Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40

Thread: Utility Bills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,137

    Utility Bills

    Malcolm's trials with electricity costs has me feeling very lucky.

    Here in Michigan we have very few outages and the cost is low. Our house is a 1300 sq ft ranch plus a full basement. A large garage and nice outdoor areas make it very livable for two. We run heat and A/C at comfortable levels and don't spare the lights. No sliding glass doors, no skylights, no fireplace, no heat sucking second floor plus good windows and doors make it tight.

    Our gas and electric bills are each under $1,000/year.

    BTW we have a 1985 gas furnace, it runs well and has passed recent inspection. One new electronic module and a new gas valve in 34 years. I don't think a high efficiency furnace could pay for itself if it ran for 100 years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,039
    My electric rates are just over 12 cents a KWH which is right about the national average. I was spending about $800 on electricity per year before I got solar. Right now, I have a $400 credit on my electric bill, but my solar is not generating enough right now cover my usage so the credit is getting eaten up. I should be back to near full production in March as the snow melts quickly and a lot more sun by then. My natural gas bill is right about $600. I have a high efficiency furnace as the house didn't have a furnace when I bought it.

    My house has new Andersen windows and doors plus spray foam in the attic so very efficient. It is one story, but I am not sure that is more efficient than a two story.

    Edit: forgot to mention my house is 1,300 square feet with detached garage. I don't think the power has gone out even once a year in five years. It helps that the city I live in has required underground power lines for many years.
    Last edited by Brian Elfert; 12-31-2019 at 12:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    51,562
    Our energy use is quite a bit higher than yours, Tom. Some of that is because it's a much larger home (4200 sq ft) with two HVAC systems, on-site well and pumped septic and two young adults who, um...are not necessarily frugal, although they have gotten a lot better. My shop also contributes, but since installing the Mini-Split, it's now negligible even with full time use compared to what heating with resistance cost for "only when I'm out there" part time use. The other piece is that our local electric and natural gas rates are what they are. If I had to mentally average our monthly electric/gas bill, I'd say it would be close to $400-450 a month "on average", but fluctuates between a low of about $300 up to as much as $600. That's lower than it was a few years ago because of replacing the well pump and the changes to my shop system already mentioned. Our outages last about 15 seconds...we have a whole house generation system which gets action more often that we would prefer simply because electric utilities are aerial around here and wind happens.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Malcolm's trials with electricity costs has me feeling very lucky.

    Here in Michigan we have very few outages and the cost is low. Our house is a 1300 sq ft ranch plus a full basement. A large garage and nice outdoor areas make it very livable for two. We run heat and A/C at comfortable levels and don't spare the lights. No sliding glass doors, no skylights, no fireplace, no heat sucking second floor plus good windows and doors make it tight.

    Our gas and electric bills are each under $1,000/year.
    My story is more like Jim's, some months up to about $500 for electricity, no natural gas here. But we have a two story timber frame house with skylights. Also, a 24x62 shop building with heat pumps in both buildings. Farm lights around shop and barn, nine electric heaters all winter for livestock water tubs and poultry waterers.

    When we lived in the city of Oak Ridge power outages were so frequent I bought a generator. Out in the country now I can count the power outages in 15 years on one hand and most were very brief, just a minute or two. (A few years ago I did have a 7200volt line up to our transformer that developed a pinhole and had to be dug up and repaired - power was out for a few hours that time!)

    JKJ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    3,913
    I have a 1600 Sq ft house and a 1700 sq ft shop electric averages $100 a month and heat about $60 a month live just south of Cleveland in the secondary snow belt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,719
    We pay $.05/kwh here and power outages are very rare and usually not more than a few seconds when they do occur. Part of me wants to have solar, a Power Wall, and a backup generator, but the economics just aren't there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    367
    Our home is very old (circa 1838) around 1500 sq feet, Cape style. We also heat 2 outbuildings 576 sq ft and 728 sq ft. House is insulated to about R14, since that was all the room there is for insulation. Outbuildings have 5-1/2" walls filled with blown cellulose and ceilings with approximately 24" of cellulose. Home and both buildings are heated with Wall Hung boilers and radiant floor heat. Our yearly natural gas usage is about 750 ccf and we have 5400 heating degree days. Our electrical usage is much higher, but we choose to operate a "Crawl Space" dehumidifier year around in the basement.
    Last edited by Lisa Starr; 12-31-2019 at 11:55 AM. Reason: added heating degree days

