Our Energy Bill Keeps Going Up

I am wondering if you all can help me pinpoint where our electricity is going. Starting approximately in November our electric bill began going sky high. We hadn't changed any of our habits that we could think of, yet our KW per hour usage started to go up. We don't watch much TV and our computers had both bit the dust so we weren't spending time on them.

We both work so we're gone pretty much during the day. When December hit and our bill was even worse I decided to ratchet down; changed all the light bulbs to compact fluorescent, clamped down on TV and computer time, talked on the phone in the dark! I nearly died when I got my next bill and I'd used 7 KW hours MORE!

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We're now in a new house and our usage has half again increased and I'm not sure what to do. Our local utilities don't do energy audits. We do cook at home but usually on the stovetop and we've not changed that much. Our "new to us" appliances are older, which could account for some of the half again increase, but I can't figure where the first allotment has come from! Does anyone have any suggestions of where to look?

kellyanne77 from CT

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Well, if you don't mind having to reset every digital clock in the house, try turning everything off at the circuit breakers, then go outside and look at the meter. It ought to be slowed down to nothing. If it is still moving, I would call your electric utility and ask for someone to come out and check it.

Also, does your energy company do "estimated" or actual meter-read billings? Sometimes the estimated ones are wayyyyyy off for people who conserve. Then when they finally do come and do the actual reading, your next bill is very low.

There are a lot of newer homes with crummy insulation jobs! Closing doors between rooms, keeping heavy curtains (in less-used rooms) closed, etc. can all help. If you can get a timer for your water heater, or even have a switch installed where it is convenient, you would be surprised how much of a difference it can make to only run it a couple of hours a day. (You'd have it come on an hour or so before you take your morning showers; then again in the evening for dishes, laundry, etc.) Also, an insulation blanket around it helps keep the water warm.

On a cold day, walk around and feel for drafts. Outlets can be a wicked culprit. I keep my appliance garage closed in the kitchen, as it creates a draft!

Don't run vent fans any longer than necessary--they're just sucking cold air in as they vent the warm air out.

If you have a freezer that is not full, fill the empty space with recycled jugs filled with water, or even paper bags filled with newspapers. Unplug small appliances except when in use.

I hope it helps!

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Once you turn the breakers off, use a stop watch and turn one at a time on. Check the speed of the meter with each breaker and you can pinpoint which has the appliance, etc. that is using excessive power. It takes a while, but is worth it. My uncle's was apump in his well for outside watering and my sister's was an older model deep freeze.

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

have you checked to see if there are any wires running from your house to your neighborsl. sorry to say, but this sometimes happens that someone is stealing your electricity

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Do you plug in your cars? We did in Alaska, and Dec-Feb were KILLER! But you couldn't start your car without doing it! also, check your exterior plugs for neighbors "leeching!"

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Believe it or not I saw on energy saving tip on TV that leaving small electrical appliances suck more $$$ than you can imagine. Like toothbrushes, waterpiks, toasters, UNPLUG after using.

Hubby and I are paying LESS for a new large 3 bdrm 3 bath home than we did when we rented a patio/duplex home in electric bills never figured that one out.

Oh yeah its always the small stuff check for drafts around windows and doors those little rubber strips under on on side of doors can be damaged and there goes your $$$ out the door.

At dark turn on lights inside and step outside from door and check for leaks, where you see light

it is a leak.

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March 23, 20060 found this helpful

If you have a water bed check that the heater isn't shorted out and pumps on fish tanks short out and cause a leak on electric we had both problems happen before. good luck

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March 23, 20060 found this helpful

I hear you loud and clear. The kids grew up and moved out, my husband and I are very careful about turning things off, etc. And yet the watts used went up????? Guess what ? our neighbor is a lineman for the electric company. Does that give you a hint to our problem??? Solution ??? We've tried calling the electric co. - no luck.

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March 24, 20060 found this helpful

We to are having the same problem. My husband got fed up last week and went to the electric company again. He refused to talk to the person he normally was told to talk to and asked to speak with someone else. They came to our house this morning and have hooked up a second meter along with our old meter. This will test to see if the meter is faulty. After about 5 years we are finally getting some help from them. I guess some times you just have to get a little angry for assistance. They also looked over our wiring on the outside and have made some suggestions of things that we could possibly upgrade to save us money in the long run. I guess to me it is worth a few hundred dollars now to get away from our electric bill that normally runs $200 a month for a family of four.

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March 26, 20060 found this helpful

I would start by checking your water heater. Ours was a problem and we got a new one, our electric bill went down $40 a month. I have heard that a refridgerator can cause a dramatic change in electric if it is old as well.

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

turn off the extra lights at night also..turn off porch lights this was $10.00 on my bill...saved over $20.00 buy going florencent bulbs..watch laundry loads and dryer..you can waste money doing little loads..turn the heat down when not at home for long hours..

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June 21, 20060 found this helpful

Well I think I might have found the culprit. It was the water heater - we got ourselves a timer and managed to save $30 this month alone. Hubby had turned up the temperature 5 degrees, and it reflected nearly $20 extra a month!

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