The Running Realtor: Ouch! - The Cost of Comfort

A blend of ramblings about Real Estate & Running around New Haven County and the Connecticut Shoreline

Ouch! - The Cost of Comfort

Here in Connecticut the utility companies are never shy about requesting rate increases.  This year the United Illuminating Company that provides us with electricity decided they needed a 50% increase. Somehow the regulatory committee that oversees this electric monopoly agreed that whatever hogwash they were fed sounded good enough to justify the huge price jump.  To ease the pain new rates were implemented in three steps with the full amount effective as of July first.

The summertime months of July, August & September bring the largest electric bills since air conditioning is in use.    We have been conserving this year and instead of running the air constantly we pop open windows whenever possible. The July bill came and since our consumption was down the total charges were similar to past years.

Well... Mother Nature struck with uncontrollable force delivering many hot humid days during the past month and the damage report just arrived.  In years past the typical bill in August would be a little over $300 but thanks to the big jump in electric prices it is now nearly Five Hundred!

I run around the house turning off lights and keep the curtains closed all day to minimize the hot sunlight.  Our hot water & clothes dryer is fueled with Natural Gas so I cannot find any ways to reduce usage.... Any ideas?   

 

 

Comment balloon 21 commentsNo Longer Active • August 08 2007 01:05PM

Comments

Dan,

Ouch...that looks like one of my electric bills, I just used the a/c for a couple of days but like you I am conserving. Incredible!!!

Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Suzanne... You're a little closer to the water so you must get that cool ocean breeze...
Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Dan,

Last week was brutal the air was so thick, had to use the a/c. Was the first time all summer. :)

Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Suzanne.... Think it's been about two weeks straight here... Just thinking it's about time for my run but it's so hot out today.... News said it would feel like 100!
Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Dan,

Its really windy today, nice breeze perfect for a run!

Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Suzanne,  You forget I'm no aerodynamic boneyard.    Takes extra effort to run against the wind!
Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Ok - you two are having too much fun - I think it's the effects of the heat (LOL) - The bill is outrageous - do you live in a mansion Dan? Our bill here in FL for 2200 sq ft is @$200/mo or less and we have everything on - 4 laptops, etc.   
Posted by Cyndee Haydon, 727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 11 years ago
unplug your charging devises when not in use, and turn off your cable box when not in use.  Every little bit helps.
Posted by Beth Bastian, Simi Valley Real Estate (Rosemont Financial Inc) about 11 years ago

Dan:

Okay, you are just getting crazy with graphics here.......LOL

Sandra

Posted by Sandra Cummings, Real Estate Agent, Guilford Connecticut (William Raveis Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Do you have a whole house fan?  I understand that they are very inexpensive to buy if you need to install one for next year...  we use ours EVERY day.  First thing in the morning, it sucks in all the cooler air from the downstairs windows, and pulls out all the hot air from the second story.  I've been running it for maybe 1/2 hour in the morning, shutting all the windows and any blinds for sun-facing windows, and just letting it ride as long as possible.  Usually we have the upstairs air conditioning unit running for a few hours in the afternoon.  The whole house fan goes back on for a while around 9 at night.  The whole process is kind of a pain, but it really makes a difference in the house without running the air all day.  I think it's safe to say that our days get a little hotter here than where you're at?
Posted by Sandi Bauman, Chico CA Realtor (Chico Homes Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Cyndee... I wondered how you survive with the heat & expense down there... Yes.. I live in a mansion that is about the same size as your castle.  Curious if you know how much electricity you use, my big bill was for just over 2000 kw hours.

Beth...My wife did run around unplugging all the chargers but I think they are all back to the old ways.

Sandra... Figured the only way you'd look at the bill was to post in here!

Sandi... No we don't have the whole house fan and my wife whines if the Central AC is not always on.  We did pretty good in July using the windows and keeping things closed up during the day and our bill was about $270.  Does your weather really cool down at night... Here it remains pretty warm so we'd be sucking in hot humid air.  

Suzanne... I did get out for a 5 miler... The warm breeze wasn't that bad and I even had the energy to mow the the lawn when I got home.  Maybe I'll head out food shopping an get a treat.... :-)

Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Ouch is right Dan - the cost of comfort is never included in my budget, ya think that's why I'm broke?  LOL!!
Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) about 11 years ago

Dan, how about oil lamps, washing cloths on the rock by the river, and a cloths line to dry the cloths.  So what if the house is going to smell of oil, and the cloths a little ruff.  Your a tough guy you can handle a little chaffing :)

All kidding aside, my house is all electric and my electric bills for the winter were not pleasant to look at, much less pay. 

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 11 years ago

LOL @ George!

Dan,

I knew you could do it! My house is about the same size as yours, in MA there is an organization called MASS Save. My understanding is they come out and evaluate and make recommendations for ways to save on your energy bills. I will add that to my list to do tomorrow now I'm curious!

BTW,

cute graphics & how cool was that you exceeded your own expectations! :)

Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Dan--Yikes!! That is awful! We have had very long hot summer this year and have kept our shades down and have a programmable thermostat. I think I have turned on the oven one time...Everything else is microwaved or cooked stovetop as the oven really heats up the place. Our bills are no where near $500...That really is outrageous!
Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) about 11 years ago
Oh this post makes me so thankful for 90 degree days and 40 degree nights..... tonight when I got home my house was a perfect 71 degrees - I just opened a window to bring in the cool air for tomorrow.... AC mother nature's way... whoo hooo - sorry Dan - summer is almost over though
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago
That's painful!!!  We thought the electric bills in FL were bad with no relief from all this heat but I've NEVER paid THAT MUCH!  Wow!!  And...the only time we truly go without is when we have some wild hurricane come through and lose power for a day or 2! 
Posted by Susie Roscoe, Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL (Signature Realty Associates) about 11 years ago

Brad... Tough to budget the unknown!  But at least we don't see the bills laying around the house anymore.. Just a quick mouse click and it disappears just as quick as my money...

George... I've got that river in the back yard and will credit you when I tell Sandra the new laundy rules.  Chaffing was a quickly learned lesson.... now when running I go Commando!

Suzanne...We have a similar program and they offer off-peak pricing if you sign up for the program and reduce consumption from 12-8 pm but they don't recommend it for homes with central AC.  Yesterday while I was out running and then cutting the grass the rest of the family was in the house whining it's to hot because the house was at 75.

Teri...Believe me I grumble at my wife when she decides to cook a roast on the hottest of days... Think she does these things just to aggravate me and make life difficult.

Thesea... That is some temperature variation but certainly nice.... The house must be so cool in the morning that you can close it up and enjoy nice temps all day.

Susie...I'm learning how much cheaper it is all over the country.  Think I'll be looking at a major relocation for my retirement years.

Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Dan, I am sure Sandra will be happy to write you instructions on how it is done :)

As far as the running goes, that was more information then I needed ....... LOL 

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 11 years ago

Ahhhh Dan we have the same problem here!  When we first moved in our electric bills were a smidge over 100 and now, in the same house they are close to $500!  This is a span of only 4 years!!!!

We are slowly switching to CFB's, we use our timer thermostat,etc etc etc.  The only thing we have changed is that we added a pool the year after we moved here and pools do cost as much as A/C to run so we don't run the pool that much.  We throw a load of laundry in the washer in the AM and throw it in the dryer right before bed and run all appliances that put out heat like the dishwasher right before bed.

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) about 11 years ago

Electric rates are crazy!

Posted by Jim almost 11 years ago

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