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Old 08-13-2012, 03:17 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,944,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overit2 View Post
In doing some searches for homes I've noticed that about 90pct of them or more seem to have electric stove for cooking. Is this common of the Tampa area? Is gas more costly then electric typically?

On to the subject of utilities, I'm trying to get an idea of costs. Say around a 2000 sq ft home, a pool (possibly heated but I assume that would cost a lot and how many months would you heat?)-2 adults 2 teens using average-of course we would all be gone most of the day with school/work. What do the electric, gas, water amounts average? Trash service?

I've heard of reclaimed water/irrigation? How does that work?

If 'areas' are different for example Pinellas vs Hillsborough?

Anybody also have an idea of cost of bundling cable, internet, home phone? Right now in GA it's about $150-170 a month for a bundle.
I live in the city of St Pete in a 2500 sq ft 2-story home with pool/spa and electric heat. I had a gas line added when I installed the pool/spa. Gas line installation is free if you install 2 appliances (I did a pool heater + clothes dryer).

My typical bills:

Water + sewer - It is a sliding scale for usage plus a $20 base charge, and I average about $0.0075 per gallon used. If I use 4000 gallons in a month, my water/sewer component is $50. Trash and other fees (stormwater, etc) are an additional $30 on my bills. Reclaimed water is a fixed price of $18 a month, whether you use 10 gallons or 10,000. You can't order it if it is not pre-installed -- you either have reclaimed in your neighborhood or you don't. It is WELL worth it, because the price of replacing dead sod is a lot more than $18 a month.

Cable + internet - Brighthouse high-speed internet + digital cable is about $100, but they have lots of a la carte adders (DVR, movie channels, etc). TVs using analog cable (i.e., no cable box) are free, so I have TVs all over the house for no additional cost. FIOS requires a box rental fee for each device, so it would be much more expensive for me if I went the Verizon route. I use MagicJack phone service for an additional $1.70 a month. Just the taxes on the "free bundled" phone service would be about $10 a month. No thanks.

Electric - $90 (spring/fall) to $250 (extreme heat/cold), averaging $150. I also have a time-of-day meter (Progress rate class RST-1, closed to new customers), so my electric bills are heavily discounted. However, my 50+ year old house has terrible insulation/design, and I could probably cut this dramatically if I spent the bucks to upgrade.

Gas - $25 if I use no gas, $50 if I run the hot tub a lot in the winter, and $100 every time I heat the pool for a winter party. The clothes dryer uses very little gas monthly compared to the pool heater.

For gas, there are two issues. One, very few people have gas service. My street has a major line running under it that was installed a few years ago, but only a handful of people in my neighborhood are connected. This drives the system costs/user through the roof (hence the $25/mo cost if I use no gas at all). Second, Peoples Gas (the only player in the area) have hired quite possibly the world's worst gas traders and/or monkeys throwing darts to hedge their natural gas prices. Their "pass-through" commodity costs are about 300% or more above market prices. As a former commodity trader and utility consultant, I can tell that they are either inept or thieves when it comes to pricing the gas.

Peoples doesn't even use the "gas is cheaper" marketing that so many northern utilities do, because in Florida, it is much more expensive than electricity. They use the "gas is cleaner" BS in their ads instead. I would cancel my gas service and probably save $300+ a year except for the fact that my 400,000 BTU pool heater can heat the hot tub in minutes and the pool in a day. You can't do that with a heat pump or an electric heat strip. Also, don't fall for the pool solar heating baloney. The economics just don't work, because your hot tub will still need a secondary heat source.

My upcoming kitchen upgrade will be a conversion to gas, so they will probably have me hooked for life. I can't fathom what my bills would be if I added gas for whole house heating and commodity prices went back to $10+ mmBtu, but it wouldn't be pretty.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:34 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,944,481 times
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Here is another post where I detailed the annual costs of operating a pool in the area:

To buy a pool or not to buy a pool?
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,101 posts, read 2,926,870 times
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We owned 4 houses and rented 3 apartments in different parts of FL. All were all electric for the simple reason that there were no gas mains in the streets.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,644 posts, read 16,003,755 times
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The modern electric heat pump is the heating & cooling source for 95% of new residential construction in the state- cheaper than installing separate heating and cooling units, and reasonably energy efficient to operate as long as you don't have to run the emergency heating strips . And once you've committed to that, the dryer, water heater, and stove tend to follow the electric line from there.

