# The Money Mustache Community

## Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Prepube on December 18, 2014, 11:47:29 AM

Title: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Prepube on December 18, 2014, 11:47:29 AM
Check out my November bill.  We are all electric.  Baseboard heat, electric water heater, dryer, etc.  We have no other utility bills-- the water comes out of the ground and the only cost is the electricity for the pump, there's no gas or propane bill (because there's no gas) or propane.  Average temperature was 36F and apparently we used 78.9kwh/day for a cost of 8.23 per day.

What's the total cost of utilities for your house, including gas, electric and water?
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: themagicman on December 18, 2014, 11:58:16 AM
We average right around \$100 for gas, water, and electric each month!
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Prepube on December 18, 2014, 12:03:45 PM
What's the average temperature in Atlanta?  I am beginning to think it is decidedly un-mustachian to live here in my beautiful but cold mountains.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Zikoris on December 18, 2014, 12:11:42 PM
I live in an apartment and pay a flat fee of \$15/month, which is combined with the rent. That includes electricity, water/sewage/garbage, etc. Also pay \$20 for security. So although I say my rent is \$765, technically it's \$730 + \$20 +\$15.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: themagicman on December 18, 2014, 12:11:58 PM
In the winter the highs are usually around 60 and the lows are usually around 35-40. In the summer the high is usually 85-90 and the lows are around 70!
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: seattlecyclone on December 18, 2014, 12:20:16 PM
We have natural gas heat, average cost of \$43.72/month over the past year (higher in the winter, obviously). All other appliances are electric, and our electric bill averages \$22.22/month. Seattle has some of the lowest electric rates in the nation due to our hydroelectric dams. Water/sewer/trash are more expensive, with a combined bill of \$82.50/month.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Prepube on December 18, 2014, 10:48:46 PM
So, is my consumption high or are our rates high?  Xcel Colorado says my consumption is well below the average of my neighbors, but seeing your bills makes me feel a little bit complainy.  I'm in the mountains, so it's a bit colder than Denver and MMMs house, but shit!  The house is only about 2200sf.  I use pellet stoves for most of our heat, but our bill still seems huge!  And it was a really warm November!

Any other colorado xcel customers willing to share their electric bills and consumption?
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: marty998 on December 18, 2014, 11:37:02 PM
You guys have to move to a more temperate climate. I average 2.31 kwh a day.

Check out my November bill.  We are all electric.  Baseboard heat, electric water heater, dryer, etc.  We have no other utility bills-- the water comes out of the ground and the only cost is the electricity for the pump, there's no gas or propane bill (because there's no gas) or propane.  Average temperature was 36F and apparently we used 78.9kwh/day for a cost of 8.23 per day.

What's the total cost of utilities for your house, including gas, electric and water?
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Mr. Frugalwoods on December 19, 2014, 06:07:05 AM
Sure, I'll play.  This is Oct 24 - Nov 24, in the Boston area.

NSTAR Electric and Gas.  We have gas hot water baseboard heating, which we didn't turn on until November.

Electric:

(http://i.imgur.com/VTZEuvB.png)

Gas:

(http://i.imgur.com/nXb6Nbd.png)
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: themagicman on December 19, 2014, 06:32:42 AM
So, is my consumption high or are our rates high?

What do you usually keep your keep on when you are home and away and sleeping?
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: FLBiker on December 19, 2014, 07:33:56 AM
Here's mine:

(http://i.imgur.com/OmATORl.jpg)

I'm just outside Tampa, and this is a bit high for us because we've been doing some renovations.  Typically we run in the high \$60's.  We peak at about \$85 in August.  We keep the house at ~67 in the winter and ~78 in the summer.  We tried going higher in the summer, but without the AC kicking on we ran into mold problems.  And we turn it off / down when we're not at home.  Our average overall temp was 64 in November, with an average low of 54.  It was in the 40s overnight about 1/3 of the time.

You can see that my power company charges more if we go over 1000 kWh in a month, which we never do.  And I've found that, more than seasonal variations, the thing that spikes our electric bill is having guests (who are almost always less mustacean).  In terms of electronics, we have an oldish fridge, we have a newish (2009) HVAC, we have an oldish (2002) 40 gallon water heater, washer, dryer (though we air dry a fair bit), and no dishwasher or DVR.  We're also pretty good at turning laptop powerstrips off when not in use (although the router / modem is almost always on) and we have ceiling fans in every room.

