How can by electric bill triple in a new apartment - UPDATE - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > How can by electric bill triple in a new apartment - UPDATE
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 01:25 PM 12-13-2010

Hi all,

 

So I am having a bit of a problem and am very upset. I have never used more than 400KWH for electricity and my bill is always below $70(this is the highest end). I moved to a new apartment just 10/15minutes away and my first reading is 1390KWH!!! and the bill is $188!!!!! I called them about it and with their investigation they only took off $12. I cannot see this as being right. We are in a smaller apartment. We use the same energy efficient bulbs as we did for the last apartments, I have even been more conservative in this apartments since we have to pay for everything(including water).

 

Is there something more to this?? I just can't wrap my head around this bill.



_ktg_'s Avatar _ktg_ 01:34 PM 12-13-2010

Is there anything else different from this apartment from your previous one ie. different heating sources, other items which are plugged in (stoves, garbage disposal) which might be using power?

 

 Did the company take a reading when the previous tenant discontinued and is this a new cycle for you as new tenants?  I remember for one apartment we got hammered because essentially we got charged the previous tenants usage (for the last month).


number572's Avatar number572 01:37 PM 12-13-2010

Energy efficiency of the appliances?  Including washer/dryer if they are in your unit.

 

Central heat & air vs wall unit?

 

Maybe you pay part of the building hallway lighting or laundry room or exterior electricity bill?  In one apartment we had, all four of the units had to share the costs I just mentioned, in addition to our own unit.  But it came on a separate bill...

 

Those are a few ideas, that really sucks tho!  That is a big difference for you.


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 02:42 PM 12-13-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post

Is there anything else different from this apartment from your previous one ie. different heating sources, other items which are plugged in (stoves, garbage disposal) which might be using power?

 

 Did the company take a reading when the previous tenant discontinued and is this a new cycle for you as new tenants?  I remember for one apartment we got hammered because essentially we got charged the previous tenants usage (for the last month).

We have less plug ins too me. The last apartment we had a dishwasher this one we don't. Our heat and gas is from a different company. The last one we would use the little plug in night lights, we don't use them here. All our bulbs are the energy efficent ones ranging from 13-23kwh only the kitchen has the long bulbs which our other apartment had also. The only difference to me is that we don't have the same stove and fridge that is it. We don't have dryer, only a portable washer which we had in our last apartment also.

 

This is our first cylce here at this new apartment. I asked them about the other tenant also, they claim it has nothing to do with this. The reading is so crazy it is not funny.

 


zebra15's Avatar zebra15 03:30 PM 12-13-2010

Do you have a different electric company? Different companies charge different rates.  What is the listed billing cycle, 30 days, 37 days 42 days?  Is this just an approx. amount based on past usage or an acutal reading?  Are you on the same floor as before, meaning 2nd floor move to 2nd floor move?  A different floor makes a HUGE difference in electric sometimes.  Even if they electric company claims not you could still be billed for some complex stuff, community lights etc.

 

If you live in a different city there could be different taxes and fees on the bill as well.  Your 'service' fee could be different. You may also have a deposit.

 

Good luck getting everything straightened out.


_ktg_'s Avatar _ktg_ 03:35 PM 12-13-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post

We have less plug ins too me. The last apartment we had a dishwasher this one we don't. Our heat and gas is from a different company. The last one we would use the little plug in night lights, we don't use them here. All our bulbs are the energy efficent ones ranging from 13-23kwh only the kitchen has the long bulbs which our other apartment had also. The only difference to me is that we don't have the same stove and fridge that is it. We don't have dryer, only a portable washer which we had in our last apartment also.

 

This is our first cylce here at this new apartment. I asked them about the other tenant also, they claim it has nothing to do with this. The reading is so crazy it is not funny.

 


Ugh!  I know that feeling - its awful!  My second thought after thinking if there was more plug-ins, was perhaps someone is stealing from you or the junction somehow hence the huge increase in your billed usage that doesn't actually match your true usage in the apartment.

