Author Topic: Facts make me sad...  (Read 10257 times)

iamsoners

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Facts make me sad...
« on: June 25, 2015, 12:52:14 PM »
MMM added one of these electricity comparison reports to the end of his post about electric usage a couple of months ago.  I get the same report and find it useful and motivating... but apparently not everyone does:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article25371661.html

Alternative titles:
Facts make me sad
I want to win... without trying
Other than implementing the tips you spell out in detail, WHAT ELSE CAN I POSSIBLY DO?!

MgoSam

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2015, 01:10:05 PM »
I'm sorry but I am finally becoming an old fart. Seriously, someone gives you a letter with your bill explaining ways that you can lower it for the future and you're response is to get angry! You can opt out of it easily, but instead you wail and complain about it? My guess is that if their rates went up, they would complain about that as well.

Honestly, I don't care what my neighbors' energy costs are compared to mine, other than I want mine to be lower. If they are lower, my response is to ask them what they are doing so that I can learn from them.

We are either becoming a nation of whiners, or have become one.

Le Poisson

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 01:21:10 PM »
Our home is not energy efficient. We bought pre-discovery of the mustache way, and although we did make some smart moves with it (awnings, close to work, older, but modern enough) and did some smart things (installed motion lights in the basement - auto shutoff while we watch TV etc.) there are definately spots we could do better.

We did put a timer on the pool pump. This means it runs only at cheap, off-peak times, and I bake the bread at night, we do laundry while the bread bakes, and our DW only runs in the wee hours of the morning.

Still I would hate to see what a comparision of our energy use in this house against our last house (no AC, open concept with good airflow, no DW, etc.) would look like.

Here's the kicker though - our current house would totally kick our neighbour's butts! We go to the basement rather than run AC, and only turn it on once the basement heats up - which is very rare. The neighbours have pool pumps running all hours day and night (our neighbourhood has more pools per lot than I've ever seen). This summer we are running our pool heater, but its the first time in 3 years that we've tried.

So a shame letter might actually praise me for being less energy efficient than I ever have been before. Bizarre.

daverobev

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 11:18:23 AM »
Slow news day, that's all.

I'd love to see my neighbours' bills, both electric and gas! But then, I'm a nosy bugger.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 11:51:21 AM »
I'm not in MO, but our energy co. was sending these for a few months and then abruptly we stopped getting them. Maybe this is why. People got pissed off at being shamed. (I always liked getting ours, since we were the poster children for efficiency and came in far lower than even the "low average.")

The only thing I wished was that they would give the option of viewing them online instead of sending yet another piece of paper through the mail and the waste/cost that incurred.

greenmimama

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2015, 12:21:47 PM »
I got one saying our energy useage was much higher than similar homes, I seriously call bullshit on that one. There is no way we use more than similar homes, maybe more than our neighbors, but our place is huge (only here for another couple of weeks, closing next week) and we don't use that much energy.

neophyte

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 12:56:46 PM »
I kind of get it.  I know what I could do to save more energy but I don't feel like shelling out to buy my landlord a new refrigerator or windows. I don't plan on living in my apartment long enough for it to make a difference to me. If I owned the house, it might be a different story.

former player

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2015, 01:39:30 PM »
I was told that my 400 per year bill was higher than my neighbours.  OK, it's a bit high because I haven't got the floor and external wall insulation done yet.  But the real reason is that the neighbouring houses tend to be second homes only occupied for a few weeks in the summer.

Elderwood17

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 01:58:16 PM »
We got a comparison chart from our energy company saying we were in the lowest ten percentile for energy usage for our area.  Cool!

Wilson Hall

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 02:21:26 PM »
I'm sorry but I am finally becoming an old fart. Seriously, someone gives you a letter with your bill explaining ways that you can lower it for the future and you're response is to get angry! You can opt out of it easily, but instead you wail and complain about it? My guess is that if their rates went up, they would complain about that as well.

Honestly, I don't care what my neighbors' energy costs are compared to mine, other than I want mine to be lower. If they are lower, my response is to ask them what they are doing so that I can learn from them.

We are either becoming a nation of whiners, or have become one.

Oh, for f**k's sake. Completely agree with you!