There are two of us (soon to be three) in an 1800 sq ft cinderblock house.  Cinderblock seems to fair much better down here than wood / stucco because it retains heat in the winter and stays cool in the summer.  Our other utility is sewer / water / garbage which typically runs in the low \$60's.  One nice thing about water in our small city is that irrigation is treated differently than water that goes into the sewer.  We just use micro for vegetables, but it still saves us a bit.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Prepube on December 19, 2014, 07:45:18 AM
So, is my consumption high or are our rates high?

What do you usually keep your keep on when you are home and away and sleeping?

Each room is its own zone, and it's only on if we are in there.  At night, everything is off and the bedroom I set at about 55.  Generally everything is set at 55 and if we need more warmth we turn on a pellet stove, which warms us up nicely and inexpensively.  I just bought a ton of pellets and that will ask me through most of the rest of the season.  Our actual use of power is pretty low... We try not to use the dryer, don't use or need ac, unplug unused appliances and TVs, and recently I have started unplugging the hot water heater when we are gone.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: dbunny on December 19, 2014, 08:43:33 AM
So, is my consumption high or are our rates high?  Xcel Colorado says my consumption is well below the average of my neighbors, but seeing your bills makes me feel a little bit complainy.  I'm in the mountains, so it's a bit colder than Denver and MMMs house, but shit!  The house is only about 2200sf.  I use pellet stoves for most of our heat, but our bill still seems huge!  And it was a really warm November!

Any other colorado xcel customers willing to share their electric bills and consumption?

I live in Montana, so we are a bit colder here than in Colorado. But I shuddered at the sight of that energy bill. I live in a split level house, so it's easier to maintain a temperature and I have natural gas for the furnace and water heater. The bill rarely tops \$110 in the dead of winter, usually with half going to electric and half to natural gas. I definitely could get the electric part to be cheaper but the natural gas usage is about as low as we can get it.

I think that since you are all electric that is running your bill pretty high. I don't have any inexpensive ideas for bringing it down, but it may be worth it to look into other options.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: QajakBoy on December 19, 2014, 10:44:31 AM
Your electric rate looks good, at slightly under \$0.11 per Kwh weighted after all of the add-on charges.   That is less than average for Colorado and the US (both about \$0.125).
Your consumption is less than what I would expect for your climate and size house that is all electric.

My house is also all-electric, but I live in Virginia, so not quite as cold, in a 3,600 sqft superinsulated and well-sealed house and my November electric usage was 750 kwh with a bill of \$95.  It's much lower than a typical all-electric house around here, but we had to invest \$ in good air-selaing and good insulation to get it that low.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Bob W on December 19, 2014, 10:50:02 AM
Avg 125, all electric, no water sewer, ground source heat pump in Midwest, 3,100 sq ft,  good insulation.   Just converted 16 can lights to LEDs so we shall see if we can get to 100.

My, my , my your bill sure has way more bull shit charges than ours and I thought ours had a lot.  I can't even tell how much you actually pay for electric.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: bacchi on December 19, 2014, 11:42:50 AM
48 therms for gas heat, cooking, and water. Cost of \$51.

142 kwh for electricity. Cost of \$23.

2200 gallons of water, which is high for this time of year. Cost of \$19. Wastewater is \$18, for a total cost of \$37.

= \$111 total
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: themagicman on December 19, 2014, 11:45:50 AM
48 therms for gas heat, cooking, and water. Cost of \$51.

Wow that is a lot per therm. We pay .49 a therm. Are you on a fixed or variable rate? Maybe Atlanta has lower than average natural gas prices!
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: big_owl on December 19, 2014, 11:48:37 AM
I just happen to keep every stat on every electric bill dating back since we bought our house ten years ago.  Our house is all electric - AS heat pump with resistance backup, electric hot water heater, and up until this year, electric range (no CH4 where we live).  You can see it spikes up every winter and then drops back down in shoulder season.  Averaged out for the year it's about \$300/mo.

