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Old 04-10-2015, 01:14 PM
 
506 posts, read 414,398 times
Reputation: 1365

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeo123 View Post
I find it amusing that at first you blame people as if they don't understand the concept of a variable rate, yet then go on about how good it is that because of the scam (and yes, it was a scam and many of those companies were sued by the state and forced to close) you now have new protections.

Don't act like it's the ignorance of the consumers when this was actually a problem with the businesses.

FYI, it wasn't 3x the normal rate, it was 3x the rates being offered by the normal electric companies at that exact same time. If the protections you've got now were in place, people using those suppliers who were ripping people could have gotten out when they announced the rate increase.

Instead, the suppliers jacked up the price to 3x the current rate from the normal electric company and did nothing as people were stuck for 60 days.
You clearly don't work in the energy field.

No it was not a scam! At the most, what you could point out in the whole process was the long transferring periods, but that was already true even before those price hikes!

As for how variable rate suppliers had prices 3 x's superior to the distributor company that is comparing apples to oranges!

"Normal" companies as you say lock in prices through contracts or energy futures, because they offer only FIXED plans.

If you are in a variable plan, and the market happens to go haywire, of course the company you are contracted to is going to pass on those costs to you. Just as the same in your everyday life you have lots of "variable" rate contracts.

Think of meat in the supermarket. If somehow the prices of corn, bellies and such jumped in a very short period of time in the markets, of course the supermarket/grocery store will pass on those costs to you.

BUT let's say you fix a contract beforehand and lock in the prices, no matter what, the grocery store is locked to those prices it was contracted on.

Same thing here.

You have to be aware that during that period you had lots of situations happening at the same time:

- One of the coldest winters on record;
- A lot of demand from consumers due to low temperatures;
- A lot of plants were simply shutting down their usage of certain fuels for energy generation;
- Natural gas storage levels were at the lowest on record
- Natural gas at the same time the commodity cost jumped about 100% in a couple of days and it almost went up 200% in a matter of weeks.


It's a variable rate so if people were caught off guard it's their own fault in my opinion. Just as much when you have variable mortgage rates and then complaint because rates are too high!

It's a matter of risk perception and if you rather have a stable payment even though you might pay a premium for it or not.

People who took fixed mortgages in the early 70's probably were happy with their decision when interest rates went up to almost 20%.

People that took fixed mortgages in 2007 probably are not so happy right now where they are probably paying 6/8 % in interest when variable rates for someone that took that same mortgage on a variable rate is now paying 0.3% interest rate on their mortgage and pretty much all their mortgage payments are going towards principle.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,639,728 times
Reputation: 11455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitano_ View Post
First, I started off by changing the light bulbs around the house with CFLs and LEDs. She had incandescents in the house, which I was able to count a total output of around 1300 W with all the lights on.

We changed it all, and now the TOTAL OUTPUT is around 200 Watts for the lighting around the house.

This was the major change in electricity and also the heat, even though the furnace is Natural Gas, the reduction in heat led to less consumption of the blower.
So you think the heat form the incandescent bulbs was somehow causing additional wear on the blower? Not likely. In fact, the cooler-burning CFL & LED bulbs may have actually caused the furnace to have to run a little more (although the difference would be minimal, if any).

Quote:
As of now, we are using about 300 kWh per month, and this is during heating season which means, 50 kWh is exclusive to the blower and also our super old Fridge, which I believe is a Whirlpool Limited Edition with a serial number from either 1977 or 1987. Its usage is around 2.3 kWh a day, or around 70 kWh a month!

We are going to buy a new one to go with the kitchen renovation, this will lead to a decrease of around 30-35 kWh in usage with the new fridge at least.
At a cost of how much for the new fridge? Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. If you want a new fridge as part of a remodel, that's fine. But don't try to sell replacing a perfectly functioning appliance with a new model as a frugal move just because it uses less energy.

Quote:
The cooling season is coming but there I hope to see some changes too, even though we live in a very humid area in the summer.
Exactly. It's only been three months; get back to me in October and maybe I'll give you a pat on the back. As of now I compare your experience to the time I got 40 mpg in my Ford F250 for 20 miles going mostly downhill with a stiff tail wind.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:57 PM
 
506 posts, read 414,398 times
Reputation: 1365
Quote:
So you think the heat form the incandescent bulbs was somehow causing additional wear on the blower? Not likely. In fact, the cooler-burning CFL & LED bulbs may have actually caused the furnace to have to run a little more (although the difference would be minimal, if any).
What? Who said anything about heat in incandescent?

What I said was that CFLs was a major change but also the heat as in furnace, where the furnace running less had the blower of the furnace running less as well. You know, forced air in order to spread the hot air around the house has a fan that uses electricity, so a decrease in heat will also lead to a decrease in electricity even though the furnace is natural gas. The difference between 200 operational hours in a month to lets say 70 hours a month equals around 65 kWh only from the furnace blower - the blower probably has an output around 400-700 W.

The led word up there wasn't meant as led light bulb but as in led of the past of the verb lead!

