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08034016
Hallo lisa Aus Amerika
Premium
join:2001-08-31
Byron, GA
reply to gborrillo

Re: Our PG&E Bill averages $600-$800 per month, sometimes more..

said by gborrillo:

Just wanted to inquire of suggestions as to why our energy bill is so high. We have tried to get PGE out here to do an energy audit to no avail. With an average usage of 2200 kwh, it seems as tho something is wrong. We have tried to figure it out but we havent been successful.

Any info or help would be appreciated.

Do you have a company in your area that is legit and will go a energy audit?
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Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to leibold
My April electric bill is typically $65, so my dryer can't be using a lot of electric.


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
reply to scooper
I love our gas dryer.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

2 recommendations

reply to Bob4
said by Bob4:

That's what we have. It's no big deal.

It is a big $$$ deal in California (your rate structure is probably different).
Here a home that is only an electric-only customer gets a higher baseline allowance then a customer that receives both gas and electricity from the utility.
This makes electricity much more expensive for the mixed fuel customer even when both customers use exactly the same amount of electricity. This is because much more of the mixed fuel customers consumption falls into higher priced tiers.
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Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to djrobx
said by djrobx:

Electric dryer with gas water heater? Ouch.

That's what we have. It's no big deal.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to gborrillo
Electric dryer with gas water heater? Ouch.

That's a painful combo. You can get a different set of tiered rates if you were all electric, but by having a mixture you'd be better off investing in a gas dryer.

Another question - how often are you home? My electric usage is significantly higher now that I work from home.

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Rethink Billable.

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to gborrillo
OK, so it's not the fridge or fishy tank... something else is def. killing you. Check the HT setup, maybe something is drawing 5-6A constantly...

I live alone in a 1600sq-ft house. I heat my bathroom and bedroom with electric heat. I have almost no CFL bulbs. Outside lights are a total of ~100W running dusk to dawn. I leave my 27" CRT TV on all night every night.

Also have an electric dryer, electric stove, electric tank water heater...

I only used 494kW last month... According to my bill my average is 550kW, with a peak in Sept 2012 of 880kW.

Something in your house is not playing nice, a kill-a-watt rotated around to the suspect appliances will find them in no time.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to Jtmo
said by Jtmo:

Get rid of the electric dryer if you have a gas source in the laundry room. As you noted, the dryer sucks up electricity like a drunk in a bar.

I upgraded my washer to a high efficiency washer in 2010 and I bought the matching dryer. My electric bill dropped about $10-20 per month. This is achieved by faster extraction in a he washer which means shorter dryer cycles. The electric rates around here are higher than average. My electric bill is about $200 a month in the winter (running electric heat) and $90 in the summer (running the A/C)


Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to gborrillo
Get rid of the electric dryer if you have a gas source in the laundry room. As you noted, the dryer sucks up electricity like a drunk in a bar.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to gborrillo
There have been a number of good suggestions in this thread as to how to concretely come to conclusions as to the source of the consumption.

These have been all but ignored by the OP.
It makes me wonder.
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scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to gborrillo
If you have natural gas available - it maybe worth considering swapping the electric dryer for a gas one. It's still going to use some electricity for the timer and and motor / fan, but that would be much less than running the heater on an electric dryer.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to gborrillo
First, get rid of any incandescent bulbs and replace them with CFL or LED bulbs. Second, a high electric bill may be a sign of a malfunctioning appliance.

Here in Western Massachusetts, we have high electric rates; 1800 kwh would be about $250.

gborrillo

join:2009-07-05
Campbell, CA
reply to NS4683
gas water heater. the second fridge has been unplugged the last month and our bill didnt change a dime. well, maybe a dime. as for the tank, i do have metal halides and understand that they do use up quite a bit, not to mention the water pump, heaters etc. as luck would have it, my tank actually went down (my 2 year old daughter decided to feed a gallon of sugar to my fish) so that has been unplugged completely for the past 2 months. there was a bit of a dip in our bill (100 or so). i didnt expect it to account for much more than that.

one thing i do recall....pge recently installed these smart meters in our home...say about 6 months ago. before that, we had the old style meters with the rotating dial. one thing i recall, when going through this, was when we turned our dryer on, the dial literally almost went berserk , where it was spinning ridiculously fast. i havent checked it recently with the new meter. its almost as if my wife and i have grown accustomed to having a 1000 pge bill, so we have pretty much given up. based on all the comments, it may be worth revisiting once again. i think i will try the turn everything off and then turn it on one by one to see if anything shoots outta control.


