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Old 02-25-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: In the Silver State of Nevada in Las Vegas NV
1,062 posts, read 1,729,897 times
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Again it is the condition of the home or condo which dictates the cost. Which way your home faces the sun had an impact also. I just moved from the east coast but I do not find utilities cost a shocker. The one thing not mentioned yet is you get your sewer bill annual (each year) you do not pay monthly. NV Energy has a payment plan available also. If you want to shave cost on electric go gas on everything you can like the dryer and stove. But so far our cost of living out here has been about 1/2 of what it was back east.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:11 PM
 
399 posts, read 654,204 times
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After getting my first electric bill from NV Energy for $218 (1,059 sq ft house - includes no deposit) I asked for average monthly billing which dropped the bill down to only $63 (The house was vacant for 6 months of the previous year that they base the average bill on). Last April I replaced my 20 year old central air conditioner and since then my bills have averaged $86, which I have been very happy with.

I did not have to wait a year to get on average monthly billing, I only waited 1 month.

I did not have to put down a deposit but I had a great payment history with my previous electrical provider and have excellent credit.

Good luck with your move and an early Welcome to Las Vegas!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,865 posts, read 16,277,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Yeah, Scoop always fails to mention that he is comfortable when his indoor house temp is 85-90. I don't know how many others would like to live that way, regardless of the cost savings. I, for one, would find that unbearably hot. I keep my thermostat in the low to mid 70s. Ironically, because my house is surrounded by trees and is constantly shaded, our electric bills are actually higher in the winter than in the summer. (When I'm in LV, of course. Here in Miami Beach, the high is going to be 85 today, so heating is not an issue, lol.)
What, you're not air-conditioning your condo down to the mid-70s because it's 85f outside?

The way I see it, 85f is 85f. If I'm comfortable in the spring at 85f, I'm comfortable in the summer at 85f. And the few thousand it saves me in utility bills every year is a bonus.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
204 posts, read 298,559 times
Reputation: 171
My average bill for my 1500 sq ft house is $112. I tried to pay a whole year in advance, but their system wouldn't accept more than I owed. I pay my entire gas bill for the year in January, so I don't have to hassle with making the payment each month. I would pay all of my utilities for the year in advance if I could. I do the same thing with my HOA.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 35,003,453 times
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There are ways to get around the deposits. I've never paid one in my life. But most people are hit with it as soon as they sign up as new customers, and might not know how to get around it; so be prepared. There are lots of ways to cut your utilities bills. Except for garbage and sewage it depends on how much you use. You can run up a high water bill really fast if you do a lot of laundry, or water your lawn too much (I won't allow a blade of grass on my property, but have xeriscaping); and, if you have to have the house at 68º in summer, or 78º in winter, it will cost you. BTW: You pay for sewerage if you own a home. You can pay once a year, or quarterly for that. I think I pay something like $58 quarterly to the City of LV, which is down from $67, in 2011. And don't forget, if you have an HOA you pay for that too. I think ours is comparatively low at $95 a month.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:57 PM
 
88 posts, read 145,207 times
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Wow, lots of replies and tons of great information - thank you everyone (I know I sound like a broken record saying that but I really appreciate this...)

Okay, I can't recall all the names so please forgive me...

My friend's house was over 3000 feet in Aliente (new build I think at the time) - 5 beds with a casita(?spelling) and she was there a few years - she currently rents it out. She seems to be quite careful with money and so I guess she was careful with the utilities aspect also... Though she did have/does have 3 small boys so she was obviously doing something right!

Thanks for notice of all the bills/utilities we have for the rental and hopefully next year, our own home - very useful info.

Hubby would love a home like Scoop (all green) with mega low utility bills; I can see the attraction in doing all the work for the benefit of really low bills - obviously you just have to know that you'll be in 'that' particular home for the long haul.

I've heard (more than once) that when it comes to solar power and green cars, that it takes xyz period of time before you see any real savings - something to weigh up the pros and cons on but in any event, I know we'll be taking it easy (temperature wise and I won't be doing daily washing loads like I do now!!)

Plus hubby is determined not to have grass (and I don't blame him); I love 'looking' at beautiful grass but I'm sure there are lots of places (parks etc) that we can see/go to, to appreciate that kind of thing, without all the hard work (and watering) at home...

Irishspy - good one on the position of the house - that's a very good point - especially when we come to 'buy'...