About \$50/mo of that is for a pump that runs the waterfall in my backyard pond.  That went in in 2009.  This year we installed a wood stove in the basement which will cut into costs quite a bit for the winter heating season.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: nedwin on December 19, 2014, 01:33:25 PM
Prepube - My home in Windsor, CO has natural gas heat and hot water, electric for everything else.  Our Xcel bill was \$140 for November for both gas and electric.  The average temperature last month was 39 according to Xcel.  Our highest bill last year was \$198.  My water is from the city, usually \$54-56 for water and sewer.  There are four of us.  We're not the best when it comes to conserving energy - we don't line dry our clothes, we use our gas fireplace often.  Nonetheless, we usually consume about the same as our "efficient" neighbors according to Xcel.

I lived in a home in Laramie, WY that was all electric, but water was from the city.  It was about 1800 sf, there were three adults in the home.  We kept the baseboard heat turned down pretty low and I used the wood-burning stove quite a bit.  That stove had a circulation fan that blew air across the stove to heat it.  If I remember right our highest consumption was about 1600 kwh in Jan. or Feb.

Could your pellet stove use a lot of electricity?  It probably has electric ignition, a fan to circulate combustion air and maybe a fan to circulate indoor air.  What about your water system?  Do you have a reverse osmosis system or other water conditioner that could use a lot of electricity?  Is your garage or other quasi-outdoor space heated?  How many people in the home?  Is your home poorly insulated?

I think Xcel offers energy audits.  It may be worthwhile to look into having one done, and followings its recommendations for efficient upgrades to your home.  When I lived in Alaska I had an energy audit done on my home there and I made several upgrades to the home that cut my gas consumption by about 40%.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Static Void on December 19, 2014, 02:38:19 PM
For reference only...

* Bay area near the ocean, cold & foggy quite often.
* Zoned gas heater.
* We heat manually, turn it on if we're cold, but not on a fixed temperature or schedule.
* House built 1962, 3000+ square feet, poorly built and drafty.
* Have replaced most of the windows with retrofit double-pane
* Two to four people living here (depending on our extra rooms rented out).

November bill: 612 kWh, 30 Therms, \$185
Historically we spike in December & January...

Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: andy85 on December 19, 2014, 02:44:45 PM
First off, i work for the electric/gas company in my area...

OP, i'm not sure about utilities in your neck of the woods, but i assume that you live in a single family home or apartment? The reason i ask is the KW (demand) charges. Our residential accounts only get billed for the kwh used....our residential meters dont measure demand and therefore, arent billed for it. Some commercial and industrial accounts have what we call 'demand' meters so they get charged extra for their demand (KW). Just something you may want to look into...but again, that could just be how your rates are in your area.

edit: just noticed it says your rate is residential demand....so they must have residential demand meters, unlike us. So you can probably disregard everything i just said :)

and your rates look pretty good...usage may be a touch high, but nothing crazy. It's those pesky demand charges.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: NathanP on December 19, 2014, 03:02:43 PM
Raleigh NC area. All electric except for natural gas tankless water heater. 40 year old home, 2100 sqft,  with new heat pumps. I don't expect our electric bill to go over \$100. Our bill to the city includes water/trash and is around \$40 while the gas bill for hot water is around \$13.

I recently moved from Central Florida and do miss having \$20 power bills through the winter with \$60 - \$80 in the summer.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: APowers on December 19, 2014, 03:30:46 PM
Just got our utility bill in the mail. From 11/05 to 12/04:
---------------------------------
Electric base: 16.77
Electric usage: 118.35 [1756 KWH]

Water base: 28.22
Water usage: 6.42 [293 CF]

Sewer: 61.95

Garbage (every other week): 18.50

Taxes (medic, misc.): 7.28
----------------------------------

All electric heat. Location: NW WA.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Cassie on December 19, 2014, 03:35:07 PM
Having an all electric house is a killer.  the one we bought 3 years ago is like that. WE only heat the zones we are using, etc.  We have had a few winters when it got colder then usual  that our bill has been \$400/month for the elec & gas only.  Since we work from home we can't turn down too low like you can if you  are leaving for the day.  Plus I have small, old dogs that do not regulate heat well & they can't walk if they wear more then 2 sweaters each:))
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: bacchi on December 19, 2014, 03:49:52 PM
48 therms for gas heat, cooking, and water. Cost of \$51.

