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Old 04-19-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,485,425 times
Reputation: 5058

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Water is on a three month billing cycle.
Everything else is monthly.
You pay for what's used not projected.
All the utilities have level pay plans, (I think) where your yearly projected usage gets divided by 12 months.

The Water bill is a huge deal currently in Portland.
The politicians keep trying to fund their pet projects by addding additional fees to it.
They want to use the water bill to fund bike lanes, bridges, etc...
If it wasn't for the sewer charges, the bill would be reasonable.

Outside of Portland/Multnomah County, it seems like everything is cheaper.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Austin
92 posts, read 335,461 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
Water is on a three month billing cycle.
Everything else is monthly.
You pay for what's used not projected.
All the utilities have level pay plans, (I think) where your yearly projected usage gets divided by 12 months.

The Water bill is a huge deal currently in Portland.
The politicians keep trying to fund their pet projects by addding additional fees to it.
They want to use the water bill to fund bike lanes, bridges, etc...
If it wasn't for the sewer charges, the bill would be reasonable.

Outside of Portland/Multnomah County, it seems like everything is cheaper.
Thanks for the insight. Why is water so high when it rains so much? Sorry if that sounds stupid. In Austin, our water is obviously high because we have to water our dirt. My water bill runs high because I have never ending laundry and run the dishwasher once a week. Our water bill also has place to "check" for donations to various government causes. Kinda annoying when I'm paying an outrageous bill for a meter that is never checked.

Do you have to water the yard a lot in the summer?

How's the drinking water? I don't drink yucky TX water, we have a filter in the fridge. Can you drink from the tap in PDX?

I've been reading that living outside the city is cheaper. We haven't really looked at the suburbs too much. I don't want cookie cutter houses/subdivisions with a Walmart on every corner. THAT'S what I'm leaving! I'm not hip and cool and need to be downtown where the action is or anything. I want an older house (which is probably a headache but it's what I love and I live in a cookie cutter house now), neighborhood with personality and parks. All the kids things I plan to do I know I can drive to if necessary but would rather avoid parking hassles and fees.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: TX
94 posts, read 276,103 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherinaustin View Post
I don't drink yucky TX water, we have a filter in the fridge. Can you drink from the tap in PDX?
The water is Austin isn't that bad. That's just a misconception that many have. Look closely at the water quality reports.

We filter our tap water, which is probably a good approach whereever you live. Based on research, filtered tap water is likely to be better than bottled water. That's a whole other topic, but in basic terms, bottled water doesn't have the requirements for tracing and reporting that most municipal water authorities have. So they know they can get way with more...
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,673 posts, read 18,102,216 times
Reputation: 7454
Historically Portland combined storm and sewer lines and dumped the outflow into the rivers. Then along came the requirement to clean up the rivers so sewerage had to be treated. The storm water overwhelmed the treatment plants so they had to build separate storm and sewer systems. That is our equivalent of the 'big dig' and is incredibly expensive. In addition the Feds are requiring the City to cover water reservoirs.

The driving force behind the Pearl and condos in the core & South Waterfront area was the need to increase the tax base and utility income from that land (which used to be industrial) to help pay for all that work. They were having to dig up the streets in any case so other utilities could easily be put underground and streetcars/light rail provided.

The other impact is that the City is requiring dry wells for roof runoff. This can have the effect of super saturating soils inclined to slide...
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: South Philadelphia
29 posts, read 91,451 times
Reputation: 15
I'm noticing that a lot of people's electric bills are decreasing in the summer. Is air conditioning not common in PDX?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,673 posts, read 18,102,216 times
Reputation: 7454
Air conditioning is not common but nice to have about 10 days in a typical summer, usually in August. Many families schedule their trips to the coast then. The hotter it is in the Wmt. Valley the cooler it is on the coast (fog).
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,128,512 times
Reputation: 900
Quote:
Originally Posted by palvar View Post
I'm noticing that a lot of people's electric bills are decreasing in the summer. Is air conditioning not common in PDX?
Not as much as I have seen elsewhere. As I recall, there are usually about 20 or so days per summer when an air conditioner could be used (out door temp over 88 degrees). This ain't the East Coast, IIRC when I lived in Baltimore area and "H.H.H." days all August long.

On hot days in Portland's summer, temperature swings from late afternoon to just before dawn is usually about 30 degrees (95+ mid-afternoon, high 60's at dawn or about dew point) with mid-afternoon humidity around a very dry 35 percent; morning humidity around 85%+. If you have a couple of fans, many people can get by without an A/C. A few I have meet claim they only need a bedroom window A/C for those few nights. Low outdoor humidity helps reduce window A/C cooling effort.

Worst case scenario, heating the home or apartment with electricity in winter. Some cheap electric heating systems are very in-efficient.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Portland, other times LA
600 posts, read 1,348,587 times
Reputation: 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherinaustin View Post
Thanks for the insight. Why is water so high when it rains so much? Sorry if that sounds stupid. In Austin, our water is obviously high because we have to water our dirt. My water bill runs high because I have never ending laundry and run the dishwasher once a week. Our water bill also has place to "check" for donations to various government causes. Kinda annoying when I'm paying an outrageous bill for a meter that is never checked.

Do you have to water the yard a lot in the summer?

How's the drinking water? I don't drink yucky TX water, we have a filter in the fridge. Can you drink from the tap in PDX?

I've been reading that living outside the city is cheaper. We haven't really looked at the suburbs too much. I don't want cookie cutter houses/subdivisions with a Walmart on every corner. THAT'S what I'm leaving! I'm not hip and cool and need to be downtown where the action is or anything. I want an older house (which is probably a headache but it's what I love and I live in a cookie cutter house now), neighborhood with personality and parks. All the kids things I plan to do I know I can drive to if necessary but would rather avoid parking hassles and fees.
* yes have to water in summer. summers do get hot and your lawn will suffer if you dont

*drinking tap water is fine

*there are 3 or 4 walmarts in the metro area and are all spread out and not really convenient to get to.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Austin
92 posts, read 335,461 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy32673 View Post
* yes have to water in summer. summers do get hot and your lawn will suffer if you dont

*drinking tap water is fine

*there are 3 or 4 walmarts in the metro area and are all spread out and not really convenient to get to.
Thank you Daisy32673. I'm actually more of a Target girl and saw one out by the airport when we came in. I'm trying to get away from all of that so if I have to make an effort to get to a superstore, it'll be a good thing.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: The greatest state of them all, Oregon.
780 posts, read 1,410,752 times
Reputation: 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherinaustin View Post
Thank you Daisy32673. I'm actually more of a Target girl and saw one out by the airport when we came in. I'm trying to get away from all of that so if I have to make an effort to get to a superstore, it'll be a good thing.
Unlike in Texas & Ohio, there are more Targets in metro PDX than Wal-Marts.
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