Annmarie
Lillian
join:2000-11-11
kudos:5
reply to ke4pym
said by ke4pym:

said by Annmarie:

Can you list a break down of the peripherals of your saltwater tank?

We run a 220 gallons with another 100 gallons in various tanks and sumps.

The lighting for the corals was making our meter spin like a top!
It has been revamped and pulls much less electric now.

Doing that and upgrading our refrigerator and large AC unit dropped a monthly bill of 600 plus to 400 plus in less than a year.
That is a budgeted amount with any difference made up in 6 month intervals.

Check out the new LED lighting systems for corals now. Way cool. But pricey. $650 for a single array system. Minimal heat. Only about 100 watts.

We did. Hubby put in a whole new setup with timers for various lighting schemes. That is when the electric bill dipped. Then we upgraded two appliances and it dipped more.

But it was the reef lighting that used the most electric.

The new LED lights do save money but I personally hate the way they look. LED anything - not just these lights. Just my opinion though.
I can live with that if the bill is low enough and it is and the corals are doing fine.
--
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guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to gborrillo
Bet the OP has straight AC, not a heat pump, so winter its resistive heat strips making the winter usage peak.

In General the energy hogs are

Heat
AC
Hot Water
Dryer
Refrigerator

All except the dryer can be substantial reduced with new high efficiency units, like heat pump with Seer in the 20+, Heat Pump Hot-water and the new Refrigerator can use less than half of a 10 year model. Dryer, might save if switched to gas, if thats an option, but run the numbers to be sure

A Kill-a-watt can help track down the phantom loads or see what what things like fish tanks or cable boxes / sound systems add.

It very straight forward to understand the usage, measure to see where the energy is going ..


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18

1 edit
reply to gborrillo
If I'm reading your bill correctly your greatest usage seems to be in the Winter months going higher or lower month-to-month based upon the average outside temperature for those months and except for a spike in September your usage is lower in the warmer months.

That should be at least good clue. Especially since you live in an area, Campbell CA, that has warm summers and mild winters. A/Cs especially central AC is far and away the biggest electricity hog. So for a house in Campbell one would expect your usage to be the exact opposite of what it is in a typical Campbell residence.


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to gborrillo
I live in the same area, more or less, with a nearly 100 year old house without insulation. Gas furnace (about 50 years old), water heater and stove. Two fridges, lots of computers, 5 souls on board, mostly CFL lighting....




Finally glad to see that we are under "All similar homes."


Bamafan2277

join:2008-09-20
Jeffersonville, IN
reply to gborrillo
I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment. 1100 sqft total electric and my usage is around 1500-1800kwh per month. Its a newer place and only 2 adults living there. My bill has never been this high anywhere else and with the same or better electric usage pratices so most of my bill is from the HVAC and water heater at this place.

I can't wait to move in 6 months into my brand new Engergy Star Certified home that is being built.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to Annmarie
said by Annmarie:

Can you list a break down of the peripherals of your saltwater tank?

We run a 220 gallons with another 100 gallons in various tanks and sumps.

The lighting for the corals was making our meter spin like a top!
It has been revamped and pulls much less electric now.

Doing that and upgrading our refrigerator and large AC unit dropped a monthly bill of 600 plus to 400 plus in less than a year.
That is a budgeted amount with any difference made up in 6 month intervals.

Check out the new LED lighting systems for corals now. Way cool. But pricey. $650 for a single array system. Minimal heat. Only about 100 watts.

brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to gborrillo
When I lived in Miami my energy bill used to be $200 - $300.
Now at my new location it cost $75.

