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Old 08-24-2015, 02:33 PM
FMT FMT started this thread
 
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May be a stupid question but we are trying figure out expenses before the upcoming move and i was wondering what energy costs are like . Right now we use 15k kilowatt hrs so yeah pretty high.

Anyway what are heating and electrical costs like ?
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:39 PM
 
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FMT,

It depends on the size of your home and the type of heating/cooling and your electrical consumption patterns. If you are looking at Sussex County, try using the Delaware Electric Co-op tool on their web site to estimate your electric and heating costs. It is based upon the parameters you enter. I compared my actual usage to the parameters I entered and the results were quite close to their estimates.

Some of the things that make an impact on my heating/electrical costs include the following:

1. I live in a 1st floor condo of approx. 1350 sq ft (includes unheated wrap around sunroom). It is much easier to heat and cool than a SFH or a top floor condo.

2. When I moved here last year I remodeled this 15 yr old condo to use energy efficient washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator and LED lighting where possible. The newer appliances are much more energy efficient. Since the heating system was also 15 yrs old, I decided to replace the propane heating/ HVAC cooling system with a duel fuel heat pump. This allows me to use the Heat pump for heating above 40 degrees and only switches to Propane below 40 degrees. So, heat pump is used when it is cheaper to run the heat pump and propane when it is actually cheaper to use propane below 40 degrees.

3. A totally unexpected savings came from the propane tankless water heater that existed in the condo. In my prior home I had an electric water heater and had not realized that for a one person household it was costing me between $40 - $45 per month just to heat a 50 gallon tank. My tankless propane water heater is costing me an average of $3 per month in propane costs. So, I am saving around $450 a year in electric costs just because the hot water heater is run on propane.

For electric, the supplier and delivery charges from DEC are running me a little over 12 cents per KWH. I spent (as a one person household) $569 on electric last year and $716 on propane - so an average of $108 per month. My electric bill for the past month (quite hot here this past month) was $47.64.

So, you can see now it is impossible to give you an estimate of what your costs might be depending upon the size of your house, number of occupants, type of appliances, type of heating/cooling systems and your consumption patterns. However, if you use the DEC tool on their web site and put in your variables as it pertains to your family, it may give you a fairly decent estimate.

When I decided to retire to DE I was concerned about the "high cost of heating with propane", but, as it turned out, the combination of a duel fuel heat pump and a tankless propane hot water heater, my overall heating and cooling/electric costs were lower than I had expected.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:52 AM
FMT FMT started this thread
 
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Going to check out that tool now. Costs in nyc are ridiculous. Im assuming they have to be less in de.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:21 AM
 
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FMT,

Another thing to consider is your water usage. Water in DE can be expensive if you are hooked up to public water. Where I am the monthly base rate for public water is $23 per mouth plus about $8 per 1000 gallons.

Having lived in SE PA for 35 years, being on the public water system was much preferred over a private well. The reason being that in SE PA you need to drill 150 - 250 feet to get drinkable water. If we were in a real drought situation a well could run dry and be a major expense if you needed to drill a new well. It was not a matter of just dead grass and shrubs - it was having no drinking water. Fortunately, if it rains every week or ten days in PA, an established lawn/shrubs don't need any watering because the ground holds the moisture real well. So, for me, using public water hook up was always less than $30 per month in PA.

It was not until I moved to Lewes that I realized that even though the rain fall amounts are similar, the sandy soil and constant wind causes the soil to dry out within 24 to 48 hours - so even established plantings may require watering often. This is what may drive up your public water usage and end up costing you a bundle. This is why irrigation wells are so popular in this area of the state. You don't have to drill down very deep (usually less than 25 ft) to hit water and it is a lot cheaper over the long run to put in an irrigation well than to use public water to water your lawn.

When coming from another state ( even though I was only 115 miles north of my present location) this is the kind of thing that you never think to ask about because the only frame of reference you have is based upon your past experience. I had never even heard of irrigation wells until I moved to DE.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:26 AM
 
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I disagree with the above poster on some points regarding "water".

Well water is much preferred, where I have lived a lifetime....in Kent County, Delaware. Now, we have public water supply, but we enjoyed our well water, with the wells never drying up on the farm. My parents, also here a lifetime, never had their wells dry up. Now we live in a small town, with public, cholorine treated water. It's o.k. not our preference, but it's cheap. My business takes me in and out of many communities all over the state. Lots of properties at the beach have wells drilled, just for their landscaping needs. I haven't run across any comments in that area about wells drying up.

