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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

High electric bills

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hughb

06-11-2014 07:43:58
24.241.196.31



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Just wondering about others. We get our electric from a co-op. It is supplied by the TVA. Our bill averages around $230 and up a month. $2700 a year. We do not leave all the lights on etc. We live in the county so this is not city rates.
In the south you almost have to have air cond on all summer. Is this average or....? your opinion.




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rdandersom

06-15-2014 12:36:18
204.237.46.13



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
My April bill was 192.However that is the lowest bill since I moved here last fall.I was running 400 plus during the winter with almost 1000 per month in furnace oil and 2 to 3 wheelbarrow loads of fire wood per day.My furnace conked out march 1 and froze the radiators in the NW corner of the house.Electric went to 680.This is in SW Ontario.



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showcrop

06-15-2014 13:19:05
75.67.231.80



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to rdandersom, 06-15-2014 12:36:18  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

What sort of construction is the house? It sounds like you need to do some tightening and insulating. Programmable thermostats can save a lot too.



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showcrop

06-11-2014 18:22:20
75.67.231.80



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
Our Coop charges $.27/KWH. most of the electricity is bought from a utility Co. that generates most of the power from coal but some is nuclear. The nuclear power is expensive because of paying off "stranded costs" from when they were not allowed to finnish a second nuke in the seventies.



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ShadetreeRet

06-11-2014 10:39:37
184.4.13.135



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
We seem to have a lot of co-op members here today.I didn't realize how much variation there is from one to another concerning costs. Of course I realize that who you are purchasing your power from makes a big difference. Our Co-op co-owns at least one power plant with our main supplier. I just figured my bills for the past twelve months and they averaged $208.00 per month. I have approx 1900 sq. ft. manufactured house, total electric with heat pump. I also have an old house that is used for storage and the bill avgs. about $26.00 per month. so subtract that from $208. which leaves me with $182.00 per month average for the main house. I'm in central NC.

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jdemaris

06-11-2014 10:30:34
70.195.146.111



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
12 to 14 cents per KWH is the average USA rate when all the charges are figured in for grid power. Some areas as low as 7 cents and some as high as 35 cents. Alaska and Hawaii are the highest and West Virginia and Louisiana are the lowest.

That even goes for Jennifer who is doing the cyber-chuckling with her solar. She is probably paying more then most grid users when all is factored in. And yeah - I know - how dare I say something potentially negative towards a female.

There IS a reality and it's very easy to read through expense records of solar users - off and on grid. Just a comment on facts and nothing personal as some imply here. Anybody that changes to solar only because they think it will save them money has a screw loose. There are many valid reasons to do it - big savings is not one of them.

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Russ from MN

06-11-2014 10:42:09
68.235.89.18



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to jdemaris, 06-11-2014 10:30:34  
The thing about solar that you have to factor in is that it is not destroying our environment by burning coal, or using up natural gas that can be used for better things! The thing I don't like is at our cabin we pay $38 for the meter fee and then $.14 a kw. If I was starting over I would stay off the grid for the cabin.



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DaninKansas

06-11-2014 11:27:42
24.248.193.103



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to Russ from MN, 06-11-2014 10:42:09  
Because the manufacturing of the solar equipment and batteries (and disposal) are friendly to the enviroment because it is delivered from fairyland on the backs of unicorns.


A lot of toxic metals and chemicals are used to produce the panels and batteries.

Modern coal plants main release is CO2 - a trace gas that helps plants grow.



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Bret4207

06-12-2014 04:42:54
64.19.90.196



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to DaninKansas, 06-11-2014 11:27:42  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Beat me to it. :lol:



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Russ from MN

06-11-2014 14:57:13
68.235.89.18



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to DaninKansas, 06-11-2014 11:27:42  
Most of Minnkota's power comes from lignite.
The emissions generated from firing lignite, as with any coal, include the criteria pollutants
particulate matter (PM), PM less than, or equal to, 10 micrometers in diameter (PM-10), condensable
particulate matter (CPM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and total
organic compounds (TOC). The other pollutants generated include greenhouse gases, organics, trace
elements, and acid gases.

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jdemaris

06-11-2014 11:07:32
70.195.146.111



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to Russ from MN, 06-11-2014 10:42:09  
Off-grid has its pros and cons.

The huge problem with off-grid is - there is NO way to store the extra power you make. No cost-effective way, anyway. You can have a day when you make 20 times the power you are using and it ALL goes to waste.

The nice thing about off-grid is the equipment is MUCH cheaper. You can buy uncertified solar panels at half-cost (or less). Same with electronics. You can buy an off-grid 3000 watt inverter for $250 instead of paying $1300-$2000 for a grid-tie inverter.

As to solar being green? I doubt it. An awful lot of coal and petro fuel is used to make and ship solar equipment and batteries. I doubt in the end -they are much cleaner when all is factored in. Certainly they seem greener when only the end-user is looked at.

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DaninKansas

06-11-2014 11:30:18
24.248.193.103



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to jdemaris, 06-11-2014 11:07:32  
Agreed. I looked into wind power as a suppliment "on grid" to lower my electric bills. Even with government tax credits it was a deep hole that would never pay for itself.



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jennifer408

06-11-2014 10:17:38
67.142.162.24



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
no comment, he he :)



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VaTom

06-11-2014 09:30:23
70.32.219.33



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
Hugh, we're southern coop also. Recent contract with the generating company expired and everybody's bill went up. Last month we used almost $50 worth of electricity, plus the high cost ($50) of having a meter.

