mostly off topic-electric bill

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Oh yes the price of sewage. :thumb: I have news it is going to get worse but that is another story for another time.

    I take it your sewage is based on water use. Your front loader is a big step to reducing your water use. While I don't have either a water or a sewage bill I still have to conserve water since I'm on a well.

    Some of the things I don't do is wash the car, grass or garden. You see our problem is one of running out of water so we are forced to look at reducing water use from a different perspective. No one wants to wait a few hours because we ran the water level low.

    Electric is much easier to control. We line dry most cloths year round. I have a line inside the house for the winter and often my wife has more than a few pieces of clothing over chairs on wash day. We don't have any forced rules but you will seldom see a TV set or other electronic device in use if no one is in the room.

    They say if you have a refrigerator over 12 years old you can save anywhere between 40% & 50% by replacing it. The same with a dryer the new ones have a moisture sensor. I could go on but I think you know this. A CFL should help reduce your bill some but I wouldn't expect big savings unless you house is light 24 hours a day.

    I hope you find your answers because those utility bills can get to be the size of a mortgage.
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    In some cases, utilities go up due to state regulations and taxes. Usually big government gets a far larger chunk of your gasoline than big oil does. Some states, such as Kaliphornia, have all sorts of special rules about the fuel formulas sold within their state that dramatically raise the cost beyond what is necessary. The type of fuel used in generating electricity is also very dependent upon the source...coal and nuclear are 3x cheaper than natural gas. Solar can be cheap in Yuma, but ridiculously expensive in Duluth. Of course, if both the utility and PUC is corrupt...the consumer Ohio's deregulation didn't go to well as they did it in such a way that the local supplies can make the generation costs almost free...and nail you on the transmission costs to keep you from switching...which effectively eliminates the market forces that were supposed to be created (I'm pro-market forces). My local utility, Duke, has continued the old CG&E tradition of filling its lobby with a huge o-scale layout...B&O themed. They have (3) 2-8-8-4s. It's sort of like the old Delta Lines layout.

    Good to hear that everyone's sewer and water bills are rising! My career is water it's good for business :p
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    water research, huh. I am in groundwater research. We put in many public supply wells that range from 800 to over 2000 feet deep that produce anywhere from 500 to 3000 gallons per minute. The cost of some wells exceeds half a million bucks. The cities play a trick on the developers, though. They say if you want to develop, you have to build the water infrastructure first. That way, the developer pays for the well (and transfers the cost to the purchaser of the new houses, or reclaims their cost through crooked politics).

  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I'm on the side of softening the water, treating the wastewater, and then mitigating the streams. I'm familiar with the making the developers isn't really fair to the existing population of the municipality if a developer raises their bills to make a buck off of development. The worst I've heard of was in my grandpa's village...the mayor had his own development east of town...ran the sewer/water/streets out there on city money...and then gave a several year tax abatement to anyone whom purchased a lot from him.
  5. Our electric utility company (Hydro One) installed a "smart" meter on our house yesterday. Part of a program to outfit all residences in the province with them. Once complete, they'll start charging rates that vary by the time of day. More expensive during peak times (early morning, late afternoon/early evening on weekdays) and least expensive during low demand times (late night). If I recall correctly, there will be three rates during the weekdays. We'll be looking at changing when we do laundry, cook dinner, take a shower etc.

    Our house has all electric baseboard heating, which is nice because we can tune each room to how we use it (spare bedroom is kept low except when company stays over, etc.) We're also looking into electronic thermostats for each room so that we can set and forget when the heating is up or down and vary it by time of day.

    Every little bit helps, I guess.

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Yeah, have you noticed how the smart meters discriminate against those of us using electric heat? Most people turn their furnace down at night, and up in the daytime. I guess we're supposed to turn the baseboard heaters up at night, so the house can get warm before morning, when the rates go up. Smart meters are just another way for the government (which is the utility company) to shift the focus from them for not producing enough power onto the consumer for using too much. Sir Adam Beck would be rotating in his grave (hook him up to a generator :rolleyes:) if he could see what a mess has been made out of his concept of "electric energy, at cost, for the people of Ontario".
    I do agree, though, that the fact that baseboard heaters allow you to choose which rooms to heat is a good way to control costs.

  7. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    The smart meter concept is great if it was limited to time of day. I take issue with the government meddling in my life...but I certainly understand the cost difference between peak and off peak times. Peak times cause utility companies to need to build larger power plants (or batteries)...while off-peak doesn't...therefore...peak electricity is more expensive.

