Author Topic: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.  (Read 3554 times)

BallardStubble

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HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« on: February 23, 2016, 05:06:08 PM »
Hey everyone, I got an electricity bill in the mail for quite a large total. I looked at my kwh and it sat at 3,865 for the month. I'll let that number sink in for a moment. Yes, I know MMM averages 300 kwh on his 2400sf house and the average american sits at 900 khw. Thing is, I only have a 1600 sf home. And now for the kicker, I was gone on vacation for two weeks (no, I didn't leave the lights on :)) with my heat set at 65 (it only drops to around 10 degrees F here in the winter).

I don't understand how I got to that number. What can I do to reduce it/track the cause of the huge usage? I use the dryer and dishwasher twice a week, half of my light bulbs are LED, 25% are compact and the other 25% are old incandescent. I leave the lights on accidentally 2 nights out of the month, but for the most part, I'm pretty good about leaving them off.

Even if I left a door open and kept my thermostat at 80 degrees in the winter, I don't see how I could reach the level of usage I'm at.

Help!

MKinVA

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 05:13:40 PM »
You need to contact the power company immediately...someone might be stealing your electricity...it happened to us but with water...the guy next door building his house hooked up to our outside spigot...if you weren't home something is amiss....

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 05:26:55 PM »
You need to contact the power company immediately...someone might be stealing your electricity...it happened to us but with water...the guy next door building his house hooked up to our outside spigot...if you weren't home something is amiss....

+1

This number doesn't make sense especially since you weren't home for two weeks. I would look at a previous bill for a winter month. The month in question should be approximately 60% of that bill. Either there is a mistake on the bill or someone is stealing your power.

Tangent: I once got a water bill for $24,000. Obviously this was a mistake, so it was pretty funny. I probably would have to pay the whole town's water bills to owe that much.

Reynolds531

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 06:01:55 PM »
I don't see your location but here in Ontario that isn't outrageous for electric heat. Some things to do if you own the house.

Check your dryer lint trap for blockage.
Wrap an electric water heater with foil blanket. Two layers is best.
Swap out the rest of those light bulbs.
Check your cable boxes for excess heat.
Check seal on fridge door with a dollar bill. Close door, should hold bill in place firmly.
Your fridge or freezer may be on the way out and drawing more power - this happened to me.
Set washer to cold water or warm not hot.

Reynolds531

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 06:03:04 PM »
Also read the fine print on your bill, this may be a catch up. And read the meter to make sure they got it right.

Tester

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 06:11:35 PM »
If your "name" says where you live then look if it is a catch up.
I heard multiple complains of people around here about big catch up bills - although at around 800 USD, not 3,000...
Like the previous poster said: read the meter.
If the numbers match then you might be in a case of "bad luck" - meaning it is a catch up and they underestimated your consumption.
Still, to have such a big catch up they either underestimated drastically or you consume "a lot".
I can't compare, but for a 2 bedroom apartment (900 sft) I just got  180 USD bill, usually they were 100 USD.

teen persuasion

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 08:12:34 PM »
That number is roughly 130 kWh per day.  As others suggested, go out and read your meter.  First, to make sure it is correct, and second to see if you are still using electricity at the same rate (subtract from bill reading and divide by days since the bill reading). 

What range have previous months been?

What runs on electric in your house?  Heat?  What kind of heat - baseboard, forced air, heat pump (with additional heating elements)?  Water heater?  Water pump?  Stove?  You mentioned dryer.  For reference, we have a big, drafty farmhouse, and use < 300kWh /month, but we have oil heat and hot water, propane stove, no dryer, no well pump.  Lights, electronics, fridges, etc really don't use that much, certainly not 130 kWh per day.

If your actual usage has spiked (not a catch-up), look for something unusual.  We had sudden high usage, I watched the meter trying to figure out what times usage spiked, flipped breakers when the dial was spinning madly until I found the guilty circuit.  Then we examined what was on that circuit.  There was a heat tape wrapped on a pipe that must have been drawing electricity sporadically so we removed it as it was unpredictable and unsafe.

slugline

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 09:05:53 PM »
If you're in a truly cold climate and using nothing but electric heat . . . I think I could see this happening. My home is on the Texas Gulf Coast and racked up one 1900 kWh month during the first winter. That got me busy sealing drafts and installing a programmable thermostat. Check for leaks in your "building envelope."

dess1313

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Re: HELP! My electric bill is out of control.
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 09:27:04 PM »
have you been reading your meter or has someone else?  double check with the company there wasn't an error in the number given
sometimes if it hasn't been read lately they will jack up the 'estimated' rates until you do read it
also look for tampering.  i'm not sure what that value is, but it sounds extremely suspicious especially if you are away