Talk about heating problems...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was upset because my electric bill came in and showed my usage per month for the past year. I have a heat pump so obviously winter months show more usage, but this past month was less than either winter month last year and my bill was $50 more than the highest usage month last winter. I had no idea they had raised the price of electricity that much.

    But now I guess I should be happy- I just heard on the news that some people in this region are have their heat pumps stolen! Geez...... I can't even imagine how mad I would be if I came hom in temps around 20 degrees and my heat pump was gone.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Who ....what kind of could you .......


  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Our rates change here all the time. I have stopped even looking to compare on the bills anymore. I just cringe any time I notice the increase in charges.

    Our city recently began installing meters. By next year, once the entire city is switched over, we are going to "time of day" type billing. Meaning if I cook dinner AT dinner time, I'll pay near to 3-4 times more to use my oven than if I cooked after 10-11p.m. Yikes!! So, once that happens, if we do as we normally do: laundry weekdays during the day when I'm home and everyone is out, meals cooked fresh at meal time, kids leaving laptops on while gone to school (and/or tv's, playstations, xboxs, lights, chargers etc) I'll be paying a fortune. Heating during the day is going to be a price killer. The solution we are told? Do laundry over night, cook meals over night for next day etc. I can do the whole crack down on kids and S/O turning off electronics and lights, keeping chargers unplugged and using them overnight to charge things etc. But am I really going to stay up all night to do laundry and cook meals? I have fear of the billing process already and its a year away!

    Oh, and if anyone stole our source of heat? OMG. Being in the Canadian north, we'd last an hour before our house was a uninsulated igloo!! What is wrong with people???
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont even get me started on electricity rates! I think they make them up as they go along.

    How on earth can I use more electricity now when there are only 3 people in the house than I used when there were 5 people in the house? Makes no sense at all.

    I am waiting for my Christmas power bill which is notorious for being higher because they swear to the heavens above that it is because you had Christmas lights and what not. I hate to tell them I didnt have so much as a single candle in a window! My bill should be no higher than my november bill. It was cold then too.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I couldn't believe how much our rates have gone up- and I read last night that they are trying to get approval to raise them even more.

    I guess the current trend of stealing heat pumps has resulted from people's going out and not being able to afford to replace them so either they are stealing them or crooks decided they would and then sell them at a lower price. That says a lot about the shameful shape of our economy and society right now.

    Oh- I can't imagine being further north and having this happen. It's bad enough with our nightly temps being around 20 degrees. Without heat there is the additional concern of pipes bursting and pets freezing, even if people can find a place for themselves and their children.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, the cost of electricity is based on the cost of production, e.g. how much coal or gas does it take to make the electricity, plus costs of transmission, etc.

    In addition, many power companies buy on what they call the "spot market"
    This means that the costs float and are based on the contracted amt the utilities pay for that energy that month.

    Natural gas works the same way. Up here in our area of WI, the power companies purchase on a six month spot contract. Because of that, it is quite possible to see changes in your power bill that don't reflect current actual pricing.

    Most US power companies have some sort of budget plans. With one of those, they base your charge for a six month period based on your charge for actual usage during an equivalent period. At the end of that period, your usage and fees are reassessed and your rates may change. In the case of usage credits, they credit the overage back to your account.

    Again, I cannot recommend highly enough that you get on a budget plan. Yes, it does mean you will pay more for utilities in the summer, but it also means you don't get clobbered in the winter.

    The major downside to all of this is that many utilities will not put you on a budget plan unless you are both current on your utility bills AND have a good past payment history with them.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I do the "average montly pay". That way there's no big surprise when the weather changes.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Witz, that's what we call a "budget plan" up here. in my opinion, anyone who doesn't get one if they can, is out of their minds.

    We have some of the lowest sea level temps in the continental US. It's a lot easier for me to figure that power is so much per month and budget for it, than to skate through the summer knowing I'm going to get whacked a few times with 250 dollar power billsw.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We switched to budget billing about a year ago. So far it's been wonderful - knowing how much, when. In August, the amount changes depending on the previous year's use.