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Old 03-04-2011, 08:19 AM
 
281 posts, read 728,445 times
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I'm with Northwest Energy. In all of the years that I've lived here, I've pretty much maintained the same rates and charges throughout winter, except this one. My last two bills were up by $75. I've done nothing different at all and have no new appliances that would drive my bill up.

Then this morning, my landlord stops in to hand me a paper explaining that rent is going up because their utilities have increased as well.

I wonder if this had anything to do with the new meters they installed last summer for everyone, or if electricity has just taken a big hike.

My electric bill for the last month was $190, last winter for Feb, it was in the $130's.

Anyone else?
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:48 AM
 
9,341 posts, read 25,441,131 times
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There are two things that will affect your electricity bill: the number of kwh you use and the price charged for each kwh.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,844 posts, read 15,462,025 times
Reputation: 12124
NorthWest recently announced a plan to roll out a tiered pricing plan, gradually stepping up rates based on Kwh used.

However I don't think it's been made official.

Other than that, my rates havn't been whacked too bad. They're always high in the winter.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:30 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,840,610 times
Reputation: 2408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart View Post
I'm with Northwest Energy. In all of the years that I've lived here, I've pretty much maintained the same rates and charges throughout winter, except this one. My last two bills were up by $75. I've done nothing different at all and have no new appliances that would drive my bill up.

Then this morning, my landlord stops in to hand me a paper explaining that rent is going up because their utilities have increased as well.

I wonder if this had anything to do with the new meters they installed last summer for everyone, or if electricity has just taken a big hike.

My electric bill for the last month was $190, last winter for Feb, it was in the $130's.

Anyone else?
I usually file my bills for each utility and keep them for several years. If you have last year bill for the same time frame, see if your utilization has increased. Next check the comparison rate for Kwh from last year to this year. If this doesn't explain the increase or you don't file receipts, call NorthWest and ask them to graph your usage rate and explain the problem.

It may be something you don't anticipate. For example, the last time my rates jumped excessively, the energy company had me on a tiered time-of-use plan. Anything I used from 7am until 7pm was more per Kwh than at night. They were trying to push people into washing and using large appliances at night. The problem is, they didn't tell me ahead of time that they switched me to this program, and I am working at home most of the day.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,393,106 times
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There was a big increase here with MDU. They petitioned for a 30% increase and were shot down. But that didn't hold them back. They got 9% or so fromt he Utilities commision and then raised "Flat Rates" for even having a meter.

Bottom line is that last winter my Electric Bill run $55 during the worst month. This winter, with their 9% increase, my bill has run $85. They used to charge a minimum of $15 a month for having a meter, now it's $25. They may have only taken the price up 9%, for straight electric rates, but the total bill went up a lot.

Course, I really can't complain. I live in a cabin that is all electric and my bill runs $85 a month during the winter. About $60 a month during the summer with AC running.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,844 posts, read 15,462,025 times
Reputation: 12124
Man I wish.. 4 people, all electric (except a pellet stove and propane fireplace) and we pushed $280 a month for the coldest month(s). That's not including about a ton of pellets during the month either.. I figure my average electric bill will run about $225 a month. That's twice what I was accustomed to paying, but I used to burn woodstoves and had propane to cook with.
Washers, dryers and baseboard heat in the coldest rooms suck the Kwh right from the line.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: western montana
214 posts, read 529,546 times
Reputation: 86
There's various factors that, in your case, may be the result of the increase. First, you don't say, but your landlord may have a bulk meter for all the units where he has to average out the cost for everyone's bill for the power. There's not much you can do about that but get together with the other renters as a group and challange him to show proof of where the increases are.

If you have your own meter for the apartment, electrical rates do change and can be complicated figuring out, but keep in mind your appliances are getting older, too. Offsetting this increase is that customers are buying more efficent appliances at the same time, energy star, and the like, so people are making better choices and notice a decrease in their bill.

Like in my case for instance, buying all new flat screen tv's in the house made a big difference in my electrical usage with the bill going down vs. tube tv's. This is a documented fact on several web sites.

Also, if your using an electric heater, remember it's ageing, and might be time to have it inspected.

Back years ago when I rented, I used something called radiant glass panels, with a graphite top layer for heating my apartment. They are simplied plugged into a receptical outlet to offset apartment styled baseboard heating and they worked great. Use a lot less energy. They were made by Aztech International and TVI Corp. I don't know who owns them now, though.

Last edited by Jbechtel; 03-06-2011 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,812,321 times
Reputation: 672
We pay a "transport" fee along with our electrical usage, that doubles the rate.. I'm really glad for my wood heat. It's a little work but well worth it. I hear rumors that certain cities in MT are trying to ban wood heat because of "greenhouse emissions".. I wonder how much coal is burned to provide the energy to charge up the (also toxic) batteries in their electric deathtraps...)
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:15 PM
 
9,341 posts, read 25,441,131 times
Reputation: 4477
For comparison purposes, my last NorthWestern electric bill, for the month ending February 2, was 11.95 cents/kwh, or 8.6% more than the 11.00 cents/kwh charged for the same period in 2010. (The 11.95 cents/kwh is the total bill divided by the number of kwh used during the month.)
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