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Old 05-27-2007, 08:54 AM
 
37 posts, read 155,545 times
Reputation: 21

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Here in CT, we lost electricity 4 times last year and since our oil furnace is fired by electricity we didn't have heat either...so losing heat in GA won't be so strange...I'll check the site with info about gas...thanks!
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
2,819 posts, read 9,616,720 times
Reputation: 1507
Well, from one poster on this board let me explain this way.

Im an idiot/fool who has a mix gas/electric and would not have anything else.
Yes, gas is going up, but actually it has went down recently per therm and is still overall a better deal than "all electric"
Why?

As Greg stated: Emergency for one. Georgia is known for electrical storms and occasional power outages. It's nice to light the gas fireplace and still cook on my stove.

Home values: Homes that are all electric have overall lower re-sale values than ones with gas/electric mix. Go to any new development you will find a vast difference in home prices.

Heat Pumps with water heaters. Gas water heaters are more economic with an overall faster re-heat process than electric.

Cost: Don't know who your talking about but my home with Gas does not cost an arm and a leg. Besides I have one gas company, The City of Buford with electric I am lucky to have Jackson instead of the GA Power mafia that looks to increase rates on a daily basis. I guess since they are now owned by "big business" its consumer beware.

All in all, to each is own. I have bought and sold 8 homes over the last 20 years. 2 with all electric, the rest Gas and Electric mix. All I know it took me 2 times to learn my lesson. Maybe at one point in my life I was a fool.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:53 PM
 
37 posts, read 155,545 times
Reputation: 21
I looked up the Georgia Public Service Commission site, and frankly, I don't understand it - the estimated monthly bill is for an "average" house/family - I couldn't find the square footage of an "average" house, nor how the calculations are done - age of house, efficiency of appliances, overall appliance usage...any ideas??
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:20 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 31,091,940 times
Reputation: 5180
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_mommy View Post
AtlantaGregg has brought up a valid point I haven't really considered.
So, I ask the questions, on average about how often do most people lose power throughout the year? I'm mostly curious about Atlanta metro areas but would love to hear any input!
This is going to vary widely depending on where you live in the metro area.

At my place we lose power temporarily several times per year, but as far as losing it enough to have an effect on a day-to-day life thing, maybe once per year. However, during an ice storm a couple of years ago everyone near me lost power for 2-4 days depending on where they were. People a bit further in the burbs were out for 5 days or more. Ice storms don't happen every week here in the Winter, but when they DO happen, they hit hard (for this area).

Likewise, thunderstorms can get bad with hard winds and straight-line winds which can knock your power out for several hours at a time up to a day or two in the case of hurricanes that come inland. It's been years but when hurricane Opal came in it flattened Atlanta for days and even the street lights were out all over the metro area.

The power/gas combo is the best way to go. You can always add small things to your home to reduce costs later if you feel it's bad, such as a solar panel that is tied into your hot water heater, etc. Actually if you can afford it, what I said in an earlier post about a permanent generator isn't a bad idea - they can cost upwards of $3,000 to $4,000 to get installed, but if you have an outage in the summer, you'd be able to run the air conditioner and/or fans with it. The thought of 90+ degree heat here with no elect for a few days after a bad storm is scary.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:03 AM
 
Location: FL to GA back to FL
894 posts, read 4,068,269 times
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I lived in Fla for 20+ years and have lived without air conditioning/electricity for several days in a row, thanks to hurricanes Andrew, Wilma, and powerful thunderstorms. The summer before we moved here, not knowing we were moving, we bought a generator that is not a permanent one. But it can keep the fridge going, a room with a portable air conditioner/fan. That baby came with us, and I hope to never have to use it. This house has gas water heater, cooking and heating. I never knew how much I wanted a hot shower when I had no air for days at a time and couldnt't take a shower!
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:05 AM
 
37 posts, read 155,545 times
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I like the idea of a generator as back up...will have to explore this option. You've all be great sharing your experiences! One thing for sure, by the time we actually commit to a builder we'll be well educated!
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:11 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 31,091,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marijka View Post
I like the idea of a generator as back up...will have to explore this option. You've all be great sharing your experiences! One thing for sure, by the time we actually commit to a builder we'll be well educated!
If you're going to build a house from scratch, there's a lot of things you can do for alteratives that will be cheaper than if you try to add them to an existing home.

