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"No, I am your favorite agent."
(set 5 days ago)
Location: South Metro Denver for 25 years
8,668 posts, read 19,313,007 times
personal pool? less than 1 in a hundred houses have a personal pool (not the plastic or inflatable kind) here. And they cost a small fortune to heat.
What size house? Parker has IREA (Intermountain Rural Electric Association) and HR has Xcel. Gas forced air heat? Gas water heater? Electric Heat? Hot water heat? Do you run the a/c when the temp is above 70? or 100?
I have no a/c, a family of 5 and average runs about $125, gas water heater & gas forced air heat.
We live in Colorado Springs. Here are our costs. Denver should be near this.
We've a 3800 sq ft home, ranch style, fully finished basement, 4BR, 3BA, Office/Study, Great Room, etc, a new home. Both levels have 9-foot ceilings and two rooms are even higher. We have two heating systems, two gas fireplaces, gas water heater, gas cooktop, electric oven and microwave, one A/C system (upstairs is all that needs it, and not all often actually). We run 4 outside lights each night. We heat & cool at 75 degrees. There are 2 occupants, no pets, we shower daily and sometimes fill the jetted tub. The downstairs heat hardly came on last winter, it was set at 68 degrees and we only turned it up when we were busy down there. The lawn has a sprinkler system and it runs for two hours a day since May, but has been off a lot this year as we've had more rain than usual. During December, we had a few days of -15 degrees.
Our bills so far have been: Dec $241; Jan $274; Feb $262; Mar $237; Apr $177; May $224; Jun $199, Jul $226, Aug $162.
These bills are on a par with what we paid back in Fairfax County, VA, but that old house was only a 2000 sq ft home built in 1974 - all electric. The home we're in was built by one of the better local builders. They do a "green" treatment of each home built. I believe the industry name for this is "Build Green Colorado," and is characterized by superior insulation, tight fitting seals, permanent epoxy on air ducts (instead of duct tape that peels off after several years), water heaters that draw combustion air from outside via a closed system, low-e twin-pane windows, and more.
For any home in Multiple Listing Service, the listing realtor should have a full year's worth of utility costs to show you, at least that's what we've always seen when we bought or sold homes. There is no charge or obligation if you ask them such questions, they are there to help. (I'm not a realtor, in any way, shape or form.)
For a 2000 sq ft home, with proper insulation, you can expect bills to be 1/3 less than ours, maybe 1/2 of ours. If you build new, get a Build Green home and get a light-colored roof to reflect summer heat back up.
In this region, much of our natural gas comes from fairly local sources in this Inter-Mountain West, mostly CO and WY. Coal for our electric power plants here is local WY coal, the costs for it aren't subject to the fluctuations seen in the gas marketplace. Many water supplies here are Rocky Mountain snow-melt, best in the nation AFAIC, always cold right out of the tap, even in summer - and it tastes great (none of that sulphurous rotten egg smell like coastal areas back east).
We're in SE Aurora, we've been here a year in June. I run the heater and the air conditioner almost constantly. We have a 3000 sq. foot 2 story home with partially finished basement below. We are a family of 3 kids and 2 adults. Needless to say we use a lot of utilities. With all that said, I do not think our bills are killer.
So far my highest bills have been:
Excel (gas): $125
IREA (electric): $177
Water: $160 - this was last summer when the sprinkler system was running, it usually is about 70/80 in months without sprinkler
If I were to average it out I'd say I spend about $200/month all utilities combined. Above I just listed what the maximum costs had been since we moved in.
The city of Denver and the metro area of Denver don't have the same companies providing utilities. Some water bills include sewer and, like ours, include a fee for a new water project. Some electricity companies have gas and electricity combined and others come in 2 separate bills from 2 different companies.
It will also depend on your tolerance for heat and cold and if you're proactive on using mother nature to heat/cool your house or if you depend on the furnace and a/c unit.
We have a 2000 sq foot house with very high ceilings and an unfinished basement. Our house faces East/West and we've got some fabulous shade trees in the front and back yards. In the morning, the sun hits the house on the front and then the afternoon sun bakes the back. We open windows and turn on ceiling fans after about 5:30 pm in the summer and leave the blinds open facing west in the winter (which heats the house up to nearly 80 degrees even when the outside temp is in the 30s). We wear shorts around the house in summer and fleece in the winter. Our house is about 80 degrees in the summer and 70 in winter.
Our bills for gas (XCel energy) are higher in winter (about $150 per month) and low in summer (about $25). Electricity is opposite ($60 in winter) and in August when we use the a/c more, it's about $150. Our water bill is usually pretty low IMHO. It goes up slightly in the summer when we have our sprinkling system on, but we are very diligent in turning off the sprinklers if it's been raining and have figured out the magic number to give our grass and plants/trees just enough water so they won't die but not flood the street. Our water bill is usually $65 and that includes a $25 fee to develop a water project for our area. Last summer, our bill was almost $200 and we discovered a leak in the system that was flooding underneath the grass. We fixed it and have had low bills ever since.
What is hard about Denver is that most of the houses over 1500 sq feet are two stories and there is not much you can do to cool off upstairs. We do use mother nature as much as we can but when summer rolls around, the blankets come off the beds, the ceiling fans get turned up and the comforters get pushed back.
Your utility bills will be higher if you do more laundry, if you take longer showers, if you try and cool off your upstairs with the a/c, and if your house sits totally exposed to the wind/snow/sun. Our neighborhood is about 10 years old and the original owners thought to put a huge shade tree and a large, covered porch on the front of our house. It make a huge difference. It also makes a difference that we put a storm door on the front of our house because when you open the door in winter, the cold air stays out. On the back, the house is pretty much flat with windows that get hit all day with afternoon sun. We've purchased black out blinds for those windows and have about 10 large Aspen trees that help keep some of the house shaded. It does make a difference. When we're home, we leave the screen door window open on front and leave the deck door open in the back and we get a nice breeze that goes through the house. It's important to really LOOK at your house before you buy it if you are concerned with utility bills. There are a lot of things that can help decrease them but take years sometimes (like trees) to fill in. The good news is that unlike some other places I've lived (Arizona and Florida), even in the middle of summer, when the temps can get up into the high 90s, the evening comes and things cool down. Go outside in the morning and if you've got your house locked up tight with the a/c running, you'll find it's cooler outside than in.
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