U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oregon > Portland
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-28-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Eugene, OR
3 posts, read 7,589 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Thanks for all the posts in this thread. I am looking at moving to the PDX Metro Area and this is useful.. Moving from a condo doesn't give me a lot of comparable data as water/sewer/trash/recycling are included in our HOA fee.

I know when I owned a SFD I had trash pick up every other week and still never came close to filling it but that's as infrequent as I could get. I take "Navy showers" and watch other water use. I lived in Marin County, CA and with grey water use, etc. were were using 1/3 of the local average which was half or less the national average. You do have to waive much of a lawn.

But when you decide where to live, if you have a choice then everything is part of the equation including how much you love the total gestalt of an area. Sometimes you may be willing to pay for the privilege.

Richard
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-28-2013, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,479,304 times
Reputation: 5058
One thing to realize is that water is billed in a 90 day period.
If you look at my bill (posted above) you will see that the water portion alone is only 60 bucks for three months. The water is cheap. Paying for everything else is the expensive part.


If you look at it on a monthly basis, my water & sewer bill runs about 100 bucks a month.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Portland
82 posts, read 127,266 times
Reputation: 78
pdxMIKEpdx has got it exactly right. The water usage portion of our bill is always the cheapest part. We got our bill yesterday and I added up "Sewer Volume, Stormwater Off-site, Stormwater On-site, Portland Harbor Superfund and Base Charge" and discovered those charges are almost 5 times what we pay for the actual water we used. Someone once told me that you pay more here for the water going down the drain and sewer grates than for the water coming out of your tap and in my experience it's very true.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,479,304 times
Reputation: 5058
According to a conversation I had with the water bureau, your sewer volume is calculated by your water usage during the winter months, then that figure is used for the rest of the year. The less water you use in the winter, the cheaper your bill will be for the rest of the time.



Here's something interesting you might check out if you are paying for water:

I received a water bill for a house that I own that has been sitting empty for the most part.
It was almost a normal bill.
I got curious and looked at the water meter portion, then went outside and compared it against the actual meter.
The meter numbers read much less than what was stated on the bill as the last meter reading.
In fact, it looked to be about two billing cycles back.
It looks like the water folks are estimating water usage instead of using actual water meter readers.
In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually saw anyone reading my water meter.
It looks like I have been paying for water I haven't used.
It seems that since so much of the bill has fees and taxes calculated from your actual usage, I deserve either a huge refund or credit.
I feel like I've been ripped off.

This weekend, I am going to go house to house up and down the street, and offer to read my old neighbors meters for them so they can compare it against their bills. It should be interesting.

I have not yet contacted them for an explanation.
Has anyone else had to deal with a problem like this?
What did you do and how did they handle it?
I looked on their website and it says they can estimate water usage if the meter access is blocked or the meter isn't functioning properly. Neither is the case in my situation.
I have never received any notification from the water company other than my bill.

Man I hate dealing with Portland city government.
How come I always feel they are trying to screw me over?

Maybe I should contact the Oregonian so they can publish a hard driving expose of water bureau shenanigans.

Last edited by pdxMIKEpdx; 02-28-2013 at 03:58 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2013, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,678 posts, read 3,407,593 times
Reputation: 781
I used to live in Dallas, TX till last year. The electricity bills for my apartment used to run ~$100 per month in winter. After moving to Beaverton and a slightly larger apartment, my electricity bills for winter has come down to ~$70. This in spite of my current apartment having a water heater and washer/dryer units that I did not have in Dallas. Both apartments have electric heating.

I guess electricity rates are much cheaper here (and apartments have better insulation?).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2013, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,321,197 times
Reputation: 35674
Quote:
Originally Posted by asubram3 View Post
I used to live in Dallas, TX till last year. The electricity bills for my apartment used to run ~$100 per month in winter. After moving to Beaverton and a slightly larger apartment, my electricity bills for winter has come down to ~$70. This in spite of my current apartment having a water heater and washer/dryer units that I did not have in Dallas. Both apartments have electric heating.

I guess electricity rates are much cheaper here (and apartments have better insulation?).
It's going to depend upon the age of your apartment. Older ones usually have poor insulation. As a rule they were built in an era when electricity was pretty inexpensive. I have lived in small apartments where the heating bills were through the roof.

Newer apartments are often better insulated but not always. Anything with electric baseboard heating will be terrible unless perhaps you have really good insulation. A ceiling fan is your friend.

Anyway, this has been my experience renting in Portland.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2013, 07:42 PM
 
771 posts, read 1,196,686 times
Reputation: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
According to a conversation I had with the water bureau, your sewer volume is calculated by your water usage during the winter months, then that figure is used for the rest of the year. The less water you use in the winter, the cheaper your bill will be for the rest of the time.



Here's something interesting you might check out if you are paying for water:

I received a water bill for a house that I own that has been sitting empty for the most part.
It was almost a normal bill.
I got curious and looked at the water meter portion, then went outside and compared it against the actual meter.
The meter numbers read much less than what was stated on the bill as the last meter reading.
In fact, it looked to be about two billing cycles back.
It looks like the water folks are estimating water usage instead of using actual water meter readers.
In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually saw anyone reading my water meter.
It looks like I have been paying for water I haven't used.
It seems that since so much of the bill has fees and taxes calculated from your actual usage, I deserve either a huge refund or credit.
I feel like I've been ripped off.

This weekend, I am going to go house to house up and down the street, and offer to read my old neighbors meters for them so they can compare it against their bills. It should be interesting.

I have not yet contacted them for an explanation.
Has anyone else had to deal with a problem like this?
What did you do and how did they handle it?
I looked on their website and it says they can estimate water usage if the meter access is blocked or the meter isn't functioning properly. Neither is the case in my situation.
I have never received any notification from the water company other than my bill.

Man I hate dealing with Portland city government.
How come I always feel they are trying to screw me over?

Maybe I should contact the Oregonian so they can publish a hard driving expose of water bureau shenanigans.
This is insane. I'm currently in Phoenix, planning to move to the Portland area next summer. I really expected the water charges there to be lower than in Phoenix... for obvious reasons... Portland isn't devoid of water! But after reading this thread, bummer. It sounds like the water charges there are as ridiculous as the electricity charges out here. We are not wholly charged for JUST the electricity we use, but 60% of our bill is actually fees and taxes to cover all kinds of immoral crap the electricity company wants to charge us, simply because they can. It was one of the top reasons I was looking forward to leaving this place. But going to Portland and seeing charges like that on a water bill, isn't going to calm my stress.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,479,304 times
Reputation: 5058
Well, all I can hope for is that all the young Humanities, English, Psychology, Anthropology, Urban Planning majors and "creative types" moving here in droves will have the smarts, devotion, stamina and where-with-all to straighten this place out!




Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,321,197 times
Reputation: 35674
Water bills are one thing my landlord complains about a lot. He maintains that because the way the Portland Water Bureau is set up, they can with impunity, raise the rates and take money for other city projects. He believes that once the large apartment complexes going up in my neighborhood, everyone's water rates will increase as well.

Just his opinion. I don't know if that is true or not.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,667 posts, read 18,083,972 times
Reputation: 7430
I agree with your landlord. I was a Commissioner in a Special Utility District in the State of WA. If we spent one cent on anything other than delivering our mandated services we could go to jail. Were it so in OR.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oregon > Portland
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top