Electric Bill Woes.... Something Ain't Right Here..

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  #1  
Old 08-08-07, 01:12 PM
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Electric Bill Woes.... Something Ain't Right Here..

So I live in a basic 2 story house... I have a gas stove and gas hot water heater. We do have central air and an electric dryer...

When we got our bill, I always just paid it.. Never really noted how high it was as I just thought that was the norm.. Well I seen my parents bill and it was about HALF of mine and they live in a similar sized house... Just yesterday I asked a co worker what his was and his was about half as well.. His average KWH is almost exactly half of what mine is so I am comparing that and not just the cost of the bill..

We rarely use our A/C.. I have 2 computers that run 24/7 (my parents and coworker both have 1 that run 24/7), a dehumidifier (not sure how often it runs), and other everyday items..

I ordered a Kill a Watt Electirc Usage Monitor to hopefully track down something but have yet to find anything..

Here are my costs for the past 5 years. The last 2 years has the KWH figures. (copy / paste link).

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/5005/elec1ey3.jpg

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/8172/elec2gg2.jpg

Measurements:

The first thing I did was plug it into my entertainment center which houses my 42" Sony KDFE42A10 LCD TV, HTPC (24/7), Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, DVD Player, Stereo, hub, and wireless access point..

I only left it plugged in for 14 hours and will do another test on it leaving it in for 24-48 hours but the results for the 14 hours were:

2.5 KWH (Total) / 14 Hours = 0.17857... actual KW per Hour used
0.17857 X .063 (6.3 cents per KWH) = 0.01125 cents per hour
0.01125 cents per hour X 24 hours = 27 cents per day
27 cents per day X 30 days = $8.10 per month

I then moved on to my refrigerator. Plugged in a total of 79 1/2 hours so far..

7.85 KWH (Total) / 79.5 Hours = 0.0987421... actual KW per Hour used
0.0987421 X .063 (6.3 cents per KWH) = 0.0062207.. cents per hour
0.0062207.. cents per hour X 24 hours = 15 cents per day
15 cents per day X 30 days = $4.48 per month

Dehumidifier

Plugged in a total of 117 1/2 hours.

44.33 KWH (Total) / 117.5 Hours = 0.3788888... actual KW per Hour used
0.0.3788888 X .063 (6.3 cents per KWH) = 0.02387 cents per hour
0.0.02387 cents per hour X 24 hours = .57288 cents per day
.57288 cents per day X 30 days = $17.19 per month

The highest culprit so far.. Either we have a very damp basement or this thing is whacked. I have it set on 3 out of 10.. I'm not sure how often it is running but I would guess at the amount of electric it's used so far that it's quite often..

Freezer

Plugged in a total of 24 hours.

.84 KWH (Total) / 24 Hours = 0.035 actual KW per Hour used
0.035 X .063 (6.3 cents per KWH) = 0.002205 cents per hour
0.002205 cents per hour X 24 hours = .05292 cents per day
05292 cents per day X 30 days = $1.59 per month

Only left it on the freezer for 24 hours because I don't think this thing takes barely any juice. Even when it was doing it's thing it was barely pulling any juice..

Office (Two printers, network equipment, two PC's (one of which is on 24/7))

Plugged in a total of 119 hours.

12.46 KWH (Total) / 119 Hours = 0.104705... actual KW per Hour used
0.104705... X .063 (6.3 cents per KWH) = 0.00659... cents per hour
0.00659... cents per hour X 24 hours = .1583 cents per day
05292 cents per day X 30 days = $4.74 per month

Running Monthly Total:
EC = $8.10
Fridge = $4.48
Dehumidifier = $17.19
Freezer = $1.59
Office = $4.74
Total = $36.10

I used 1288 kWh's in my last bill.

Entertainment Center = 2.5 KWH (Total) / 14 Hours = 0.17857 KWH X 24 hours X 30 days = 128.6 KWH's used per month.
Refrigerator 7.85 KWH (Total) / 79.5 Hours = 0.0987421... KWH X 24 hours X 30 days = 71.1 KWH's used per month.
Dehumidifier = 44.33 KWH (Total) / 117.5 Hours = 0.3788888... KWH X 24 hours X 30 days = 271.6 KWH's used per month.
Freezer = .84 KWH (Total) / 24 Hours = 0.035 KWH X 24 hours X 30 days = 25.2 KWH's used per month.
Office = 12.46 KWH (Total) / 119 Hours = 0.104705... KWH X 24 hours X 30 days = 75.4 KWH's used per month.
Total KWH Monthly Used = 571.9

So that compared to my last bill of 1288 kWh's used is a difference of 716 kWh's!?!?
 
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Old 08-08-07, 04:04 PM
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That does seem a bit high but it may be location differences.

Have you called the POCO to see if your meter is reading correctly.

Sometimes poco's dont even read your meter, but just guestimate your usuage using previous year demand.

I used about a 100kwh less then you, and my bill was about $80 cheaper for the month of July.


I'm not a pro, just giving you some info.
 
  #3  
Old 08-09-07, 09:02 AM
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I'll start by saying that it's possible your meter may be fast and give a high reading; however this situation is rare. Electric meters do go bad and give false readings, but usually when they go bad they're slow which would under-report your usage instead of over-report.

> my parents bill and it was about HALF of mine and they live in a similar
> sized house... Just yesterday I asked a co worker what

Are they on the same rate schedule as you? Even houses in the same town can be on different electric rate schedules. The rate schedule can be progressive also, such as $0.05/kWh for the first 500, then $0.10/kWh for the next 500, and so on. Furthermore, make sure that neither of them is on a distributed payment plan which averages out high seasonal costs for a more consistent monthly payment year round.

> Dehumidifier...Either we have a very damp basement or this thing is
> whacked. I have it set on 3 out of 10..

A dehumidifier is basically a very inefficient air conditioner. Additionally, the older it is, the less efficient the motor will be. So if this is running a lot, it's like having a window A/C unit on full blast. If the humidistat is bad the unit may be running more than it needs to. If the coils are dirty (they get filthy quickly in a basement), then it has to work a lot harder to remove water from the air. Unlike an A/C, dehumidifers don't often have an air filter to keep the coils clean.

> So that compared to my last bill of 1288 kWh's used is a difference
> of 716 kWh's!?!?

First, make sure your meter reads are actual. The power company often estimates usage every third or every other month to save on meter reader labor. The bill usual will have an "A" or an "E" read code for actual or estimated. If it is estimated, your bill will debit or credit the difference at the next actual read.

Also, you didn't account for any lighting which can really use a lot more energy than you might think, especially if you have porch or security lights that run 24/7. The electric dryer uses quite a bit of energy -- figure about 6kW / hour of operation. If you have a well pump (instead of city water), that will add to the total. Here's a list of high current appliances that together can easily account for an extra dollar or two a day: microwave, skillet, coffee pot, toaster, hair dryer.

There are other causes of high usage such as a broken wire which is shorting to ground and wasting energy, but I wouldn't bother looking for problems like that until you have eliminated a faulty or wasteful appliance as the cause.
 
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