A 20 year puzzle with high electricity bills


Old 06-28-20, 04:52 AM
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A 20 year puzzle with high electricity bills

We are all electric. Been in the house for 20 years and I always felt the bills were too high. Our lowest bill (spring/fall with no heat or cool) Is around $200/ aprox 1500kwh. For years Iíve compared our bill to our neighbors and all electric are consistently significantly lower (sometimes by 50%). My winter heat $600(Jan)/$400 (July). I
Over the years ALL the major appliances have been changed ( including 2 H2O heaters) with the exception of our submersible well pump. Iíve Added insulation, new windows, etc. with no significant results. Changed from baseboard electric to a good central heat pump.
Several years ago our meter was changed to a smart meter - again no difference.
there have been no electrical problems in the house except for discovering a shared neutral on a couple circuits. I asked an acquaintance who is an electrician whoís only advice was make sure all the bus connections were tight. They were.

FYI-I just purchased a home energy monitor system (Emporia Vue)

So I am asking- what could possibly be causing this?

Old 06-28-20, 05:41 AM
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Hi, when you compare bills with your neighbors ,how did the usage compare?
Old 06-28-20, 05:43 AM
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Electric rates vary so this is not a direct comparison, we are 99% electric except for the gas fireplace and dryer!

We have GEO heating/cooling, a big 550 gal spa that is heated all year, well and electric water heater.

Our year round average bill is $179 which I think is good despite the constant letters telling me that I'm using 25% more electricity than my neighbors, well yea, they dont heat their house with electricity!!

We do have a very well insulated 3200 sq ft 2 story house, R 19 walls, R60 attic!

A low insulated house is probably the biggest factor!
Old 06-28-20, 05:45 AM
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I would compare your kwh over the years and not the dollar amount. I imagine you are seeing your energy savings upgrades (heat pump, new windows...) being offset by the electrical rate increases over the years. So, while the dollar amount over the decades has remained about the same your consumption has actually decreased.
Old 06-28-20, 06:38 AM
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Once you are satisfied it is not an electricity escape I would start searching for energy escaping. By that I mean heating or cooling leaving the structure. Two primary ways are exfiltration and penetration. The first being air leaks through holes, gaps, and the like. By penetration (probably not the correct term) I mean heat or cool passing through the insulation, and solid surfaces like doors, windows, and similar.

I would then have an energy audit including a blower door test or infrared imaging.

Or, maybe you just have people who leave doors, windows, flues, vents open too much.
Old 06-28-20, 08:19 AM
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I'm no electrician by far. I piddle but by no means an authority. I think first, as others suggested, compare the amount of usage with your neighbors.... not dollars but usage.

I have seen suggestions here before to get a meter of some sort, whatever it is, that will monitor or check electric usage for an individual appliance or an individual breaker. Personally, I'd start with each large breaker & work my way down until I found an unusually high usage somewhere. Then, check the individual appliances on that circuit.

Hopefully one of the experts here will tell you what the monitoring gadget its & if its a reasonable suggestion.

Good luck.
Old 06-28-20, 08:57 AM
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FYI-I just purchased a home energy monitor system (Emporia Vue)
What is the system telling you about your usage?
Old 06-28-20, 09:20 AM
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Very common problem although I would not say it is yours.

Leak in hot water plumbing causing the water heater to run a lot more and use up a lot more power.
Old 06-28-20, 11:18 AM
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If you've felt the bill has been too high for twenty years.... you aren't going to find a smoking gun now.

You have two water heaters.
You have a submersible well pump.
One or two fridges ?
Any kids ?

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