Summer Electric Bills?!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by jenngugs, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. jenngugs

    jenngugs Companion

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I'm hoping someone is going to tell me that I'm not being ridiculous. My electric bill just came in the the mail for the end of may- the end of June. It increased 235 % from our bill the previous month, and I'm flipping out. We live in a one bedroom apartment w/ central air, and always keep our air above 75 degrees when we're home (80 when we're not,) shut off lights dilligently, etc. This month's bill was over $175, and we're used to paying ~ $50. I'm going to take both bills down to the office tomorrow and use it as grounds for my plea for an updated air conditioning unit. Do you think I'm off base in doing this?

    Also, for comparison purposes, how much does it cost to cool your home in the summer months? What kind of home- 1 bedroom apt, 5 bedroom house, etc?
     
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  3. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    :(Our bill always goes up drastically in the summer, but mainly because of the pool. But I guess with us, we are home more in the summer and turning lights on and off, the tv going, etc.

    I feel your pain.

    Our water bill tripled one time and come to find out, our neighbors had theirs turned off, and would run our water hose over to their house every day after we left. :( My husband acted like he was leaving for work one day, went to the street behind our house, climbed thru the woods and watched them doing it. He video taped them and had to show it at a town hall meeting to get them to drop the additional charges.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yes, you are justified in having them investigate. Your meter could be damaged, they could have estimated the bill (based on what, though?) wrong, lots of things.

    I have 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, and it runs about $200.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Our house is 3 bdrm, 2 bath, about 1600 sq ft. I just sent in the payment for $135. We keep our temp at 77-80, the window blinds down, and lights off when we aren't in the room. We even have our 4 y.o turning out her lights when she's not in the room.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our June bill was $108. We usually run about $150-175 in the summer months, especially July & August. In the winter it's about $50 because we have gas heat. That's for a 1600 square foot house. We keep the temp between 70-72 when we're home, although we sometimes go down to 68 at night. If we're gone for a day or two we'll turn it up to around 78.
     
  7. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Mine went from $101 last month to $199 this month. I wasn't happy but it has been hotter than **** here this summer. I also have to consider that is the electric, gas (for the waterheater), water, and sewer. I have the AC set on 74 upstairs and down so that it will be consistantly cool. I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom townhouse of around 1600 square feet.
    I figure it isn't too bad though since I have been home all month except for a few days when we went out of town.

    I paid around $120 when I was in the apartment (2 bedroom, 2 bath and less than 1000 square feet) for just water and electric.
     
  8. jenngugs

    jenngugs Companion

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    Jun 29, 2008

    See mine is for just electric, our heat and water are included in the price of the rent.
     
  9. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I would go check on your bill. That's a big increase! I have a two story house and just got air last year. We keep it at 73 and our bills only go up 40 -50 dollars in the summer. Although we do turn it off at night because it cools off.
     
  10. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    $175 is extreme for the temperature that you keep your apartment, especially for a 1 bedroom. When was the last time they changed your air filter? The air filter should be changed at least every 6 months. Also, how old is the air conditioning unit? They typically need to be replaced every 15 years. Also, when was the last they serviced it? Cleaned out air ducts and everything? Those are important to keeping an air conditioner functioning properly. What are the bills like for your neighbors? Apartment complexes don't usually do much, but if you can rally together other people, you stand a better chance. :(

    Our electric bills were high when we lived in our apartment, but they never got THAT high! We topped out at about $120-$130 in the summer months. We have our own house now (4br, 2.5ba) and we're air conditioning two stories. We keep our temperature set at 76 in the daytime and 74 at night. Our air conditioning unit is old though and needs to be replaced in the next 3-4 years. Our electric bill was $123 for last month.
     
  11. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Our electric usually goes up about $25. a month in the summer. We have a 4 bedroom, 1800 square foot ,two story house, but we have LOTS of trees, so that helps keep it cooler.

    I would definitely check out a bill that jumped that much.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    The outside environment makes a big difference, as does insulation, an attic fan, how often doors open and close, the age of the A/C, whether or not you have it serviced regularly.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Ours used to flucuate quite a bit, then my husband put us on the payment plan. We keep the house at 68 in the winter (65 at night & during the day) and during the summer it's set at 76, although on really hot days I may turn it down. When we go on vacation in the summer I turn it up to 78. I love my programmable thermostat!
     
  14. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Ours hasn't gone up yet, but I also haven't turned the air on more than just a few nights. Even at that we turn it on before bed time and I turn it off when I get up. We have to have it insanely low to get the cold air to go up, we only have two vents upstairs. Upstairs is the same size as down, but with less than half the vents, go figure. Our house is 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, 1100 sq. ft.
     
  15. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We lived in a 2-story townhouse many years ago that was about 1000 sq ft with an electric bill of over $300. My electric bill last month was $175. My house is 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3600 sq ft. We got to "re-model" several years ago due to Hurricane Rita and spent a little more than the insurance gave us to replace the air conditioner on a very high efficiency unit. With my old unit, my electric bill would have been about $100 more than it was.
     
  16. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    I own a two bedroom, one bathroom converted log cabin that was built in 1910. It doesn't have central air but instead has a swamp cooler.

    A swamp cooler is a foam pad soaked in water. A large fan blows cool air from the water soaked pad throughout the house.