Quote:
At a cost of how much for the new fridge? Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. If you want a new fridge as part of a remodel, that's fine. But don't try to sell replacing a perfectly functioning appliance with a new model as a frugal move just because it uses less energy.
Im not being pound foolish ... of course i am not changing the fridge for those reasons... please read where I state the following: We are going to buy a new one to go with the kitchen renovation.

Which means, the new fridge is part of the renovation. The mere fact it's going to drop the kWh usage is just a consequence not the REASON we're buying a new one.

Quote:
Exactly. It's only been three months; get back to me in October and maybe I'll give you a pat on the back. As of now I compare your experience to the time I got 40 mpg in my Ford F250 for 20 miles going mostly downhill with a stiff tail wind.
Lol are you kidding me? 3 months where? It's been 5 months already, a full season of winter where spending was down 50% on heat alone!!

Didnt you read that EVEN IF I DONT CHANGE ANYTHING from last years electricity patterns, the mere change of electricity supplier will give us a savings of 250 USD?

Do you really think there will be no changes in pattern? Of course there will! Unlike last year where the house was being cooled off 24/7 now we will be cooling only when IN THE HOUSE!

And since we are in the house mostly at night, where the heat outside is much less than during the day... well guess what?

The delta between indoor and outdoor is much less making the energy in AC be much much less. Probably will be to a point where we dont even need AC at all during the night time.

This experience has not been only a weekend or so as your analogy states. This has been 5 full months of living with a full winter outside and on that alone the savings were 350 USD on gas + 100 USD on electricity on PATTERN CHANGE ALONE!

Last edited by Lusitano_; 04-10-2015 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
Reputation: 35869
I must be way ahead of you. My total utilities bill for the whole year is less than $1,000.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:45 PM
 
506 posts, read 414,398 times
Reputation: 1365
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I must be way ahead of you. My total utilities bill for the whole year is less than $1,000.
If you check the graph you'll see that the heat alone before the changes was around 800-900 a year ...

Plus electricity of around the same amounts...

As for way ahead of me it's not fair to just say "oh I pay less than this".

A lot of factors come into play...

What size is your house? Where do you live? Do you have to have heat? Where I live temps usually go below zero in winter.

What are your utility prices? You might be paying half than me because prices might be half...

There was a user at the beginning of the topic where their price was half of mine and even with me changing supplier it's still 33% less.

A more fair comparison would be consumption.

We use on average 300 kWh a month which will decrease a bit and go sub 300 most likely to 270 next month.

As for heat we are now using 90 therms as max on the year while most is around 50 .. Yearly it should end around 350 therms for the whole year
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,237 posts, read 49,783,147 times
Reputation: 67007
A lot of work to save $83 a month.
You could probably save that by skipping eating out once or twice or not going to Starbucks or giving up cable.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:12 AM
 
506 posts, read 414,398 times
Reputation: 1365
How is that a lot of work?

Changing light bulbs and call the utility company and use a programmable thermostat is a lot of work?

Clearly like a user said people are awash with money to think 83$ a month is not a big deal... Especially when there's barely work involved - sure I made a call to the utility company and changed light bulbs

We don't have cable so that's an extra 70 USD right there. Eating out we do it twice a month probably ... I'm a good cook so we eat better and cheaper at home or friends houses where they invite me to cook. We have people over every weekend most times
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,237 posts, read 49,783,147 times
Reputation: 67007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitano_ View Post
How is that a lot of work?

Changing light bulbs and call the utility company and use a programmable thermostat is a lot of work?

Clearly like a user said people are awash with money to think 83$ a month is not a big deal... Especially when there's barely work involved - sure I made a call to the utility company and changed light bulbs

We don't have cable so that's an extra 70 USD right there. Eating out we do it twice a month probably ... I'm a good cook so we eat better and cheaper at home or friends houses where they invite me to cook. We have people over every weekend most times
We do a lot of laundry around here with 4 people. Hanging it all out to dry outside wouldn't be worth 80 bucks a month to me.
Time is money, too.

LED bulbs cost a fortune.
I know this because I replace each light that goes out in my house with an LED. Not necessarily because I want to save money, but because I would like to lessen my impact on the environment. Those bulbs are not cheap.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:31 AM
 
506 posts, read 414,398 times
Reputation: 1365
It takes 10 min to hang them up.

Even if you had a load every single day it meant you were being paid 16 dollars an hour. Sure not great... We dont do anything that close so the hour pay is Mich much higher.

As for LEDs/CFLs I had them on sale and part are subsidized. Anyhow CFLs and LEDs are cheap. CFLs each you get pretty much the same wattage from LEDs cost 1-2 dollars at the most each... LEDs you can get for 5 dollars a reasonable one.

Anyhow the wattage difference doesn't make the LEDs vs CFLs that attractive there's really not much of a gain there since they are so close on efficiency.

But the punt I made was coming from incandescent bulbs. Going from there to CFLs pays off in less than a year... We used to average 600 w output just in the division we stay the most - the living room which meant 1 dollar a day just lighting that area alone. Currently our output in the living room is about 50 w total which in a full month it saves about 90% or 27 dollars more or less so it pays off super fast.

Going from CFLs to LEDs is not worth it
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,237 posts, read 49,783,147 times
Reputation: 67007
It is when you realize the downsides of CFLs.
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