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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5409
Experience:  Proven Professional 45 years Experience
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My parents electric bill has soared sky high and they have

Customer Question

My parent's electric bill has soared sky high and they have no idea why. Their house is about 1100 square feet, all electric. They are using more power than I am and my house is 2000 square feet with two units running all day. We called the power company and they had no answers. What can we do? We are stumped.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. Did you see if the rate per KWH has changed? Do you have archived previous bills to compare by the months in previous years? If the paper work doesn't show a reason then w can look to see if there is a fault that could be the reason.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
Is the Utility Meter on the house or remote?
Where is the house?
What type of electric heat do they have?
Is there any underground circuits to wells, sewage ejectors or out buildings?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Mike,

My parents bought this house in November. They asked to have their power bill set to the average from the previous owner which was $136 per month. The house is 4-5 years old. The KWH is 3150 for 32 days ($313.71). The previous bill it was 609KWH for 12 days ($54). I spoke to the power company today and in the last 13 days the usage is more than the previous months bill for 32 days. It sounds like it was a normal amount for the first 12 days and then somehow it has extremely gone up.

I live in the same neighborhood and we haven't had a rate increase in over 13 months. Please let me know if I can provide you with any other information. My parents are retired and on a fixed income since my father became disabled. They can't afford to keep paying these high bills. I appreciate your help!

Kelle Thomas

2nd request-
The utility meter is on the house
The house is on a slab in a neighborhood (do you need the location?)
They have a heat pump
I don't think there is anything underground, no out buildings. In a large neighborhood.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
I calculated the cost per KWH and there is a difference - the smaller bill is $ .01less per unit than the other. Have you checked the water bill? With slab on grad construction, the hot water piping could break and the tank would just keep heating. That could be a cause. When was the last time the heating system was serviced, it could be contributory to a higher bill. Did the utility put you on a variable rate (changes without notice). Do they have any set back or timed controls of the heat and hot water?

Edited by Mike G. on 1/19/2011 at 11:33 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They have only received one water bill so far but my father doesn't have it for me to check the usage. The next bill won't come until the 1st of the month. We can call the water company tomorrow and see what the usage is. The first bill was only for a portion of the month so we wouldn't have noticed if something was wrong.

I can only assume the previous owner had the unit serviced but I don't know for sure. I want to say we are on a fixed rate with both utilities. The water heater is temperture controlled, you can set it like the thermostat.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
You need to put a timer on it. Heating water is expensive if it isn't being used. The utility should be able to provide a history of usage on the property. Without a comparison the question's answer would only be a guess. At this time I can't offer anything else. The question will remain open and I'll be glad to go over the paperwork with you. One more thing you could do is check with the neighbors to see if they have had a jump in their bills.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5409
Experience: Proven Professional 45 years Experience
Mike G. and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay thank you! They will ask the neighbors about their bill as well. I will find out what the water usage is tomorrow and try to send that information. How many months back do you recommend I get the usage for?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
Get as much as you can, it won't hurt but might help.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, thank you! I will get back with you when I get the water usage.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
I'll be here and thank you for accepting.

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