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savafan
01-21-2008, 08:46 PM
I just paid my first Duke Energy bill since I moved south of Dayton, and I have to say that I'm flabbergasted. I didn't use any more electricity than I normally do over the last month...in fact, I've used less because I don't have lamps here, and it cost me $78 more than the average I spent per month up north.

Why is electricity so high down here? I mean...it's electricity...

Someone please educate me.

BUTLER REDSFAN
01-21-2008, 09:32 PM
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008801190358

savafan
01-21-2008, 09:48 PM
That almost seems criminal...

vaticanplum
01-21-2008, 10:00 PM
Do you pay your heat, sava? If so, that's got to be it. I'm don't pay for heat and my energy bill is always $25-30 a month. Unless you have a huge place or are expending a huge amount of electricity somehow, I really can't think of anything else. Corporate misplay notwithstanding -- it's not enough to make that big a difference.

Heating is very expensive everywhere at the moment. Tough to accept but I think that's par for the course.

Yachtzee
01-21-2008, 10:35 PM
Do you pay your heat, sava? If so, that's got to be it. I'm don't pay for heat and my energy bill is always $25-30 a month. Unless you have a huge place or are expending a huge amount of electricity somehow, I really can't think of anything else. Corporate misplay notwithstanding -- it's not enough to make that big a difference.

Heating is very expensive everywhere at the moment. Tough to accept but I think that's par for the course.

Especially if you have electric heat, which I feel is more inefficient than gas, based on how poorly electric heat works in my house. In vents furthest from my furnace, the air blows cool and my fairly new hot water heater heats runs out of hot water fairly quickly in the winter.

savafan
01-21-2008, 10:38 PM
I do pay for heat, but I've always paid for heat...

CrackerJack
01-21-2008, 10:58 PM
My bills are all over the place the last year, and we're left scratching our heads pretty often. I pay close to $300 a month in the winter for just the first floor of a home, and the thermostat doesn't go above 68 (gas) and is often lower. It's our electricity here that's killing us. It's like paying another mortgage or rent every month.

Privatizing energy to the extent they have, is something I was never a fan of. It's not as if it's a service industry. You turn it on, you turn it off, you fix it where applicable. I don't need friendly customer service, just maintain the grids and keep my costs reasonable, and I conserve as much as possible.

Ugh

Ltlabner
01-22-2008, 06:08 AM
Whoever figures out how they charge for energy will have an inside track on figuring out airline prices.

We have a 2100sq tri-level, all electric and we keep it between 68 and 72F depending on our mood. We've never had a bill above $200. Most bills range between $100 and $140 per month. In the in-between months we have bills as low as $60ish.

And we don't do anything to conserve electricity beyond turning the lights off when we aren't in a room and keeping the vents closed in unused rooms. Otherwise we keep it warm in the winter and cold in the summer. (The house, however, is very well insolated, is sealed off very well and has new or newer sub-systems like furnace, heatpump and windows.)

Meanwhile, I know friends who have simular sized homes who go out of their way to conserve, keep the temps cool in the winter and warm in the Summer, etc etc. And they pay LOTS more than we do.

Ltlabner
01-22-2008, 06:52 AM
I just paid my first Duke Energy bill since I moved south of Dayton, and I have to say that I'm flabbergasted. I didn't use any more electricity than I normally do over the last month...in fact, I've used less because I don't have lamps here, and it cost me $78 more than the average I spent per month up north.

Why is electricity so high down here? I mean...it's electricity...

Someone please educate me.

After my post I got to thinking, how does the insolation and windows in the new home compare to the old one? Did you have a home inspection...if so, what is the depth of the insolation in the attic? That can make a huge difference. Also, how old and ineffecient is the furnace/heating system.

I have spent a lot of time adding to the insolation and caulking every little hole I can find on the exterior of the home. We have cedar siding and I put that spray foam underneath the last piece of siding that overlaps the brick on the 1st story to seal it off.

Also, our windows are relativley new and our furnace and heat pump is only a year or two old. That can make a huge difference. Old furnances, even if working properally can be less effecient (a.k.a. More Expensive) than newer systems.

In the wintertime I put up heavy plastic pannels on the inside of the screened-in porch. This keeps the wind from blowing directly against the bedroom (the porch is off the master bedroom) and keeps the porch a few degrees warmer. That, in turn, keeps that room a little warmer. Also, I put the same very heavy plastic over the sliding glass door from the master bedroom to the porch. That helps a lot as sliding glass doors are not much better than a bedsheet for sealing off a room.

