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Old 04-26-2019, 07:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Home Energy Cost

So just got my electric.. Oddly enough I've been itching to get it because my central air has been off for the entire month sans 1 day that I forgot to open the windows and the temps hit up in the 80s

$40 for the month so if broken down into percentages, my home heating/cooling energy cost account for ~55% of my month usage.. I bet I could probably improve stuff because I know I could probably put up some good draperies and block a lot of the energy exchange at the windows. My basement windows are pure shit single pane glass so replacing those would account for energy loss as well. A attic could probably afford to be sealed up a bit too.

Anyone else bother to track where their electric energy usage goes?
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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at $50-40 not really, when it gets up to $80-100 I do that a closer look, usually when running the central air.

I do have a couple windows that need to be replaced, and some door seals that did have an effect this last winter.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That sounds better than the $230 I budget pay year-round to PG&E. 1500 S.F., 3 of us now.

All Summer it's 70 degrees in the house though, installed new HVAC last year, and will never be hot again. Need to get rid of 11 single-pane windows from 1969 next, and all new duct work.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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so your total power usage is around $100/ month at worst? $50/ for heat if i understand correct. with that low of numbers it will be hard to do anything with worthwhile ROI.

my home is all electric. heatpump for heat/ ac. we run ~$250/350 summer/winter. when i'm busy in the shop that bill can go up $3-400. i even quit burning wood becasue at max i'm going to save $100 not worth the time and effort to cut and split.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm coming up on my 1st summer in my new house and the old owner said he paid $600 a month for electricity during the hot months. I'm hoping that's not the case.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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so your total power usage is around $100/ month at worst? $50/ for heat if i understand correct. with that low of numbers it will be hard to do anything with worthwhile ROI.

my home is all electric. heatpump for heat/ ac. we run ~$250/350 summer/winter. when i'm busy in the shop that bill can go up $3-400. i even quit burning wood becasue at max i'm going to save $100 not worth the time and effort to cut and split.
Sorta, it's $50 during the winter, dips to $40 in the spring and fall, $100-$120 if the temps get up to 90 in the summer. Summer bills are usually only 2 maybe 3 months. Gas is $50-70 during the winter, $20-30 for the summer.

Gas for the heat, Electric for the AC, biggest usage. Single though and have the t-stat set lower then most would, wear alot of sweatshirts.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm starting to check daily on my usage here in AZ. New house with 2 AC units that like to suck that power. Keeping half the house closed and thermostat set at 82 seems to keep 1 ac unit off 80% of the time.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a kill o watt meter and electric company just installed smart meter. I purchased the wifi/blue tooth monitor so I can tack usage
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Have solar panels on the roof and most of the year i just pay the minimum. If we are really using the a/c we might have a bit of a bill. And then in January and February after they pay out for extra credits I have a couple months worth of bills because you don't make as much electricity in the winter months to offset usage. I need to look into having them roll-over and bank my credits rather than clear them out.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorta, it's $50 during the winter, dips to $40 in the spring and fall, $100-$120 if the temps get up to 90 in the summer. Summer bills are usually only 2 maybe 3 months. Gas is $50-70 during the winter, $20-30 for the summer.

Gas for the heat, Electric for the AC, biggest usage. Single though and have the t-stat set lower then most would, wear alot of sweatshirts.
So you have an extra $60. I month for 3 months a year? So we will round up to $200 a year.

tracyb called it. Even the cheapest upgrades won't ever pay for itself.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've learned a lot over the last year or so about the cost of electric power, and how to minimize that cost...

The biggest contributor to saving costs is a change in behavior. Since the cost of energy in terms of KW/HR differs greatly from area to area, as do the energy plans offered by utilities its difficult to tell you specifically what would benefit you. Here's my situation.

I live in one of the hottest climates in the US. Until last year, I was paying on average $275 per month for electricity (~100 in the winter and upwards of 500-600 in the summer). this was for a 2100 SQ foot single story house. About a year ago I moved to a larger house 2800 SQ FT, with a stand alone 20-40 foot shop (with AC), and a 30,000 gallon pool. Terrified what my energy bills would be, I opted to put solar on the house to help offset the cost of electricity. Over the last year, I have become a pro at playing the utilities rate games, and at right at my 1 year mark with owning this house with solar, the Utility owes me $500 in Solar credits. The solar system that I put on my house also gave me the ability to see what my system is generating, but also to see what the house is consuming. This was an eye opener. I would highly recommend to anyone out there to look into getting an energy monitor that will let you see (and track) what you are consuming. Then learn the rules of your rate plan, My rate quadruples during peak times (3PM-8PM), and in addition there is a demand charge on top of that. With the monitor, I've been able to reduce the costs of their peak rates and the demand charge to an almost negligible amount.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Never heard of a usage monitor, can you elaborate?

What are you using? Did it come with the solar install?

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Originally Posted by NorcalVP View Post
I've learned a lot over the last year or so about the cost of electric power, and how to minimize that cost...