    I took an active role in making certain that my church's new boiler included zoning the keep costs down. It sounds like it's the saving grace for your electric baseboard heat...because burning fossil fuels to generate heat to generate electric to generate heat is a very poor engineering concept. (but it is safer!) Many theories for the "hydrogen" economy revolve around using our existing natural gas distribution systems.

    I have a programmable thermostat to keep my house cool during the night and to warm it in the morning...I love it.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    That's certainly true, but it's very difficult, living so close to Niagara Falls, to equate electricity with fossil fuels, even though I am aware that a large percentage of Ontario's electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, or is derived from nuclear energy. A large part of the problem is that governments, seemingly at all levels, promote growth, but seem to forget that growth requires infrastructure, something that we're increasingly unable to provide.
    Say, this is getting too political for me. Time to go run some trains, since nighttime power is so much cheaper. :rolleyes::p:-D:-D

  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    want heat? get a corn/ pellet stove, i had a friend that went from 2000.00 a year in LP gas to heat his house to 450.00 a year buying the wood pellets.
  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I've found electric baseboard heating is very expensive - much more so than a natural gas furnace.

    Re the flourescent lights, something to be aware of is that they contain mercury and should be considered hazardous waste - just like the long tubes are. I'm sure people are just tossing them in their garbage, and once more people start using them this is going to become a problem.

    A friend of mine pointed out something interesting about incandescent lights. They give off heat. Sure, we all know that, but.... did you ever stop to think that in the winter, when we use them more, the heat they give off might just save you money on your heating bill? Dunno if it's cost effective or not - someone would have to seriously crunch some numbers. I just found it interesting.

  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    :mrgreen: Duh! I didn't even think about the fact that you live near Niagara Falls...but in general, it makes more sense to burn fossil fuels in your home to generate heat than in a distant power plant. I was just citing it for efficiency...not for the fact that it can come from fossil fuels. I didn't mean to use a term that has become politically charged, fossil fuels. :v8:

    Val's post hits on what I was trying to say...not anything about CO2 or sustainability...but rather that it's far cheaper to burn a fuel in your home than to create heat from electricity which was generated at 30% efficiency. As far as the heat given off by a light...current*current*resistence=energy released...some as light...all eventually as heat...but far less efficient than my gas furnace. If you have cheap electric...then electric heat makes sense...but typically it is for safety...not costs (no risk of filling your home with CO or turning it into a bomb).

    The light...60w bulb produces 60w of heat...the specific heat of air is 1 J/ 60 grams of air can be raised 1 degree centigrade in 1 second...the density of air is approximately 1.2kg/m3...which means that it would take (20) 60W bulbs to raise the temp 1 degree C in 1 second...but you would also be fighting the loss of heat through your insulation. would be radiant turning on a fan would increase the rate of loss of the heat through your is an energy transfer problem. I'm tired...but I love stuff like this.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Personally, I would go with electric heat over any, as I don't heat what's not in use. My total electric bill for the year is less than my daughter's combined gas and electric bill for the same period, and her home is probably about 800 square feet smaller than mine. I am not stingy about using it when it's needed, though, as long as I can afford what I use. ;):-D
    Theoretically, my electricity could have been produced by either wind or water, as a percentage of Ontario's power is, and, other than the energy used to produce the various components to make it, get it here, and allow me to use it, has no "carbon footprint". :p
    I originally wanted to install a wind generator when I built the house twenty years ago, but my wife didn't think that the cost was warranted. Maybe next time.

  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Here in the desert SW we are more concerned about the cooling aspects of energy. Something that has always bothered me are refrigerators. In generating the cold necessary, it creates heat, a lot of heat which is released into the air through the coils in the back. We then take this heat and spend more good money on A/C to cool it back down to room temperature. When calculating the cost of running a refrigerator, they also need to figure in this additional cost. Yeah, there is some payback in the winter, but again, here in Arizona, our winters are so short. To be sure, we ran our A/C on Thanksgiving Day last week.

    Someone needs to manufacture refrigerators and freezers that vent to the outside, not in the house, not in the stores....
  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That's something I've thought about before. The problem is that the heat exchanger becomes substantially more expensive if it is outside your home. Still, many modern homes have permanent refrigerator locations, so it should be possible to set it up like a central AC unit. Perhaps it would be a good idea to run the fridge's coils down into the ground...or through the water heater and then into the allow for a more efficient exchange without heating your home.

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