Omfg! (High Electric Bill)

My electric bill is $350!!! :eek:

I know for many of you, that’s a fairly normal amount, but it’s NEVER been more than $120 in the five years we’ve lived here. But we now have a 4-month-old infant, which means we’re using the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer far more often. Plus we just had a record 12+ days of triple-digit heat, which means running the air conditioner nearly constantly.

Holy crap!

Good thing we were on vacation all last week…no air or major appliance usage for 6 days outta keep that bill from repeating.

But again…holy crap!

I added on to your title, Ruffian, to help make it more distinctive for those cruising through the thread titles.

Oh, and I sympathize with you about the high bill. While our total is about $180 less than yours, it’s still a pretty big jump for our house and this part of the country.

My last electric bill was a 50% increase over the previous one. I told my daughter that the next time I find her air conditioner running when she isn’t in the room, I’m going to take it out of the window and make her carry it around for the rest of the day.

Sorry and thanks, Skip. I had a momentary lapse. Call it sticker shock!

Thing is, we don’t have a big house–just a 1400sf condo. I can’t IMAGINE what the electric bills have been like for the folks with the 3500sf monster homes they’ve been building around here the last few years.

It’s only 76 now (thank Og), but it was 110 a week ago today. Ugh!

Do you have central air? If not, you may want to practice “zone heating” – basically heating (in this case cooling) only the rooms you are presently using. Run your room A/C only at night to help you sleep, in the baby’s room of course as much as is needed, and other rooms only when in use. Shut doors that have A/C running in them.

If you are using central air, you might try insulating your windows if you rarely/never open them. You don’t have to insulate every window to make an impact. (you can get a plastic sheeting insulator kit at the hardware store, usually a 4 window-kit costs $12) or hanging your storm windows back up if you have them. That can make a big difference, especially if you windows are a little on the older side, or wood framed (wood framed windows never ever ever close all the way, in my experience).

Other general tips:
*Be fanatical about keeping shades or curtains drawn on the sunny side of your house (sun in = heat in).
*Turn off incandescent lights every time you leave a room (they generate heat, and of course, use electricity themselves). It is a myth that this greatly impacts bulb life.
*Only run the washing machine when it is completely full – it uses the same amount of energy for a full or partial load.
*Set your dishwaser to “energy saver” or “no heat dry.” Use the shortest effective cycle (with most newer machines, “light” is more than sufficent for everyday dishes.)
*Separate out laundry before drying – some items, especially synthetics (polarfleece pullovers, rayon dresses, etc), air dry easily without feeling scratchy. Experiment with the different drying cycles to find the shortest effective cycle (timed vs. automatic).

I am fanatically thirfty about my energy bill! Hope some of these ideas help a little.

Hmmm…obviously the problem here is the new baby.

Did you keep the receipt? See if you can return it.

:wink:

Hey Ruff, it’s a distinct possibility the electric company messed up your billing! Take a look at your wattage use for the past few months (and even this month last year of possible), and tell the company there’s no way in hell your usage doubled in one month, simply due to a li’l one.

I can’t see running a single air conditioner doubling the bill–raising it some, yeah, but not doubling the bill.

Tripler
Of course, I don’t know how much juice they listed as being used on your bill, nor how much they charge per watt.

MIne doubled too last month - and it was a verified read.

We were shocked, it is almost $$400.00. I know it’s been really hot out but GEEZ LOUISE!

Tripler, SoCal Edison has a graduated fee schedule. It isn’t that each watt = $x…once you reach a certain level of usage, it’s a big jump, and they increased those rates a ridiculous amount (like 30%) fairly recently. I’m guessing we crossed the magic line and stayed on the other side long enough to really, really hurt.

Our usage, according to the bill, has doubled since last year. Thinking about it, we’ve been far less discriminatory about a/c use–we used to rarely run it at night, rarely in the morning, etc. It was on this past month, constantly, for days if not a few weeks. I’m also doing laundry several times a week versus about every other week…whee! Time to make better use of the drying rack!

We finally caved and turned the air on this afternoon–the humidity makes for a sticky home. Ugh.