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#1 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So much for lowering the gas bill by having the house colder this December!!! It came in today at $408!!!!!! I'm stunned! It's over an increase of $100 compared to last year when I was heating the house to 71 degrees! Last month it was only $80 so this is a huge shock. Has gas really gone up that much or has this December been so much colder that I'm using more gas to maintain a lower heat?
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#2 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Have you looked closely at your bill?  Mine has a graph with my usage, and the mean temp for this billing period and the same month last year.  Your bill should also show you what you're paying per therm, which has likely gone up.  I live in the Mid-Atlantic, and it was 5 degrees colder this December than last.  Do you have an electronic thermostat?  That saved us a bundle.

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#3 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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The times we've had a drastic change like that, it was because they didn't come by and read the meter the month before.  I don't know about your company, but ours will sometimes estimate your usage for a month based on what it was last year, and then adjust it the next time they read the meter.  So, perhaps it was that $80 that should have been higher?

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#4 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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We had a similar thing happen-have the house set to a colder temp but the bill was $100 higher than last month's bill. I was so disgusted I didn't even REALLY look at what it was last year for the actual number, but it WAS a taller bar graph.

 

I tried to console myself with the fact our bill in the summer is usually lower as our house runs cold-nice in the summer, not so nice in the winter. And it HAS been a cold December here in NC. 


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#5 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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We have had that happen, and it ended up being what a previous poster said. They based our charge on the previous year's usage, not an actual reading. It wouldn't hurt to call and ask about it!

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#6 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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It should say on your bill whether it was an estimate or an actual reading. 

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#7 of 19 Old 12-30-2010, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The bill is based on an actual reading. i have to be thankful I had made the changes I had made or else the bill would have been far higher! This December has been a lot colder than normal so that explains the increased gas usage. The good news is our electricity usage is down!

 

I'm still in shock lol.

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#8 of 19 Old 12-31-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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We've had this happen before with our water bill.  It never hurts to call and we found out that it was an actual reading because the month before, something was broken on the meter and the attendant couldn't get a good reading, so they estimated it. 


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#9 of 19 Old 12-31-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Ours went up too.  It has been a very cold, early winter for us -- our average daily temps were 9 degrees colder than last year.  Mid-Atlantic area.  


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#10 of 19 Old 12-31-2010, 10:45 PM
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That's a lot.  

 

If it is accurate, I'd guess you are losing some of your heat.  I'd check and make sure all doors are closed, windows closed tightly.  I'd get heavy curtains for all of the windows.  Consider installing insulation.  Roll towels under door cracks.  Close off unused rooms and don't heat them.  Turn down the thermostat and throw on some sweaters.  

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#11 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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Ms. Fortune has some great suggestions, and I'd like to add to them.  I'm assuming you have centralized gas heat (as opposed to one or two units)?  We had an energy audit done recently, and the cold air sneaks through places like leaky windows and even your outlet plugs!  On the latter, you could go to the trouble of insulating them, but honestly, the auditor discovered that just covering them with those plastic safety plugs for kids works just as well!

 

Also, our ductwork leaks at all of the joints.  This is a really common problem.  It's easy to fix but a hassle because DH works 60 hours a week and I can't slip away from two tiny LOs!  But you just apply a low-VOC mastic to seal them up. 


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#12 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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Hopefully not the case but check your furnace/boiler.

 

We just had to replace our boiler for our steam heat because the old one cracked. Our gas bill had quadrupled right before it was replaced because it wasn't working properly and was using more gas than usual (even accounting for the colder weather).


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#13 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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We are about an hour from you, OP, and it's been extremely cold this year compared to last. I expected our bills to go up significantly this month because we don't use get snow & ice until mid-January. Last year we bought 4 large space heaters and just use them in the common rooms. The electric usage hasn't offset the decrease in gas by much. We've been really happy with that system rather than using gas heat all the time.


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#14 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I learnt three years ago how to weather proof without help from dh lol. For sockets I added the foam insert and plug with childproof plugs. Windows were all resealed around the edges last year and are all still working properly. I had 3 estimnates to have our insulation boosted and all basically told us they could add more but the house was already well insulated. All doors have had the insulation stripes added and are kept locked to seal as tight as possible.

 

As to the boiler, oh lord, I don't have  a clue! Guess thats something I should look at. It's only 10 years old but I guess age has  nothing to do with it.

 

Than you for the advice! Every little thing helps!

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#15 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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You're probably already doing this, but if you have zones, turn the heat down in the zones you're not using at the moment.  We also turn the heat down @ night when everyone is in bed, or if everyone's going to be gone for more than a couple hours.  Also, keep closet doors closed.  They're usually unheated & will just suck the heat out of the living spaces.

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#16 of 19 Old 01-02-2011, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do have zoned heat but they are both on programable thermostats. There is only really one 2nd floor room that needs a heater though (the other two bedrooms get warm from the heat rising) so might turn the upstairs heat off totally and buy a programable oil heater for that one room.

 

Expensive heating and cooling bills equal a damn good reason to not buy a house with a two storey family room!!!!

 

I must admit, I'm so proud of how well the boys do at these lower temperatures. My eldest still walks around topless and says he's warm!

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#17 of 19 Old 01-03-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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Our gas company has a budget program where they average out what your bill should be per month (based on the last year's usage) and spreads it out longer into the year. So you still may be paying more than you would in the warmer months (like April or May) but the bill is lower each month so is more manageable. Does that make sense?


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#18 of 19 Old 01-03-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Not sure if this has been mentioned, but also make sure you are changing your filters (assuming your "thing" - sad, I don't even know if it's a boiler, "heater" whatever - takes them).  We have a high efficiency unit and it apparently needs to have the filters changed monthly.  I can also attest to an amazing jump in cost (not this year specifically, but in the past) and it was due to a large increase in charge per therm for gas.


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#19 of 19 Old 01-04-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

Our gas company has a budget program where they average out what your bill should be per month (based on the last year's usage) and spreads it out longer into the year. So you still may be paying more than you would in the warmer months (like April or May) but the bill is lower each month so is more manageable. Does that make sense?


 

I have this too, and it saves my azz every year.  We also have one with the eletcric company.  I highly reccomend!!!!!

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