Mrs. Ltlabner also made very heavy curtians (heavy as in very thick) for the inside of the sliding glass door in the bedroom, and over the bay window in the living room. Those help to keep drafts out and, again, create an insilating pocket.

While I agree the price of energy is a mystery (see my previous post) you may want to explore your new home, compare it to the old one and evaluate whether you've done all you can to improve effeciency before just dumping it on corporate shenagins.

vaticanplum
01-22-2008, 08:06 PM
I do pay for heat, but I've always paid for heat...

Well, the cost of heat keeps going up. Welcome to centralized resources, my friend :)

Seriously, heat costs have increased even further this winter from what I understand, and we're in the middle of some pretty bitter cold. If you still don't think that can account for the disparity in costs, it is worth checking out your place of living (are you in a basement apartment where you're inadvertently paying for the laundry room electricity? Are there appliances that you're leaving running for too long?)

You also need to check out the line items of your bill. You say that you recently moved. There's a strong possibility that you had to put down a deposit that will be spread out over the next couple of bills. Obviously, you'll get that back someday, but it will inflate your bill for a couple of months.

Beyond that, I think it's just the cost of living these days, though. I've dealt with numerous energy suppliers in my adult lifetime, and really for someone in my situation -- smallish rented dwelling etc., which I presume is close to your situation -- there aren't many differences apart from universal cost increases.

pedro
01-22-2008, 08:12 PM
Your bill should tell you how much you are paying per unit. The first thing I'd do is compare your current bill to one of your old ones to see if you are paying the same unit cost. that'll tell you whether you are really being charged more or whether you are for some reason (more space, worse insulation, worse weather etc) you are just using more energy. Comparing the total price of a month of service really isn;t going to to tell you anything meaningful without digging into the details.

Ltlabner
01-22-2008, 08:17 PM
There's a strong possibility that you had to put down a deposit that will be spread out over the next couple of bills.


Your bill should tell you how much you are paying per unit. The first thing I'd do is compare your current bill to one of your old ones to see if you are paying the same unit cost...

:thumbup:

Very good thoughts.

Bip Roberts
01-22-2008, 08:21 PM
The problem is located in the thread title.

Stewie
01-22-2008, 08:53 PM
I just paid my first Duke Energy bill since I moved south of Dayton, and I have to say that I'm flabbergasted. I didn't use any more electricity than I normally do over the last month...in fact, I've used less because I don't have lamps here, and it cost me $78 more than the average I spent per month up north.

Why is electricity so high down here? I mean...it's electricity...

Someone please educate me.

Agreed. I just moved to Cincinnati recently from Dayton, as well, and noticed that my Duke Energy bill was significantly higher than what I was paying DP&L. Of course, my place in Dayton was quite smaller, and the apt complex paid for heat, so my monthly bill was roughly $20-25. So I really had no clue what to expect from Duke. The only real surprise was the $80 deposit. Wasn't expecting that.

savafan
01-22-2008, 08:59 PM
Agreed. I just moved to Cincinnati recently from Dayton, as well, and noticed that my Duke Energy bill was significantly higher than what I was paying DP&L. Of course, my place in Dayton was quite smaller, and the apt complex paid for heat, so my monthly bill was roughly $20-25. So I really had no clue what to expect from Duke. The only real surprise was the $80 deposit. Wasn't expecting that.

They didn't make me put down a deposit.

I used roughly close to the same amount of kWh as last winter. The difference is that with DP&L I was paying .0386 cents per unit while with Duke I'm paying .0764 cents per unit.

WSNCWFU#1
01-22-2008, 09:17 PM
I put in a secondary Heat Pump last year (also have a Gas Boiler Hot Water heating system) and let Duke know I now had all my major appliances using electric I then was eligible for a "better" rate schedule because of theis it dropped by cost per KWH alot. Check with Duke Power to see what rate schedule you are being charged. Duke Power will provide the rate schedules if you call them and you can then see what it takes to get the best rate.

D-Man
01-22-2008, 09:31 PM
I just paid my first Duke Energy bill since I moved south of Dayton, and I have to say that I'm flabbergasted. I didn't use any more electricity than I normally do over the last month...in fact, I've used less because I don't have lamps here, and it cost me $78 more than the average I spent per month up north.

Why is electricity so high down here? I mean...it's electricity...

Someone please educate me.

The price depends on a lot of factors. . .