Very weird how cheap electricity is here. I went form 1100 sq feet to 815 sq feet. The old apartment did not have a washer and dryer. My new one does and I do an average of 2 loads a week. Explain that one? lol


Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to gborrillo
Campbell CA would be on city water.
Mild climate year round.
Typically Gas for heating, maybe the stove too. He stated gas water and furnace.
We have Smart meters, which is where he got the graph. There could be an issue with the meter, as stated turn off breakers to see what is spinning or get a clamp ammeter.
Electric for household lights etc.

I use around 200-250KW hours of electricity/month. You are using nearly 10 times my use in the same climate.
You are using 3x your neighbors use.

If electric range/oven, do you cook/bake a lot?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 recommendation

reply to gborrillo
How to read power usage from your power meter

Here's a quick way to determine how much power your equipment is using. Cut everything off in your breaker panel. Your meter should stop. Then turn on each breaker and check the power reading. It's a quick indicator and may give you some clues.

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to acadiel
said by acadiel:

Glad I don't live in CA.

And believe me, the idiocy does not stop with the electric rates. Good god.

A lot of people are leaving. In two years I will be one of them.


acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
61705
kudos:2
reply to ilikeme
Click for full size
Here's about 1645 from the past month... $144.56 with all taxes and such.

Before taxes, winds up being about 7.6 cents per kWh.

I have four children that have a propensity to leave the lights on, TV on, etc. It's an everlasting battle to get them to stop. Glad I don't live in CA.


PeeWee
Premium
join:2001-10-21
Madera, CA
reply to gborrillo
Do you have a water well? a failing water pump can use a lot of power.
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ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
reply to mityfowl
said by mityfowl:

2200 Kwh would be less than $240/mo in Dallas,

About $190 at my rates. $.081

Here in Denton that would be about $170.00-180.00. Provider options here are City Of Denton or nothing. My highest bill was $158.00 in the summer for a 3 bedroom house with a lot of electronics and the a/c set on 76.

Residential
Facility Charge $8.25/bill (single phase)
$16.50/bill (three phase)
Energy Charge
Winter (November-April) 5.70¢/KWH first 600 KWH
3.79¢/KWH all additional KWH
Summer (May-October) 5.70¢/KWH all KWH
*Energy Cost Adjustment Adjusted Periodically

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leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to scooper
said by scooper:

"rape" is a pretty accurate term - but what is "Baseline" ?

The utility sets a baseline amount that is based in part on the type of home, whether gas or electricity is used for hot water and heating as well as the climate zone it is located in (determining the number of heating or cooling days). That calculated baseline amount is less (50-60% in summer, 60-70% in winter) then what a typical home would consume as "an incentive to conserve energy" meaning that nearly everybody pays more then tier 1 rates (up to 100% of baseline). In total there are 5 tiers with pricing going up significantly after tier 2 (101% to 130% of baseline).
From personal experience it is no problem at all to get into tier 5 (over 300% of baseline).

Comments about how much cheaper electricity is outside of California are probably not helpful to the OP (it is not like he can mailorder some cheap power). Campbell has moderate temperatures all year so heating/cooling (often the highest energy cost elsewhere) is less of a factor.

Aquariums can be a very significant power drain due to the heat loss. However I'm not sure if that is sufficient to explain the high power usage completely.

In addition to PG&E, there are other organizations providing energy audits in the Bay Area (both commercial and free). I can't find the details right now, but there is even an organization that provides free training to become a home energy auditor (with the hope that those participating in the training will donate some of their time to perform free energy audits in their community).
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average

@tmodns.net
reply to gborrillo
Two things not mentioned yet

sometimes the power company uses averaging billing. Instead of reading the meter they just bill this month the same use as this month last year.

Big excesseS can come from the appliances that make big heat when running. Like oven heaters water heater etc. So check to see that those are not stuck on all the time.

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to guhuna
said by guhuna:

Not to get OT but welcome to Pacific Graft and Extortion! I'm paying on average about $340 from them. Last time I looked I think I'm paying something like 24.5c KwH. Hopefully this time next year I'll be in tier1 and not tier3-4.

Yes indeed. PG&E has to pay for their exploding pipelines somehow.


panth1
The Coyote

join:2000-12-11
Boca Raton, FL
reply to gborrillo
What exactly is your power company using to compare your household to others in that graph? There is link under the key. "What homes are compared"