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electric bills going up really fast -just me?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My KWHrs number went down year over year but my power bill has gone from ~$100 in 2011 to $145 in the bill that came yesterday Also saw big increases year over year in November December and January. All bills went up a little, month over month and year over year, but it caught my attention in a big way when it went up by 50%!!!


This is horrible and there must be a scam here, is it just Duke Energy in Indiana having this spike or is this across the board?
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post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

My KWHrs number went down year over year but my power bill has gone from ~$100 in 2011 to $145 in the bill that came yesterday Also saw big increases year over year in November December and January. All bills went up a little, month over month and year over year, but it caught my attention in a big way when it went up by 50%!!!


This is horrible and there must be a scam here, is it just Duke Energy in Indiana having this spike or is this across the board?

my electric bill jumped $25 this past month. Been steady for a few years but suddenly jumped. probably a rate hike from AEP in southwest michigan/
post #3 of 27
Time for solar. I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up... But I guess depends on the region. There's only one way regular electricity prices are going to go.

And also, in most areas, there's only one electricity provider, right? And no price protection whatsoever.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post

Time for solar. I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up... But I guess depends on the region. There's only one way regular electricity prices are going to go.

That makes no economic sense whatsoever... The cost of putting up a meaningful amount of solar panels (assuming you have room on a section of your roof that faces south) would be more than you would re-coup during the lifespan of those panels in the savings on your "regular" electric bill.

Now... new home construction in Hawaii is REQUIRED to put solar panels on the roof... and the electric provider is raising rates under the excuse of: "our usage has declined so that our revenue with current rates cannot support our infrastructure." .. in other words, the electric rates are rising BECAUSE the consumers are using solar.

I certainly support the use of solar energy, and if I were building a new house, I'd consider installing it. But your "I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up..." comment is just not economically viable... certainly not when retrofitting old construction.
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post #5 of 27
What about, uh one of those vertical windmills? Those are small enough that they could probably be put in TOWN, even. There's a 4 kilowatt model whose blades stand only about 15 feet tall, and apparently it's nearly silent (as opposed to the more traditional propeller kind).

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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

That makes no economic sense whatsoever... The cost of putting up a meaningful amount of solar panels (assuming you have room on a section of your roof that faces south) would be more than you would re-coup during the lifespan of those panels in the savings on your "regular" electric bill.

Now... new home construction in Hawaii is REQUIRED to put solar panels on the roof... and the electric provider is raising rates under the excuse of: "our usage has declined so that our revenue with current rates cannot support our infrastructure." .. in other words, the electric rates are rising BECAUSE the consumers are using solar.

I certainly support the use of solar energy, and if I were building a new house, I'd consider installing it. But your "I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up..." comment is just not economically viable... certainly not when retrofitting old construction.

But when the state has sell back requirements to the utility and at the same rate they charge for that usage tier the utility company gets handcuffed by their own grid-usage based rate arguments. Then it does become economically viable. If I wasn't so underwater on my house I'd sink the $20K into an array that would reduce my net grid usage below zero (because of sellbacks) and pay for itself in less than 10 years based on constant rates without even counting sellback over my usage. Should rates go up and/or I credit the sellback above my usage the payoff threshold becomes sooner.

That math is why in CA the industry is starting to install panels on roofs and sell the electricity to the house owner at reduced rates, but the owner doesn't own the panels. In exchange for not buying the panels the homeowner gets the zero up front costs and somewhat lower cost electricity, but does not get any of the sellback benefits which can be quite significant in cool coastal areas during periods where the rates are sky-high because of inland heat.
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post #7 of 27
I'll buy that, Hiro...

Though my experience in Hawaii was that the electric companies greatly exaggerated the amount of "sellback" that a typical installation would generate. Most homeowners generated very little sellback... certainly not enough to recoup costs in a typical human lifespan . (Though with NEW construction, the cost is just assumed in the cost of construction, since the panels are mandatory at that point.)

They did, however, dramatically reduce the amount of grid-electricity consumed by those houses, resulting in lower bills, and lower revenues for the electric company... hence their complaints about needing to raise rates.
So during the day, while many people are at work, the solar system was able to keep the house afloat with near-zero grid useage... but after sunset, they still needed to use the grid, but now at rates that were higher than in the "pre-solar era"... so the cost savings didn't appear as expected.

