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Old 09-08-2010, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 8,010,089 times
Reputation: 1036

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The efficiency of an HVAC unit plays a huge role in your utility bills. I lived in an apartment where my elec bill was really high and called the front office. They sent someone to look at my HVAC unit - it had a leaky heat exchanger outside. They replaced the outdoor unit. My bills were much lower after that.

Our house had the same deal - our old AC unit was 17 years old and didn't do a good job. Our bill for 2 weeks was $275. We replaced the unit - our latest bill was for the month of August and was $221.99.

Brian

Brian
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Plano
225 posts, read 475,131 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtothisplace View Post
Probably it is new to me; for the month of August (30 days) I was charged nearly 2000 Kwh for just 1000 sq.ft apartment.

I did search this forum and found many users having 2000 to 2400 sq ft houses stated they had around 1700 Kwh per month.

I was very conservative in maintaining the unit at 78 degress while inside the apartment and 90 degrees during other times.

How can I make sure that all the 2000 Kwh is mine, basically is there a way to check that there is no fault with the meter or my usage is what being billed.

Thanks for your feedback.
From my own round of learning the hard way, I found out that some apartment complexes don't put insulation in the exterior walls which can hike your bills up to the nosebleed level. Couple that with the 3rd floor, vaulted ceilings and the dreaded apartment facing West and Yahtzee!

The best place to be in the future is on the 2nd level in between the 1st and the 3rd as was mentioned earlier!
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,564 posts, read 10,207,432 times
Reputation: 4243
newtothisplace, it's really difficult to judge an electric bill based on square footage and thermostat alone. As some posters have suggested, there are other factors that will drive that bill.

What floor are you on? Is this a newer or older apartment? How is the construction quality? How many walls do you have that are exterior and which way do they face? Are there trees to give shade? Have you examined the windows for leaks? Are they wood or aluminum? Are they single or double pane? Do they face the sun? Are they well sealed? How many doors to the outside do you have? Can you see light around the door on any of them?

A really major point in comparing California to Texas electric bills is that in CA it may get down into the 70's or 60's overnight. It may do the same in Texas, but not in August. So your AC is working around the clock. And request the Apartment management to have maintenance done. An AC that is low on freon is going to work harder to maintain or struggle to keep up, even with a Tstat at 78 or 80 degrees.

And unfortunately, sometimes you just have to close the blinds and pull the drapes to keep the heat out.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:24 PM
 
521 posts, read 1,194,563 times
Reputation: 330
recently moved out of Dallas, to Philadelphia. The summers here can be hot and muggy but I like to keep my place pretty cool (75'F is about right) and my apartment in Philly is about the same size as what I had in Dallas; the Dallas construction was also pretty brand new (new community built in The Village) and yet I was paying $200+ for electricity bills in summer. I was so surprised to only get a bill of $35 in Philly in June, and $41 in July. wow! And people here are telling me that this past July was one of the hottest and muggiest it's been here. Definitely feels nice to not be paying triple digits for keeping comfortable temps! My heat is covered in rent so winter should be no problem either.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:40 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 17,000,368 times
Reputation: 2075
Also make sure that none of the common space electrical neeeds are not hooked to your meter i.e. outdoor lighting, neighbor's water heater etc. Happened to a friend of mine.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:28 PM
 
64 posts, read 199,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Bungle View Post
We were in CA too.. See if your complex will let you install a programmable thermostat.
Thanks, will try to get that this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbelle72 View Post
When I lived in an apartment in Richardson, (about 940 sq ft) my summer electricity bill was consistently over $200 .....I moved into a 1400 sq ft home in April and my electricity bills are around $100 now. Go figure.
I agree, most of the people who are having bigger place and have less than 2000 Kwh per month, probably apartments don't worry much about what we end up paying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lh_newbie View Post
The efficiency of an HVAC unit plays a huge role in your utility bills. ... They sent someone to look at my HVAC unit ..
Thanks, I have requested the apartment office to have a look, let me see how that works at my end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Kirkpatrick View Post
The best place to be in the future is on the 2nd level in between the 1st and the 3rd as was mentioned earlier!
We live in a townhouse..