 

Can the company provide you estimates of the average usage for that property?  For example - the previous owners of my house had an average bill of $305/month for power (i know insane!) but if you know the average charge per KW you could figure out the usage and hence if there was a significant difference between you & previous tenant. 


holidaymama's Avatar holidaymama 05:12 PM 12-13-2010

I have heard that different companies can be outrageously different like that. When we were in a 3 bedroom apt. (1300 sq ft) we were paying right around 80-100 where a friend in a nearby area but with a different company had a smaller apt 2 bedroom 800 sq. ft and was paying up to 200 a month.

 

Also, what floor are you on? That can make a difference too.


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 05:41 PM 12-13-2010



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Do you have a different electric company? Different companies charge different rates.  What is the listed billing cycle, 30 days, 37 days 42 days?  Is this just an approx. amount based on past usage or an acutal reading?  Are you on the same floor as before, meaning 2nd floor move to 2nd floor move?  A different floor makes a HUGE difference in electric sometimes.  Even if they electric company claims not you could still be billed for some complex stuff, community lights etc.

 

If you live in a different city there could be different taxes and fees on the bill as well.  Your 'service' fee could be different. You may also have a deposit.

 

Good luck getting everything straightened out.



 

 We have the same company and live in the same County(we are only 10/15minutes away). Not sure of the billing cycle but even so the bill is more than what I would pay for 3 months combined. I am on a different floor though. The last apt. was a lower level/basement this one is the level above the basement(not by choice, they messed up on our request).



Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post

We have less plug ins too me. The last apartment we had a dishwasher this one we don't. Our heat and gas is from a different company. The last one we would use the little plug in night lights, we don't use them here. All our bulbs are the energy efficent ones ranging from 13-23kwh only the kitchen has the long bulbs which our other apartment had also. The only difference to me is that we don't have the same stove and fridge that is it. We don't have dryer, only a portable washer which we had in our last apartment also.

 

This is our first cylce here at this new apartment. I asked them about the other tenant also, they claim it has nothing to do with this. The reading is so crazy it is not funny.

 


Ugh!  I know that feeling - its awful!  My second thought after thinking if there was more plug-ins, was perhaps someone is stealing from you or the junction somehow hence the huge increase in your billed usage that doesn't actually match your true usage in the apartment.

 

Can the company provide you estimates of the average usage for that property?  For example - the previous owners of my house had an average bill of $305/month for power (i know insane!) but if you know the average charge per KW you could figure out the usage and hence if there was a significant difference between you & previous tenant. 



 I tried calling the company to ask about the estimate for this apartment but they said they cannot gave me that because it is private/confidential but yet my SIL gets that info from here electric company(different from mine but we in the same state).


Ola_'s Avatar Ola_ 06:50 PM 12-13-2010

My first thought is something major, like electric heat instead of gas, etc.  Second thought is that they are estimating your usage based on what the previous tenants used instead of actually reading your meter.

 

Can you speak to some of the other tenants to see how much their bills normally are?  Are you on a corner/end unit and therefore have less insulation from neighbours?

 

One thing I would do asap is make a note of what your hydro meter says and then check it again at the end of the cycle.  This may be in your unit or elsewhere in the building, so you'd have to ask your superintendent to let you see them.  Also, I'd pick a time when you won't be home or using anything, unplug and turn off everything, and check the reading to see if it's still changing (this is something our water company suggests to check if you have a water leak, obviously with the water meter instead of hydro).


changingseasons's Avatar changingseasons 06:55 PM 12-13-2010
Quote:
My first thought is something major, like electric heat instead of gas, etc. Second thought is that they are estimating your usage based on what the previous tenants used instead of actually reading your meter.

yeahthat.gif

Another thing is if you have a really crappy old fridge that is leaking cold air and running constantly, that will jack your electric bill way up (although I'm not sure it would triple it!) You could get one of those kill-o-watt meters and see how much each appliance is using.
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 07:03 PM 12-13-2010

