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Old 12-28-2008, 07:54 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,796,272 times
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A 15% increase? I'm kind of a dummy with regards to all this stuff... but that sounds like a big jump to me.

Thanks for the explanation of heat pumps/stoves/etc skypros.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:50 AM
 
5,460 posts, read 8,631,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post

A 15% increase? I'm kind of a dummy with regards to all this stuff... but that sounds like a big jump to me.

No, you're not a dummy. It's not chump change. Add that increase up for 3 or 4 months or so, and it adds up. Again, there was no indication when the rates may go down, or even if they'll go down. I'm guessing they will, but who knows when, especially with the way the economy is. Essentially, they have customers over a barrel. If you use gas, apart from cutting back (hard to do in cold weather) or installing an alternative system, what other choice do you have but to pay for it?

I could be wrong, but I think the increase has nothing to do with the rates the gas company had to pay for gas, but may be a speculative hedge against the future economy. If that's the case, then I don't think it's fair to put the burden on their customers. If they're wrong, we still get stuck with paying the higher rates.

Where To Complain
It might be possible to complain to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, but I don't know how effective that would actually be. However, if they get enough complaints, they could take action and force the gas company to reduce the rates. And as slow as that process would be, it could be months or longer before any real reduction would start showing up on your bill as a credit. The phone number for the Commission is on the back of your utility bill as required by law.

Low Income Assistance
For low income people, it's possible to qualify for energy assistance funds. However, application should be made early (like by October) because although the annual reserve funds are supposedly available throughout the year, they can become depleted very quickly if there's a high demand for assistance, especially as it gets closer to colder months.

Equal Pay Plan
It's also possible to request an Equal Pay Plan which is averaged from the last 12 months and stretched out over the next 12 months. It could mean a good reduction in your monthly bills during the colder months, but it would also mean higher bills during the warmer seasons.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:20 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,796,272 times
Reputation: 7097
My husband and I are very interested in solar energy. We plan to buy in the Spring, and that's one of the first things that we are going to do in our home... This is one of the companies we've been reading about... Be a part of the solution. They are based in Corvallis...

We also want to invest in a good wood or pellet stove.

Initially these things will cost a pretty penny, even with the EWEB, state, and federal credits we would receive for going the solar route... but long-term they will eventually pay for themselves and end up saving us money... we hope!
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:57 PM
 
5,460 posts, read 8,631,761 times
Reputation: 3530
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
My husband and I are very interested in solar energy. We plan to buy in the Spring, and that's one of the first things that we are going to do in our home... This is one of the companies we've been reading about... Be a part of the solution. They are based in Corvallis...

We also want to invest in a good wood or pellet stove.

Initially these things will cost a pretty penny, even with the EWEB, state, and federal credits we would receive for going the solar route... but long-term they will eventually pay for themselves and end up saving us money... we hope!

Hmm. Solar panels. Kind of spendy, aren't they? I guess it depends on what you plan to use them for and the installation size you'd want or will need. To offset and somewhat reduce the cost of general appliances and usage? Heating?

I really don't know much about them, except that proper orientation of your roof is essential for maximum southern exposure to the sun. How resistant are they to damage from hail? How much maintenance do they require to keep dust, leaves, bird droppings, etc., cleaned off? How effective are they during the cloudy, rainy periods of the winter season? What kind of warranty is included? What about repair service, if needed?
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
462 posts, read 1,585,492 times
Reputation: 154
Yikes, I guess I'm glad I'm in an all electric house that has pretty efficient heating. I feared when I moved in here that my electric bill would be sky high. I've been on pins and needles worrying about what my first bill in OR would be and then I finally got it last week. It was for 35 days from Nov. 10th on and when I got it I almost fainted! Get this...it was $20.33. I'm not kidding! This house has radiant heat in the ceiling and floors and each room has its own thermostat so I don't have to heat rooms I'm not using. I don't like a hot house and keep the thermostat and temperature around 64 or so inside. The washer and dryer, fridge, stand alone freezer, oven/range, hot water heater...all electric. So, my question is why so cheap here in OR? I only used 167 kwh in 35 days.

I'm happy!!! Now I have to wait and see what my water bill is going to be like. I've lived on a well for the last 10+ years so no idea the cost of water.
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