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AlpineSkier
22nd Jul 2011, 19:14
Just reading about the heat-wave in Oklahoma, Iowa and other states. It then occured to me that these states also get hammered with very severe winters.

Whilst I know what gasolene costs, i have no idea about electricity and gas ( is it used domestically ? ) prices . How much does a kwH cost and what would be a "usual" annual energy cost be when looking at lots of summer a/c and winter warmth ? Is the sum seen as a punitive amount with regard to "average" income ?

arcniz
22nd Jul 2011, 19:47
Energy supplies in the US come from thousands of private companies, large
& small, as well as from city or regional "public" utilities that are highly subject to political control and management. Because of this, electric rates for individual users at home can vary from a few pennies per kwh to several DOLLARS per kwh, depending on the locality, the utility, the classification of the user (ex: all-electric home (vs gas heating, etc), elderly, economically disadvantaged, or garden-variety consumer = victim of rate schemes & games of all sorts.)

The introduction of Smart Meters makes it possible to charge individual users the "instantaneous" or "prevailing" cost for electric demand during peak periods, such as hot & cold waves. This is the case where the upper limit of KWH cost is astronomical, because utilities - trying to avoid capital investment for more generating capability of their own - have arrangements to purchase "peak power" from special vendors with on-call "peaking plants" that are not normally economically efficient but do handle the trick of supplying the last few percent of demand surge capacity at sometimes astronomical what-the-market-will -bear rates. More than a few clapped-out jet turbines have been bolted to electric generators for this purpose, which is never cheap.

The trend toward declining investment by utilities and greater upward fluctuation in electric rates has grown significantly in the US over the past two decades. Until recently, the extreme cost of peak power has been averaged across the rate schedule for the entire active customer base. Now, with smart meters, it will be common to log each customer's usage at each time period per day, so that the ones unlucky or unwise enough to be using juice in mid-afternoon during a heat-wave might conceivably find themselves paying tens or hundreds of dollars per hour for their air-conditioning.

The extreme case of this scenario has not yet hit the fan, so to speak. But inevitably it will. Watch for the screaming headlines a few years down the pike - "widow & orphans evicted for failure to pay to electric air conditioning charges".

con-pilot
22nd Jul 2011, 21:28
Our last month's electrical bill was $290.38, the gas bill was $38.00.

Now, last month the outside temperature was near (98) or over (105 highest) for the entire month and we keep our house at 75f during the day and 70f at night. Also, our house is very well insulated. When I get up in the morning at 07:00 I turn the A/C up to 75 and it does not come again until around noon or later even with the OAT in the high 80s and 90s.

Oh, and our house is a little over 3,000 square feet in size.

Highest natural gas bill, used for heating, cooking and the clothes dryer, that I can recall was around $250.00 last winter during a blizzard and a extremely cold spell, near or below zero Fahrenheit for nearly a month. The electric bill that same month was around $25.00.

So I don't know how that compares to what you are use to. Hope this helps.

One more thing, if the forecast OAT high for any given period of time is over 100f, by Oklahoma law the electrical company cannot cut off anyone's electricity. The same for the gas company if the temperature is forecast to be at or below 32f/0c.

The maximum temperature range, record, in Oklahoma is from the highest of 120f to a low of -42f. That would be 49c to -41c.

Slasher
23rd Jul 2011, 03:43
What you need is a natural gas-powered aircon to reduce the
electric bill con. I believe such devices (http://www.naturalgas.org/overview/uses_residential.asp) are on the US market
(scroll down to 6th para).

It might be a wise move since cheap lecky bills are a thing of
the past and set to get higher, and given that theres so much
abundant natural gas buried under the States it'll far outlast
oil.

Rollingthunder
23rd Jul 2011, 04:58
Last months elecricity bill was $23.96. Small apartment.

Gas/ Petrol - $ 133.4 Lt (for next couple of minutes)\

Cable TV- $ 24.99

Phone and Internet - $ 49.80.(unlimited) (+3 cents a minute calls to all of North America, the UK and Australia)... that's $ 1.80 an hour...

That. I think is a full house.... anyone got a flush?

KAG
23rd Jul 2011, 06:05
AlpineSkier: right on.

Energy cost are the 21 rst century biggest challenge. Global challenge as much as a personal challenge...

samusi01
23rd Jul 2011, 14:07
Last month's for me were $22 and $28 for electricity and gas respectively. I tend to leave my a/c at 75F overnight and off during the day... small apartment, no-one else at home, doesn't get too bad inside even if it's appalling outside.

Furthermore, I was away for several trips, and I leave everything off during those trips.

The first year that I was here in OK, we had brownouts on summer weekend afternoons - presumably brought by the usual +100F and everyone being at home running a/c simultaneously - but I haven't experienced anything like that since - brownouts, not heat, that is. Supposed to be 107F today but it's not as bad as the folks over at Fort Smith, who have had 20+ days of over 100F. We've gotten one break during that period.

Edited to add:

My electrical bill from yesterday shows the following: for July 2011, 5 KWH/day at a cost of $0.72/day, avg. temp 87F, one year ago 7 KWH/day at $0.80, avg temp 83F. If I paid more attention to the electrical company's missives I could probably tell you why the rate dropped in the last year.

OFSO
23rd Jul 2011, 16:38
While everyone's jumping in with examples, our electricity here in Spain is priced at 14 cents (euro cents) a Kw.

Last month's bill was 105, that's for a large house with three reverse cycle a/c units and an indoor pool (pump etc) and lots of appliances: lighting indoors and out is mostly LED or eco.