We just turned off our breakers and the meter stopped(our meters are in the building we have access to them). But the reading on the meter doesn't seem right to what they have here on the bill. I looked up how to read the meter and according to what I see instead of the meter reading being 3238(which is on our bill) it should read 3138 which will be right along the lines of our KWH usage. The 2nd number on the meter is inbetween the 1 and 2 and they are suppose to read it to the lowest number and I checked this today and it is inbetween the 1 and 2 and they checked it Dec. 1st and wrote down a 2, which makes our bill 1000KWH more. I am calling tomorrow to ask if someone really came out and read it because I cannot see how they can make that mistake twice.


mattemma04 05:53 AM 12-14-2010

I had a high bill one spring.I turned everything off  one by one,and found the meter was still going. I finally figured out a pump in my septic was running 24/7 due to a disconnected hose.

 

I would push the issue if you are certain the numbers are wrong.Schedule an appointment so you can be there.Check your numbers each month. If it really is correct then it looks like a move is in the near future for you,because paying more than double would not sit well with me either!


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 06:30 AM 12-14-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I had a high bill one spring.I turned everything off  one by one,and found the meter was still going. I finally figured out a pump in my septic was running 24/7 due to a disconnected hose.

 

I would push the issue if you are certain the numbers are wrong.Schedule an appointment so you can be there.Check your numbers each month. If it really is correct then it looks like a move is in the near future for you,because paying more than double would not sit well with me either!


We are trying to schedule an appt. but all they are telling us was that an adjustment was made on the 12th, they just took $12 off I guess to shut us up but no one came out to read it again after the 1st. They just said leave a call back number.
 


Ola_'s Avatar Ola_ 08:33 AM 12-14-2010

That would explain it!  I would definitely push them to come out and do another reading, sounds like they messed up.


greenmulberry's Avatar greenmulberry 10:09 AM 12-14-2010

Once, when we lived in an apartment, we decided to get an air conditioner.

 

We were very cautious about running it at first, but noticed no change in our electric bill.

 

So we gradually started using it more and more. I just figured because it was a brand new small unit, it was very efficient.

 

One time over drinks on the porch on a summer night, our neighbor was complaining that her bill was outrageous and all she had was lamp on. I just thought that was weired since ours was so reasonable and we didn't put 2 and 2 together. . . . until she moved out, and the power company came and turned our power off, but not hers.

 

Turns out that the meter they had as being us, was hers and vice versa. Of course, the power company was very resit ant to admitting this happened and it took a lot of arguing to get them to come out and fix it.. But, after that, I would be very instant that all this stuff that doesn't make sense get promptly followed up on.


texmati's Avatar texmati 12:23 PM 12-14-2010


it could. Our electric bill doubled because we were kept an old fridge running in the garage. Sooooo stupid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post



Quote:
My first thought is something major, like electric heat instead of gas, etc. Second thought is that they are estimating your usage based on what the previous tenants used instead of actually reading your meter.



yeahthat.gif

Another thing is if you have a really crappy old fridge that is leaking cold air and running constantly, that will jack your electric bill way up (although I'm not sure it would triple it!) You could get one of those kill-o-watt meters and see how much each appliance is using.



zebra15's Avatar zebra15 02:41 PM 12-14-2010

If they dont come out and fix it, I would watch next months bill. In theory that bill should be close to zero!


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 09:59 AM 01-11-2011

Well..Update..That is if anyone remembers this. It is next month and they was suppose to read it on Jan. 4th. They have not sent a bill yet and have not updated my online account..so I decided to call and the auto bill machine says I have a credit of $27 which means they did read it wrong. I had only paid $70 out of the $188 they charged last month. It doesn't seem like I will be paying for Dec. eigther since I have a credit. I am still trying to contact them to see what reading they got this time around because that would mean I am only paying $43 for two months which seems odd still.

 

I really feel like calling the person who investigated my account and took off $12 and then closed the case and tell her to look out my account. I had even called and tell them the meter reading is wrong and that we wanted to be there for the next reading. Two supervisors was to call us about setting it up and we have never heard anything from them.

 

But anyways at least I know now it is nothing to do with the apt. it was there fault.


GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 12:15 PM 01-11-2011
Whew! Thank goodness! Have to say I am super jealous. Our electric bill is always around $200 (doesn't include heat) greensad.gif
BetsyS's Avatar BetsyS 02:09 PM 01-11-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmulberry View Post

Once, when we lived in an apartment, we decided to get an air conditioner.

 

We were very cautious about running it at first, but noticed no change in our electric bill.

 

So we gradually started using it more and more. I just figured because it was a brand new small unit, it was very efficient.

 

One time over drinks on the porch on a summer night, our neighbor was complaining that her bill was outrageous and all she had was lamp on. I just thought that was weired since ours was so reasonable and we didn't put 2 and 2 together. . . . until she moved out, and the power company came and turned our power off, but not hers.

 

Turns out that the meter they had as being us, was hers and vice versa. Of course, the power company was very resit ant to admitting this happened and it took a lot of arguing to get them to come out and fix it.. But, after that, I would be very instant that all this stuff that doesn't make sense get promptly followed up on.



This happened to us once with a duplex that had gas logs.  We were like, "wow!  gas logs are great!  You can use them all the time, and it doesn't affect your bill."  Until the neighbor moved out, and it turned out they had it flipped.  Whoops.  I always feel bad that we jacked up her bill like that.


number572's Avatar number572 03:04 PM 01-11-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post

Well..Update..That is if anyone remembers this. It is next month and they was suppose to read it on Jan. 4th. They have not sent a bill yet and have not updated my online account..so I decided to call and the auto bill machine says I have a credit of $27 which means they did read it wrong. I had only paid $70 out of the $188 they charged last month. It doesn't seem like I will be paying for Dec. eigther since I have a credit. I am still trying to contact them to see what reading they got this time around because that would mean I am only paying $43 for two months which seems odd still.

 

I really feel like calling the person who investigated my account and took off $12 and then closed the case and tell her to look out my account. I had even called and tell them the meter reading is wrong and that we wanted to be there for the next reading. Two supervisors was to call us about setting it up and we have never heard anything from them.

 

But anyways at least I know now it is nothing to do with the apt. it was there fault.


Great!  I think I'd still call and verify everything, find out what you're paying per kw used and then have them mail (or email) you a printout of everything - just so you don't get some surprise bill for a couple hundred $ in a few months and they tell you that you were underpaying etc. ... Since your bill still seems "off".  That's great tho, if it will be that much lower, what a relief!

 

Oh, and until the bill gets settled, I'd maybe take a few digital photos of the meter every once in a while, just in case...


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 11:37 AM 01-12-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post

Well..Update..That is if anyone remembers this. It is next month and they was suppose to read it on Jan. 4th. They have not sent a bill yet and have not updated my online account..so I decided to call and the auto bill machine says I have a credit of $27 which means they did read it wrong. I had only paid $70 out of the $188 they charged last month. It doesn't seem like I will be paying for Dec. eigther since I have a credit. I am still trying to contact them to see what reading they got this time around because that would mean I am only paying $43 for two months which seems odd still.

 

I really feel like calling the person who investigated my account and took off $12 and then closed the case and tell her to look out my account. I had even called and tell them the meter reading is wrong and that we wanted to be there for the next reading. Two supervisors was to call us about setting it up and we have never heard anything from them.

 

But anyways at least I know now it is nothing to do with the apt. it was there fault.


Great!  I think I'd still call and verify everything, find out what you're paying per kw used and then have them mail (or email) you a printout of everything - just so you don't get some surprise bill for a couple hundred $ in a few months and they tell you that you were underpaying etc. ... Since your bill still seems "off".  That's great tho, if it will be that much lower, what a relief!

 

Oh, and until the bill gets settled, I'd maybe take a few digital photos of the meter every once in a while, just in case...



There site is up again. So from what I see they just corrected the last bill, which shows I was to only pay $55(NOT $188!!!). But now I notice that even though they corrected the one from Oct. 29th-Dec. 1st..they haven't issued one for Dec. 2nd - Jan. 4th. So they haven't charged me for last month as yet that is why I have a credit. I am going to call them and find out why I haven't recieved Dec. bill. This company is something else. 


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