The biggest contributor to saving costs is a change in behavior. Since the cost of energy in terms of KW/HR differs greatly from area to area, as do the energy plans offered by utilities its difficult to tell you specifically what would benefit you. Here's my situation.

I live in one of the hottest climates in the US. Until last year, I was paying on average $275 per month for electricity (~100 in the winter and upwards of 500-600 in the summer). this was for a 2100 SQ foot single story house. About a year ago I moved to a larger house 2800 SQ FT, with a stand alone 20-40 foot shop (with AC), and a 30,000 gallon pool. Terrified what my energy bills would be, I opted to put solar on the house to help offset the cost of electricity. Over the last year, I have become a pro at playing the utilities rate games, and at right at my 1 year mark with owning this house with solar, the Utility owes me $500 in Solar credits. The solar system that I put on my house also gave me the ability to see what my system is generating, but also to see what the house is consuming. This was an eye opener. I would highly recommend to anyone out there to look into getting an energy monitor that will let you see (and track) what you are consuming. Then learn the rules of your rate plan, My rate quadruples during peak times (3PM-8PM), and in addition there is a demand charge on top of that. With the monitor, I've been able to reduce the costs of their peak rates and the demand charge to an almost negligible amount.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd be happy with electric bills under $250/month. Under $100 would be life changing.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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So you have an extra $60. I month for 3 months a year? So we will round up to $200 a year.

tracyb called it. Even the cheapest upgrades won't ever pay for itself.
Oh yeah, I fully agree. Something just annoy me like feeling cold drafts. I installed a whole house fan a couple years ago and it has been great instead of running the AC.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd be happy with electric bills under $250/month. Under $100 would be life changing.
Its just me and the dog w/ a 1100 sqft. dwelling
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd be happy with electric bills under $250/month. Under $100 would be life changing.
Wow; just like Lake Havasu City, AZ residents!



I'm in Boise, ID.

I was proud when I reduced my bill from $50 down to $30 since last Fall.


I'm hoping to shave another $5 off.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Never heard of a usage monitor, can you elaborate?

What are you using? Did it come with the solar install?
Yes, I used Tesla (solar city) for my solar installation, and as part of that installation, I can see how much power I'm producing and pumping back into the grid. In addition, it shows the consumption on an hour by hour basis, and an instantaneous readout of production vs. consumption.



This is my house yesterday, So this shows that my solar system produced 88.8KWH's of power yesterday, and the house consumed 52.3 KWh's. It gives me an hour by hour breakdown of production vs. consumption so that I can plan my HVAC usage to make sure that I'm not going over what we're producing during peak time.

From what I understand there are other companies out there that will give you the ability to monitor consumption, so that you can use the power smarter, and see what you are actually using, versus just the big number the utility gives you on your bill.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Yes, I used Tesla (solar city) for my solar installation, and as part of that installation, I can see how much power I'm producing and pumping back into the grid. In addition, it shows the consumption on an hour by hour basis, and an instantaneous readout of production vs. consumption.



This is my house yesterday, So this shows that my solar system produced 88.8KWH's of power yesterday, and the house consumed 52.3 KWh's. It gives me an hour by hour breakdown of production vs. consumption so that I can plan my HVAC usage to make sure that I'm not going over what we're producing during peak time.

From what I understand there are other companies out there that will give you the ability to monitor consumption, so that you can use the power smarter, and see what you are actually using, versus just the big number the utility gives you on your bill.
What does a system like yours run as far as Cost?

We have a perfect spot to either put panels on the house, or preferably in an array out in my yard and Id love to do it, just not sure its worth it. Everything in our house is Electric. Water Heater, A/C, Stove and Heat but the Caveat is that our heat and A/C is Geothermal. In the summer time our total electric is about $100-120, in the winter $150-180. My wife also works at home so her work equipment contributes to some energy usage. Honestly about the biggest consumer of Electricity in our home is our Older Plasma TV. I have that hooked up to a UPS that monitors draw, It shows that the TV pulls about 350-400 watts when it turned on which is crazy. Maybe I should use that as en excuse to my wife to buy a bigger newer LED Tv lol
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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We shopped around quite a bit and did some shrewd negotiating, but the total out of pocket cost for our grid tied system before any tax credits or anything else was about 40K for a 14.98KW system. This system does not have a battery backup, and this cost also included replacing our panel from 200amp panel to 225. After the tax credits it's about 30K. I did all of the calculations and the system has a life expectancy of about 20 years. With the cost of replacing the inverters at year 10 (usual life expectancy), I am at 10 years ROI. So the last 50% of the expected life expectancy of my system will mean than I'll have 10 years with no cost for electricity. (actually if my consumption stays the same, or goes down (two teenagers), the utility will be paying me every year...)
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Anyone else bother to track where their electric energy usage goes?
Why the fuck would we do that? Then we'd be unable to play dumb about how expensive welders, mills, shop lights, etc, etc, are.
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