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Old 07-29-2009, 10:10 PM
 
50 posts, read 132,874 times
Reputation: 20

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We just bought a house in Valrico and moved from out of state. 2500 sq ft + non-heated pool- high end newer than 5 yrs Trane AC and tons of insulation and yet somehow- some way- we managed to rack up a whoppin $460 electric bill this month with the thermostat set average of 76-78! Our normal usage in the past 4 years in every other place we've lived (with awful old AC units) has been 1400 kwh and this month we used 3800 kwh. Does this have something to do with the humidity? Does it make the AC suck up more energy or something? Does a pool pump use a ton of electricity? We got the AC ducts looked at and the unit cleaned this week (the intake was a bit impacted) but I'm still perplexed. Is there something more I should be doing to keep my bill down? I'm so going to buy a whole ton of CFLs. Any comments on TECO's energy planner program? I planned on $350 but even then I'm amazed that our usage could triple compared to our norm- the only difference here is pool and humidity.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:57 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,828,467 times
Reputation: 701
Your biggest energy users are: A/C, oven, water heater, dryer and pool pump. Obviously, reduce their use and reduce your electric bills. Try a timer on the water heater and shorten the amount of time you run the pool pump.

TECO may still offer a free energy analysis for your home.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:03 AM
 
25,905 posts, read 39,198,746 times
Reputation: 13903
If you don't have animals, than put your A/C up to 82 when you aren't home...that might save some money.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:11 AM
 
6 posts, read 14,158 times
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What did you expect with 2500 square feet?
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
162 posts, read 583,305 times
Reputation: 95
I have a 2600 sq. ft home, run my A/C at 75 and my pool for 9 hours (it is a large pool and if you don't run yours long enough you will have problems with the quality of the water and be spending lots of $ to get your water clear). My bill last month was $294. It is my highest since moving here 4 years ago. I have since adjusted my thermostat to 77 to see if there is an improvement.

My house is one floor. I have two neighbors with similar sized homes, one is a two-story, the other is like mine, one story. Their bills are much higher, especially the two story home which is 50% higher each month - heat rises is my guess and their upstairs is always really hot to me. Between myself and the neighbor with the one story I'm guessing that these are the things that have made a difference for me:

Windows are tinted
Purchased the most energy efficient appliances, including a/c unit
Programmable thermostat (only goes up a few degrees, never off just b/c no one is home)
Radiant barrier in the attic (the duct work runs through the attic and this helps keep the attic cooler)
I've also replaced most of the light bulbs that I could tolerate, with the new coil bulbs
Water heater is wrapped (we also have an Aquefier unit which somehow uses heat from the A/C unit to heat the water)

The back of our home which is mostly glass, faces due east and I don't have blinds on any of those windows. I really don't have any shade trees on the property, especially when in comparison to my neighbors.

You may want to have the electric company come out and do a consult to see what, if anything, you can change. If you have a two story here though I'm guessing your bills may always be higher. It is hot, and has been VERY humid so far this year, making the a/c work extra hard.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:44 AM
 
5,453 posts, read 7,787,301 times
Reputation: 2141
Not to make things worst, but we have almost 2900 (3 car garage included) total is like 28 and change and our last bill was $244......

I do laundry once a week...sometimes once every 2 weeks....to not abuse the dryer...
however we have 2 fridge's....but I do run the dishwasher quite a bit some days.....

This is really weird to me because when we lived in the other house on the same street which was smaller, our electric bill was higher!!!!!!! but we had the same appliances minus one fridge.......

I don't know why your bill came this high, unless the water heater setting is wrong and/or the pool pump runs for too long.......

We keep the AC on 77 99.9% of the time, sometimes I will lower it to 76 but not constantly...also if the house is cool enough I'll put it up to 79 and leave it off for a few hours.........

That's weird tho........

Is it a two story house? where you have two AC units?
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:53 AM
 
2,719 posts, read 4,406,647 times
Reputation: 2326
Did you check how much the previous owners were paying? That helps if the change is casued by you (the big difference) then you know what to look for. I know people usage is different but it's a good estimate. I called and asked TECO, for example, for the house we are buying and am told 190 to 220 for 2000sqf. Now our usage will be different but this give me an idea what to expect.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:00 AM
 
15,213 posts, read 31,183,846 times
Reputation: 18405
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfragger1 View Post
We just bought a house in Valrico and moved from out of state. 2500 sq ft + non-heated pool- high end newer than 5 yrs Trane AC and tons of insulation and yet somehow- some way- we managed to rack up a whoppin $460 electric bill this month with the thermostat set average of 76-78! Our normal usage in the past 4 years in every other place we've lived (with awful old AC units) has been 1400 kwh and this month we used 3800 kwh. Does this have something to do with the humidity? Does it make the AC suck up more energy or something? Does a pool pump use a ton of electricity? We got the AC ducts looked at and the unit cleaned this week (the intake was a bit impacted) but I'm still perplexed. Is there something more I should be doing to keep my bill down? I'm so going to buy a whole ton of CFLs. Any comments on TECO's energy planner program? I planned on $350 but even then I'm amazed that our usage could triple compared to our norm- the only difference here is pool and humidity.
When there is a major heat wave going on, you must keep your AC on a higher setting or you will see bills like you got. It makes your AC work very hard when it is very hot and humid outside. I started setting my thermostat at 80 during the day and only down to 77 at night for the lowest and my bills improved quite a bit, and mind you this was only about a two degree difference from before.

Try it and see if it helps, also as mentioned ovens, dryers and water heaters are the next energy suckers. Once we had a slab leak in the hot water line which was causing high water bills AND electric bills due to the heater losing water and having to constantly heat.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:50 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,929,958 times
Reputation: 10562
Did you go out and read your meter? They do make mistakes now and then..

Check your AC filter, turn up the thermostat, put water heater on 120.

I agree with call TECO and ask about previous bills for your home and ask them if they are doing free check ups.

You can also ask about avg billing. They charge you the same amount every month for a year.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:53 AM
 
5,453 posts, read 7,787,301 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
You can also ask about avg billing. They charge you the same amount every month for a year.
I think you have to have an account with them for a few years before you can do that, we used to have that in Orlando through Progress Energy and when we moved here and asked about it they told us we would have to have the acct open and not past due for a few years before we can go back to doing that......but I would call them anyways.....
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