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Old 06-08-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Memphis
68 posts, read 118,315 times
Reputation: 37

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I'm speechless at the amount of my utility bills the past few months. I live in a house less than 1000 sq. feet, rarely if ever cook, practically only live in one room when I'm here, rarely use my central H&A, used a portable space heater all winter, rarely watch tv, although I do use the computer a lot, single, but yet my utility bill is $300+ each month.

I can't imagine how much someone is paying that has a family of 4 living in a home greater than 2000 square feet.

However, I hear of people who live in large homes whose bill may only be a couple of hundred dollars.

What gives?


If anyone is open to sharing their cost per on the utility bills maybe we can see if there are any discrepances.

I'll start and hopefully others will be willing to participate.


Last bill:
$250 (lowest it has been in a while)

Electric usage 1320
Water usage 15
======================
Sewer charge $50/month
Solid Waste Fee $18.48/month
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:35 AM
 
3,376 posts, read 12,656,880 times
Reputation: 770
A/C will run almost nonstop in the summer when it's pushing 100 degrees outdoors. That hikes the bill up considerably. Do you live in an older home?
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:35 AM
 
Location: East Memphis
845 posts, read 2,369,374 times
Reputation: 453
It looks like you are using a lot of electricity for just 1 person. Is your unit all electric (i.e. electric furnace for heat and electric water hear)? If so, this is what is making your electricity usage high. The plus side of that will be that your gas (which is waaaaay more expensive) usage should be very low. Even with an all electric unit your usage is still very high. Do you have a washer and dryer in your unit? If so the dryer can suck up a lot of electricity when in use. It is a bad idea to wash and dry clothes every other day. Also, what do you have your AC set to? If you have it on something like 70 degrees it is going to run all day with the heat we have here. This will greatly increase your electricity usage also. It is also a good idea to learn to read your meter to make sure MLGW is reading everything properly.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:12 AM
 
58 posts, read 121,441 times
Reputation: 55
Possibilities:

1. You are really using that much electricity.
2. Your meter is defective.
3. Someone else is also using your electricity.

If you are really using that much then there are things to consider.
1. Are your appliances old and not energy efficient?
2. Do you take real long hot showers or let the hot water run in the sink for long periods?
3. Do you try to make the house too comfortable? Wear more clothes or less clothes at home rather than running the heat or ac as much.
4. Is your air filter in the ac unit clean?

Your bill is way too high, you need to investigate.
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:59 PM
 
15 posts, read 22,558 times
Reputation: 11
I agree with the above posters. I want to add this: if you live within the city limits, you can also become a Smart Pay member at MLGW which your monthly bill be the same price each month. That way you can use as much A/C, heat, etc as you want without your bill fluctuating each month. Each year your monthly statement for the beginning of the year may be higher or lower. Whatever that price will be at the beginning of the year is what you will be paying throughout the year.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:02 PM
 
49 posts, read 144,859 times
Reputation: 46
Default This is my first ever post! :)

1320 killowatt hours for under 1,000 square feet is an awful lot.

I just want to add that if you have a camera on your phone or what have you it is not a bad idea to track your meter(s) readings once a week at around the same time. The MLGW web site offers up instructions on how to read a meter and if you know how to read an analogue clock with no troubles, then you can totally read a meter.

MLGW is sadly voted the very worse for a very fair amount for a reason and I doubt anyone in their entire service area takes pride in that. Alright? But sometimes they do make mistakes. Trust me, I know.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Memphis
68 posts, read 118,315 times
Reputation: 37
Thanks guys. Had no idea. I do NOT use a lot of electricity. Not knowingly. And rarely use my Central air. Cut on my air when I first get in the house to take the humidity out of the air and for about 45 minutes right before bed.

Thanks for all of the suggestions above. I really like the idea of the Smart pay too. Will check on that.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:04 PM
 
107 posts, read 293,369 times
Reputation: 48
To clarify, the following is a link to a description of smartpay (now called budget billing): MLGW : Residential : ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS : BUDGET BILLING (http://mlgw.com/SubView.php?key=res_budgetbilling - broken link)

Even though this may keep your bill from fluctuating too much month to month, until you find the underlying reason that your bill is so high, you will continue paying too much. I think the others have made good suggestions and agree that your bill seems high.

When looking at the age and efficiency of your appliances, remember to also check your hot water heater. Also, it sounds like you don't run the AC long enough for this to be a problem, but you may want to also make sure your doors and windows are decently sealed. If you can see daylight along the edges of a door or window when it is closed, there is room for improvement. Again, this shouldn't affect things too much if you only use the AC for an hour a day.

Maybe someone can comment on your water use. Off the top of my head, I want to say that it looks a bit high for one person, but don't have a bill in front of me. One problem I have heard of that could lead to excess usage is the toilet tank filling without being flushed (ie the tank not sealing properly). If you hear it happening, it can greatly affect your usage. Another common cause is running the dishwasher too often/too empty. Shots in the dark, I know; just problems I had heard of. Anyway, best of luck.

Last edited by one opinion; 06-12-2011 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
523 posts, read 1,745,729 times
Reputation: 272
We got a 2300 sqft home with vaulted ceilings and a family of four. We pay between $180-$250 a month depending on how hot it is during the month (we try to conserve as much energy as possible).

However, this past bill we were charged $267, then we got a letter stating they over charged us and will credit us $127 which we saw on our next statement.

I do know that if for whatever reason MLGW can not read your meter they will estimate the reading and charge you whatever your estimate was, then when they do get the actual reading for a future statement then you end up being up to date.
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