Utility Bill for December...SHOCK!

Brothers of Briar

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RSteve

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I have natural gas heat. My house isn't large and is very well insulated. My utility bill, electricity and gas, arrived today, for December and is $328.00. Any month, regardless of season, since I built this house in 1983, has ever been over $230. Then I looked carefully at the itemized bill. Average temperature for December 2020 and 2021=identical, 27 degrees. Amount of gas used for the month, virtually the same for both years. The cost per unit of gas has nearly doubled. I phoned my older daughter and asked about her bill. She has a 4 bedroom, fairly large suburban home. "I knew that gas was about to double in price, so I had a programmable thermostat installed. When we're not home and when we're sleeping, we keep the house fairly cool, in the low 60s, otherwise at 67. We still had a huge jump from last year."
I'll pay, whatever the cost, to be comfortable. I'm not going to spend my late 70s shivering in my house.
 

Blackhorse

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Maybe you could set up averaging your monthly gas bill so that each month was 1/12 of the annual charge. You won’t PAY less per annum but there wouldn’t be the big unexpected jump in Winter. Easier to budget effectively that way.
 

RSteve

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Every year Xcel Energy sends out a letter suggesting annual monthly averaging predicated on the prior year's usage and energy prices. The problem is that at year's end for the current year, you get a bill for the last month combined with any underpayment which may have occurred because units of gas and electricity may have increased for the current year. That last bill can be a whopper.
 

Blackhorse

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We have gas heat and water heater then electricity for everything else. Gas usage gies up in Winter due to furnace the down in Summer. Electricity goes up in Summer due tp running the whole house AC. It’s a merry dance and there’s kind of a balance.
 

Carlos

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I have gotten a credit carried over to the next month and $0 for that last month. Only happened once. After that they recalculate more often.
 

Mikem

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My Son's heater is propane. He just had the tank filled today. We are waiting for the sticker shock. My camper is propane for the heater and I know propane has almost doubled the last time I filled one of the tanks. Its been in the teens at night and low thirties during the day this week so I will have to refill next week.
 

gravel

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Our first winter in Central Illinois was a shocker and we signed up for level pay for the next year. Right before the cold hit again we moved into an efficiency apartment. Our cost was releveled based on our new place and it was comically less. Because of this, our gas bill was paid out of the level pay payments we made. When we moved back to Oregon 4 years later, ComEd wrote us a small check for the balance in our account!
 

kschatey

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I have to laugh because my utility company just recently sent an e-mail with some "meter insights" that stated, "Your energy use is pretty normal so far." Great, that's to be expected since we haven't changed our habits any, but the cost is definitely MUCH higher relative to previous months.
 

Zeno Marx

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I have to laugh because my utility company just recently sent an e-mail with some "meter insights" that stated, "Your energy use is pretty normal so far." Great, that's to be expected since we haven't changed our habits any, but the cost is definitely MUCH higher relative to previous months.
I hate to be skeptical. I find cynics are some of the lowest forms of life. Nevertheless, each month when the bill comes, it has another sheet with comparisons with the neighbors. Always in the middle/average (electricity), regardless of season or month. Every light in the house is LED. Lights shut off in rooms when not in use. Gas oven. Gas heat. Minimized all things not in use. A newish refrigerator. There is no reason why we should be average use electrical, especially in comparison to our older generation neighbors. It makes me skeptical of that whole piece of paper.
 

RSteve

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I'll pay, whatever the cost, to be comfortable. I'm not going to spend my late 70s shivering in my house.
Based on a conversation I had with an Xcel Energy customer service representative, I've turned down my thermostat a couple of degrees and several degrees when I'm leaving the house for several hours. The rep said based on projected weather for January, if I maintained the house temperature, as I had for December, my utility bill for January would likely be near $400 for January. No more shorts and a t-shirt in the house.
 

