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Old 07-20-2010, 12:53 AM
 
Location: western Centennial, CO
652 posts, read 1,670,106 times
Reputation: 299

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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
The electric tier rate was instituted in the summer when usage is high. That is an attempt to reduce energy consumption and avoid blackouts. Rates go up and they go down over a short time. You obviously do not read your attachments to your energy bills which shows this fluctuation. Cost of energy change often and the Public Utility reacts.

Livecontent
Quote:
Originally Posted by 72Sh3llB3ll View Post
I am with you. I think Xcel is a giant monopoly. They raise their rates quarterly, or every 6 months at least. MY friend lives on Glade Park and she is lucky to have Grand Valley Power, who has NOT raised their rates since she has lived there ( over 5 years!) Now if Grand Valley Power can not raise their rates at the drop of a hat, why does Xcel? And we can not choose GVP either, we are FORCED to have Xcel, and that in my mind is a monopoly, plain and simple and I thought that was supposed to be illegal? Our last bill for Gas and electric was almost $300? For a 1750sq ft home with 3 bedrooms, that seems an awful lot. Yes, it has been hot but our ac is set at 80. Anyway, to the OP, I am with you....
I'm one of the ones that is not happy with the rate changes. While I'm not opposed to tiered rates I do not think Xcel has implemented them in a fair manner. A few of my quick thoughts on the manner:

1)The pricing change by my account is not break-even. The threshold of 500 kilowatt-hours is below the average usage and doesn't take into account how many people live in a house or apartment. And this change doesn't apply to commercial properties? I have 2 toddlers so I can't let the house get too hot, more laundry, more everything. On my lowest electricity cycle I use around 750 kWH. And that's with CFL bulbs wherever possible. I cut back electricity 20% from last year (June 15-July 14 cycle) but the bill still went up 10% even though my bill says it was on average several degrees hotter this year. I made a decision and went through a lot to have a baby (and ended up blessed with 2!) and I'm going to take care of them. We have a very tight budget to but my first priority is that they are comfortable and happy so I'm going to keep the house reasonably cool (not ice cold but enough so that they're comfortable). I am certain that they're making more money this way and selling it under the guise of conservation.

2)As I understand it Xcel is guaranteed a certain profit from Colorado. So if something happens that costs money (substation explosion) regardless of the cost it comes back to us. They don't have to eat the cost for anything. Imagine the same scenario with say BP. They have to make large payouts for the gulf explosion and spill. They'll take a loss on that. They can't just raise the price to ensure they make a 'given profit'. Well they can and then they won't sell anything. Now imagine Xcel doing something like that. They would pass this on to us to ensure their profit. And unlike with BP where we'd just buy from Shell or ConocoPhillips or Sinclair etc. we would have to buy from Xcel. Now I don't know the perfect solution because you can't really share substations and power lines and it would be cost prohibitive to duplicate the infrastructure but in any case it's frustrating.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:57 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 12,559,244 times
Reputation: 6841
chilicheesefries,

I understand--but what are you going to do? The base rate also increased, in addition to the tiered rate. So, the rates are going to higher even after the summer tiered rate period.

You have some options. You can increase energy efficiency; you could choose to do without; you can install solar or you can move to an area where you can get yourself off the grid with windmills, solar, water power etc.

I do not consider this area as an air conditioning necessary location. OK, yes, you have babies but people had babies before AC and they grew up fine. Many families in this area do not have AC. Most people in very hot and humid areas of the world raise their children without AC. You can also economize in other cost, as I said, Pay what you must and Save where you can. This is what other people, who have less resources than you, must do to survive.

I know you are well educated and intelligent; probably make and deserve a good wage. So, just be satisfied that you can afford to pay the costs--some of us cannot even pay the basic cost of energy.

Livecontent
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
137 posts, read 387,276 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by 72Sh3llB3ll View Post
I am with you. I think Xcel is a giant monopoly. They raise their rates quarterly, or every 6 months at least. MY friend lives on Glade Park and she is lucky to have Grand Valley Power, who has NOT raised their rates since she has lived there ( over 5 years!) Now if Grand Valley Power can not raise their rates at the drop of a hat, why does Xcel? And we can not choose GVP either, we are FORCED to have Xcel, and that in my mind is a monopoly, plain and simple and I thought that was supposed to be illegal? Our last bill for Gas and electric was almost $300? For a 1750sq ft home with 3 bedrooms, that seems an awful lot. Yes, it has been hot but our ac is set at 80. Anyway, to the OP, I am with you....
We have a 3000 sq ft home. Keep the air on 78 during the day and 74 in the evening-- bill 191.00. You might want to do an energy audit to see where your "leak" is?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Currently- Grand JUnction, Co
23 posts, read 84,256 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by VALGAL222 View Post
We have a 3000 sq ft home. Keep the air on 78 during the day and 74 in the evening-- bill 191.00. You might want to do an energy audit to see where your "leak" is?


Possibly. Our home is only 5 years old ( almost) and the windows, etc were highly rated. I guess with the home being new, I assumed it wasn't " the houses fault" ha ha We knew the builder too, and he is an excellent builder, but he did have others helping. Who would I talk to to do an energy audit?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:46 PM
 
Location: western Centennial, CO
652 posts, read 1,670,106 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
chilicheesefries,

I understand--but what are you going to do? The base rate also increased, in addition to the tiered rate. So, the rates are going to higher even after the summer tiered rate period.