That said, I still think supplemental solar is a great idea, and I'd be likely to incorporate it in a house even where it was NOT mandatory... but I think it's misleading at best... and probably closer to "false advertising" when people are told that they'll recoup the installation costs and save money by installing it.
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #8 of 27
$70+ in NJ with JCP&L. The gas bill with New Jersey Natural Gas is about $129 and it would be cheaper without the heat being on during the cold winter months.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

That makes no economic sense whatsoever... The cost of putting up a meaningful amount of solar panels (assuming you have room on a section of your roof that faces south) would be more than you would re-coup during the lifespan of those panels in the savings on your "regular" electric bill.

Now... new home construction in Hawaii is REQUIRED to put solar panels on the roof... and the electric provider is raising rates under the excuse of: "our usage has declined so that our revenue with current rates cannot support our infrastructure." .. in other words, the electric rates are rising BECAUSE the consumers are using solar.

I certainly support the use of solar energy, and if I were building a new house, I'd consider installing it. But your "I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up..." comment is just not economically viable... certainly not when retrofitting old construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I'll buy that, Hiro...

Though my experience in Hawaii was that the electric companies greatly exaggerated the amount of "sellback" that a typical installation would generate. Most homeowners generated very little sellback... certainly not enough to recoup costs in a typical human lifespan . (Though with NEW construction, the cost is just assumed in the cost of construction, since the panels are mandatory at that point.)

They did, however, dramatically reduce the amount of grid-electricity consumed by those houses, resulting in lower bills, and lower revenues for the electric company... hence their complaints about needing to raise rates.
So during the day, while many people are at work, the solar system was able to keep the house afloat with near-zero grid useage... but after sunset, they still needed to use the grid, but now at rates that were higher than in the "pre-solar era"... so the cost savings didn't appear as expected.

That said, I still think supplemental solar is a great idea, and I'd be likely to incorporate it in a house even where it was NOT mandatory... but I think it's misleading at best... and probably closer to "false advertising" when people are told that they'll recoup the installation costs and save money by installing it.

Fair enough. I suppose I was talking more about if and when ~I myself~ own a house. I'm a bit biased because in Australia most cities have a lot of sunlight. I know in the US it varies a lot depending on the location, but there are also many cities in the US that have great conditions for solar.

The environmental argument notwithstanding (which is why I wouldn't hesitate to use solar if and when I can afford my own place), the economic debate is valid.

That's why I hope in 20 years cost will no longer be an issue. With all the tech we have now, and cheaper manufacturing of panels, could we hit 10% of what it costs now? Because that will be the turning point.

I haven't looked at the details but I wonder if you factor in a 15% rise in grid electricity costs what the return on investment curve will look like.

As for sellbacks, in Australia the states set a price for sellbacks, which unsurprisingly has been reduced ~ a lot of states had gross production returns, but tightened up now to fairly low nett production returns.

I think the key is sustainability. Which means getting off the grid as much as possible. Yes, solar prices have to come down, but we gotta have some decent battery tech... If during 6 of 12 months one produces more than one consumes, then that's a pretty big deal.

Will the Apple of renewable energy please stand up?

Edit: Strangely, if you see recent interviews will Bill Gates, he's advocating his new nuclear plant designs and says it's too "dangerous" for everyone to have solar batteries to run their homes. Fairly ironic coming from a guy that made his millions from blue screens of death.
post #10 of 27
In Texas, we have to choose who to buy our electricity from. The company you choose then supplies electricity to the grid. Local distribution is done by area wide contractors, who maintain the local infrastructure and read the meters. You only deal with the distribution company for maintenance issues, they are paid by the energy providers. As a result you can choose from a myriad of providers and select fixed rate plans (from a few months to a couple of years), or a variable rate plan. Also the providers list the amount of energy they produce from renewable resources, so you can go green if you want (you can even find 100% renewable providers). End result is my rates have gone down from year to year. Many years ago my rate was $0.15/KWH, I just renewed last month for $0.086/KWH for 12 months. I am probably paying more than people in a lot of other states, but I'm just happy to be paying less than I was.

Funniest thing I've seen out of this is pyramid scheme by one provider - sign up enough of your friends and you could even make money. And if they signed up their friends as well, you could make even more money!

Texas summers are the worst for electric bills. Locally we had over 40 days in a row of temperatures over 100. The AC sure makes the meter spin! Wind power is booming though. I know of two wind farms fairly close, and I constantly see tower sections and turbine blades (the really huge ones) being transported down the highway.