Blackhorse

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Look at the difference between the way folks dress inside their homes in the UK and here in the US. In the UK (and UK members pkease chime in to verify my impression or set me straight) folks very often wear light to heavy sweaters and/or other clothes to keep them warmer. In the USA we much more often wear lighter clothing. It seems crazy but I know I wear t-shirts inside year round and complain about the high cost of Winter fuel. If I wore a sweater over the t-shirt I could lower my thermostat by a number of degrees and be just as “warm”.

PS: my daytime heat is set at 68F and the nighttime temp is set to 65F. If I walk into a room where the heat is set to 72F or even 70F it seems stifling! I could likely set my thermostat down to 65F and eventually adjust and feel just fine.
 

RSteve

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Heat: Day and Night was 68, now 66 day, 64 night with electric blanket.
 

Zeno Marx

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I house sat for a brother a few times. Old, 2-story house from the 1880s. Boiler heat, my favorite kind of heat because I DESPISE house sounds. If I was a rich man designing my home from scratch, #2 concern for every single detail would be how much sound does it make. I want things dead quiet. I digress. The first floor, where the TV was and where I spent all my time not sleeping, was like an ice box. The top floor was like an oven. Not a place in the house was close to being comfortable. When they left, I cranked up the heat so I could comfortably watch TV in 2 layers of clothes with a blanket. The one advancement it had was a smart thermostat. One of the first people I knew with smart anything outside of phones. Then dropped it nearly 10 degrees at night so I wasn't baking on the second floor. I didn't know that he could monitor the thermostat from his vacation. The phone rings: "Is something wrong? I'm seeing the thermostat bouncing all over the place." He wasn't paying me, so it wasn't going to be an issue if the heat was getting hit outside of his programming.

Now in a brick house where 1 degree makes a substantial difference. 68 and you're freezing. 69 and you can live and not be preoccupied with how cold you always are. I'm not sure which is a better situation. I understand the new furnaces with extremely high efficiency monitor every room, thus running 24/7, going room to room and adjusting temperature. Never shutting off, they use less energy, like highway MPG vs city MPG. That's cool.
 

Brewdude

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Everyone's metabolism is different with respect for tolerance to cold/heat. As for me, I chill easily and have done for most of my life. I keep the thermostat at 73 during the winter, and even then I still wear sweatpants, a sweatshirt, a hoodie, and still am almost at the point of being chilled. OTOH, I keep the AC set at 80 in the hot months and find that comfortable.


Cheers,

RR
 

kschatey

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I hate to be skeptical. I find cynics are some of the lowest forms of life. Nevertheless, each month when the bill comes, it has another sheet with comparisons with the neighbors. Always in the middle/average (electricity), regardless of season or month. Every light in the house is LED. Lights shut off in rooms when not in use. Gas oven. Gas heat. Minimized all things not in use. A newish refrigerator. There is no reason why we should be average use electrical, especially in comparison to our older generation neighbors. It makes me skeptical of that whole piece of paper.
Ah yes, this sounds familiar. They also provide a breakdown of what is using power in my house which is pretty much impossible since they have no idea what is on each circuit and how much each is drawing. Anyway, their accounting is totally ridiculous since according the them, lighting is using up quite a bit of power. IMPOSSIBLE. Every single bulb in the house is LED and even if I left them all on all day every day for the entire year I doubt I would use as much power as they report my lighting using each month (although I'm too lazy to do the math). Any way, I agree with you that the information provided by the power company is trash and useless.
 

Ranger107

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Same here. Every month I get an emaiI saying I am using x% more than my neighbors. 1st, our house is the largest in the neighborhood. We have 17' vaulted ceilings, shortest in the house is the off side hallway at 12'. My wife has a temp range of approx. 1.6 degrees. At 69 she is cold, 71 she is too hot. Bottom line, in winter we use heat so gas bill goes up. In summer, a/c runs most of the time, so electric goes up. 2nd bottom line, I DON'T CARE. Will gladly pay the bills to keep her happy. I just delete the crap from APS without even looking at it.
 
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