say for the normal bulbs I once used.
Jacket on hot water heater and pipes insulated where they can be. Now I've lowered the base temp of the water heater to get the same water temp at the faucets. Saves on average $8 per month, $75 cost to do.

Those are just 2 simple examples, but I've gone one better.

WINDMILL!!!!!

Lets just say I went from a budget of $180 per month to $50!!!! With grants, special loans etc, it will have paid for itself in 5-6 years and last 15+ years.
 

SethH

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How old is the place you live in? If your windows and doors are leaky then you'll want to take care of that before it gets much colder. Check out the weather-stripping section at Home Depot or Lowes. It's really not all that expensive. Also, there is some clear plastic stuff that you can put over windows and shrink it with a hair dryer if your windows leak.
 

Justin Lane

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If you don't have AMR (Automatic Meter Readers), there is a possibility the the meter reader just read the meter incorrectly. You can request a new reading or just wait until next month when you will have a very small/no bill due to the previous month's reading error.

J
 

drobbins

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Dave

That does sound high. We are a family of 4 in a 2,000 sqft house. Everything runs on electric here. (heat, hot water, etc..) We don'thave the heating issues here but, we run the AC. We keep the temp on 68 year round. We have 4 ceiling fans on low that we never turn off, 3 computers running, we leave the back door open about 5" so the cats can use the pet door in the storm door. Our electric bill averages at $150 with the worst at $170.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I live in a 1980 square foot house by myself. All heat is gas (water heater, furnace, fireplace, stove/oven), but last month my electric bill was $22. And I have lots of lights, an electric clothes dryer, and my desktop is left on all the time (but with LCD monitor). For comparison, last month's gas bill was $43.
 

nolesrule

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My electric bill was running about $50 high during the peak of summer. Turned out to be my waterheater, which was developing a crack.
 

Paul D G

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$350 is really high. Even during the heat of summer (AC) in Southern California where electric is through the roof we only paid an avg of $126. I live in Illinois now and our average bill this year is $75 (according to my bill spreadsheet).

By way of comparison, our November bill showed we were paying $0.08275 for the first 400 kwh, and 0.06208 for the next 387kwh equaling $57.12 just for the pure kwh. Tack on the other fees and taxes we have a bill of $68.27. Our heat and stove/oven is gas.

Everyone has good advice - look for power hungry devices or someone stealing power. Compare with past bills and see if the number of kwh you're being billed for is excessively high, etc.

-paul
 

DaveHo

Supporting Actor
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Is the bill an actual reading or estimated? Around here, every other month or so is estimated. They base the estimate on past history for that month. If it's an actual reading did the meter reader goof? If the meter is read by electronic transmitter, those have been known to go bad too.

-Dave
 

Mark Murphy

Supporting Actor
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Nov 20, 2002
Messages
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I've been seeing my electric bills go through the roof as well. I have gas for heat, hot water and cooking but my electric bills can be close to $300. Thats with barely using my ACs in the summer. Although my bill did "drop" to $115 last month, its still higher than it ever was at my previous home.
 

dave_brogli

Screenwriter
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Mar 30, 2002
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See, I thought 300 + HAD to be wrong. Im gonna wait until i get my new read. see if it has gone down at all. You guys are saying that 150-200 seems to be more Average. But mine is double!

the past 2-3 weeks at my home have been hell. My family views me as the electricity nazi. I also have adhd. So here am following my kids - my wife and everyone else around, turning lights off, turning off heaters, ATLEAST 20 + times a day!. I hate it. I swear Im gonna be dreaming of electricity!

Im not on any average billing thing. they offered me that but said i would probally lose money.

I dont want the cops thinking im growing dope. Come over my apt. with a heli. lol. Im putting plastic on the windows later today.

I will let you guys know what i figure out....BOO FOR WI PUBLIC SERVICE~
 

Scott L

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drain your water heater to see if a bunch of sediment has gathered at the bottom. it takes more energy to heat the water through dirt & other particles
 

MarkHastings

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Definitely compare usage and rates. Who knows, maybe your electric company raised the rate?

as for $150-$200 being average - my home town owns an electric company, so we have the cheapest electricity in the state. I live alone, my condo is 1234 sq. feet (gas heat and water) and my electric bills can range between $75 and $150.
 

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