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Old 03-26-2007, 09:32 AM
 
Location: So Cal 4 now
23 posts, read 59,904 times
Reputation: 17
Default Trying to escape CA

Looking at the Smith Mountain Lake area, can any one give me information on expected utility costs? We are planning a visit in June (after the kids are out of school) to do some house hunting. California is getting too crazzzzy.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,313,124 times
Reputation: 522
Hey Bill, this is Sean. I own a 128 acre horse farm in Franklin County, about 30 minutes from the lake. Utility costs relative to California are very low here in Franklin County. However, there has recently been a 25% rate increase that has been imposed on an interim basis by AEP while the state considers whether to allow the increase or grant only a portion of the requested increase. The increase is a significant jump, but AEP wasn't allowed to raise rates for EIGHT YEARS so once the moratorium expired they opted to jump rates by 25%. I suspect they won't be granted the entire increase request. Perhaps a 12.5% increase with a more measured increase over a certain number of years.

AEP needs the cash to build a new 138 kV transmission line to the Westlake area of SML. Franklin County is the fastest growing region in AEP's entire service area with regard to electricity demand so the new line needs to be built immediately in order to meet expected demand.

Still, electric rates remain low relative to many other states.

But you're probably asking about the general utility costs (electricity for heating/cooling, water etc). I can't be much help with that because we've got a rather large carbon footprint for a "residential" customer. But I'll give you an overview for what it's worth. We've got a 7,000 square foot house w/ four electric Puron heat pumps and forced central air. Each heat pump has an electric backup that kicks in when the outside air drops much below 35F. All of our appliances are electric. We have a two person home office and I have a dedicated mini-server room in my basement so three PCs are running pretty much 24/7. We have a 10 stall barn, a storage barn and an indoor riding arena w/ 18 HID lamps. Three rooms in the barns are heated with electric in-wall heaters. The 18 HID lamps require about 4,000 watts of power when they're running, which during the winter is several hours a day. We have a well w/ an electric 1HP pump and we and the animals combined use alot of water. During the summer our electric costs for everything (house, offices, barns) will be around $300/mo. During the winter around $750/mo. In reality these are to me surprisingly low considering our usage.

Sean
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: So Cal 4 now
23 posts, read 59,904 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks Sean, very helpful. We average about 750/month for a 5000sqft all electric house in So Cal.
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:00 PM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 7,508,559 times
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in NOVA we average $300/month for gas/elecrtic. 2500sqft house.
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Old 04-14-2007, 10:27 AM
 
238 posts, read 12,525 times
Reputation: 56
Erm...just a suggestion: Have you considered installing a turbine or solar panels on your property? It would certainly help you save money plus the environment. Win-win!
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,313,124 times
Reputation: 522
Solar is certainly an option for us once we have higher priority projects done and out of the way. Boones Mill is sunny just about 3 out of 4 days of the year and we've got great southern exposure on several barns.

Sean
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