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High electric bills

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HughB
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just wondering about others. We get our electric from a co-op. It is supplied by the TVA. Our bill averages around $230 and up a month. $2700 a year. We do not leave all the lights on etc. We live in the county so this is not city rates.
In the south you almost have to have air cond on all summer. Is this average or....? your opinion.
 
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Prawn Farmer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Our co-op charges $30 per month basic fee plus .14 per KWH for the first thousand.
 
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VaTom
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hugh, we're southern coop also. Recent contract with the generating company expired and everybody's bill went up. Last month we used almost $50 worth of electricity, plus the high cost ($50) of having a meter.

Probably one large difference is that I built a house that needs no air conditioning. Everybody in a humid climate needs to dehumidify, you (and all my neighbors) use ac for that. I use a cheap used dehumidifier, which costs $30/mo to run.

Obviously house size varies a lot. We have 20,000 cu ft of house. Same as a 2500 sq ft house with 8' ceilings.

Our annual electric bill for our total electric house and well pump isn't half yours unless I do a great deal of welding.

One way you could improve is to add a heat pump water heater if your electric tank heater is in a convenient location. We use ours seasonally, heats water 2-3 times more efficiently than electric resistance. Beyond that, a major benefit is the free by-product: cool dry air. Sound like your ac? Ours provides half our needed dehumidification. More, if we used more hot water.

Return on investment (ROI) was less than 2 season's use. Unfortunately, I'm about to replace ours after 13 year's use. Fortunately, I have a spare that I picked up cheap awhile back. I haven't priced a new one lately, but ROI should be less than 5 seasons.

A general rule is that most spend one month's income on space heating/cooling. Higher income = larger house = larger bills. Didn't make much sense to me, so I built a place that costs me closer to one day's income.

A nearby friend cuts 4 1/2 cords of hardwood here for his winter use in a house same size as mine. I keep telling him to sell that dog to someone else and go build a better house. If I don't feel like lighting the stove, I put on a sweater evenings. We go through maybe 2/3 cord because we enjoy the stove. The house generally runs 65º winters, without me doing anything.
 
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Tx Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote


My current electric bill is $75.97 or .11122 cents per KWH
 
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jennifer408
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

no comment, he he Smile
 
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ShadetreeRet
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

VaTom, your comment makes me curious, sounds almost like you have an underground home or semi-underground. If not just how is it built? I am not doubting your word at all, just intrigued by your numbers, and I know that it can be done, just takes careful planning.
 
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JDemaris
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

12 to 14 cents per KWH is the average USA rate when all the charges are figured in for grid power. Some areas as low as 7 cents and some as high as 35 cents. Alaska and Hawaii are the highest and West Virginia and Louisiana are the lowest.

That even goes for Jennifer who is doing the cyber-chuckling with her solar. She is probably paying more then most grid users when all is factored in. And yeah - I know - how dare I say something potentially negative towards a female.

There IS a reality and it's very easy to read through expense records of solar users - off and on grid. Just a comment on facts and nothing personal as some imply here. Anybody that changes to solar only because they think it will save them money has a screw loose. There are many valid reasons to do it - big savings is not one of them.
 
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ShadetreeRet
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We seem to have a lot of co-op members here today.I didn't realize how much variation there is from one to another concerning costs. Of course I realize that who you are purchasing your power from makes a big difference. Our Co-op co-owns at least one power plant with our main supplier. I just figured my bills for the past twelve months and they averaged $208.00 per month. I have approx 1900 sq. ft. manufactured house, total electric with heat pump. I also have an old house that is used for storage and the bill avgs. about $26.00 per month. so subtract that from $208. which leaves me with $182.00 per month average for the main house. I'm in central NC.
 
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Russ from MN
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The thing about solar that you have to factor in is that it is not destroying our environment by burning coal, or using up natural gas that can be used for better things! The thing I don't like is at our cabin we pay $38 for the meter fee and then $.14 a kw. If I was starting over I would stay off the grid for the cabin.
 
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VaTom
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Good guess. There's 2' of dirt on the roof with the rear wall totally buried. But beyond earth contact, I followed Passive Annual Heat Storage (PAHS) advice. The book was published in 1983.

The primary difference he came up with was putting an insulating umbrella over the entire structure that extends 20' beyond the perimeter. This keeps the mass (and inside air) temperature hovering near 70º all year. It also solves the major problem underground structures frequently had: leaks.

PAHS is a heating/cooling system, independent of architecture or building material though they both need attention to be certain annual heat storage will actually occur. Summers, the house dumps excess heat into the dirt mass, warming it while cooling the house. The mass is highest temperature just when the house starts to cool down in late fall. By early spring, the mass is coolest, just in time for summer cooling.

Takes a lot of mass, but it's stupid simple. No maintenance, no pumps or moving parts, no repairs, no energy to buy. We don't even bother with window coverings (no neighbors).

Cost, if the commercial materials I chose are used, is usually considerably below traditional stick-built. I built one for a client down the road. He needed a mortgage, the appraisal came in 50% higher than it cost to build: instant equity! Which was a direct comparison to stick-built here.

Which is why he's putting up with an unbelievable 80 mile each way commute. He says the job isn't forever, the house is. His previous house was a lovely post&beam SIPs place that he would never again settle for. Current owners think it's great.
 
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JDemaris
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Off-grid has its pros and cons.

The huge problem with off-grid is - there is NO way to store the extra power you make. No cost-effective way, anyway. You can have a day when you make 20 times the power you are using and it ALL goes to waste.

The nice thing about off-grid is the equipment is MUCH cheaper. You can buy uncertified solar panels at half-cost (or less). Same with electronics. You can buy an off-grid 3000 watt inverter for $250 instead of paying $1300-$2000 for a grid-tie inverter.

As to solar being green? I doubt it. An awful lot of coal and petro fuel is used to make and ship solar equipment and batteries. I doubt in the end -they are much cleaner when all is factored in. Certainly they seem greener when only the end-user is looked at.
 
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DaninKansas
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Because the manufacturing of the solar equipment and batteries (and disposal) are friendly to the enviroment because it is delivered from fairyland on the backs of unicorns.


A lot of toxic metals and chemicals are used to produce the panels and batteries.

Modern coal plants main release is CO2 - a trace gas that helps plants grow.
 
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DaninKansas
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Agreed. I looked into wind power as a suppliment "on grid" to lower my electric bills. Even with government tax credits it was a deep hole that would never pay for itself.
 
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cjackman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am on a co-op also. My bills rarely break $120,I"m not much of a conserver either always have something left on that I forget to turn off!
 
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Russ from MN
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Re: High electric bills Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Most of Minnkota's power comes from lignite.
The emissions generated from firing lignite, as with any coal, include the criteria pollutants
particulate matter (PM), PM less than, or equal to, 10 micrometers in diameter (PM-10), condensable
particulate matter (CPM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and total
organic compounds (TOC). The other pollutants generated include greenhouse gases, organics, trace
elements, and acid gases.
 
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