Wow that is a lot per therm. We pay .49 a therm. Are you on a fixed or variable rate? Maybe Atlanta has lower than average natural gas prices!

It's variable at .60 per therm + a delivery charge etc.

Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Jags4186 on December 19, 2014, 04:08:44 PM
Our gas/electric bill for November was \$26.88.  That is just for electricity and gas stove.  Heat (radiator, we cannot control)/hot water is included in our rent.

1 bedroom 700 sqr ft. apartment in north jersey.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: zinethstache on December 19, 2014, 04:13:13 PM
Gas Bill for Nov. Note: We had 2 weeks subfreezing with at least 4 nights in the teens. Not the norm for us in The PNW. This is just north of Seattle. We both are home full time. We hosted 2 thanksgiving dinners, cooking 3 turkeys total...

023G 217894 9098 8998 11/24 10/24 100 @ 1.10022 110.022 ACTL
10/25/14 11/24/14 Basic Charge \$10.29
10/25/14 10/31/14 Delivery Charge 24.451 Therms @ \$0.404130 Per Therm \$9.88
11/01/14 11/24/14 Delivery Charge 85.571 Therms @ \$0.406690 Per Therm \$34.80
10/25/14 10/31/14 Gas Cost 24.451 Therms @ \$0.571580 Per Therm \$13.98
11/01/14 11/24/14 Gas Cost 85.571 Therms @ \$0.595240 Per Therm \$50.94
10/25/14 11/24/14 Gas Cons. Program Charge 110.022 Therms @ \$0.012680 Per Therm \$1.40
10/25/14 11/24/14 Merger Credit 110.022 Therms @ \$0.003670CR Per
Therm
\$0.40 CR
Current Gas Charges \$120.89

Electricity For Sept-Oct attached... no cold weather, we used the pool a few days in Sept...this is a pretty low bill for us. heat/ac 68 during the day 60 at night.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Allen on December 19, 2014, 04:28:16 PM
Here is mine.  Apparently our energy is really cheap here due to lots of hydropower.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: nawhite on December 19, 2014, 04:55:17 PM
Any other colorado xcel customers willing to share their electric bills and consumption?

Ask and you shall receive :-) Denver bills for November coming up.

1100 sf single family house built in 1951 with 2 adults and a large dog. Natural gas furnace (forced air) and water heater, electric stove and clothes dryer. We have put a LOT of effort into making it more efficient (all LED/CFL lights, extra insulation, storm windows, sealing etc) but we had a long way to go from where it started when we moved in.

Only difference from a standard customer's bill is the "Windsource Charge" of 2.1588 cents per KWh. We do the same program as the MMM family where we pay extra to get 100% of our power from wind as opposed to 68% coal for Colorado on average.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: Prepube on December 19, 2014, 11:14:18 PM
Could your pellet stove use a lot of electricity?  It probably has electric ignition, a fan to circulate combustion air and maybe a fan to circulate indoor air.  What about your water system?  Do you have a reverse osmosis system or other water conditioner that could use a lot of electricity?  Is your garage or other quasi-outdoor space heated?  How many people in the home?  Is your home poorly insulated?

The pellet stoves don't use much electricity other than for the fan.  Ignition is very efficient and only takes about two minutes most of the time.  The water system is idle most of the time.  Pump in the well pushes the water to the tank and maintains pressure.  We hear it kick on and off when we are using the water, but not otherwise.  There's no conditioner or filtration system (our well water is the freshest and sweetest water you've ever tasted!  I miss it when I am away from home).  The garage is unheated, and only opened and closed twice per day when we go to work.  There are only two of us humans here, three large dogs (Newf, Saint, and Leonberger) who prefer to be outside most of the daytime hours, and two cats.  The house was built in 1985 and probably is in need of insulation in the attic, and I wouldn't say it is poorly insulated, though, to be honest, I have no idea what's in the walls.  We use only led light bulbs, dry the clothes in front of the pellet stoves in the winter and line dry in the summer, and generally don't use much power.  Our total utility bill averages about 200.00 including the water which is from the well (and therefore free), sewer, which is septic (and therefore free except every five years or so when I have it emptied/serviced).  I looked at installing a propane furnace a few years ago, but the numbers didn't support it.  We don't cook as much as we should, so the stove isn't eating up much energy.  I do work from home on Thursdays and Fridays, so that could make a difference, though I only really heat my office on those days.  The hot water heater is relatively new (2011) and efficient, but we have an older refridgerator (2001).  The washer/dryer are newer, high efficiency models.