Our city has been doing energy audits of all homes over the last few years. The inspection includes free CFL bulbs, weather-stripping, low-flow shower heads, and checking of attic insulation (and addition thereof at a steep discount). Each household probably gets hundreds of dollars in benefit from a few hours of the city's work, yet I'm sure there have been screams of "socialism!" all over. I don't know what is wrong with people.

Energy-shaming. Heh. Anyone who tries to pull that crap on me will immediately be interrogated as to why they drive a gas-guzzler, or insist on trading cars every 2-3 years. 

marty998

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 03:21:17 PM »
Wow, just wow.

Must be a very slow news day.

"Waaah Waaah. Don't tell me I waste energy. It doesn't help motivate me to move my ass to the wall socket to flick the switches".


iamsoners

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2015, 01:17:32 PM »
UPDATE to this.... We had an electrician over to bid some work and somehow this topic came up. He said he gets calls from people saying they got this report and could he explain why it's high and help them bring it down. But his response is that the reports are all over the board and so dependent on the size of the house, number of people living there, etc. 

To which I say hog-wash. Of course that is some of it but it's not like electricity is a magical mystery force--it's completely ascertainable where every last kilowatt goes.

I see a potential micro-business here, marketing to people who get the reports and want them lowered and then coming in and advising changes (or just doing it for them). Thing is, some are easy (switching lightbulbs) but some require habit changes (turning off power strips, washing in cold water, etc.) and I wonder what the compliance rate would be...

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2015, 01:42:29 PM »
Some of you mention using "off peak" times.  Do all electric companies charge different rates at different times? I didn't realize mine did.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2015, 02:04:51 PM »
I wish my electric bill showed what my neighbors averages and/or use was like. Only for a measuring stick for myself.

iamsoners

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2015, 02:22:30 PM »
@Blonde Lawyer, no not all utility companies use them.  Mine doesn't.  I think it's more prevalent in California where there is a huge AC demand and not enough production to keep up on some days... not sure though.

Elderwood17

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2015, 03:58:13 PM »
Our utility does this.  Very cool to see our usage below the "green" category and WAY below the average!  We do notice though the months we edge closer to the average is when visitors stay with us, so I think is large factor is how many are in our household (2) versus many of my neighbors with a number of children.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2015, 11:35:41 PM »
Our utility does this.  Very cool to see our usage below the "green" category and WAY below the average!  We do notice though the months we edge closer to the average is when visitors stay with us, so I think is large factor is how many are in our household (2) versus many of my neighbors with a number of children.

Our power company does based on the number of people per dwelling.

My husband and I live in a two-bedroom apartment, and our electricity consumption is less than the average one-person dwelling.

I'm still working to get our power down more, but I know that ranking isn't getting any lower.

Making Cookies

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2015, 09:12:28 AM »
UPDATE to this.... We had an electrician over to bid some work and somehow this topic came up. He said he gets calls from people saying they got this report and could he explain why it's high and help them bring it down. But his response is that the reports are all over the board and so dependent on the size of the house, number of people living there, etc. 

To which I say hog-wash. Of course that is some of it but it's not like electricity is a magical mystery force--it's completely ascertainable where every last kilowatt goes.

I see a potential micro-business here, marketing to people who get the reports and want them lowered and then coming in and advising changes (or just doing it for them). Thing is, some are easy (switching lightbulbs) but some require habit changes (turning off power strips, washing in cold water, etc.) and I wonder what the compliance rate would be...

TVA does this very thing for free. They call it an "Energy Survey". They come in and suggest all sorts of improvements that you can make on your own or - I think - there is low interest financing if you want it - all you need to do is pick the contractor you want from their "approved" list.

My info may be a bit out of date. They gave us a low flow shower head, a couple of CFLs, a nice report and a big magazine/book that details out ways to decrease energy consumption. He mostly pointed out some insulation improvements we should get done.

frugalnacho

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2015, 10:42:17 AM »
Slow news day, that's all.

I'd love to see my neighbours' bills, both electric and gas! But then, I'm a nosy bugger.

Totally.  My neighbor has been running a window AC unit for months.  They finally took it out this past weekend (mid october).  They would be running it at 6AM when it was getting down into the 40s at night.  It boggled my mind. Every time I heard it I had to go vent to my wife about how crazy the neighbors are running AC all the time when it's cold out.

karaishere

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2015, 10:45:58 AM »
This is cool. We have KCP&L servicing our area, but we are not in KC, so we don't get these. I wonder if there's a way to sign up for them? I'm going to have to find out.

enigmaT120

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2015, 03:30:41 PM »
I see a potential micro-business here, marketing to people who get the reports and want them lowered and then coming in and advising changes (or just doing it for them). Thing is, some are easy (switching lightbulbs) but some require habit changes (turning off power strips, washing in cold water, etc.) and I wonder what the compliance rate would be...

