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Old 08-03-2009, 02:57 PM
 
576 posts, read 880,483 times
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Wondered if anybody might have some input. We have astoundingly high JEA bills. As seen in another post here, about JEA bills, my useage last month was 3838 kwh. That is really high for a home that is approximately 1700 sq. ft., 3 occupants.

We have always blamed it on our antiquated central a/c unit.

However, we replaced that unit, as a matter of fact, just this past Friday 7/31.

I called JEA today to have them do an instant read, over the phone, as to what the meter use is, over the last few days, per day.

Unbelievable as it is, the use is still relatively the same, not reduced, not really. My neighbor has about the same size house as mine, about the same everything, yet her electric bill runs consistently about $200 less than mine, monthly.

As I said above, we've always attributed the ridiculously high electric bills to that ole dinosaur we had for a central a/c unit. But apparently, with us running just about the same in kw use, that isn't the culprit afterall. Or wouldn't appear to be the case.

We, last summer, in an effort to try to reduce this light bill, before we end up in the poor house, replaced what was an 82 gallon water heater (electric) down to a 40 gallon. Didn't see much of a reduction there either.

I have had JEA out to do an energy audit. Basically the guy walked around and gave me tips like, turn off the ceiling fans in rooms where nobody is present, turn off oscillating fans, turn off lights, etc. etc. Things I already knew. But none of it, what would account for an electric bill that is all but sending us to the poor house.

Does anybody have any ideas as to what to do next? I keep my thermostat set at 77 during the day, around the clock. I do keep lights turned off, I turn off fans.

Should I hire an electricial contractor to come here and find out just what it is in my home that is causing my electric meter to spin off the wall and cost me so much. Or would an electrical contractor even be able to answer that.

I have two fridges that are outside (one in a screen room, another in a garage) and a deep freezer in the garage. I am going to, in the next few days, combine the items from one of those outdoor fridges, into the other fridge, and dispose of one of those outdoor fridges. But I can't dispose of both, nor can I dispose of the deep freezer. Could an outdoor fridge and an outdoor deep freezer be this much of a difference? Does anyone know.

We cannot afford $500 light bills, and that is what it runs, just about consistently through the summer mos. We've turned off the pool pump, letting the old pool just go green at this point, because we can't afford to keep powering everything around here. The jacuzzi, it sits idle, and not turned on, same reason.

Seems like the meter outside must have some malfunction but when the JEA rep came out, he supposedly tested that, and that isn't a factor.

What could be causing this?
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:47 PM
 
859 posts, read 3,344,896 times
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Call JEA to have them come out and do a free audit.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:30 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
9,362 posts, read 23,273,717 times
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Were the pol and jacuzzi pumps turned off more than a month ago? If not, I'd give it a month and see how it is. With a new HVAC system, I think it may take a few days to get a true read. And I think, too, that the refrigerator & deep freeze being on the porch might make a dif, too. Maybe someone would know for sure, but if they are out in the heat it seems that they would take more energy to keep cold.

I have an old HVAC unit and about the same SF as you. Two teens and myself, 40 gal HW tank and one extra refridgerator in the garage. My bills run a high of $250, but that is with the water and everything-although we don't pay for irrigation. I can't locate a recent bill to check the kw usgage, but in March it was 730. Even doubled, it is way lower than yours.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:07 PM
 
576 posts, read 880,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIF View Post
Were the pol and jacuzzi pumps turned off more than a month ago? If not, I'd give it a month and see how it is. With a new HVAC system, I think it may take a few days to get a true read. And I think, too, that the refrigerator & deep freeze being on the porch might make a dif, too. Maybe someone would know for sure, but if they are out in the heat it seems that they would take more energy to keep cold.

I have an old HVAC unit and about the same SF as you. Two teens and myself, 40 gal HW tank and one extra refridgerator in the garage. My bills run a high of $250, but that is with the water and everything-although we don't pay for irrigation. I can't locate a recent bill to check the kw usgage, but in March it was 730. Even doubled, it is way lower than yours.

That's a good question, how long the pool and jacuzzi both have been turned off. I don't know precisely.

Maybe someone will have some answers with regard to just how much energy consumption refrigerators would generate being outside (garage and screen porch). I have gone ahead and combined into one outdoor fridge, and the other is now unplugged. Hopefully that will make a difference. I also noticed, in the old fridge that sat out there, the seals may have been not the best. Even more energy consumption just flying out of my pocketbook.

We also closed the damper in the fireplace (something we've never paid attention to).

Will wait and see if anybody has anymore input. Something's gotta give here. I don't know anybody who has as high an electric bill as I do, and people who have far larger homes, more occupants, more bells and whistles than we do.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:56 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 30,520,217 times
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How old is your house ?
Do you have trees that offer any shade on the house ?
If you have rooms that the sun seems to hit in the morning or afternoon, what kind of window coverings do you have on these windows ?

