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Old 12-19-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Sisters, Oregon
351 posts, read 1,175,670 times
Reputation: 208

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just received my NW Natural GAS BILL !!!

Holly Cr@p...... $151.62

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-29-2008 at 07:27 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Sisters, Oregon
351 posts, read 1,175,670 times
Reputation: 208
Me and my TYPOs

That should read just received my NW Natural GAS BILL !!!

would of edited it.... but I can't edit the thread title..... DOH!!!
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:10 PM
 
5,460 posts, read 8,632,671 times
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Want to trade gas bills? Mine is only $231.09. Ouch! Last month it was $126.74. I've used a little more for the current bill than the same time last year, but it does seem to be much higher than I expected. I could be wrong, but it seems I recall that NW Natural Gas bills were expected to increase, like everything else I guess. I don't remember the reason why though. Then too, it's been a bit cooler this year compared to last year.

So much for Global Warming. Looking more like an Ice Age to me. I'm going to hate to see what the gas bill is going to look like next month.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:14 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,797,400 times
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Wow... what is your gas bill like usually? How many square feet are you heating? What all uses gas in your home?

We are currently renting an apartment and only have the one utility - EWEB. Our bill is $135. this month. That's for our water, heat, all our appliances, and lights, trash, recycling, etc... But we have been looking at homes and feeling like we're getting closer to buying our first home. One of the things we always consider is the increase in our utilities. It always kinda scares us off... all the extra expenses involved in owning vs. renting. All these little things - or not so little things - seem to add up so quick. We're wondering if we might be happier buying a condo...

Did your electric bill go up as well? Do you have a wood or pellet stove or wood-burning fireplace?
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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We live in a pretty old place. Gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The house is paid for, but we can't afford to buy anything else. I'm living on Social Security Disability, so we have to make do the best way we can with what we have.

Actually, one reason the bill is so high is because I haven't sealed the windows yet. We usually put up a clear type of plastic for windows around the sill that acts as an insulator. It's not so easy for me to do things anymore that I used to be able to just take for granted. But as indicated, it does seem like the rates have gone up - a lot.

Our gas bill has skyrocketed this year. During the winter, it's usually been around $150. for a couple of the coldest months, even during years when its been much colder than it is now. We have a gas furnace and gas water heater. Most of the year, our gas bill is around $35. I'm not sure what it's going to be next year.

We're on what NW Natural Gas calls a WARM program. The way it works is rates fluxuate depending on if the weather is colder or warmer than normal. If it's colder, the rates are lower and price per therm is cheaper. If not, then it remains at a standard rate. Still "cheaper" is only a relative term.

I'm going to call the gas company Monday to determine what the story is. I do seem to recall that a notice was sent out quite some time ago saying that the rates were going to increase. I had no idea just how much that increase would be. Amazingly, they still yammer on about how natural gas is the cheapest form of household energy.

Occasionally, but not often, we've had the power go put during ice storms. You'd think there'd be no problem with a gas furnace. The pilot flame still burn, but without electricity, the thermostats, and fans don't work. Gas systems are dependent on electricity to function.

We have a wood stove, but it's a Franklin type, primarily decoration. We've tried using it to supplement heat in the winter, but it just doesn't put out enough. We don't use it because it's just not designed for heating - I think it could be a fire hazard. So we just don't bother with it. We have it the damper closed and the front of the stove covered.

I'm not sure about the pros and cons for wood pellet stoves. The ones I've seen other people use seems pretty nice and warm. I would think you'd have to have a dry place to store enough pellets to get by during the winter. So I suppose that's something that has to be taken into account.

Our electric bills do go up during the winter, but that's partly because the days are shorter. But our electric bill for this month (actually for last month) was around $23. For us, it isn't much more in the winter than any other time of year. A little higher, but not much. In the summer, if it's really hot out, we turn on the air-con, which can boost the bill a little bit. But we usually resort to a couple of fans and a swamp cooler which use less electricity than the air-con does.

