Author Topic: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?  (Read 31290 times)

TomTX

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #100 on: February 27, 2014, 01:55:02 AM »
Also, I shudder to think about breaking one of these $6 precious jewels, or having them crap out on me prematurely. The stakes just seem too high. I'll have to calculate not only the costs in the long term, but also the additional cost of having to replace duds that didn't provide their full value, which I'm sure will happen, as happens with all light bulbs.
They all come with a warranty, so you aren't exactly risking anything.  With your absurdly high cost / kwh, the payback will be pretty quick.

Is it a warranty that covers all shipping costs as well? Going LED instead of CF is only saving 5-6watts.

joer1212

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #101 on: February 27, 2014, 03:42:56 AM »

I was probably looking at an LED bulb for that price. Forgive me, but I have definitely not kept up with these technologies, or their prices.

LED bulbs are the new trendy thing - but frankly, the marginal energy savings compared to CFL just isn't very compelling. And as far as I can tell, you can't get a good LED cheaply on a consistent basis. The best I've seen for a quality bulb is ~13 for the Cree* 60W equivalent (actual draw 9.5W) at Home Depot.  I've heard too many stories of problems with the cheaper LED bulbs.

CFLs (compact fluorescent) have been on the rise for at least 15 years now, and you an get quality ones for cheap. You need to look at "color temperature" since they can put out different types of light. Around 2700K is close to incandescent (warm, yellowish). You can also get bluer ones (4500k, 5500K etc) - but most people think they look harsh.

Going from an incandescent to CFL saves you ~46 watts for about $1.50 a bulb (at Costco.) Going from CFL to LED saves you an additional 5-6 watts for about $13 a bulb (unless you want to make guessing games with quality.) I have a couple of the LED for some very high-use lights (and that was mostly just to try out the Crees) otherwise almost everything is CFL

*Made in the USA. Cree was making LEDs for high-end (very expensive) tactical flashlights for many years. They are known for their quality, and reviews on their new LED bulbs have been good.

This is informative, and you make a compelling case for purchasing these, but are CFL lights the bulbs that take time to get bright when you turn them on? If so, I will definitely not purchase them, as they're just awful. Those are actually a step backward in technology, not forward.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:51:08 AM by joer1212 »

joer1212

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #102 on: February 27, 2014, 03:50:29 AM »
Do you ever leave your cave?  Or even read MMM.  I'm starting to get the feeling were just getting trolled.......Biden?  Is that you?  Ah man, thats where the Joe in your name comes from.  All this time.  You dog you.

Hehehe. It's nice to have some comic relief amid this heated discussion!
Seriously, though, you are talking to a guy who makes his own laundry detergent and his own deodorant, so I'm no stranger to thrift! That's why I'm balking at spending $6 for a damn light bulb! I'm going to have to run some serious calculations before I replace my old incandescents.
Also, I shudder to think about breaking one of these $6 precious jewels, or having them crap out on me prematurely. The stakes just seem too high. I'll have to calculate not only the costs in the long term, but also the additional cost of having to replace duds that didn't provide their full value, which I'm sure will happen, as happens with all light bulbs.
Then there is the issue of them not lasting as long as they claim....

And if you are stuck on incandescent as some people are (thought that doesn't sound like you)  The new halogen incandescent are more engergy efficient, thought not as much so as cfl, led.  Adding dimmers in general will reduce your lighting usage significantly, even if you choose to keep your incandescents.

I'm not stuck on any technology just because I've been using it forever. If something better and/or cheaper comes along, I will definitely adopt it. I am frugal, not a luddite.
I'm also very pragmatic, which means that if I don't see an acceptable alternative for something, I will simply keep what I have until something better comes along.
From the little I know so far, it appears that these new bulbs are either too expensive to justify the cost, or they are simply awful (e.g. the bulbs that take a while to get bright when you turn them on). I could be wrong, so I'll have to educate myself a bit more.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:52:21 AM by joer1212 »

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #103 on: February 27, 2014, 06:27:36 AM »
Also, I shudder to think about breaking one of these $6 precious jewels, or having them crap out on me prematurely. The stakes just seem too high. I'll have to calculate not only the costs in the long term, but also the additional cost of having to replace duds that didn't provide their full value, which I'm sure will happen, as happens with all light bulbs.
They all come with a warranty, so you aren't exactly risking anything.  With your absurdly high cost / kwh, the payback will be pretty quick.

