U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maryland
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 01-23-2010, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Fallston, MD
12 posts, read 38,961 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

I know this topic is one that has been beaten to death on here, but after moving from a townhouse to a single family home, our BGE bill is out of control. We expected an increase obviously but $900?? Has anyone changed electric providers? And if so, how has it been? Any cheaper?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-23-2010, 05:57 PM
 
407 posts, read 1,075,017 times
Reputation: 221
We put in a brand new air unit and our bill is never over 150.00 even in the hottest months of the summer with 12 networked computers that run 24/7. Get a new unit, that will probably help. BGE is going to take a rate hike again this year.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,066,063 times
Reputation: 1910
Quote:
Originally Posted by beilart View Post
We put in a brand new air unit and our bill is never over 150.00 even in the hottest months of the summer with 12 networked computers that run 24/7. Get a new unit, that will probably help. BGE is going to take a rate hike again this year.
You must have gas or oil heat. I just can't believe you can heat a house - no matter how well insulated - for that amount. I live in an end-of-group townhouse that has a new (supposedly) high-efficiency electric heat pump and my bill this month is $465.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2010, 06:10 PM
 
890 posts, read 3,141,208 times
Reputation: 533
You're going to have to list your usage habit and your house's details.

But generally:

Do not waste any of it. Lower that thermostat! Get an energy audit.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2010, 06:55 PM
 
53 posts, read 135,788 times
Reputation: 36
did that possibly include the one time deposit they charge for the meters?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Fallston, MD
12 posts, read 38,961 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmsniffer View Post
You're going to have to list your usage habit and your house's details.

But generally:

Do not waste any of it. Lower that thermostat! Get an energy audit.

We keep our thermostat at 65.....two brand new heat pumps(literally 4 mos old). Our house is about 2500 square feet and all electric. Bill said we used 6005 Kwh. Oh well at any rate, I just signed up for Constellation Electric. I got locked in for 2 years at 10.25 cents/kHw compared to BGE's 11.97 cents/kHw. I'll see what happens.

Last edited by Dan3086; 01-23-2010 at 07:49 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2010, 08:41 PM
 
407 posts, read 1,075,017 times
Reputation: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
You must have gas or oil heat. I just can't believe you can heat a house - no matter how well insulated - for that amount. I live in an end-of-group townhouse that has a new (supposedly) high-efficiency electric heat pump and my bill this month is $465.
We have gas heat but our gas bill is only about 60.00 a month. We keep that thermostat set at 76 in the summer and 68 in the winter. We have a very energy efficiant unit.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-24-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,051 posts, read 4,843,054 times
Reputation: 1087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan3086 View Post
Bill said we used 6005 Kwh. Oh well at any rate, I just signed up for Constellation Electric. I got locked in for 2 years at 10.25 cents/kHw compared to BGE's 11.97 cents/kHw. I'll see what happens.
Unfortunately, changing providers isn't going to make much difference in your electric bill. Because of the way they charge for power in MD is the reason.

The only charge that will change is the BGE Electric Supply item. The customer charge I'm not sure about but I'm sure since BGE is a subsidiary of Constellation then it will remain the same. The distribution charge and everything else will only change marginally. By pennies.

So here's what I'm figuring your bill is and what it would be under your new billing.

Current 6005KWH = 868.36

Constellation 6005KWH = 765.07

In contrast if you lived where I do your bill would $721.41.

Your problem though isn't the price of electricity. It's how much electricity you're using.

Let me explain a little about thermostats and heat pumps.

Say it's 50 outside. Your thermostat is set to 68. When your temp in your house drops to say, 67, the thermostat sends a voltage to the heat pump and the heat pump turns on and makes heat. That's all fine and good. It's at this point where your heat pump is being very efficient.

Now let's drop the temp to 30 and do the same thing again. The heat pump comes on and starts making heat. Only this time there's a difference. There is a freon temperature sensor inside the unit that tells how cold the freon is. If the freon is too cold the sensor tells the micro computer inside the heat pump and the heat pump suddenly changes the way it does things.

Now the heat pump stops making heat and reverses it's self to air conditioning mode. Why does it do this? Because the computer assumes that if the freon is too cold that there will be an ice buildup on the outside coils of the heat pump. If you get too much ice on the coils then air can't pass over them and the unit stops working. So, to get rid of the ice the A/C runs forcing warm freon over the coils thawing off the ice. This is called the defrost mode. Ice free freezers do the exact same thing.

You can easily recognize when they go into defrost mode. The fan will stop spinning, you'll hear a hiss and oftentimes a cloud of steam will rise from the outside unit.

Now as the temps outside get colder and colder the heat pump will go into defrost mode more and more. It's when the heat pumps is in defrost mode that it becomes a huge energy waster.

As I stated above, when the defrost mode comes on the heat pump reverses it's self and runs in A/C mode. When it does this it also kicks in the auxiliary electric backup heat (also called a heat strip or stick of heat) so you still have heat coming out of your ducts while the unit defrosts. It when that backup heat comes on that the electric meters starts spinning faster than the wheels on your car. Not only is the A\C running but your strip of electric heat is on at the same time! And the colder it gets the worse this is.

You can also have an issue whereby the heat pump just simply can't keep up with the cold temps. When this happens the temps fall inside the house to what is called a "set point". It is preprogrammed into your thermostat and is often adjustable. The set point is usually 2 below whatever you have the thermostat set to. When the temps inside the house fall to the setpoint the heat pump is simply shut off and the auxiliary heat strips take over completely. That means your meter is making rapid laps again.

A word about the heat strips and the power they consume. Most heat strips are at least 10,000 watts and often way more. They're 230 volts too. This means they are huge suckers of electricity. You don't want them to run.

There are two things you can do about this. The first thing is the most cost effective but more work.

You can install some sort of supplemental heating. Whether it's a wood/pellet stove or a gas fireplace doesn't matter. You're going to have to tend to them. I use a gas fireplace in my house.

The second thing is to replace the heat strips with what is called a gas pack. It will probably involve the removal of the inside unit and replacing it with one that can burn propane/natural gas. It is not cheap but it will probably pay for it's self in the course of a few winters.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-24-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,739,375 times
Reputation: 1517
And while heating/cooling take up a big chunk of the energy bill, don't overlook things like refrigerators, dryers, stoves. If these are old and not energy efficient, they can really make a difference. Self-defrosting refrigerators are big users of electricity.
Check out the Energy Star website. There are tax rebates available if you replace old, inefficient appliances with new, efficient ones.
Home : ENERGY STAR
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2010, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Fallston, MD
12 posts, read 38,961 times
Reputation: 15
Every appliance in the house is 4 months old also. It was a foreclosure and had nothing in it.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maryland
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top