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Posted By Subodh on Friday, February 29, 2008
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Electricity consumption

 

A quick call to the friendly folks at PGE wasn't much helpful except for a big question --"What changed in your home in December?" It being winter, the only thing different in December is the whole house heater running a lot more than in October. Since the heater runs on gas mostly,  other than the circulating fan it should not have much of an impact on electricity consumption.

Oh wait! It must be the Christmas lights. No... it can't be. The Christmas lights went up on 25th of Dec. and came down on the 1st of Jan. I used about 40 Watts * 12 strings from 6 PM to 12 midnight everyday for 7 days. That still doesn't total up.

Yes, the Gas bill increased this month and there's not much I can do about it I guess. But why did the electricity bill run so high? Couple of times running in and out of the house to the electricity meter and back to the circuit board inside removed the suspicion that the meter was working fine. With all the circuit breakers down, the meter stops. No go there!

A couple of more calls to PGE revealed that they have a low income assistance program where they would send some technicians to check all the appliances in my home. Couple of days later, I got to know that I don't qualify for one. Back to square one.

It dawns on me, I have to do the guessing part on my own. In one of these calls with the PGE customer service, a helpful lady gives me some very helpful facts:

Q: "Do you have any electric heaters or devices?"
A: "No, nothing other than the whole-house gas heater."

Q: "Your electricity usage is is definitely much higher than your neighborhood. Something is definitely wrong. The bill shouldn't be  this high. What are the appliances in your home?"
A: "Not much. About 4 computers, a plasma TV, a refrigerator, dish washer, washing machine and a dryer."
Q. "Then you must hire an electrician to investigate your home. Your bill has been consistently high in such a case. The past month was just something else. Your consumption should not even be more than $100 for what you told me."

Now that set me thinking. When I was living in an apartment, my electricity bill was hardly 50 bucks. What is so different about this house? I have been consistently paying more than 150 bucks every month for the past 3 or so years. Oh and it suddenly increased to more than 500 bucks!



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