Is it a warranty that covers all shipping costs as well? Going LED instead of CF is only saving 5-6watts.
I did have a CFL that failed.  As soon as I powered it up, it flashed and a little puff of smoke came out.  I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a Home Depot credit for more than what the bulb cost.  I could of returned the bad one to the store, but the manufacturer handled it well enough.

You won't see the payback switching from CFL to LED, unless you really know the lifespan of the bulbs, but if you are still using incandescents, then it seems better to switch right to LED bulbs.  Especially if you want a dimmable light.

Trying225

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #104 on: March 01, 2014, 08:39:28 PM »
Quote
This sounds like a sensible plan. The only reason I haven't adopted something like this is because my electric bills used to be so low ($23-$28/mo), so I focused on saving money elsewhere.
How long would it take to recoup the cost of purchasing an LED bulb with a lower energy bill? I've always used traditional incandescent bulbs.

Well, that depends on how often you use the light fixture that you bought the LED for. So, I bought an LED for a lamp that had a light that didn't need to be replaced. However, we use that lamp almost everyday and often for more than 1 or 2 hours. In fact, we've forgotten to turn it off more times than I care to admit. The box for the LED said that the savings would happen over a year if I used it for 3hrs/day. We use it for more than 3 hrs/day during the week so I have no doubt that its savings will kick in sooner than the box projected.

I've cut my energy usage down even more. On 2/26 my usage was 9.96kWh which is a personal best. I think my refrigerator is eating up energy because I work all day and then some days go to the gym/run errands/go out with friends/etc and I don't get home until 9 or 10. And I usually go to bed soon after that so I'm having trouble figuring out what's using 15kwh in a day when I'm not even home. I've been wondering if I should buy a new refrigerator. That would definitely take a couple of years to recoup costs.

What you have to do is look at a couple of things:

1. What things do you use that use electricity? How much electricity do they use per hour? You can find a lot of lists for appliance energy use online.

2. Are you leaving a lot of things plugged in when you're at work?

3. How much do you want to cut your energy use by? What is eating up your energy right now?

I think people always think it's their lights but from everything I've read, it's your big appliances like your refrigerator, dryer, etc.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #105 on: March 01, 2014, 09:32:43 PM »
I do most of these things (as I always have) to minimize my electricity bills. That still doesn't explain how it is that I used to regularly get $23-$28/month bills about two years ago, and now they hover around $55-$70/month.
Wow, those are low!  I am at about $110-$120 in the winter and $130-$150 in the summer, and I am careful, use non-peak hours, etc. One down side of rural life is that Hydro One charges me more on delivery than my actual electricity use costs.

To be useful, I think any energy use discussion (electricity, heating oil, natural gas, etc.) should be in units of energy (i.e. kwh, litres), not dollars.  Prices vary so much that what seems expensive in one area is dirt-cheap in another.  Let's compare apples to apples.  Price changes, that is another issue.

nyxst

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #106 on: March 01, 2014, 09:42:19 PM »
Almost related... I got my new water bill today... It was notibly higher than the last one so I started my internal math problems and wandering around to see if I had a leak somewhere...then I found a nice little note stating that it now costs 15% more for water...  Oh... Ha! Now the 4 humidifiers I run are mocking me....

BlueMR2

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Re: Why has my electric bill skyrocketed?
« Reply #107 on: March 02, 2014, 05:22:30 AM »

I was probably looking at an LED bulb for that price. Forgive me, but I have definitely not kept up with these technologies, or their prices.
The best I've seen for a quality bulb is ~13 for the Cree* 60W equivalent (actual draw 9.5W) at Home Depot.  I've heard too many stories of problems with the cheaper LED bulbs.

I've also heard of a lot of early failures on the cheap LEDs.  If you're looking for a bad experience, go buy the cheapest ones you can find.  :-)  I've heard good things (locally) about Philips.  The MMM boards seem to love Cree.

Energy savings is not huge LED over CFL, but quality of light is a dramatic improvement.