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Old 09-19-2008, 06:19 AM
 
23 posts, read 143,243 times
Reputation: 20

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Hey, here's a random question for you guys.

I just moved to Boston 2 weeks ago and am happily discovering the city in a cool apartment with several roommates.

The electric bill came in the other day, and the roommate who got the bill wrote us all a note asking us to pay our share of a $135 bill. WTF?!?

Ok, I know Boston is supposed to be expensive, but I've lived in other states in ancient buildings with no insulation and no conservative conscience, and I have NEVER seen an electric bill go over $60, even with air conditioners or space heaters and a million other electronics. What gives?

So end of story, is this is legit price for Boston?? I hate to be confrontational about it but it seems ridiculous, and this girl has a bit of a history that makes me doubt her math. So please? Can I get a local price check?

P.S. The apartment is large but it's pretty typical, no central air or anything like that
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 14,413,947 times
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is this a new account you have w/ the electric company? did you guys all move into this apartment at once and activate a new account, or was one of your roommates living their previously and the account is still is his/her name? also, if it's a new account, are you paying an extra deposit due to poor credit? is there a left over balance from previous months? I would ask to see the actual bill (I NEVER EVER just take my roommate's word when it comes to bills. I would demand to see it). on the bill, you should be able to see how much you are actually using, the tax rates, any activation fees, and any extra deposits charged

again, when it comes to bills, don't rely on notes stating how much is owed, demand the actual physical bills be left out on the table. too many roommates are screwed over by taking their roommates word, and if the person whose name the bill is under has bad enough credit to warrant an extra deposit, that person alone should be paying for the deposit, so it needs to be calculated out.

the largest apartment I've ever lived in was 3 floors, and even during the summer when we ran a few ACs (in 2 of the 4 bedrooms), and had the dishwasher running a few times (due to lots of barbecues), the bill was never over $80-90, and during the winter, it was barely over $50
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:23 PM
 
23 posts, read 143,243 times
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No, I'm the new one in the apartment, so there aren't any new fees or anything of the sort. Everyone else has been here for a while.

Thanks for the feedback, eevee!! That's exactly what I was afraid was happening, but I'm glad to hear that Boston isn't that expensive in terms of utilities. Now to see if I can track down the roommate with the bill!
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Dorchester
2,602 posts, read 4,570,338 times
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An apartment with several roommates?
It may be a tad high but $135 doesn't sound unreasonable.

I shared an apartment with 3 other people and the bill per month was in that range. The problem is that when that many people are living in the house there tends to be a lot of waste of electricity.

However, seeing that you have just started living there, you should not be responsible for last month's electricity.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 14,413,947 times
Reputation: 8128
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomDot View Post
An apartment with several roommates?
It may be a tad high but $135 doesn't sound unreasonable.

I shared an apartment with 3 other people and the bill per month was in that range. The problem is that when that many people are living in the house there tends to be a lot of waste of electricity.

However, seeing that you have just started living there, you should not be responsible for last month's electricity.
oh yeah, TomDot stated the obvious. you shouldn't be responsible for this bill anyways, so don't let anyone bully you into paying it (the previous roommate should be paying for it)

I'm not sure what the exact rates are for electricity, esp. since I no longer live in MA any more, but if the bills seem to consistently be high, maybe address it w/ you roommates and come up w/ some ideas on how to reduce it, lie switching to fluorescent light bulbs, putting electronics on surge protectors and turning off the surge protectors when the electronics aren't in use (not recommended for stuff like fridges, cable/TIVO boxes, but would work for large sound systems, video game systems, printers, etc). in the end, it could be just as TomDot said and it may be difficult to keep the waste down (in the apartment I lived in before, we were all super efficient w/ electricity and gas. the only reason we even had ACs running during the summer was because we had heat sensitive animals (2 chinchillas, a few rats, a bulldog mix, and a mastiff))
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Bay Ridge, NY
1,915 posts, read 7,612,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bichita13 View Post
Ok, I know Boston is supposed to be expensive, but I've lived in other states in ancient buildings with no insulation and no conservative conscience, and I have NEVER seen an electric bill go over $60, even with air conditioners or space heaters and a million other electronics. What gives?
You think that's ridiculous? ConEd raised my bill by over $100 when I was using LESS electricity than last month.. (total bill over $220)
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:00 PM
 
224 posts, read 906,467 times
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That sounds pretty reasonable to me. TV's running, lights on, oven, opening and closing the refrig frequently, fans in the summer time, computers...is there a dryer?

How many roommates is several?
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:33 PM
 
23 posts, read 143,243 times
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5 roommates, including myself. No dryer. Oven/stove is gas. Geesh, if this is normal, I can't wait for winter!

This just blows my mind because I lived in a 100-year-old house of 7 people once and our electric bill never topped $60, summer or winter. My parents in the summer cool their entire 2400 sq ft home and heat their pool for $140.

I'm paying for last month's bill because I won't be paying utilities when I move out in 6 months, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense but that's what we agreed on.

*shrugs* Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It looks like I'm just going to have to eat this one.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Bay Ridge, NY
1,915 posts, read 7,612,220 times
Reputation: 555
But seriously.. when you're splitting up a bill; you should always ask to see the bill anyway, even though the price sounds reasonable to me.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 21,366,422 times
Reputation: 4271
Quote:
Originally Posted by bichita13 View Post
Hey, here's a random question for you guys.

I just moved to Boston 2 weeks ago and am happily discovering the city in a cool apartment with several roommates.

The electric bill came in the other day, and the roommate who got the bill wrote us all a note asking us to pay our share of a $135 bill. WTF?!?

Ok, I know Boston is supposed to be expensive, but I've lived in other states in ancient buildings with no insulation and no conservative conscience, and I have NEVER seen an electric bill go over $60, even with air conditioners or space heaters and a million other electronics. What gives?

So end of story, is this is legit price for Boston?? I hate to be confrontational about it but it seems ridiculous, and this girl has a bit of a history that makes me doubt her math. So please? Can I get a local price check?

P.S. The apartment is large but it's pretty typical, no central air or anything like that
Sounds reasonable. Also, don't forget electricity costs have gone way up. Ask to see the bill.
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