Electricity Bills?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by SeriousSam, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    Howdy. How much does model railroading raise your electricity monthy bill? How much do you run your trains a month and what scale do you run? Im trying to figure out why my electricity bill shot through the roof this past month and Im running N Scale :curse: :D
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Let's see, I've got a Tech4/350 running my N scale. That's 35 watts if fully loaded and I should be able to run at least four trains and light some lights with that. Let's say I've got other things like lights that I run from another source so worse case I am drawing 100 watts pf power. If I ran this for 24 hours a day, every day that would come to about 72 kilowatts. I don't know what your rates are there, but ours average around 11 or 12 cents a kilowatt. So if you're running them continously at full load you should be spending less than $10 a month in electricity. That certainly can't be the cause of your problem since I doubt that you're using even close to that much to run your trains.
  4. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...all I can add is that when the weather changes- temperature wise, up or down, my electric bill goes up. As long as it's cool enough for me- 60s-70s neither the heat or air go on. On occasion- there is a spike one way or the other during the change of season- like last month- a few very chilly days- needed heat- electric bill was up a few bucks.

    I'm hoping for a mild winter.:thumb:

  5. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Yeah I'd bet it's due to cold weather. Do you have an electric heater or a gas heater?
  6. KCS

    KCS Member

    Check and make sure bill hasn't been moxed up with someone else's. It's happened to us a couple of time's where someone else's due's were charged to our account do to human failure. After calling and getting it checked out everything had been cleared up. Just a thought.
  7. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    In simple terms, it's not the trains.
  8. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    we have a pellet stove that heats up really good. We've had it for about a year, and when we got it, the bill didnt go up as much.:cry:
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I'm guessing its not your layout electrical usage that increased your bill. I run my HO layout (a 12 by 20 foot size) almost daily for at least ten minutes or more...many days a lot more....and never noticed a remarkable increase in my bill from month to month that couldn't be expalned by air conditioner or other major appliance use. Hmmmmm. I suppose I'd have to take a full month off from running trains to really see data....but I don't wanna! :)
  10. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I used to model some HO and I had a 8X10 layout. I would usually use two powered locomotives MU'd together. The weird thing is that when I would give them the power needed to pull about 20 cars, the lights on the room next door would dim sign1

    I have since switched to N scale because of space, but I doubt the wattage is much different
  11. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I dont wanna either. I will probably have to give my dad money for the electric bill. He's been on my toes the past couple of months sign1
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Use the Kill-A-Watt meter I linked to above and measure the various appliances around your house, including your layout. It will produce the definitive evidence to get you off the hook for this month's electrical bill... And get you off the hook for any future disputes over the electric bill. :thumb:
  13. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I will order one soon. Thank you for the link
  14. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    The amount of power we are talking about here is a couple of light bulbs. Now if you have a lot of layout lighting, and you are running for hours every day, there would be a noticeable increase, but much more due to the lighting than running the trains.
  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    This thought has crossed my mind too, but I always thought that electric trains use a miniscule amount of electricity.
  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    My first thought was the lighting. I used to have approx. 800 watts burning anytime I was in the train room. On "building" days, this could be several hours a day. I saw my electric bill go through the roof!! Not only expensive, but HOT!!! That's why I made the change to fluorescents. Now I can be there all day burning all of 240 watts, and it's cool...
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Are you leaving your transformer turned on when you quit running trains? Whenever the power pack/throttle is turned on, even if not in use, the transformer is busy using energy to step down the power from 120 volts to 12 volts. As Don says, if it is left on for 24 hours, it will cost $10.00. If it is left on 24 hours a day for a month, it will cost $300.00-$310.00!
  18. ejen34

    ejen34 Member

    I have a kill switch set up on my system and when I leave a session I make it a point to make sure I turn off the lights and hit the main switch. That seems to be "electric bill" friendly for me :thumb:
  19. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I have to use several pot lights in our basement. I like to have my area well lit so I probably have about 6-8 pot lights on which might use up a fair bit of electricity.
  20. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Approx $1.85. Non-railroading = $62, railroading = $63 - $64. I use a MRC Tech 280 dual controller for strictly DC operation and a Bachmann EZ Command system for DCC operation.

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