What size is your new A/C unit, how many tons and what is the seer (energy efficiency rating) ?
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,432 posts, read 13,069,926 times
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Older appliances can really suck up energy, and especially refrigerators and freezers that are constantly battling the exterior temps. How possible would it be to let the outside frig and freezer become empty so that you could turn all of them off, at least temporarily, to see if that makes a difference. Obviously it means a lifestyle change, but perhaps that would be worth it to find out why your electric bill is so, so high.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:05 PM
 
576 posts, read 880,483 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karla with a K View Post
How old is your house ?
Do you have trees that offer any shade on the house ?
If you have rooms that the sun seems to hit in the morning or afternoon, what kind of window coverings do you have on these windows ?

What size is your new A/C unit, how many tons and what is the seer (energy efficiency rating) ?
I have nothing for shade trees. Well, except for, on the western side of the property, there is a tree line back there, some woods. Not on my property per se, further back, back there are definitely some woods back in that vicinity and that does offer "some" shade when the sun sets in the late afternoon.

The front of my house has zero for shade, and it faces the east. So when the sun comes up in the a.m., if it weren't for the mini blinds that I keep shut, it would be impossible to keep that blazing sun from permeating heat through those windows. The mini blinds probably don't do a lot, but they do help. I keep them closed in the a.m. when the sun is rising.

Same with the back half of my house, which faces the west. When the sun sets in the afternoon, were it not for the shade trees that are back a ways (none on my property) and the mini blinds that I keep closed. It would be impossible to fight the sun blazing through the windows.

It's a 4 ton unit, and I can't remember, will have to pull out the paperwork, it was either 13 or 14 seer <I think>.

House was built in 1954 (brick exterior-all the way around>. Ranch style, one-story, off-grade home.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:10 PM
 
576 posts, read 880,483 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karla with a K View Post
How old is your house ?
Do you have trees that offer any shade on the house ?
If you have rooms that the sun seems to hit in the morning or afternoon, what kind of window coverings do you have on these windows ?

What size is your new A/C unit, how many tons and what is the seer (energy efficiency rating) ?

Forgot to add that all windows have been replaced with double-pane glass.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:19 PM
 
576 posts, read 880,483 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
Older appliances can really suck up energy, and especially refrigerators and freezers that are constantly battling the exterior temps. How possible would it be to let the outside frig and freezer become empty so that you could turn all of them off, at least temporarily, to see if that makes a difference. Obviously it means a lifestyle change, but perhaps that would be worth it to find out why your electric bill is so, so high.
Hmm. Kind of interesting.

We unplugged the one fridge yesterday afternoon and emptied it (the one that sits on the screen room out back).

Our kw useage over the last few days:

Thursday 7/30 (when we still had the ole dinosaur unit for a/c): 156
Friday 7/31 (had no a/c, almost all day, unit being replaced): 120
Saturday 8/1 (new unit installed): 100
Sunday 8/2 (doing laundry, cooking/having family over) 146
Monday 8/3 (no outdoor fridge in use) 108

I would hate to have to unplug and not even use the other *extra* fridge that sits in the garage. I my house I have, (and I'll never buy another one) one of those side-by-side fridges. The space, in a side-by-side, hardly any.

Thermostat is set at 77 and has been since we installed the new a/c unit.

I was considering, just for curiosity sake, unplugging the deep freezer, just to get a read of what the kw use is, with that not in use. It's full, to the brim. And a deep freezer will hold the frozen food, as long as it's not opened and closed repeatedly (and it wouldn't be), for maybe 8 hours or so. I may do that, just to see if that makes a difference.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:32 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 30,520,217 times
Reputation: 43295
nnyl
that's a big unit and the seer is in the good range (thats the same size we put in for 2100 sq ft

Have you tried turning the thermostat up a bit we have ours set at 79 , the bigger unit moves a lot more air combine that with the ceiling fans(which the JEA guy said only run $5 a month if left on constantly) and it is quite comfortable in here

Did the A/C guys check your vents and the trunks that go from the unit to make sure that there is enough airflow?

We found that blinds did ok But I really noticed a difference when I put up curtains that I close against the sun, it is weird that just closing them makes a difference.
When we had the JEA audit guy here he had this really cool temp gun it was amazing the difference in the temp of just the window, then with the blinds shut, then with the curtains closed.

The only other options I can think of would be to check to see what your insulation situation is in the attic make sure you have enough up there.
Also if your still having problems my contractor told us to look into attic fans they are installed right in the roof and when the temp in the attic reaches a certain temp they go on and suck the hot air from the attic.
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