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Old 05-30-2007, 08:01 PM
 
37 posts, read 155,518 times
Reputation: 21

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I like the idea of grey water tanks, now to find counties that allow them...
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:06 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,632 times
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Default another opinion

I have gas available in my house, but it is so expensive. I am in Atlanta. When I renovated, I changed everything to electric, although I like to cook so I kept a gas cook-top and a gas direct-vent fireplace for emergencies and ambiance.

So, my electric covers my heat pump (SEER 10, 8 years old), my hot water, my in-wall oven, and all my lights. My bill ranges from $40 to $180, but is usually around $120. A $180 bill has happened once every couple of years if we have a really tough winter cold spell.

I hate the gas companies in Atlanta. In a typical month (non winter) I don't use my fireplace at all. I only use my cooktop, and that usually isn't even enough to turn the meter over. Still, I get a base charge (charge for the distribution system), and a service charge (the charge to calculate and mail my bill). So, even if I use no gas, I have to pay about $17 for one month. When I use my fireplace for a few hours on about 10 chilly days, I get billed $20-$30 extra for that. It seems like a total rip off.

I have frequently spoken with my co-workers and they all pay hundreds of dollars to heat their homes in winter with gas. My electric bill isn't even that much, and that includes my lights too.

So, while gas is touted as being more efficient than electricity, in Atlanta it seems to be a total rip off. Gas is deregulated in GA, while electricity is regulated. Perhaps electricity is underpriced. The bottom line is that I cannot see a way to save money using gas in Atlanta.

All the comments about ice storms are a bit overblown. Yes, there are storms and you can lose power. This isn't a reason to heat with a gas furnace, since the fan motor won't turn without electricity. You can have a gas fireplace (direct-vent or otherwise) as an emergency backup for storms. There are also non-vented propane heaters with O2 sensors available, although I don't really like those "Dr. Kevorkian" models. However I wouldn't be afraid to use one for a few days during an emergency if I had a carbon monoxide sensor nearby.

I often wonder how complex it would be to install a propane tank on my property and run my fireplace and cooktop off that. By my calculations, I would have to refill a 100 gal tank only every few years. I could buy the propane when it is priced low, and avoid the monthly service fees associated with having an active natural gas account. I suspect such a tank would not be allowed by the authorities as I live in an urban area. Although propane is very safe, the tank could in theory explode if damaged or not maintained.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 23,310,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldavisga View Post
I have frequently spoken with my co-workers and they all pay hundreds of dollars to heat their homes in winter with gas. My electric bill isn't even that much, and that includes my lights too.
I've been paying $87/month for gas for almost two years now (locked-in rate). 2500 sq foot house, 20-year-old gas furnace. We keep the house at between 68 and 72 all year-round. Electric bill is maybe $160/month, but we could be more efficient. I have a lot of 10-year-old PCs running here. :-)

What the heck are your cow orkers living in that need so much heat? Heat sinks?
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:41 PM
 
83 posts, read 254,756 times
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Regarding the generator backup, if this is something that is important for your convenience (it ranks high for me) another option to research is natural gas generator backup. This is a permanent backup generator that is housed in a medium-sized box outside that will kick in automatically if the power goes out. It is connected to the natural gas line, so it will run for as long as you need it without having to deal with refilling propane or gasoline, it is a bit less complex than installing inground tanks. Total cost installed is around $9 or $10K, but many will say well worth it.

I guess this would be another argument "for" having gas and electric.

Link:
Generac Generators (http://www.generac.com/Products/Information/FAQ.aspx - broken link)
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:48 AM
 
Location: NW GA
136 posts, read 439,653 times
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I've owned one house that was all propane, one that had a dual system, and now I have all electric with a heat pump. The heat pump is very efficient until temperatures get into the 20's and lower. If you set your thermostat back during a cold snap the heat pump will switch to emergency mode when you raise it. The dual system was nice because you could switch it to propane when it got really cold, but overall I have been happy with the heat pump and do not find it to be more costly than propane. I think propane or gas prices fluctuate a lot more than electric does. I do have a wood stove and free firewood for supplemental heat and/or backup. I've been in this house over 3 years and the power has only gone out a few times for short periods of time. Heat pumps are a very popular heat source in this region and GA Power gives you a $400 rebate if you switch from gas to electric heat pump.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:34 AM
 
2,685 posts, read 5,385,055 times
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Live intown Atlanta and have yet to lose power for more then 10 minutes in a year and a half of living here (It happened once).


Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_mommy View Post
AtlantaGregg has brought up a valid point I haven't really considered. Living in New England we lose our power a fair amount of the time due to ice storms, wind and thunderstorms. We have a wood stove with an insert so we always have heat and a cooking source. Granted, I'm sure we don't lose power as often as we will in GA. I hadn't really considered the loss of power and the affect it will have with all electric.

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!
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Atlanta,Ga
826 posts, read 2,860,812 times
Reputation: 243
Another Gas/Electric idiot checking in. My gas bill has never been above 120.00 for a home over 2000 square feet. However I do have an Earth craft home so that may have something to do with it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:52 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,840 times
Reputation: 10
Just got some information from a reputable consulting group that homes using gas applications appraise and sell for 6% higher than all-electric homes. natural gas is clearly the best choice from an economic, environmental and comfort standpoint...
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:02 PM
912
 
1,531 posts, read 2,743,571 times
Reputation: 1114
Lest we forget one reason why GA gas bills are so high: Deregulation!
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:25 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,622,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
I've been paying $87/month for gas for almost two years now (locked-in rate). 2500 sq foot house, 20-year-old gas furnace. We keep the house at between 68 and 72 all year-round. Electric bill is maybe $160/month, but we could be more efficient. I have a lot of 10-year-old PCs running here. :-)

What the heck are your cow orkers living in that need so much heat? Heat sinks?
If all you are using the gas for is heat (and potentially hot water) then you are also paying several hundred dollars a month for gas. Considering you only need to heat your house in Ga for about 4 months, $87*12= 1044/4 months= $261. That ends up being pretty expensive year over year. I agree with some other posters, unless you are living in a northern suburb, extended (or even power outages in general) are very very rare, and shouldnt be a justification to get gas. We just had the biggest snow storm in 10 years here and didnt lose power for even 1 minute! I have a 1200 square foot all electric apartment downtown and our monthly bill for 2 people with the thermostat being between 72-75 degrees is about $75.
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