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post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diplication View Post

In Texas, we have to choose who to buy our electricity from. The company you choose then supplies electricity to the grid. Local distribution is done by area wide contractors, who maintain the local infrastructure and read the meters. You only deal with the distribution company for maintenance issues, they are paid by the energy providers. As a result you can choose from a myriad of providers and select fixed rate plans (from a few months to a couple of years), or a variable rate plan. Also the providers list the amount of energy they produce from renewable resources, so you can go green if you want (you can even find 100% renewable providers). End result is my rates have gone down from year to year. Many years ago my rate was $0.15/KWH, I just renewed last month for $0.086/KWH for 12 months. I am probably paying more than people in a lot of other states, but I'm just happy to be paying less than I was.

Funniest thing I've seen out of this is pyramid scheme by one provider - sign up enough of your friends and you could even make money. And if they signed up their friends as well, you could make even more money!

Texas summers are the worst for electric bills. Locally we had over 40 days in a row of temperatures over 100. The AC sure makes the meter spin! Wind power is booming though. I know of two wind farms fairly close, and I constantly see tower sections and turbine blades (the really huge ones) being transported down the highway.

im paying like 0.12 now, in a suburb, but was paying like 0.08 when I lived in Indianapolis its self. I wish we had choice, two blocks away from me, I could get the cheaper IPL...

God Bless Texas! LOL

as to the suggestion about solar and wind? can you liberal geniuses fit those gadgets on the nicely shaded deck of my one bedroom apartment, and also, how do you propose I pay for that on a meager sub $40k salary?
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post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

i... and also, how do you propose I pay for that on a meager sub $40k salary?

They don't want YOU to pay for it. they want ME to pay for it for you, in the form of higher tax rates! (As in: they think I should pay a higher tax RATE than you do... So that MY income can subsidize yours.)
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post

Time for solar. I can't imagine owning a house and not putting it up... But I guess depends on the region. There's only one way regular electricity prices are going to go.

And also, in most areas, there's only one electricity provider, right? And no price protection whatsoever.

My electric bill was $10.00 for the whole month.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

They don't want YOU to pay for it. they want ME to pay for it for you, in the form of higher tax rates! (As in: they think I should pay a higher tax RATE than you do... So that MY income can subsidize yours.)

hmmm, I could get used to this Liberalisum thing! to that end, I am about to fill up my car for the week, may I forward you the bill?

Honestly, I am right there with you because I wont be in this sub 40k situation for ever, I may not ever crack 250 but shit, the taxes are screwing all my friends who make slightly more than me...an average amongst my friends is something like a married couple making ~35-40 each so like 80k total with 2 kids ends up paying like 55% in taxes when state, fed, local, sales, property, gas taxes and such are all factored in...
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #15 of 27
no. you're not alone. i also feel the same way.
and mom always nags me about it
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by diplication View Post

In Texas, we have to choose who to buy our electricity from. The company you choose then supplies electricity to the grid. Local distribution is done by area wide contractors, who maintain the local infrastructure and read the meters. You only deal with the distribution company for maintenance issues, they are paid by the energy providers. As a result you can choose from a myriad of providers and select fixed rate plans (from a few months to a couple of years), or a variable rate plan. Also the providers list the amount of energy they produce from renewable resources, so you can go green if you want (you can even find 100% renewable providers). End result is my rates have gone down from year to year. Many years ago my rate was $0.15/KWH, I just renewed last month for $0.086/KWH for 12 months. I am probably paying more than people in a lot of other states, but I'm just happy to be paying less than I was.

Funniest thing I've seen out of this is pyramid scheme by one provider - sign up enough of your friends and you could even make money. And if they signed up their friends as well, you could make even more money!

Texas summers are the worst for electric bills. Locally we had over 40 days in a row of temperatures over 100. The AC sure makes the meter spin! Wind power is booming though. I know of two wind farms fairly close, and I constantly see tower sections and turbine blades (the really huge ones) being transported down the highway.


I too live in Texas and I too am pleased to live in a market full of choice. I used to pay TXU a rate of .126 cents per Kw/H. I now pay .071 cents. I did the math and to get to paying what I used to pay from what I pay now I would have to pay an additional 77.4% more.

That blows my mind.
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #17 of 27

If anyone's interested in Western Australia about 150MW was snapped up very rapidly in the past few years because of a state government rebate. Now the same state government is in a bit of a pickle because they are millions of dollars over budget in providing said rebates because apparently they went over the quota because of letting too many people sign up. Don't think it's something altruistic, the state government is centre-right, and they just buggered this thing up...