  8. #8
    I track our utility costs on spreadsheets and have a history back about 8 or 9 years (when we moved into this house). Our average annual cost is:

    Electricity = about $200/year. We installed solar part way through so it makes the average a bit difficult to figure. Without solar it was about $1,000 year. The electric company keeps changing the rate structure. In the beginning with our solar we were zeroed out.
    Natural gas = $208/year
    Water = $1,705/year Irrigating the lawn, trees, and plants keeps this costs high.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 12-31-2019 at 1:43 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    306
    Here in Michigan we have very few outages and the cost is not low. Our house is a 1950 sq ft ranch plus a full basement. A large garage and nice outdoor areas make it very livable for three. We run heat and A/C at comfortable levels and don't spare the lights. One sliding glass door, no skylights, one gas fireplace, no heat sucking second floor plus good windows and doors make it tight.

    Our gas bill is under $1,000/year. Our electric bill is about $2600/year.

    BTW we have a 2003 gas furnace, it runs well and has passed recent inspection.

    Tom, are you available to talk to my wife and daughter?
    "Don't worry. They couldn't possibly hit us from that dist...."

  10. #10
    According to our PoCo's website I'm paying 10c per kW. Our place is essentially identical to Tom's, except the garage isn't all that big, and for the past 6 years it's been part of our engraving shop. Last I counted there were 81 4' florescent tubes lighting up the garage and basement, which is all shop. In 2018 our equal pay power bill was $562 a month. Since then I've changed out quite a few florescent tubes to LED's, been keeping more lights and equipment off when not needed, and what turned out to be a huge help, replaced a cracked water separator that was attached to my big air compressor that I didn't realize was leaking so bad (compressor is in shed outside). Our bill this year went down to $455...

    Heat, hot water and cooking are all natural gas. Furnace is a Goodman 110k BTU that replaced a 140k Airtemp about 15 years ago. I hear bad things about Goodman but from the moment it went in our gas usage dropped near 30%. The way it works wastes very little heat, very efficient for an 80%er... The garage shop I heat with an NG fired ventless 22k btu wall heater. Our NG equal-pay bill is only $54 a month, even with all the original 53 year old windows. But many years ago my old man had the attic topped off with about 18" of blown glass, and it does help. But a big reason our gas bill is so low is because of all the engraving equipment, when the machines and computers are working they're putting out heat! Being slow the past week I haven't had to use the machines in the garage much, and with them off I noticed the garage stays around 62 with the outdoors at around 28, but with 4 machines active, the temp hovers around 67. The basement is noticeably cooler with all the machinery off too. So the electric bill DOES help lower the gas bill.

    The only utility complaint I have is the ridiculous water bill, it's over $120 a month. But we got really really nice curb & gutter and street lighting around town...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Eastern Iowa
    Posts
    485
    Mike, Kev, is that your water bill only, or water and sewage?
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    367
    Forgot to include my water/sewer in my prior post. No complaints there, it is $425.00/year for the pair. Now, if my electric would be reasonable,...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Velasquez View Post
    Mike, Kev, is that your water bill only, or water and sewage?
    I'm not absolutely sure, but I think we pay sewage as part of our property tax bill. I'm pretty sure it's not included on the water bill. I'd have to go look up my property tax bill to be sure.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,137
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Turkovich View Post
    Here in Michigan we have very few outages and the cost is not low. Our house is a 1950 sq ft ranch plus a full basement. A large garage and nice outdoor areas make it very livable for three. We run heat and A/C at comfortable levels and don't spare the lights. One sliding glass door, no skylights, one gas fireplace, no heat sucking second floor plus good windows and doors make it tight.

    Our gas bill is under $1,000/year. Our electric bill is about $2600/year.

    BTW we have a 2003 gas furnace, it runs well and has passed recent inspection.

    Tom, are you available to talk to my wife and daughter?
    Bob I'm guessing that you have an electric water heater and stove. And a couple of electric hair dryers and maybe some electric heat.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    468

    ...and for a tropical country...

    I live in the suburbs of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our home is only 12 km from Tropic of Capricorn. Living at 800 m of altitude we have an agreeable temperature most of the years but with peaks above 30 degrees C and below 10 degrees Celsius for a few days a year.

    Our home has around 3300 square foot. The house is planned for energy efficiency at some degree but we do not have solar energy or rain water collection.

    Our electricity bill is around 1,200 USD a year, gas around 250 USD and water and sewage is 200 USD. Four adults living here. I expect the bills will decrease something as our children will not live here next year.
    All the best.

    Osvaldo.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •