Friday, September 12, 2014

The bills are coming . . and I am NOT happy!

Image: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/11/12/article-0-0F79094500000578-517_634x418.jpg

Some bills have arrived, at this new rental, and I am far from happy. : (
Item 1: the cable/Internet bill. I am supposed to be on a special promotion, due to moving. Great! We get to return to a better "package" for our cable, at a lower cost. When all was said and done, it was a bit lower than what I was previously paying. New bill came: not only is the monthly charge high, the charge to move the cable in the Den was NOT removed, as I was told it would be when I called to arrnage to have that fixed. Grrr!
Item 2: the electric bill: while I anticipated higher than usual bills, due to adding 2 to the home, and using the dryer to just get the overflowing laundry done, including some items that needed cleaning before storage, I can't figure out why it's more than doubled! Ack! I've already spoken with DS #1, with GF listening in at the room off the kitchen. Cooking habits are the same, laundry-we're back to limited dryer use and will soon be tweaking that even further, water is heated by an oil burner, lights are mostly CFL's-but do the 12 volt halogen landscape light use a lot?, the Xbox? all appliances, save the w/d are brand new-including a large, side by side fridge but that is even labeled energy star. Could it be the whole house fan? only one A/C window unit and it was only used a handful of nights.

Suggestions?

What's been cooking:
 Open House was Thursday night, so I came home after work to a Crockpot of homemade sauce, that contained some frozen, leftover chicken cacciatore sauce. Fzn veggies on the side. This worked.
Weird schedules left me a nice, quiet dinner for one: onion/peppers/sausage omelette; homefried potatoes on the side. Fall is here: a pot of organic, Earl Grey tea to nurse after supper. Perfect.

18 comments:

Marcia in rural WNY said...

Whole house fans don't cost a lot to run---we cooled our house with ours for years without having excessive electric bills. The dryer might be the major culprit--mine needs to run a whole hour to get most loads dry. I'm sure you will figure it out by cutting out one item at a time, but my bet is on the dryer. I used to hang outdoors in the summer, but my husband put a bird feeder in the middle of my clotheslines, which sent me to the dryer exclusively--unless I'm bleaching out stains with sunlight. Washing everything once is enough--I'm not going to do it twice due to birds! I do have a couple short clotheslines in the basement for special items, but not space for much more. Anyhow, I'm retired and slacking off these days.

Belinda said...

Ouch. :( So sorry to hear your electric bill has more than doubled. I know when we have to use our dryer more it really adds to the electric bill, so that could be part of the problem. Good plan to get back to limited dryer use. I hope that helps.

Hopefully one call to the cable company will fix that problem as well.

Linda www.PictureTrail.com/sewhappy said...

Was the bill an actual reading or an estimate, based on the previous renters? Was this bill for a 1 month time span?

CTMOM said...

Marcia
The whole house fan was put in by the current owner of this rental, sometime around 1980. I did note significant "dust" built up over the motor housing, which is only visible when the louvers open while in use. I asked her (the LL) how she cleaned it, and she replied that she never has. It certainly wouldn't hurt to place a vacuum nossle close by and try to suck off the built up dust. I strongly suspect the dryer but geez! 1669 kwts of electric over 35 days. I will soon have a pulley system outdoor line installed. Was to happen Thurs, but had to reschedule.

CTMOM said...

Belinda
I will certainly be calling the customer service dept if not the customer retention dept about the cable bill. I first need to gather my notes from when I arranged the original installation at this new rental.

I think it's the dryer, what else could it be??

CTMOM said...

Linda
No, this is an actual meter reading from a time span (35 days) while we have been living here.

Sandie Apuzzo said...

Hi Carol. I got my electric bill down at the business location by 50% by unplugging EVERYTHING except the phone and fridge each night when I left. Are the young one's leaving chargers/pc/other items plugged in that draw electricity? It couldn't hurt to unplug those types of things when not in use. If it has a light that stays on, I unplug it. I unfortunately cannot get DH to do this at our house. :(

CTMOM said...

Sandie
A good tip! Yes, we have "charging stations" located in several spots for cell chargers, etc. Time to run around and check what's plugged in. With my hands, this is an issue. I also don't want to unplug lamps,out of safety concerns.

Belinda said...

That is a good point about leaving the chargers plugged in as they do still draw electricity. I unplug mine but can't say the same thing for every family member.

CTMOM said...

Sandie/Belinda
To be clear: we have power strips for everyone to use as a charging station for cell phones. The rocker switch is clicked off, once the phones are charged.

cheryl soergel said...

I assume you have an electric dryer because I just paid my electric bill and we only used about 666KWH for about 30 days and I don't have a place to hang alot of clothes up. All sheets,whites, and everyday clothes go in the dryer (gas) but
dress clothes get hung up. Those electric dryers are so expensive to run. Good luck.

missy said...

Are you getting the same price for your electricity usage? A friend moved to a new home just 2 miles from her old location and the price was much higher even though it was the same provider. She has since locked in a contract price. Did the house already come equipped with light-bulbs? Perhaps they're not the energy efficient ones? Same thought for the appliances...are they energy efficient? Does your power company offers a free energy audit? Water heater was are big culprit when we moved.

CTMOM said...

Cheryl
Yes, the dryer is electric. It's a Whirlpool duet (?) HE front loader series. The LL had used it only a few times, although it's an older model. She had it on high heat setting, I've dropped it to "normal" to see if that helps with what little I intend to dry in it.

CTMOM said...

Missy,
Yes, same rate. Sigh

alaskadreamin said...

I would call the electric company and ask how many watts the previous tenant was using a month on average.That would give you an idea of that houses normal usage is. . You could explain how much your family usually used at the other house and maybe they can see if if there is any reason why it has gone up so much. Did you check out those kilowatt testers from the library that tell you how much wattage each appliance is using? Just my suggestions. Best wishes on getting that taken care of.

Shara said...

I'd also check the hot water heater temps and things like that.

CTMOM said...

Shara,
Water from a baseboard boiler system is designed to run HOT. I had this at the other rental, and it's not something that can be lowered, such as with an electric water heater. 5 or so gallons of hot water is kept in a small boiler, and more is reheated upon demand. Fairly conservative/efficient design. Good reminder, however, for those with electric water heaters.

DW said...

Check your fridge and freezer temps, too. Is the fridge there bigger? It might use more electricity, even if it is energy efficient.