In comparing my total bill to the ones that folks are posting, I am feeling a little better about my total costs of running this house.  The bill I posted was the only bill I have to pay every month (other than the Internet and satellite).  I love where I live here in the mountains, but there are drawbacks... I still do not have high speeds for my internet, for example, and they are not planning to upgrade our service in the near future (top speeds below 3000).  Netflix barely streams sometimes and we have no digital cable service available so must use satellite (Dish) for the TV.  When it rains, we lose internet service because there is so much line degradation between us and the nearest node.  Last Sunday I had to go outside and knock the ice off the satellite dish so I could get a signal to the tv so I could watch the Broncos...

Thanks to all of you who have posted your bills.  It helps to see what others pay for their utilities across the country.  It reinforces my goal of moving someplace with warmer winters and less snow!
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: worms on December 20, 2014, 02:28:14 AM
Just to give an international comparison...
For an old converted farm building in the north of Scotland, average monthly costs (converted to US dollars)

Sewerage:  \$34
Water:  \$30
Electricity: \$111
Heating oil:  \$195

Total monthly cost of \$370

Water and sewerage are flat-rate property charges, rather than metered.
Electricity is annual total of 4800 kWh (13kWh/day) at \$0.27/kWh and usage doesn't seem to vary hugely between winter and summer.
Oil is kerosene, about 3,000 litres per year at an average of \$0.86/litre and is mostly winter, although this also delivers our hot water and cooking, through a range cooker so it is on at times in the summer, too.

We also have a 5kW wood-burner that supplements heat a bit but is not a huge contributor to household energy consumption.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: clarkfan1979 on December 20, 2014, 04:45:33 AM
So, is my consumption high or are our rates high?  Xcel Colorado says my consumption is well below the average of my neighbors, but seeing your bills makes me feel a little bit complainy.  I'm in the mountains, so it's a bit colder than Denver and MMMs house, but shit!  The house is only about 2200sf.  I use pellet stoves for most of our heat, but our bill still seems huge!  And it was a really warm November!

Any other colorado xcel customers willing to share their electric bills and consumption?

I used to live in a 4 bed/2 bath ranch house in Fort Collins, CO that was 2200 sq. ft. About 1150 on the main level and 1050 in the basement. Our dryer and heat were both gas. In the summer with no heat, our gas bills were \$30 because of the dryer. In the fall and spring with little heat (Oct & Nov) and (March & April) our bills were \$80-\$100. In the winter (December, January & February) the bill was around \$120-\$150. Our worth month ever was \$180.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: RWD on December 20, 2014, 08:45:26 AM
Our electric bill was \$73 last month. Water/sewer was \$40. We don't have gas, so that's it, about \$113 per month.

It's higher during the summer when we run the A/C (it gets to 110+ degrees here). The most expensive month I have on record over the last three years was \$203 for just electric. \$130-150 is more typical though. There are generally five \$100+ months in a year for us, then it goes right back down to approximately \$70.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: stashy on December 21, 2014, 01:06:40 PM
I'm in Denver in a 1200sf old victorian house built in 1891.  In the winter the bill goes between \$90-\$160 depending on how cold it is.  I've recently bought an efficient furnace and new windows.  Still can never seem to beat every leak but its better than it used to be.
Title: Re: energy bill--i'll show you mine if you show me yours
Post by: dragoncar on December 22, 2014, 12:43:56 PM
For reference only...

* Bay area near the ocean, cold & foggy quite often.
* Zoned gas heater.
* We heat manually, turn it on if we're cold, but not on a fixed temperature or schedule.
* House built 1962, 3000+ square feet, poorly built and drafty.
* Have replaced most of the windows with retrofit double-pane
* Two to four people living here (depending on our extra rooms rented out).

November bill: 612 kWh, 30 Therms, \$185
Historically we spike in December & January...

Nice to see a bay area comparison.  For those who want to see what happens when you move from an efficiency apartment to a clown-home:

(http://i.imgur.com/diRAxEY.png)