We have a neighbor who has a heat pump system for both heating and cooling. He says his utility bills are fairly low, but the cost to install such a system can be pretty spendy.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:51 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,797,400 times
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We recently visited a museum that was housed in a really old, drafty, building. It had really high ceilings and old creaky wood floors and huge old windows. It was a really cold day outside, but as soon as we stepped into the museum we were warm and toasty. The only heat came from a fireplace in the main room. The lady who was giving the tour pointed to the heavy tapestries hanging over most of the windows, and explained that they were the trick to keeping the place insulated and warm during the winters. They left the windows that got the most sun uncovered, and covered all the rest with the heavy tapestries to keep the cold air out. They had tapestries hanging on all the walls, too, for more insulation. They also had ceiling fans running in a way that pushed hot air down and helped keep the air circulating. We were amazed that that one single wood-burning fireplace was the only source of heat.

NB I hope the gas company on Monday tells you that they goofed and your bill really isn't that high.

I feel like I have so much to learn about buying our own place out here. Being from Texas, all I really know about is central heat and air. That's what we called it there. You had a somewhat noisy boxy thing that sat outside your house and would kick on and off... and inside you had a thermostat that you could set to your desired temperature. We always kept it around 72. In the winter, the heat would kick on and the house would be kept at 72. In the Summer the A/C would kick on and the house would be kept at 72. Easy. when we wanted to save money, we'd keep it at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.

But we never hear about central heat and air conditioning here in Eugene. We hear about heat pumps and wood or pellet stoves and all this foreign (to us) stuff. I always thought stoves were for cooking... it didn't occur to me until we moved here that they could be used for heat, too. Now that I'm a bite more used to the idea, I think I like the idea of having a nice wood stove. It seems comforting somehow. I am clueless as to what a "heat pump" is, but if it saves money... I'm interested in learning. Need to google it...

Why would they make a wood stove for decorative purposes? That sounds strange... How silly is that, huh? I wonder if you could sell it or trade it in for one that actually functions as a heat source?
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:15 PM
 
5,460 posts, read 8,632,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post

Why would they make a wood stove for decorative purposes? That sounds strange... How silly is that, huh? I wonder if you could sell it or trade it in for one that actually functions as a heat source?

Why? I dunno. Probably for the same reason as fake brick fireplaces. Some people just want the looks of a cozy fire without the hassle of a real one, I guess. The difference is that this one actually burns wood. The wood stove looks nice, but it's useless, primarily because of how they're designed. It just isn't made to radiate or distribute the heat very well. Most of the heat goes right out the chimney.

I don't know if it's sellable or not. We aren't going to bother putting in a new unit. The house is an old manufactured home, which itself isn't worth much. We plan to move to the tropics in the not-too-distant future.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Sisters, Oregon
351 posts, read 1,175,670 times
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A Heat Pump is a Central Air Conditioner..... how refrigeration works is moves heat from one place to another..... So what a heat pump does is REVERSES the process.... instead the outside condenser is now blowing COLD air (vs hot as in summer) The problem here is IT IS ALREADY COLD OUTSIDE, so when the temp goes down so does the heat pumps efficiency (it has a had time dissipating the cold air).

Gas heating is by far the most efficient.... that is why people want it.

Living in a multi-family place (apartment, condo, duplex... etc) uses less to heat because they have "common" walls..... In a single family home, you have all the exterior walls and the roof exposed to the elements (even though they are insulated).

I have a fully insulated 1,663 sqft home w/gas heat/water/cooking.... so I guess $151 is really not that bad (I was just hoping for a lot less).... when I was in Big Bear Lake, CA (6,500' mountain community) my gas bills were $230 per month for the winter months.

Pellet/wood stoves work great (but need to use outside air for combustion.... if you want to increase their efficiency).... but they do cost $$ for the unit.... Pellets are about $5 for a 40 lbs bag and you will probably go through a bag a day or more..... But you will be really warm in the room it is located in

And as far a "open" fireplaces..... they only produce 8-12% efficiency..... 90% of the heat goes up the chimney.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:46 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 3,775,582 times
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I expect my gas bill this month to be high because of all the cold weather. Plus, I was home quite a bit since I was sick and stuck here with the snow. As a result, the heat was on when normally it would be minimal. I'm scared to think what it will be. But it's just one month...I hope!!!
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:07 PM
 
5,460 posts, read 8,632,671 times
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Default Gas Rates Increased by 15%

I called NW Natural Gas to ask why the bills seem so high. The rep I spoke with confirmed a rate increase in November. The increase was a whopping 15%. That pretty much explains what I thought had happened.

Rates do go up and down, so it's possible the rates could eventually decrease. But exactly WHEN that might happen is anyone's guess.
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