Author Topic: Utility rates & winter hikes  (Read 1210 times)

NumberCruncher

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Utility rates & winter hikes
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:37:25 AM »
Anyone else seeing big rate hikes for this winter? I mean, I can certainly understand it to some degree, but 37% seems really high:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/09/25/national-grid-projects-percent-increase-for-winter-electricity-rates/MBl81NGxTljzr56PZCD7QK/story.html

We use 310-330 KWh a month (includes electric hot water heater), and our gas is just for heating (that we keep at a balmy 55-60 degrees F in the winter). That already costs us over $60/mo for electricity alone...sigh...but I don't wanna change my Mint budget!



BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Utility rates & winter hikes
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2014, 12:49:21 PM »
Last year, we prebought propane at $1.59/gallon. Mid winter prices spiked to almost 3x that price and stayed that high until march. 

We decided to prebuy again this year. I'll be watching with interest to see if there is another price spike this year.

I say its price gouging, but the propane companies had plenty of excuses.

Jessa

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Re: Utility rates & winter hikes
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2014, 12:58:59 PM »
Yeah, we got the same notice. I'm hoping it's just a 37% increase on the USAGE, and not on the delivery as well. It'll still raise the bill almost $20/month, but better than the $35 if the whole bill goes up.

We've been switching some of the electronics with vampire lights to power strips and we set it up so we shouldn't need the space heater this winter (keeps the pipes from freezing in the washing machine), so we're hoping that helps.

beltim

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Re: Utility rates & winter hikes
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 01:02:02 PM »
This problem seems like just the consequence of poor planning.  I've been following the story a bit, and it's hard to tell if the poor planning is on the part of government or the utility, but it's pretty easy to see that planning is the problem.  From the article:
Quote
The price shock is driven by New Englandís increasing reliance on natural gas as a source for both heating homes and making electricity. The pipelines that ship natural gas into New England do not have enough capacity to meet the increased demand, and during winter, electric plants often end up paying much more for the fuel.

Other factors include the closing earlier this year of the coal-burning Salem Harbor Power Station and the planned shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which will reduce the amount of electricity available to utilities this winter, said Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association.

All of that is easily foreseeable.

frugalnacho

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Re: Utility rates & winter hikes
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 10:34:34 AM »
Anyone else seeing big rate hikes for this winter? I mean, I can certainly understand it to some degree, but 37% seems really high:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/09/25/national-grid-projects-percent-increase-for-winter-electricity-rates/MBl81NGxTljzr56PZCD7QK/story.html

We use 310-330 KWh a month (includes electric hot water heater), and our gas is just for heating (that we keep at a balmy 55-60 degrees F in the winter). That already costs us over $60/mo for electricity alone...sigh...but I don't wanna change my Mint budget!

Then just reduce your usage by 27%.