Quote:
Originally Posted by tofurkey View Post
newtothisplace, it's really difficult to judge an electric bill based on square footage and thermostat alone. As some posters have suggested, there are other factors that will drive that bill ..... A really major point in comparing California to Texas electric bills is that in CA it may get down into the 70's or 60's overnight. It may do the same in Texas, but not in August.
Thanks, we live in a townhouse.. front is 100% exposed to sun-light and back of the unit is about 80% of the sun-light. I checked windows doesn't seem to be insulated properly, I will try to go through your suggestions. You are right about CA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a75206 View Post
recently moved out of Dallas, to Philadelphia....
Wow!!! that is very good; wish you the best in your new place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Also make sure that none of the common space electrical neeeds are not hooked to your meter ..
Thanks, do you know how we can check that?
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Plano, TX
198 posts, read 500,013 times
Reputation: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by a75206 View Post
recently moved out of Dallas, to Philadelphia. The summers here can be hot and muggy but I like to keep my place pretty cool (75'F is about right) and my apartment in Philly is about the same size as what I had in Dallas;
I used to live in Philly suburbs(Lafayette Hill and West Chester). Although the util bill was a bit lower. We were paying $900+ for a 635 sq ft. apartment that's 15-20 years old compare to about $700 or less for a brand new apartment in Plano. Don't forget the extra 1%-1.5% local taxes that you have to pay every year and the flat no-deduction 3% state income tax. I don't miss Philly at all from a financial perspective.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:52 PM
 
521 posts, read 1,194,563 times
Reputation: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjc281 View Post
I used to live in Philly suburbs(Lafayette Hill and West Chester). Although the util bill was a bit lower. We were paying $900+ for a 635 sq ft. apartment that's 15-20 years old compare to about $700 or less for a brand new apartment in Plano. Don't forget the extra 1%-1.5% local taxes that you have to pay every year and the flat no-deduction 3% state income tax. I don't miss Philly at all from a financial perspective.
No doubt, financially, almost any city on East Coast (and West Coast) will underperform compared to cities in Texas. I knew that when I chose to move here, and am really enjoying the urban vibe of living in Society Hill, right on Washington Square, and working only a mile away in Market West. I sold my car, I walk to work so I lost a bit of weight, and I don't have to deal with car insurance, parking, maintenance, etc.

Certainly there are pluses and minuses of living anywhere. But from utility bill perspective, it seems Texans get the raw deal compared to many places in the country. Friends who moved to Dallas from NoCal also complained about this. In the end, you pick and choose your priorities when you decide where you want to live.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:16 PM
 
14 posts, read 35,342 times
Reputation: 18
I sympathize. I just moved from Canada to Dallas and nearly passed out at my first electrical bill. For the month of August I was charged $280 (I have a contract with Startex for 9.2c/kwh). I feel like there is NO WAY I used that much electricity since I work long hours and am not usually home. I keep my 1100 sqf. apartment at 75-76 when I'm home, and 80 when I'm away, which I didn't think was that unreasonable. The irony is that I'm in an "energy efficient" apartment (it has special certification for this) that has all low-energy bulbs, taps, and appliances!!! The only thing I can figure is that the apt is a loft and the high ceilings are probably not so energy efficient, but even so, I wouldn't expect it to be THAT much more expensive (I was told to expect bills of $50-100 when I moved in).

I've monitored my usage online (I have a smartmeter), and I just can't figure out where it thinks I'm using energy! I would assume that phoning startex would be pointless because I"m sure that they get a million calls a day from people thinking they are charged too much. I've read bad things about smart-meters, and feel helpless!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 8,010,089 times
Reputation: 1036
$280 for an energy efficient, 1100 sq ft apartment? That's pretty wild. That same month, our almost 2600 sq ft home built in the 70's with very similar temp settings had a $221 bill and we're paying 11.9 cents/kwh (month 11 in a 24 month contract). We used 1862 KwH, so if we had a 9.2 cent rate, our bill would have been around $175. There's definitely something wrong with that "special certification". Heck, we even still have all our southern facing windows with single-pane glass and aluminum frames...
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