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Old 07-16-2009, 10:57 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,357,828 times
Reputation: 4909

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyMissAshley View Post
I'd say for atleast the past 6-8 months my utility bill has been over $200. I'm renting a unit that's about 900-1000sq.ft. in Florida. It started out at $175 last summer and continued to rise, until about last fall when it reached over $200 and continued steadily at that rate.

I've tried everything to lower the bills. I've set the A/C to 78-80 (even in the summer). I've unplugged things I didn't use. I haven't been staying in the unit much myself, so the stove hasn't been used, the washer and dryer have not been used but maybe a couple times a month. The TV is not turned on very often. Stereos aren't used much, the only electronic that is used the most is my laptop that I'll plug in to keep the power on. But again, I'm not even there that often. There's only one other person living there, and they work a full time job, come home and sleep, and are awake for a few hours using computers, tv, and what not.

My aunt lives in a very large home. 2 good sized bedrooms, 1 master bedroom, a large living room, a florida room and a large kitchen. Appliances always turned on, A/C set between 72-78, fans always running, LARGE HD Flatscreen tv ALWAYS on, computers always plugged in and/or in use. Their electric bill is under $100/mo.

So, any suggestions? I called the utility company and told them I wanted someone out to do a walk through evaluation. They told me it usually takes about 2 weeks before the person calls back to schedule a walk through.

The way I've calculated..if the utility bill has been over by $100 unnecessarily so, since last fall I've lost atleast $1,000 of my savings. Score!
Have you talked to the utility company to try to sort why the bill is so high?
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:02 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
Reputation: 13019
Where in Florida do you live? Many of the utlity companies have raised rates enough to show the $25 a month difference.

Call for an energy audit, and in the meantime keep shades/blinds down during the day, set the a/c to 82 when you aren't home, turnoff computers, tv's, lights, etc. when not in use, and better yet unplug all electronics and appliances when not in use.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 4,634,410 times
Reputation: 2749
That seems too high. I am also in Florida in a 26 year old 1200 sq ft home. All the applicances are probably just as old. We keep the ac set around 75, and usually have at least 1 TV and both computers on when we are home in the evenings and weekends. We also use the over several times a week. My most recent bill was $160 (which is as high as it gets most years). Is it possible that you have a shady neighbor that is stealing your electricity? I would definitely request an energy audit.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:16 AM
 
850 posts, read 4,265,365 times
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In NC, I'd see many bills from different residents in units of similar square footage that were comparable or even higher, so that doesn't seem out of line to me. But every area is different, so I'd definitely look into it if you're concerned. One thing to note, though, it's tough to compare energy usage in an apartment to a house. Apartment communities are notorious for using cheap systems and materials, which drive up costs.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,043 posts, read 23,734,560 times
Reputation: 9334
You want to look at your energy usage, rather than the $$ to see if your changes have reflected a decrease. If they have not, then you definitely need an energy audit. If you are unplugging, turning up the temperature, etc., you should notice a drop in KWH usage. (Make sure you compare months with comparable temperatures) If there IS a drop, and your bill went up, then it is just an increase in rates, and there's not much you can do about that.

When you say you unplugged things not in use, are you including the microwave, oven/range, tv, dvd, computers? Those are all huge power drains, even when not turned on.

You don't say if that is just your power bill, or power and gas combined, or what...so its hard to form an opinion whether you are overpriced or not. Also, you mentioned an aunt with lower costs. Is she in the same area? Same utility provider? Same age of property? She may have low-E newer windows, a more efficient water heater, a more efficient air conditioner, Energy Star appliances, etc. Are her walls 2x6 construction, and are yours 2x4? All of those things cost money but keep energy costs down.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,121 posts, read 26,690,726 times
Reputation: 16255
My electric bills a my last places fluctuated like crazy. On average, for a 4 bedroom house with 6 people living in it it was around $200 a month. In the winter time though, it would shoot up. My roomates were idiots and would plug in numerous electric heaters around the house because our house heater didn't work... one month the electric bill was $1500!!!

Now, we're in a 3 bedroom beach house (no a/c!) and it's about $75 a month. I'd definitely get the walk through done...couldn't hurt!
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
703 posts, read 3,047,627 times
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That isn't bad. Here in NC I have seen some places less than a thousand sq. feet have bills in the summer >$400 a month!
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,366,844 times
Reputation: 4701
when I lived on the gulf coast in a house about 1500 sq ft. and kept the ac set at around 80 and sweated due to that and had gas hot water heater and gas stove and gas clothes dryer---my power bill ran between $500-750 a month April through November. Gotta love Alabama Power!!

Gawd I hate the deep south for so many reasons!! Soooooo glad to be away from there.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:37 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,313,328 times
Reputation: 20438
Check with the Utility to schedule a review... most will do this.

Remember, something like a single portable electric heater on 10 hours a day can cost $3... multiply that by 30 days and you've spent $90 just for that one appliance.

Another thing... it has happened... there is a possibility that electricity you are paying for is being used elsewhere without your consent.

I've seen this twice in 25 years.

A building sump-pump was wired to a tenants panel and in the winter her bills were very high... it went on for years until the cause was found.

A neighboring tenant got into the attic space and tapped into a neighbors power.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:06 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,342 times
Reputation: 10
Default High power bills

i AM TRUELY FEELING EVERYONES PIAN. I LIVE IN NORTH fl. AND MY HOME IS APROX. 2300 SQ. FT. tHERE ARE 2 UNITS , ONE SERVES THE KITCHEN, DINNING, LIVINGROOM AND DEN. i KEEP THAT UNIT OFF . THE OTHER UNIT SERVIES THE 2 BEDROOMS AND BATHROOM. I HAVE KEPT THE UNIT THAT SERVES THE BEDROOMS AT 78. MY POWER BILL FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE WAS $400.00 AND I AM NOT JOKING ! I CAN ONLY IMAGING WHAT JULY AND AUG. IS GOING TO BE. I AM NOT ABLE TO PAY THIS KIND OF MONEY AND I AM VERY CONSERTIVE WITH EVERY THING IN THE HOUSE . I DO NOT LEAVE LAMPS EVEN LEAVE LAMPS PLUGGGED IN WHEN NOT IN USE. tV IS TURNED OFF WHE NOT IN USE AS EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE. MY POWER CO. IS AN REA SO THEY PURCHASE THE ENERGY FROM THE BIG POWER COMPANIES. THERE ARE SO MANY LITTLE EXTRA CHARGES ON THERE SUCH AS CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAGE,ETC..WHICH EQUIL $50,00 PER. MO. WHICH MEANS IF I DID NOT USED ANY POWER AT ALL, INCLUDING NOT HAVING THE FRIDGE ON, MY BILL WOULD STILL BE $50.00. I AM GOING TO SELL MY HOUSE BECAUSE I CAN NOT AFFORD THIS AS I AM ON A VERY FIXED INCOME...MY MOTHER LIVES IN A 4000 SQ. FT. 2 STORY HOME THAT WAS BUILT IN 1904 AND HER POWR BILL IS A RINY FRACTION OF WHAT MINE IS...THE HOUSING MARKET IS IN A REAL SLUM, BUT WHAT AM I TO DO? GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
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