BWNLV - thank you for the warm welcome, I appreciate that

Again, sorry I couldn't recall all the names on here but you were all very helpful and very kind in taking the time to post here

Jessey
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:53 PM
 
16,053 posts, read 28,369,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessey126 View Post
Hubby would love a home like Scoop (all green) with mega low utility bills; I can see the attraction in doing all the work for the benefit of really low bills - obviously you just have to know that you'll be in 'that' particular home for the long haul.

I've heard (more than once) that when it comes to solar power and green cars, that it takes xyz period of time before you see any real savings - something to weigh up the pros and cons on but in any event, I know we'll be taking it easy (temperature wise and I won't be doing daily washing loads like I do now!!)

Things that help with maintaining low utility bills:

1) Position of the home and position of your landscaping.
2) Good insulation. No one would EVER build a house up north without good insulation to save the heat. However, a lot of houses in warmer climates have little insulation.
3) Programmable thermostats - why heat/cool the house when you are not around? These things are cheap (<$200 INSTALLED by a HVAC professional).
4) There are any number of windows that reflect heat from the house. Even without those, using blinds to block out direct sun keeps the house a lot cooler.
5) Scoop is right - 85 is NOT uncomfortable with the proper fans, adequate hydration, and very lightweight clothing. And remember, there is generally low humidity in Las Vegas.
6) Make sure that there there is a lot of air movement in the house.
7) Use your "heat producing" appliances late at night or early in the morning. You can program your dishwasher at 3 am and dry clothing overnight.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:36 PM
 
88 posts, read 145,207 times
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Perfect list jlawrence, and your point '7' above answers the question my hubby's been asking me. In Europe, we call it 'economy' and use those appliances through the night if we want to be really efficient - so it sounds like the same applies in Vegas. Thanks again

Jessey
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,865 posts, read 16,277,301 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessey126 View Post
I've heard (more than once) that when it comes to solar power and green cars, that it takes xyz period of time before you see any real savings - something to weigh up the pros and cons on but in any event, I know we'll be taking it easy (temperature wise and I won't be doing daily washing loads like I do now!!)
I researched solar power TO DEATH when I moved here. I was absolutely convinced I wanted a solar house.

Luckily, a solar system salesman talked me out of it. (I have NO idea why he did. Strikes me as being bad for business. But I'm glad he did.) He told me the main thing about solar is to get your electricity usage down to the point where solar makes financial sense. And once you do that, you don't really need solar anymore because you're spending so little on electricity in the first place.

Keep in mind, we've spent (invested is a better word) roughly $8,000 into the house to make it unusually energy efficient. And most of this was DIY. Someone who is afraid of getting dirt under their nails would likely spend closer to $35K to have professionals do all the work.

Here are some free/cheap things you can do:

1) Sign up for NVenergy's "Cool Share" program. They will give you the programmable thermostats and install them for free. That's worth it right there. (They will also turn the power off to your air conditioner during periods of heavy load. You can opt out of what they call "an energy event" by pressing a button on your new thermostat.)

2) Don't run your heat-generating equipment during the worst part of the day. (I don't see why a clothes dryer is even necessary in the Mojave. We hang the clothes on a rack and they're dry within an hour.)

3) You can't be too rich, too thin, or have too many drapes. Your windows -- particularly South and West facing windows -- are a major reason your living space picks up so much heat in the first place.

4) A powered attic gable fan will save so much energy that it will pay for itself over the course of a summer. This is a no brainer. And it makes your roof tiles last longer, too. Everyone should do this.

5) While your up there, blow in some more insulation. You can't have too much. The time to do so is right now, before it gets too hot. You can DIY this -- the big box stores will give you a free blower rental with the purchase of insulation. Or pay someone. ($1,000 well spent.)


Those are the first five things I'd tackle. Then you can think about swamp coolers and solar screens. (I'm a BIG fan of solar screens. But this is something you REALLY want to DIY. Otherwise it would take years to recoup the investment.)
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:07 AM
 
16,053 posts, read 28,369,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoopLV View Post
5) While your up there, blow in some more insulation. You can't have too much. The time to do so is right now, before it gets too hot. You can DIY this -- the big box stores will give you a free blower rental with the purchase of insulation. Or pay someone. ($1,000 well spent.)
You can have too much insulation - if it cuts off air flow through the attic. I have seen it happen on two occasions. I think that is something else that teh NVEnergy technician can give advice on.

It is always amazing what utilities can do to help you cut your energy bill - if you are willing to make the call.
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