Different subdivisions across the state pay different amounts for public water supply. I've seen very cheap water bills near the beach area, and have also seen huge public water bills there. It depends on where you live, your community, and the provider.

About electric bills, we love ours! Our provider is Delmarva Power, and our July bill was $74.50 We have a historic, 1850 sq.ft. home, built in the late 1800's. We have wood German siding, old wood windows, oil conversion hot water heat, and no central air conditioning. We have a wall unit downstairs, and one upstairs, which keeps us very comfortable during the summer. Also included in our electric bill is our electric hot water heater. Our oil bill could reach $200/month in cold winters, and we're having our tank filled next week, since the price of oil went down so much.

Bottom line, it depends on where you live, what you want, and how much you want to pay.
Shop around. Sussex County East, and Sussex County West side, are very different. Sussex County West is more rural, and everything is more realistically priced. Kent County, our home, is the best place for us.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlr View Post

Well water is much preferred, where I have lived a lifetime....in Kent County, Delaware. Now, we have public water supply, but we enjoyed our well water, with the wells never drying up on the farm. My parents, also here a lifetime, never had their wells dry up. Now we live in a small town, with public, cholorine treated water. It's o.k. not our preference, but it's cheap. My business takes me in and out of many communities all over the state. Lots of properties at the beach have wells drilled, just for their landscaping needs. I haven't run across any comments in that area about wells drying up.

rdlr,

I agree with you that in DE I can see why well water is preferred and I can now see why you would not have a problem with wells drying up. It is the opposite where I had lived in PA. Drinkable water required drilling 150 - 250 feet or more. So, in the area where I lived a public water system was a big plus. When I was first doing my research it just never occurred to me to take into account the very different water tables since my move was only 115 miles south.

It also did not occur to me when doing my research that similar amounts of rain fall could have a vastly different impact on the landscaping needs for water due to the combination of sandy soil and wind in southern DE that does not exist in PA. So, until I moved here I did not understand why having an irrigation well would be an extremely good idea.

When considering a move to a new state we often rely on "what we know" from past experience in a different state. It is easy enough to compare property taxes in different states, but, I don't know how many of us are looking at how different water tables, soil and wind conditions will impact the cost of water (except maybe if you are considering a move to CA).
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:14 PM
 
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Mary...yes, different parts of the country and also different parts of Delaware (as small as it is) have different soil contents.

Our farm, in central Kent County had mostly sassafras soils, excellent drainage, and great for deep wells and good water. The Felton-Harrington areas, also in Kent County, have slightly different soils, more sandy. I remember spending a lot of time at the Department of Agriculture getting our soils tested. Even on our 160 acres, there were patches of different kinds of soils with different drainage readings. The following is for Kent County, and these readings are also available for Sussex and New Castle Counties.

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FS...kentDE1920.pdf
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
7,875 posts, read 10,563,569 times
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I am in lower Sussex County. Our water bill is "expensive" as compared to my Long Island bill, but that was our cheapest utility. We have no choice here but to use Delmarva Power, simply to open the bill every quarter this is a $69.69 charge for administrative services, then the rate for the
1st 1000 gallons is $8.207
2nd 1000 gallons is $8.313

My bill for last quarter was $172, and we are two people. Our landscaping watering is covered by our HOA but I do have pots and containers that we are responsible for watering.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Lewes, DE
350 posts, read 352,387 times
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Hi FMT,

Electric bills of course fluctuate greatly depending not only on supplier and price, but on how much space you are heating/cooling, the insulation in your home, and of course your personal temperature preferences.

This is our first full summer and our electric bill from Delaware Electric Cooperative in Lewes (i.e. air conditioning) has been $32 for April, $50 for May, $100 for June, and $160 for July. We are cooling three floors and approximately 3,500 sq. ft., and we keep the temperature between 75-78. July was very hot and all 5 bedrooms were filled to capacity with guests, so the ac was running pretty much day and night. It is just now cooling off at night so we'll begin opening the windows at night and (hopefully) return to those $50-$100 bills soon.

Hope this helps, and best of luck on your upcoming move!
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
7,875 posts, read 10,563,569 times
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Enjoy has a good point in telling you the size of the home. We are a 2350 sq. foot ranch and we keep the a/c at 75 degrees, and our average electric bill is $180 per month. The winter is a little harder to keep steady temperature because of the variables such as snow and winds.

I also need too edit the above post regarding the water bill by saying our electric is Delmarva Power but our water is Tidewater Utilities.
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