If you hate electric ranges, but find it limiting how few homes have gas as an option, it seems like a lot of people love their induction ranges, and many claim they're 'just as good as gas'. The downside is the initial cost is higher, and they may not work with your existing pots.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:55 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,044,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
Electric ranges don't usually blow up the way a gas one can. I hate and despise gas anything. I want to install gas logs, but I am terrified of having gas in the house.
I live in an area that is 100% of the houses have gas. With over a million in the urban area, there was one gas explosion.... about 8 years ago, and it was deliberately set off. Even my dryer is gas, which I love.

It just is not an issue. There are a lot more electrical fires than gas.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:15 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,659,178 times
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Umm, i have a gas water heater and our bill is not "sky high", infact i think our bill was like 25 bucks (10 bucks of that being a "customer service" charge that TECO likes to throw in there for a stupid reason).

Also, water is not always rolled up with trash/sewage. My water bill is simply water. I believe the landlord has the trash added on to their taxes.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:55 AM
 
226 posts, read 273,343 times
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I know...there ARE more electrical fires but somehow I know many people are afraid of gas ranges. I SHOULD be given I had a big industrial one throw me back 3 feet and OH I STILL remember the burnt hair smell lol.

OK, so can someone please explain, how on earth do you SIMMER with an electric, or get the temp right? I mean it's too high, to low, I can't believe I have to give up a gas range to move to my next and forever home but C'est la vie.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:48 AM
 
15,091 posts, read 30,957,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overit2 View Post
I know...there ARE more electrical fires but somehow I know many people are afraid of gas ranges. I SHOULD be given I had a big industrial one throw me back 3 feet and OH I STILL remember the burnt hair smell lol.

OK, so can someone please explain, how on earth do you SIMMER with an electric, or get the temp right? I mean it's too high, to low, I can't believe I have to give up a gas range to move to my next and forever home but C'est la vie.
There will be a learning curve, but you WILL adjust. You might be frustrated at first, but give it a chance. It also helps if you pay more for a good quality electric.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:28 AM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,944,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezfreak View Post
Umm, i have a gas water heater and our bill is not "sky high", infact i think our bill was like 25 bucks (10 bucks of that being a "customer service" charge that TECO likes to throw in there for a stupid reason).
Are you in a single family home? One month I had zero usage and my customer charge plus taxes was $25. My highest usage in a month was 140 therms for $223. The citygate price for gas that month was 57 cents a therm, so I paid a $143 premium to Peoples for delivering that gas. That kind of usage elsewhere in the country would cost about half of that.

The cost per unit of energy for natural gas in Florida is extremely high compared to electricity or to natural gas elsewhere in the country. Our electric prices are about the median for the US, but you would never know that if you read the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Tampa Bay Times.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:29 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,659,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_tino View Post
Are you in a single family home? One month I had zero usage and my customer charge plus taxes was $25. My highest usage in a month was 140 therms for $223. The citygate price for gas that month was 57 cents a therm, so I paid a $143 premium to Peoples for delivering that gas. That kind of usage elsewhere in the country would cost about half of that.

The cost per unit of energy for natural gas in Florida is extremely high compared to electricity or to natural gas elsewhere in the country. Our electric prices are about the median for the US, but you would never know that if you read the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Tampa Bay Times.
Yes, its a single family home, 2k sq feet or so. The gas only powers the hot water heater, but we use hot water a lot since we cloth diaper (which uses about 2x cycles on hot water every 3 days) plus showers for 1 adult (hubby showers at work after PT). I also use my dish washer on sanitize cycle for all my dishes.

Edit to add, infact i just got my bill for last month. I used 9.3 therms. Customer charge is actually 15.00 (i guess it must be electric with TECO that i'm thinking is 10.) so we paid 2.86 for "Distribution" and 7.26 for "PGA", then the 15 for customer charge. According to the average therm usage, its listing us at about .3 to .4 per day.

I do however miss my gas range we had back in Nebraska. I cook fine on electric, but I do miss the gas option. Having a gas range is fantastic for power outages - you can still cook on them without power.
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