1.) Insulation. Is your new place old or new? I live in a 1936 bungalow and it has a ton of heat loss in the winter, due to the lack of insulation. (I guess insulation was more expensive than oil in 1936.)
2.) Appliances. Do you have more appliances in your new place? How old are they, and how efficient are they? How about your hot water heater?
3.) Usage patterns. Do you use power more now during the day than you did before? When do you run your dryer?
4.) Heating. Did you go from heat pump to electric? That could explain your spike.
5.) Wall warts. Do you leave things plugged into the wall during the day that you don't use, e.g., coffee machine, cell phone charger, stereo, TV? They might be draining your power.

Without knowing your particular circumstances, my quick recommendations would be to spend $29 and get a programmable thermostat, and drop it to 62 degrees when you aren't there; seal any air leaks around windows and doors; replace your lightbulbs with the fluorescent ones (you'll save a ton over the long haul); get adapters to address the drain of energy due to wall warts; insulate; and when you replace appliances, always look for EnergyStar.

These recommendations will probably cut your energy costs by more than half, and nearly all of them are easy to do.

The EPA has a great site on how to save energy in your area.

http://hes.lbl.gov/

Rojo
01-23-2008, 01:44 PM
I have some friends that just moved back from Hamilton to SF. They moved to Ohio in the first place to take advantage of low real estate prices and buy a house. But they moved back because they figured the utilities made housing costs a wash and jobs pay way more out here.

RBA
01-23-2008, 03:39 PM
Was an accurate meter reading conducted when you moved in? You could be paying for the previous tenant or all the electrc use when your apartment/house was renovated such as electric to paint, shampoo carpet, etc.

savafan
01-23-2008, 06:06 PM
There was no previous tenant, and the electric was turned off when I moved in.

The only difference I've been able to cite is that before I was living in an apartment on the middle floor, and now I'm on the top floor.

Yachtzee
01-23-2008, 07:01 PM
There was no previous tenant, and the electric was turned off when I moved in.

The only difference I've been able to cite is that before I was living in an apartment on the middle floor, and now I'm on the top floor.

a roof, hmm. more exterior walls too? that could be part of it.

bengalsown
01-23-2008, 07:17 PM
Mine's pretty ridiculous as well...

$245 a month for the budget billing, 2000 sq ft 2 story house with fully insulated garage, and many insulation upgrades, the house itself is 2.5 years old...

I need to get some fluorescents I guess. And a storm door because my front door is pretty drafty...

I have a feeling my plasma TV is an energy hog as well along with my home theater receiver which is on anytime the tv is on

RBA
01-23-2008, 10:11 PM
a roof, hmm. more exterior walls too? that could be part of it.

Yup, heat rises, but if there is poor insulation that could be a problem. Also, isn't it colder up there this year than last year?

TeamBoone
01-23-2008, 10:18 PM
I had a weird bill in August. Well over $300 when all my others were below $200 (about $175 average). I looked at the usage and it didn't look any different. I just figured the rates went up (per the usual), but in September it was normal again. I never persued an explanation but probably should have.

Ravenlord
01-23-2008, 10:43 PM
The only difference I've been able to cite is that before I was living in an apartment on the middle floor, and now I'm on the top floor.

in most places the higher you go, the lower the heat cost goes.

vaticanplum
01-24-2008, 01:42 PM
They didn't make me put down a deposit.

I used roughly close to the same amount of kWh as last winter. The difference is that with DP&L I was paying .0386 cents per unit while with Duke I'm paying .0764 cents per unit.

What charges are you talking about sava, distribution or generation? My generation charges (throught Duke) are close to what your old ones are and my distribution charges even lower.

We can theorize all you want, but if you truly believe that the problems lie within your bill and not your home (which you seem to), you need to contact Duke directly and have them go through your bill with you line item by line item. Either there's a mistake or you're consuming energy somewhere you don't realize. Duke's unit pricing is competitive with other companies at this time.

Cyclone792
01-24-2008, 03:38 PM
I had a weird bill in August. Well over $300 when all my others were below $200 (about $175 average). I looked at the usage and it didn't look any different. I just figured the rates went up (per the usual), but in September it was normal again. I never persued an explanation but probably should have.

IIRC, that was the time when we had some serious scorching weather here, TB. Lots of mid 90s and higher days in a stretch of three or four weeks. Your AC may have been running heavily to try to keep your place cool and could have been the culprit driving your bill up.