 

But one thing is clear. Renewables + Low Energy Prices = Everyone Wins. They say it can't be done, just like they say you can't have a tablet that's cheaper and better than a laptop. We need a Steve Jobs of renewable energy.

 

And if anyone cares my home electricity is supposed to be 100% sourced from wind now (as is promised by the power company). I actually travelled to a wind farm about 200km from my city recently for some site-seeing. Quite impressive, largest in Southern Hemisphere. Below you can see some on the horizon and of course this shot is only a fraction of the total wind turbines.

 

IMG_0773.jpg

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

I too live in Texas and I too am pleased to live in a market full of choice. I used to pay TXU a rate of .126 cents per Kw/H. I now pay .071 cents. I did the math and to get to paying what I used to pay from what I pay now I would have to pay an additional 77.4% more.

That blows my mind.

 

Renewable energy aside, globally there's some really funky stuff going on with regulation and/or de-regulation of power companies. It's quite a mess, to be honest.

 

Anyone remember the "brownouts" in the SF Bay Area circa 2000-2001?

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicFingers View Post


my electric bill jumped $25 this past month. Been steady for a few years but suddenly jumped. probably a rate hike from AEP in southwest michigan/


dang, I wish... ours jumped over $200 (albeit, it is 108deg outside today...) that's one good thing about new houses.... better insulation. Arizona here

post #20 of 27

Yeah, our bill is about $200 :O but having on the A/Cs all the time becuase of the heat isn't helping, We're in Michigan btw.

post #21 of 27
I have invested in a wool underblanket, wool quilt, wool undergarments, and I have never been more comfy in my life in winter. Managed to reduce my daily usage from 15kwh to ~10kwh. Mind you this is at latitude 30degS so it's quite mild winters ("Mediterranean" climate as they call it).

Those sheep got it right.
post #22 of 27
Electricity bill often go up but we seldom feel that it went lower rate. We should at least try to change of super high electricity consuming lights into some energy saving bulb. Most of them are more stylish and cute. Yet, it will help us lower our electricity bills.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatusmiles View Post

Electricity bill often go up but we seldom feel that it went lower rate. We should at least try to change of super high electricity consuming lights into some energy saving bulb. Most of them are more stylish and cute. Yet, it will help us lower our electricity bills.

The storm is coming. Energy conservation like you mention is important. The other, is to totally go off the grid by going full solar for the home.

The storm is coming.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post


The storm is coming. Energy conservation like you mention is important. The other, is to totally go off the grid by going full solar for the home.
The storm is coming.

 

 

I didn't say to go on solar, it will be so hard if storm is coming

post #25 of 27
It spiked a bit in the summer with the air conditioning running though it has since dropped back to normal levels around this time. I am in the process of replacing some of the few incandescents with LEDs (was never much of a fan of CFLs due to mercury).
post #26 of 27

All that so called green and alternative energy is raising rates for everyone. Utility companies are forced to add expensive, inefficient, unreliable wind turbines and solar panels. They have to make their money back somehow.

And not a single current fossil fueled power plant anywhere in the world has been shut down and replaced by wind or solar. Instead they have to be kept running at idle (the most inefficient and most polluting mode) in order to kick in instantly when the wind dies or a cloud blocks the sun.

 

People love the thought of wind and solar because they don't see the ground and water pollution taking place in China from the mining and processing of ore to make those "green" wind turbines and solar panels.

If they were made in the US and the Sierra Club and Greenpeace saw the process they would demand they be shut down. But since it isn't in anybodies backyard and it is only affecting the poor Chinese worker that they don't know they ignore the problem.

 

If people were serious about reducing real pollution they would be doing everything they can to bring manufacturing back to the US. Our power plants are cleaner burning and more efficient than those in China. Plus you would cut out all of the cargo ship pollution.

My daughter is majoring in Environmental Engineering and in class they proved that wind turbines don't make sense. They are not efficient.

At an Engineering job fair held on campus she got a promotional cup from a company.

Right on the cup was printed, Made from US material. Made in China. So plastic pellets made here were shipped to China, made into cups and then shipped back. Does that make any sense?

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

It spiked a bit in the summer with the air conditioning running though it has since dropped back to normal levels around this time. I am in the process of replacing some of the few incandescents with LEDs (was never much of a fan of CFLs due to mercury).

This a nice idea
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