The permanent generator is one thing - if you're building from scratch, you can have a generator installed on one side of the house, and they can actually bury a propane tank (usually around 200-300lb capacity) UNDER the ground, which feeds into the generator. If your power goes out, this is enough to power the generator 24/7 for up to 9 or 10 straight days if needed. I knew someone who did this up in North Georgia and when their power went out for 6 days after a snow/ice storm they said it was a life saver - the house functioned like normal the whole time everyone around them was powerless. They sold the house later, and the $4,500 cost of installation got them an est. $6,000-$7,000 extra on the resell value of the home (if you keep it clean and in good running order, etc).

The solar hot water panel is another good thing and cheaper to do during home construction. Some other things to consider would be a "tankless water heater" (look them up on Google), or even a solar powered in-floor heating system (if you're not in a subdivision and in an area that will allow solar panels in your yard).

Many county health departments around here won't allow this, but a few do... also due to our growing dry seasons and water restrictions, consider a "gray water tank". These collect water from your gutters, sinks, bathtubs (but NOT toilets or washing machines), and store them under the ground. You can then pump the water out for sprinkler systems or washing a car and not use the main water supply or ring up your water bill, but still be able to legally water whenever you want. Again, Google "gray water tanks".

Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Clermont, FL
6 posts, read 28,018 times
Reputation: 10
tankless water heater (gas) is a cost saver. we have 4 kids and it has kept the gas bill low (compared to a regular watertank heater). this was in FL, we just purchased a new house in fayette county and will be replacing the watertank with a tankless. also adding solar panels to heat the pool.

-a|ex
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 23,316,582 times
Reputation: 3942
Quote:
Originally Posted by vst View Post
Ask any idiot who has "gas" in their homes to tell you their gas/electric bill amount from this past winter and then ask someone with an electric home to tell you their electric bill amount - you will be amazed.
The two are roughly the same in my experience. That is, it costs me just about as much to heat my house in the winter down here via natural gas as it does to cool it in the summer using air conditioning. My prorated gas bill is quit a bit lower than my electric bill ($105/month versus $143/month).

Of course, we keep it somewhat cooler during both seasons than many do down here, so that might bias things a bit... Also, a lot more things are eating that electricity including a sizable LAN in the basement. :-)

Quote:
Gas prices are going UP, not down.
That may be true:

Price forecast for natural gas

FWIW, though, my bill in 2007 is precisely the same as in 2006. Judicious use of rate locking tends to help a little. :-)

Quote:
Don't listen to some nonsense about how it's cheaper to heat using gas. It may be cheaper if you lived in a fairy tale world where everything worked the way it should work, but you're living on planet Earth. Gas is expensive. Gas = Flushing money down the toilet. Gas is also dangerous.
FWIW, the northern US is almost entirely gas-heated. It makes no sense in a colder climate to use electricity up there -- it's far too expensive to do so even though power is less expensive in many places than it is down here.

Down here it might be different, but it depends on many factors (thermostat settings, insulation, etc.).

Quote:
A fool and his money will soon part if he has a gas and electric home in Southeastern US.

In My Opinion.
I respectfully disagree. To each his/her own, however...
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 23,316,582 times
Reputation: 3942
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_mommy View Post
So, I ask the questions, on average about how often do most people lose power throughout the year? I'm mostly curious about Atlanta metro areas but would love to hear any input!
We get a lot more power spikes here in Mableton (NW Atlanta metro just OTP) than we did in the Twin Cities. Both housing locations have underground power in the local residential area, but for some reason we see a lot more 0-2 second outages here. I've invested in a dozen or so UPS units for various PCs, etc.
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