    The swamp cooler only has two settings, high and low. I can't adjust the temperature as I might with the thermostat on an A/C. The drawback to using a swamp cooler is that it doesn't work in humid weather and it doesn't work when the temperature soars into the triple digits.

    To offset days when the swamp cooler doesn't work, I have a portable A/C unit in my bedroom. A heavy curtain hangs over the bedroom door. This keeps the cool air in the bedroom while also allowing my cats access to and from the rest of the house. The temperature in my bedroom is set to 77 degrees.

    Since I live in a rural area, my utility bill includes gas, sewage, trash removal, and electricity.

    Total bill for last month (which is the highest I've seen in the past year) ... $155.53.
     
  17. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    We live in a 3 bedroom single wide mobile home, and ours went up about $60 this month.

    One thing to think about is that your power company may be raising rates. My preacher's bill went up $70 this month PLUS he had to pay a $150 surcharge to cover "the rising costs of energy". His bill for the one month was over $300!
     
  18. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Does anyone have a levalized billing system? Our bill is actually averaged over 12 months so that we pay nearly the same amount every month. So even though my bill last month was $175, I paid $93 which is the average.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, our electric cooperative offers budget billing as you describe.

    We have just a tad over 2700 square feet and our last bill dated June 6 was $76. However, we are rarely upstairs and so we only heat and cool the main floor (~1850 square feet) and just keep the upstairs tolerable. We are also very energy conscious and thought of that in the building process.

    Good luck!
     
  20. mrsarbogast

    mrsarbogast Rookie

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    Ouch!

    Our electric bills have been pretty decent and we've been running fans and our AC downstairs. We did get a rate increase letter recently though but only to the tune of 11% increase. Ours have been running between $80 and $90 bi-monthly.
     
  21. jenngugs

    jenngugs Companion

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    Well, I spoke with the manager in the office today and was told that $140- $180 is a pretty average price to pay for a one bedroom apartment in the summer. I'm still skeptical, especially now that I've investigated and can't find a model number on the air conditioner to see how old it might be.

    At least I'm not alone!
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    That just seems so high to me. Do you know how much you pay per kWh? If you haven't already, maybe you can try:

    1. Buying thermal curtains
    2. Keeping most of the curtains closed when the sunlight would be beaming directly into the apartment
    3. Re-caulk your windows (we did in our apartment because they were way too drafty in the winter)
    4. Don't keep electronics on unnecessarily...computers and big screen tvs are heaters!
    5. Use a ceiling or box fan

    I'm sure if you researched online there would be tons of things to do, but these are just too easy to not do. Good luck with, really!
     
  23. Writer's Block

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    WOW!!! You have no idea how envious I am right now. If my bill was under $200, there is a lot of shopping I could have been doing!

    My husband said to me the other night, "You can't leave the air on 76 upstairs anymore...our electric bill is $582."

    I almost died right there! We have two units, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

    $200...love it!
     
  24. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    We have the opposite problem with temperature. Our condo is in the shade, and it's FREEZING! Even in the summer. I'm always turning on the heat, and our bill was really high last month. I'm just going to have to put on extra layers, I guess.
     
  25. MelissainGA

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    I asked today when I went to pay my bill since I am not doing anything different than I have been and my bill jumped 91 dollars. The lady @ the office said that it was due to the fact that the "PCA" charges went up and are about to go up again. She said that's what they have to base their charges on.

    Oh well there goes the raise for the next school year.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We pay around $150/month in the summer months for the electricity in our two-bedroom apartment. We run the A/C almost 24/7 because it is so hot here in the desert. With temps reaching 120 in the daytime and rarely dipping below 95 overnights, it costs a lot to keep our place cool. Our thermostat is set to about 74, which is the warmest I can stand it. (I'm a cold weather girl! I'd prefer it if the temps in the house were no higher than 65!)
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And another thing is that electric companies charge in a really odd way. From what I understand, the rate you pay per kWh varies throughout the day, depending on peak usage. So, you might pay more for using your A/C just between 12:00 and 2:00 PM than you would pay for using your A/C for the whole rest of the day.
     
  28. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    I live on the coast of Texas and the temperature has been around 98. At night I keep the thermostat set at 73 and during the day 76. My June bill was $331. I can only imagine what July and August will be like.
     
  29. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    Our bill is supposed to go up 30 percent. I haven't received the bill yet. I'm home all day, in and out...doing laundry, cooking more...when other times I'd be at school all day. It is also in the 90s every day, and we don't have much shade. We have an old ac unit, which is not very efficient. I keep the thermostat on 80 and we use fans. We never adjust the thermostat. I can't wait to see how high my bill jumps. I should receive it this next week. Our ac seems to run nonstop, and when it does turn off, it only stays off for about 5 minutes! Our upstairs is basically a loft, and this time of year it is hot up there to sleep, even at night. We have camping beds and move downstairs. It is a pain to put the beds up everyday so they aren't in the way. We have no bedrooms downstairs; we sleep on the den floor which is the first room you see as you enter the house. I like summer, but the heat and humidity is a pain in the badonkadonk! I guess like everything else, power bills will go up so they can cut their losses with gas prices too. Everything has gone up. It is almost too costly to live anymore!
     

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