Probably one large difference is that I built a house that needs no air conditioning. Everybody in a humid climate needs to dehumidify, you (and all my neighbors) use ac for that. I use a cheap used dehumidifier, which costs $30/mo to run.

Obviously house size varies a lot. We have 20,000 cu ft of house. Same as a 2500 sq ft house with 8' ceilings.

Our annual electric bill for our total electric house and well pump isn't half yours unless I do a great deal of welding.

One way you could improve is to add a heat pump water heater if your electric tank heater is in a convenient location. We use ours seasonally, heats water 2-3 times more efficiently than electric resistance. Beyond that, a major benefit is the free by-product: cool dry air. Sound like your ac? Ours provides half our needed dehumidification. More, if we used more hot water.

Return on investment (ROI) was less than 2 season's use. Unfortunately, I'm about to replace ours after 13 year's use. Fortunately, I have a spare that I picked up cheap awhile back. I haven't priced a new one lately, but ROI should be less than 5 seasons.

A general rule is that most spend one month's income on space heating/cooling. Higher income = larger house = larger bills. Didn't make much sense to me, so I built a place that costs me closer to one day's income.

A nearby friend cuts 4 1/2 cords of hardwood here for his winter use in a house same size as mine. I keep telling him to sell that dog to someone else and go build a better house. If I don't feel like lighting the stove, I put on a sweater evenings. We go through maybe 2/3 cord because we enjoy the stove. The house generally runs 65 winters, without me doing anything.

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ShadetreeRet

06-11-2014 10:24:15
184.4.13.135



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to VaTom, 06-11-2014 09:30:23  
VaTom, your comment makes me curious, sounds almost like you have an underground home or semi-underground. If not just how is it built? I am not doubting your word at all, just intrigued by your numbers, and I know that it can be done, just takes careful planning.



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VaTom

06-11-2014 11:04:01
70.32.193.64



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to ShadetreeRet, 06-11-2014 10:24:15  
Good guess. There's 2' of dirt on the roof with the rear wall totally buried. But beyond earth contact, I followed Passive Annual Heat Storage (PAHS) advice. The book was published in 1983.

The primary difference he came up with was putting an insulating umbrella over the entire structure that extends 20' beyond the perimeter. This keeps the mass (and inside air) temperature hovering near 70 all year. It also solves the major problem underground structures frequently had: leaks.

PAHS is a heating/cooling system, independent of architecture or building material though they both need attention to be certain annual heat storage will actually occur. Summers, the house dumps excess heat into the dirt mass, warming it while cooling the house. The mass is highest temperature just when the house starts to cool down in late fall. By early spring, the mass is coolest, just in time for summer cooling.

Takes a lot of mass, but it's stupid simple. No maintenance, no pumps or moving parts, no repairs, no energy to buy. We don't even bother with window coverings (no neighbors).

Cost, if the commercial materials I chose are used, is usually considerably below traditional stick-built. I built one for a client down the road. He needed a mortgage, the appraisal came in 50% higher than it cost to build: instant equity! Which was a direct comparison to stick-built here.

Which is why he's putting up with an unbelievable 80 mile each way commute. He says the job isn't forever, the house is. His previous house was a lovely post&beam SIPs place that he would never again settle for. Current owners think it's great.

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ShadetreeRet

06-11-2014 19:12:03
184.4.13.135



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to VaTom, 06-11-2014 11:04:01  
Thanks for the information. I have long been interested in underground or earth berm type housing, and should I ever find myself able, I intend to find out what it's like personally.



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VaTom

06-11-2014 19:39:12
70.32.193.64



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to ShadetreeRet, 06-11-2014 19:12:03  
Thanks for the interest. You could do a lot worse. Not that this is the only way to get a good house, but it's a very inexpensive one.

This evening we had a tornado watch. Some mid-westerners are interested in a house that won't blow away, as much as being so easy to heat and cool. In the west, it's fire danger that makes some interested in a house that won't burn.

Dirt: good stuff, and cheap. I grow veggies on my roof.

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Tx Jim

06-11-2014 10:12:19
69.35.160.188



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to VaTom, 06-11-2014 09:30:23  
My current electric bill is $75.97 or .11122 cents per KWH



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prawn farmer

06-11-2014 09:01:12
69.160.179.223



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to hughb, 06-11-2014 07:43:58  
Our co-op charges $30 per month basic fee plus .14 per KWH for the first thousand.



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cjackman

06-11-2014 12:58:49
70.208.199.2



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to prawn farmer, 06-11-2014 09:01:12  
I am on a co-op also. My bills rarely break $120,I"m not much of a conserver either always have something left on that I forget to turn off!



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bwillett

06-11-2014 15:57:56
50.102.60.24



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 Re: High electric bills in reply to cjackman, 06-11-2014 12:58:49  
My latest bill breaks down like this
Availability charge: 39.50
Local distribution: 10.36
Generation and Transmission(.07849): 29.04
Capital Credit Refund(once a year): -31.98

Total current charges: 46.92

My Co-op buys it's power from one of the the most state of the art Coal fired Power generation plants in the USA, and in order to meet the EPA's newest boondoggle requirements, it will cost close to $20million.
Thanks to the Green Weenies. (NOT)

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