$ Electric bills?

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Gina B, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Before I call the company and make a fool out of myself, let me do it in front of the whole world. LOL I can't be the only one who doesn't know.

    I just got the biggest bill ever for where we live. This took me by surprise because I took the advice of, um, the electric company, who says that using electric between 4-7 pm makes bills higher. I figured that was because generally, a lot of people are coming home from work, kids home from school or activities, and using more electric so duh, it makes it higher.

    So...I've tried keeping lights out, precooking or only cooking very light around dinner time, not using the washer and dryer during those times.

    When I got the bill, our usage was a decent amount lower for July than it was for last July, which SOUNDS great, except our bill was over one hundred dollars higher.

    ??????

    The ONLY thing I can think of is that the temps have been so ridiculously high and it peaks in the evenings, so the air conditioning is driving it up, but we still used less electricity.

    Do they actually CHARGE more for electric during peak usage hours, so that even if we use less in the evening, we're still paying more for it than we are by using it in the morning?

    And if so, why? A product is a product. Why charge more for the same thing?

    Or did they just make a mistake on the bill?

    Or did they give bad advice and electric costs more in the morning than the evening?
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    I've always heard prices are cheaper at certain times, but I've never actually seen a power company that does charge different rates at different times of the day.

    Our company reads the meter every other month. On the off months, they just "estimate." Sometimes the estimate is way off, in which case I will call and ask them to come read the meter to make sure there's nothing wrong.

    We've started unplugging bigger items when not in use: the washing machine, television, computer, microwave, even the toaster. This does help save some.

    Getting blackout or dark curtains may help, too.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    Let me see if I understand. You used less power in the month of July 2012 than you did July 2011, but your power bill was higher?

    If I have that right, you've experienced a rate hike sometime in between. A pretty big one sounds like. I would call just to be certain they figured your bill correctly, but I'm betting you owe what they say you owe. Time to contact your state public service commission (if you have one there) and complain about the price you are having to pay!
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Yep!

    I figured abc was probably right about the meter reading but...

    I just did some research on our power company and found out we have "smart meters" which remotely read our meters. So their reading was correct and when I looked at the bill again, shows what I said. We used less this July than last July, but were billed for much more.

    And now I know why.

    They do change the rate BY THE HOUR.

    Seriously.

    They can't predict how much the rate will be by more than two hours, though they can estimate a day ahead of time if they next day is going to be higher and they'll only tell you about it if you join a special plan they have.

    So we pay an unknown amount each hour and they state between 2pm and 7pm are the most expensive hours. Apparently, it was a pretty high amount during a lot of hours this month.

    Sounds kinda shady to me.
     
  5. Melanie

    Melanie
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    Gina....shop around and find another company. Where I live we have a nifty system where I pay a monthly fee of say $100.00 and when in credit, it slides over to cover the winter hike. No doubt the company uses these funds in some sort of inerest bearing account but I am happy to not be hit with fearsome charges. Oh, my company actually contacted me to reduce my monthly payment as my account was too much in credit!!!!! :love2:
     
  6. billwald

    billwald
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    Never heard of a municipality or county when there was a selection of power suppliers.
     
  7. Melanie

    Melanie
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    I am surprised that this is the case for the USA. I have the choice of I think 3-4 power suppliers here.

    Personally, I think it is madness to sell off essential services such as power, telecommuncations etc. As an enemy how easy would it be to gain control of these resources and then hold the nation to ransom?

    But I guess where there is a monopoly on the supply of power, that too is a form holding the client in a less than happy situation, to whom do you complain to, there is an ombudsman I presume?
     
    #7 Melanie, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012
  8. Gina B

    Gina B
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    There has been a lot of deregulation, but I don't know if it's in all states or all over in all states.

    Doesn't much matter here if they did or not, there's only one provider anyhow.
     
  9. blackbird

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    Your air conditioning system gobbles up the juice faster than any other appliance-----every time you hear that sucker come on---you start loosing money

    Then the power company has set in their "Charge account" column sometimes what is called a "Fuel surcharge"----which is really a rip off if you ask me----with this fuel surcharge, see, not only are you paying for the electricity you use----buy you are paying for the coal/natural gas THEY burn to produce the juice YOU buy from them

    The surcharge is sphiphered from a formula they use---taking the kilowatt hours you used x the cost of the fuel they used to produce those kw's----not only are you buying the elephant from them---but you have to buy the hay to feed the fat thing from them, too!!!

    See what I'm sayin'???????

    :saint::saint:
    blackbird
     
  10. billwald

    billwald
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    Back when Ma Bell ran the phone system it most always "worked," even when the power lines were down. I have had more trouble with my land line in the last years than in the last 20 years under Ma Bell. I hope the government doesn't mess with the retail power system.

    Ma Bell was destroyed in 1984 under Reagan. Happenstance?? <G>
     
  11. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Well, guess there's just no way on earth to know if we'll be paying $50 or $250.

    I went nuts during the month of September in an effort to conserve electric. We very specifically followed the recommendations for doing laundry and such in the mornings, I did very little cooking, and went to extra lengths making sure lights were off in the evenings and the least amount of electricity being used then.

    Our usage fell a good deal lower than last month. YAY!

    But our bill is even higher.

    I give up. We'll be using it however and whenever we feel like it. I've gotta wonder if their recommendations were an attempt to scam customers when they sent out those letters telling us how much we could save by watching what hours of the day we use our electric!
     
  12. Melanie

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    Very unsatisfactory Gina! To whom can you complain (obviously not the company).....which has a monopoly on your state I take it? Call your local polly....make them earn their inflated pays. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper......scream blue murder and make a song and dance until someone decides to do something if only to shut one loony hausfrau up...what is citizenship worth if you cannot get some answers....go go!!!:wavey:
     
  13. Crabtownboy

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    Deregulated capitalism at work ... we are going to have to learn to live with it, especially if the "modern" Republicans gain control. So, if you like the modern GOP don't cry when you get stuck with the inflated bill.
     
  14. Bro. Curtis

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    One of the promises the zero has kept was his promise that under his policies, energy prices would skyrocket.
     
  15. Gina B

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    Yeah, I probably shouldn't just give up on it. It really does bug the tar out of me. Our bills here have ranged anywhere from $75 to $350. I understand higher costs in different seasons, but the insanity of seeing such drastic jumps from one month to the next, especially a major jump up in cost from a pretty good decrease in use, seems so very wrong.

    Their advertisements are, at the least, misleading, if not outright fraudulent. That in itself should get the attention of whoever I write to. I feel pretty dumb for falling for their advice. They claimed using electric at certain times would cost less, but it appears that when we followed that advice, it ended up being more because they change the cost by the hour and no matter what the time, the more people using it, the more they charge. So if a lot of people followed their advice, duh. Of course it jacked up our bills. That's very deceitful.
     

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