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Old 02-22-2010, 01:41 PM
130 posts, read 248,023 times
Reputation: 43


I would really like some definit answers to the problems we are having with our electric bill. We are renting a 2500 square foot house in Palm Desert. There are four of us. We spent last summer NEVER puting the air conditioning above 80 and often days on end at 85 - kept three of the rooms closed off from air at all times. We left on vacation for two weeks one month and one week another month leaving the air off both times. We were uncomfortably hot all summer yet..
Our electric bill ran $750 - to $800 for five months - May through September. Our Hot water heater and stove are on gas. All else is electric. We have a tiny, toy size refridge and no extra electric pulls. I wash and dry about 6 full loads a week. All four of us bathe once a day. We have a pool but did not turn on the spa heater once in those five months.
The owners said they had Edison do a check of appliances the month before we rented and we are on a list to have them checked again but apparently the list is long wait.
Is that amount - the 750 to 800 correct usage or do you think we have an air conditioning problem. On top of it the outrageous bill has an efficiency rating of poor?????? Yet when I call Edison they say nothing seems amiss.
The pool pump is kept on 8 hours a day in the summer - three pool services all said that is correct.
I was on the plan to get a $200 credit so that when the system got overloaded they were able to cut off our electric for a maximum of 6 hours - once during the summer. So that amount we paid included the $200 credit.
How does this compare to what everyone else is experiencing?

Last edited by LivingInTheDesert; 02-22-2010 at 01:43 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:09 PM
Location: Escondido, CA
1,504 posts, read 5,244,247 times
Reputation: 876
What was the average electric usage: I'm guessing ~3000 kwh/month? Try to break that down. Lighting and appliances probably draw 500/month regardless of season, a big pool pump that's on 8 hours a day can draw 500-700/month, the rest has to be A/C. 1800 kwh/month is a lot - maybe your A/C unit is inefficient or your house is poorly insulated.

What's your average usage during the winter?
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:28 PM
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,519 posts, read 35,046,859 times
Reputation: 13088
Unfortunately, that is probably correct. We lived in Palm Desert in a larger home than yours and our summer Edison bills were upwards of $1000 per month. We are now in La Quinta on IID and the electric is less than half of the Edison amount, but when the economy goes back up we do want to move back to Palm Desert, or maybe Indian Wells.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:21 PM
Location: Inland Empire, Calif
2,887 posts, read 4,466,785 times
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I think you have a problem..! I live in the high desert, where it is normal to be 105 all during the summer months. My electric bill is far lower during the sumer months than it is during the winter months.
My home is over 4000 sq ft with two AC units. We're retired so we are home most of the time, meaning at least 2 TV's going all the time, plus the A/C when needed. My bill is usually under $100 a month during the summer. Usually 80-90 a month.
One reason our bill is less during the hot season, we signed up for the Edison plan where they give a discount if you let them turn off your A/C if there is a power emergency. It makes a huge difference in the monthly bill. They have three different levels, the higher level, meaning they more than can shut you off, the more you save. I went for the max. I love the program..
It's a great plan, call Edison and inquire how it works. They came out and put a device on both A/C units so they can shut them off it needed. In the five years we have had the program, they have never shut off our A/C, but they can if they need too, such as in a brown out situation. Even if they do shut it off, they can only do it for a very limited time, so it won't affect anything. They only are allowed to shut it off for a few minutes a day.
The program runs from something like May til Oct, and once the program ends for the year, like in October, the bill goes up. My last bill for the cold months, and it gets darn cold in the high desert, was $113.00. That is a huge bill for us..
You can also get Edison to come to your house and do an energy audit. They will do all they can to help, because they don't want you using energy..!
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:52 PM
Location: Mesa, AZ
491 posts, read 1,122,127 times
Reputation: 558
My parents live in a much smaller house (maybe 1500 sq ft, at most) in Palm Springs and leave the air at 84 all summer....average bill around 400 a month during summer.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:46 PM
1 posts, read 12,790 times
Reputation: 10
I am planning to move to Cathedral City, CA 92234,
i am trying to find out what the new bills will average, never lived in the desert.
This forum helped with Electric, i think the Edison turn off program would work for me.
Questions i have:
Does this Edison include Gas & Electric or is there separate companies? 2 separate bills?
What is the average Water Bill for Cathedral City
What is the average garbage Bill for Cathedral City
and is there any other type of bill i am unaware of
I currently reside in Oakland, CA

I don't even water my yard and my water bill is bi-monthly at least 105. and 122. i do 1 load of clothes, sometimes 2 loads, a load of towel a week of wash never more than 2 loads, and shower each day, work all day never home and it never goes below 105.
The trash bill is bi-monthly it is 68. and only have gone up the last 11 years.

Electric in summer is averaging 50-70 and the heater is off, lately i have to put the heat on at night, i use the oil heater on #2 which cuts the chill and i still cannot get below a 50-70 dollar bill amount. This is with Pacific Gas & Electric.

I had concerns about the desert weather i have a green type of air conditioner unit that suppose to use 50% less energy and condition a hugh home. i will see about that. I am thinking AC units use a lot more than this unit would use. In the home i am in keeping it on literally freezes me, so i would not need it at any high amount once i get the house balanced.

I also wanted to know from desert persons is there any type of bugs you have to deal with or insects? Now i know nothing about the desert, i did hear about New Mexico desert, my son lived there and when it rained the water did not absorb into the ground which caused spiders to literally invade their home, it was terrible, they soon moved into El Paso TX to avoid the invasions of spiders.

Any insight or help in understanding the desert as a home, would be great.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:15 PM
Location: A little corner of paradise
689 posts, read 1,141,998 times
Reputation: 1226
Palm Springs, at one point, had one of the highest electric rates in the nation. I'm not sure if that's still the case, but probably so. Summer electric bills are always high. $750-800 is not unheard of. Things like a new roof, or new AC unit can help, but even that isn't necessarily going to cut a lot. Edison does have a level pay plan that we use. We pay around $300 every month, even in the winter, but this prevents us from getting hit with the giant summer bill. We have cockroaches, crickets, spiders, ants and scorpions. The upside is we have very few mosquitoes, and I've never seen a tick here. The bugs do make it into the house, but not a full on infestation.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:01 PM
Location: So Ca
12,995 posts, read 12,769,555 times
Reputation: 10876
Originally Posted by LivingInTheDesert View Post
Our electric bill ran $750 - to $800 for five months - May through September. Is that amount - the 750 to 800 correct usage or do you think we have an air conditioning problem. when I call Edison they say nothing seems amiss.
So that's about $160 per month, which isn't exhorbitant for where you live and how hot it was this summer. Don't forget that the age of the air conditioning unit has has a great influence on cost....the older the unit is, the harder it has to pump and the higher your bill will be.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:13 AM
2 posts, read 7,816 times
Reputation: 10
Default electric bill

i live palm desert and our electric bill went up after the summer heat had cooled and we cut back on the use of our A/C. Summer peak was 130.00 and went down to 60.00 then even after cutting way back on A/C use jumped to 90.00... any one have any ideas. i heard some where if you dont use as much power SCE will put in a higher rate "class" ... any ideas any one

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Old 11-16-2014, 11:08 AM
Location: Tucson AZ
1,173 posts, read 1,540,532 times
Reputation: 1322
"Our electric bill ran $750 - to $800 for five months - May through September."

$750-800 a month, or is that the total for five months? I had a two-bedroom apartment in PS, and during the heat of the summer my Edison bill barely broke $100/month.
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