I'm not sure they want to save any more electricity.  They just want to not feel sad. 

...sorry, but I love the thread title.


velocistar237

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2015, 06:09:28 PM »
We get these, and they show that our "most efficient" neighbors use about 40% of the natural gas that we do. Since we have insulation, live in a 1000 sq ft condo, and keep the thermostat at 64 degF during the day and 50 degF at night, I think something else is going on. The "most efficient" neighbors are the ones with oil heat. Either that, or a lot of people are going without.

paddedhat

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2015, 04:17:31 AM »
UPDATE to this.... We had an electrician over to bid some work and somehow this topic came up. He said he gets calls from people saying they got this report and could he explain why it's high and help them bring it down. But his response is that the reports are all over the board and so dependent on the size of the house, number of people living there, etc. 

To which I say hog-wash. Of course that is some of it but it's not like electricity is a magical mystery force--

Silly homeowner. We electricians have a technical term for those regrettable moments when you accidently short a live wire and create a dramatic arc flash and smoke. It called "letting the magic smoke out".................LOL

Seriously though, it's amazing how clueless and helpless some folks are. Many times I have heard people tell me about outrageous electric bills, as I walk through a house with one or two dozen lights, TVs, and other draws on, with nobody in the room. The one that gets me is the look of amazement when you tell them that getting rid of the 30 year old fridge in the garage will probably drop their bill by $20-25 a month. What the hell is wrong with people? They "need" a new fridge with all the bells and whistles, and when it gets delivered they have the appliance guy drag the old one to the garage, where it becomes the food equivalent of renting a storage locker.

sixup

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2015, 12:25:03 AM »
Article lost me at "energy shaming". What the hell. This should be in that 'words that irk you' thread. It's the new thing. Everything's shaming. Wahhh you're shaming me.


MgoSam

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2015, 07:28:08 PM »
The one that gets me is the look of amazement when you tell them that getting rid of the 30 year old fridge in the garage will probably drop their bill by $20-25 a month. What the hell is wrong with people? They "need" a new fridge with all the bells and whistles, and when it gets delivered they have the appliance guy drag the old one to the garage, where it becomes the food equivalent of renting a storage locker.

My parents had an old freezer sitting in the garage that didn't work but they left it plugged in. It's things like this that make me smile when they wonder how I could possibly be thinking of retiring in my 30s.

patrickza

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 06:07:24 AM »
We have a severely constrained electrical grid, so we get commercials during our nightly viewing with the current load, green, orange or red. Then they ask us to turn off some appliances, to try avoid load shedding. Usually it's the water heater or swimming pool pump.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 04:51:27 PM »
We have a severely constrained electrical grid, so we get commercials during our nightly viewing with the current load, green, orange or red. Then they ask us to turn off some appliances, to try avoid load shedding. Usually it's the water heater or swimming pool pump.

That's awesome. I'm sure there are inconveniences to living with such an unreliable grid but I love placing the responsibility back on the consumer.

Evgenia

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Re: Facts make me sad...
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2015, 05:12:42 PM »
Seriously though, it's amazing how clueless and helpless some folks are. Many times I have heard people tell me about outrageous electric bills, as I walk through a house with one or two dozen lights, TVs, and other draws on, with nobody in the room.

This. THIS. Our neighbors do this, then marvel that I hang laundry on the line in our backyard ("It's like Little House on the Prairie over there, huh?!" and "Good morning, back to the landers!"). Last week, our gas and electric bill ($37-$45/month, $12-$14 of which is taxes and delivery fees) blew out of the recycling bin as I was taking them out. My neighbor picked it up, glanced at it, and went "Whooaa! Did you go out of town?!" I said, "No, that's a typical month for us." He was like "Well I cannot imagine what you're doing but man, ours is more than double that." They are two people in an 850-square foot house and so are we. We have identical houses. The roofs are insulated, and huge windows and most stuff being on the second floor mean little need for lights and heat rising. We live in California. What are they even doing that would use that much energy?!