You have some options. You can increase energy efficiency; you could choose to do without; you can install solar or you can move to an area where you can get yourself off the grid with windmills, solar, water power etc.

I do not consider this area as an air conditioning necessary location. OK, yes, you have babies but people had babies before AC and they grew up fine. Many families in this area do not have AC. Most people in very hot and humid areas of the world raise their children without AC. You can also economize in other cost, as I said, Pay what you must and Save where you can. This is what other people, who have less resources than you, must do to survive.
Livecontent
That's where I think Xcel was most misleading because they talked about how this would 'save cost' for those who used the least energy when in fact they still pay more than they did last year so the 'doubling' is a huge increase masked as a conservation effort. What I'm going to do is pay the cost as it is. I'm not happy about it but for my family the electricity is more important than say eating out. Since my wife has not worked to stay home with our twins finances have been quite tight and I've cut out a lot of the fat.

I don't agree with the arguement that lots of babies grew up without A/C so it's not necessary because I could make this argument about almost anything. We all didn't have internet more than 20 years ago and we all started out just fine - but it allows us to communicate and share information more than ever. You had mentioned in a post about libraries how the internet is making brick and mortar libraries more and more obsolete. Without the internet we wouldn't be having a discussion and I wouldn't read your regularly thoughtful comments - that's why I reply to you so much because you put a lot of time and make good arguments that I often, but not always, agree with. Is the internet necessary - no, but it makes life better. I feel the same way about A/C.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:17 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,497,471 times
Reputation: 6677
If you're that concerned with your cooling costs, why not switch over to an evaporative cooler?

Even if you don't go to that extent, you should at least make sure that you're not wasting energy by neglecting maintenance. Have you cleaned the outside coils for your AC? If they're plugged up with cotton from a local cottonwood tree they'll make your AC system much less efficient. Have you cleaned your refrigerator coils? Check to make sure that your AC is cooling the air as much as it should. You probably need to have it serviced if there isn't at least a 10 degree difference in temperature between the air in your supply and return vents.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,735 posts, read 15,723,574 times
Reputation: 9191
I live in Grand Junction which is one of the hottest places in Colorado in the summer. There may be perhaps as many as a dozen days a summer when AC would be nice, but it is certainly not a necessity. The swamp cooler is more than adequate for the vast majority of the hot summer days. To my way of thinking, having AC to provide comfort for a handful of days each year that render swamp coolers insufficient is simply poor money management. But to each his/her own. If you choose to use AC don't blame the monopolistic power companies. We've all had a lifetime of watching them sleazily raise their rates over the years.....so what else is new? I am not in the least bit surprised by their latest money grab, and I wonder how anyone could be surprised. It's the nature of the beast!
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:06 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 12,559,244 times
Reputation: 6841
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilicheesefries View Post
That's where I think Xcel was most misleading because they talked about how this would 'save cost' for those who used the least energy when in fact they still pay more than they did last year so the 'doubling' is a huge increase masked as a conservation effort. What I'm going to do is pay the cost as it is. I'm not happy about it but for my family the electricity is more important than say eating out. Since my wife has not worked to stay home with our twins finances have been quite tight and I've cut out a lot of the fat.

I don't agree with the arguement that lots of babies grew up without A/C so it's not necessary because I could make this argument about almost anything. We all didn't have internet more than 20 years ago and we all started out just fine - but it allows us to communicate and share information more than ever. You had mentioned in a post about libraries how the internet is making brick and mortar libraries more and more obsolete. Without the internet we wouldn't be having a discussion and I wouldn't read your regularly thoughtful comments - that's why I reply to you so much because you put a lot of time and make good arguments that I often, but not always, agree with. Is the internet necessary - no, but it makes life better. I feel the same way about A/C.
You do make a good point. I do use many amenities that were not available in years past, which some I consider a necessity such as the internet, the phone, the microwave etc.

I am sitting here with a small fan and I am astounded by how earlier settlers survived without all these comforts. Of course, they would not desire that which never existed. What will the future hold? Certain comforts become necessities and those people will wonder how we survived.

The big issue, now, is that we have the problem--as the previous poster described "The Beast". I do think, in the future, as we move toward more solar and wind, the reliance on the public utility will be less. We, as individual, can supply our own electric power, especially in sunny Colorado. What we cannot do is supply our own natural gas.

I think the transmission and use of natural gas to individual residences will cease in the future because of the cost of building and maintaining gas lines. Gas will only be used for electric generation. It is certainly, much easier and safer, to maintain electric lines but we may not have the necessity if we can generate power at home.

I can see a day when there may be competitive companies that will generate electric power, with building, maintaining rental/purchasing of at home units, either solar, wind or passive.

We can also mandate that the electric grid system should be an open system with multiple providers, as we have done with the telephone lines. I think the movement to electric transportation will change much, because of the need to have more power available for charging automobiles in the home.

We will be looked at by subsequent generations as being "pioneers" living in a difficult historic time. So, we should relish our glory in our "suffering", knowing that we will be honored.

Livecontent
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:07 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,028,774 times
Reputation: 4464
I just received my bill for the last month: $59 for a family of four living in an 1800 sq. ft. house. What about the rest of you? Did you give conserving a try for the past few weeks? What were the results?
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:00 PM
 
138 posts, read 277,425 times
Reputation: 40
$38 for a 700ft house and im not even home... the only thing plugged in is my fridge which most waste a lot of energy but nothing I can do about that.
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