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Discussion Starter #1
Got the electric bill this month and it is $ 52 higher than last month.
I went outside to take the reading and then got on the phone with the electric company. Seems so they estimated this bill, using last year's kwh's.
I was pissed ......
I explained to her that last year and this year are totally different. This year, we are using a outside wood furnace which heats the house and heats our hot water. So we should get a cheaper bill for next month if they do a actual reading. Which the lady on the phone, told me to let them know if they pull another estimate. Which then if they do, I will be able to submit a actual reading.
I should be able to then average the 2 bills together to get a more closer reading. So as of today, I will be taking a reading every day myself.

Good thing, I noticed it said....estimate.......
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It's now official in this house.....the electric bill and I are at war .......

I been tracking the usage for the last week.
KWH's per day are 27, 30, 36, 32, 19, 22, 36

I have came to the conclusion that the washer and dryer are the culprits for the big daily differences. I just started a load, took the meter reading, and will take it when washer is done, and then, do the meter reading, after the dryer.
I told the hubby I have to dry inside in this winter weather, but at least, I can make sure I am doing full loads each time. My clothes I only dry part way and then hang to dry to keep the wrinkles down. His work clothes and the towels take extra drying time. Maybe I can get a nice day and hang some on the deck ( has roof ) this winter.
All I can say is......they better NOT estimate this next one.....
they WILL be making a adjustment........

Point being....they CAN get to that meter. No excuse for a estimate.
 

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Dryers use a lot of electricity. I know I save approx. $20 per month not having a dryer.

You're right, there is no excuse for estimated bills unless like us every second month, our's is estimated. I don't like it, however that's their routine.
 

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Did they sometimes estimate the bill in the past?
Ours used to estimate every other month, maybe to cut back on gas to drive to each house & the manpower to do it, who knows... I think many electric utilities allow you to relate the numbers to them by a certain date each month so you can be billed for actual usage when they can't get to you.
Good luck getting that bill just where you are comfortable.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I am still taking a meter reading every afternoon, and writing it down in a log book. Also tracking laundry loads per day so I can see any patterns. Which it does jump up, when I do any laundry. So hopefully as soon as better weather gets here, I can line dry again.

The electric company estimated 2 different months this year. Which is not a big deal, and nothing I really paid attention to in the past.
But now with the outside wood furnace going, I was so hoping to see a better reading than last year, and the electric company denied me that because of their estimate.
It's when you work so hard, and then hope to see a *reward* and then it don't happen. Well this next month it should be a lot better bill, and I will be wearing a big grin.
And if they estimate again, I will be back on the phone with them and she will refiqure it this time. I want my *reward* this time around :)
 

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We've done many things that have helped lower the electric and gas bill - you know those little lists about insulation behind the outlets, CF bulbs, phantom electricity (put power strips on the TV so we can switch it completely off), etc....

- We put bubble wrap on all our windows when temperatures drop. How to: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/bubblewrap.htm

Windows are also covered with insulated Levolor blinds and the entrance is covered with insulated curtains that are drawn most of the time to keep the cold out in the winter, but also keeps the heat out in the summer. There's a 5° warmer difference in our entrance from the rest of the house just from glare from the sun off the neighbors garage doors if we don't close the curtains over the entrance door. In a former townhouse we lived in, I made window quilts for all the windows.

-We strung clothes line in an unused room in the basement and installed a ceiling fan for increased air movement and to help dry the clothing. I also have a long clothes rod against one wall where I hang wet clothes, that normally gets hung on a hanger, to dry. I rarely use the dryer. In fact, I like the basement line so well, I rarely hang clothes outside anymore. No wind blowing things off the line and into the next county, bird poo, hiden wasp/bug, allergens, and no fading from the sun.

- Have you cleaned behind your refrigerator lately? If it's an older model, it may pay to replace it with an energy efficient one.

- Air dry, rather than heat dry, in the dishwasher.

- Eliminate extra refrigerators/freezers - especially older energy "hogs" that tend to be out in the garage. These are wonderful conveniences for food bargains, but suck up enough electricity to void the savings that you store IN them. Neither refrigerators or refrigerators are designed to work effieicntly in hot garages....

- Keep the fan on your furnace on CONSTANTLY - even if the furnace or air conditioner are off, and especially when they are on. This moves the air and keeps the temperature more even and more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Two and a half years ago, we added on a new room, a deck with a roof,all new roof shingles entire structure, new siding ( T1-11, the thicker of the 2 ), and all new windows. We also did some extra insulation. This year, we got a new frig, and a new freezer.

Outside wood furnace keeps it 78 to 80 on the part closest to the furnace, and 70 at the far end. Blower runs when heat is called for. No extra fans.
This is a double wide with 6" walls. No basement, no attic. And now because of our addition, deck, siding.....if you see our house from the road, you would have no clue it is a manufactured home. We have 2 acres in the country, and our own well water and septic system. So no extra costs there.

So far I am beating the electric usage from a year ago. We only use electric, and the propane is only for the kitchen stove now. Wood we did buy but we hope to get some for free this summer.

We keep our freezer in the garage. It's separate from the house, and cold out there. And in summer, it's quite cool. We tried a freezer in the house this past summer....wrong....it ran constantly. It was a frost free. I took it back and got a manual one.
We do have the old freezer but it is not currently on, as it is only the backup unit now.

I am just hoping for a early spring ......hello line drying :)
 

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My HVAC man said NOT to leave the furnace fan on constantly because it uses more electricity and it will wear out the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did not understand the sentence about keeping the furnace blower on constantly either.

That would be a good way to burn the motor blower out.

When we first started our OWB (outside wood burner) on September 1 , we had a sauna in here. The blower ran almost constantly. It was not till sometime in October, that we had the guy back up to check it out. We had due to wiring problems, back feeding going on. Two furnace systems banging heads. The blower did stop and would not not turn back on due to it running almost constantly. Hubby finally got it going again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yesterday I called the electric company and got told, they had a estimate in place for the end of December. Which was another high reading. They were supposed to do a actual reading on Jan 5. So when I called on the 6th in the afternoon, they were supposed to get back to me later in the day and let me know if a actual reading was done.
So no call came in.
This morning, I call, and finally find out, they did do a actual reading on the 5th, and it was put in their system, and over rides the estimate reading. Thank goodness.
The bill for December was $ 152.
Bill for this time is going to be $ 106.
YAY !
So I can average the two months together now.
By taking a reading every day now, I can see a good pattern.
We are averaging 26 kwh per day.
Jan of 2008, we used 1128 for the month.
Jan of 2009, should be about 806 kwh.

So the changes are because of the outside wood furnace
that is also heating our hot water.
And I am doing only full loads now of wash.
When good weather comes , I can hang outside, and do a few small loads again. I hate letting towels pile up.

Moral of this story........keep records, and be persistent :)
 

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I often wonder if they do "estimates" when they need more revenue for a certain month. They always estimate higher than I ever use. Can you tell I don't trust people??
 

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I have done everything imaginable to keep our electric down, but about every 2 to 4 months they keep upping our electric. There's always some excuse my city has to up it. I'm so tired of their excuses!
 
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