The house (like most here) has a three-phase connection to the mains.

con-pilot
23rd Jul 2011, 17:09
Looks like I'm paying too damn much, and the scary thing is, my bill is less than most of my neighbors. :uhoh:

AlpineSkier
24th Jul 2011, 15:50
Well thanks for all your replies. I was curious to know whether the same state of affairs rules with domestic energy as does with car fuel i.e. rather cheap in US. Obviously it doesn't.

The huge costs given for a/c make me grateful that I have always lived in climates where the temperature range has never made in unpleasant/impossible to go outside or required huge expense to keep the house comfortable.

I now live at an altitude around 4000' so even in S France when the night temps can be in the 70's/80's on the plain, it's a very comfortable night-time60 up here so pleasant sleep with a sheet and blanket/duvet.

1 kwH is about E 0.10 or around E 0.06 night rate, but since they don't pipe gas up mountains , I have an oil-fired c/h boiler and the price of fuel is obviously very volatile: currently around E 0.70/litre.

Logs E 70 for a "stere" ( 1 m3 of 1 m logs) of seasoned hard wood

Um... lifting...
24th Jul 2011, 16:05
That's crazy money for burning hardwood. Converted to U.S. equivalent cost is over $360 per cord. Depending upon where you live in the U.S., $200 a cord is generally considered highway robbery. After storm seasons in the SE U.S., likely wood can be had for the cost of haulage, cutting and splitting. Call it $50 a cord.

con-pilot
24th Jul 2011, 18:30
After storm seasons in the SE U.S., likely wood can be had for the cost of haulage, cutting and splitting. Call it $50 a cord.

Very true, after an active tornado seaon here, fire wood is very cheap. In fact, if one has the desire and a good ax, it is free and in many cases one can be paid for hauling the wood off.

G-CPTN
24th Jul 2011, 20:06
Logs E 70 for a "stere"
Probably cheaper at lower altitudes. Maybe not many trees grow at 4000ft?

con-pilot
24th Jul 2011, 20:09
Probably cheaper at lower altitudes. Maybe not many trees grow at 4000ft?

Never been to Colorado have you. ;) Most generaly the tree line is above ten thousand feet.

G-CPTN
24th Jul 2011, 20:16
I don't think trees grow above 4000ft in the UK.

con-pilot
24th Jul 2011, 20:20
I don't think trees grow above 4000ft in the UK.

Really, I was completely unaware of that.

Um... lifting...
24th Jul 2011, 20:27
Well, the UK only goes up to about 4,400' anyway at Ben Nevis, and the only bits above 4,000' you have in all of UK are some craggy bits in Scotia. I think G-CPTN is having you on, c-p.

AlpineSkier
24th Jul 2011, 20:35
con

I think G-CPTN mayhave his tongue in his cheek because there is nowhere in the UK that reaches 4,000' :cool:

I have always been puzzled about the US tree-line because here in the N Alps it is pretty much around 6,000' and in my locality where they are planting new trees (just to pretty up the ski-stations) they are using American varieties because they are more resistant at altitude.

Now why would Nature not have allowed European trees to develop such abilities ?

About the wood. It is much cheaper in other areas as it is shipped here for sale. Local trees are mostly pine family and the terrain is too difficult for tree-farming/harvesting. Price I quoted was seasoned, delivered and cut into 50 cm logs.

Edit: Ooops. Seems I was a little hard on the Scottish peak:\

con-pilot
24th Jul 2011, 20:41
Now why would Nature not have allowed European trees to develop such abilities ?



I just figured out why. You see Europe had a lot more people living there than in the Americas before, say, 1800. So the reason is quite obvious.


We had more oxygen left. :p

No wait, trees make oxygen, so that's not it.

And I was sooo sure. :(

con-pilot
24th Jul 2011, 20:56
Well, the UK only goes up to about 4,400' anyway at Ben Nevis, and the only bits above 4,000' you have in all of UK are some craggy bits in Scotia. I think G-CPTN is having you on, c-p.

Oh hell, I knew that, call it a brain fart.

C-G should be ashamed, taking advantage of an old fart like that. :(









:p

tony draper
24th Jul 2011, 21:01
Watched a documentary on the aftermath of the Mount St Helens thing,I would have thought there was enough firewood lying about there to last the USA about a thousand years.
:uhoh:

Um... lifting...
24th Jul 2011, 21:09
I would have thought there was enough firewood lying about there to last the USA about a thousand years.'Twas there alright. Getting it out and home to the grate is the thorny bit, Mr. D. Toxic muck dozens of yards deep got slung out in a 150 mph landslide that displaced anything in its path to include lakes and stands of trees for miles.

VFD
24th Jul 2011, 23:22
The introduction of Smart Meters makes it possible to charge individual users the "instantaneous" or "prevailing" cost for electric demand during peak periods, such as hot & cold waves. This is the case where the upper limit of KWH cost is astronomical, because utilities - trying to avoid capital investment for more generating capability of their own - have arrangements to purchase "peak power" from special vendors with on-call "peaking plants" that are not normally economically efficient but do handle the trick of supplying the last few percent of demand surge capacity at sometimes astronomical what-the-market-will -bear rates. More than a few clapped-out jet turbines have been bolted to electric generators for this purpose, which is never cheap
They are trying that in OKC, average is .09kwh use all you want (residential). Time of Use is .045kwh off peak .23kwh on peak. The problem is with 100F+ temperatures is that with such a wide swing in pricing between the on peak and off peak is that you clobber yourself at a 5 to 1 ratio when using on peak. That day you take off sick and need airconditioning when you are home kills the whole weeks worth of savings, same for weekends.
I like Con have set back on my thermostat but with an automatic thermostat and it keeps track of runtime. If I set back more that about 5degF then it takes more runtime to catch back up. If I am home for an extended period of time then I push the "Skip" button on the thermostat.
I have talked to several who have tried the TOU and were not happy with the constraints and additional costs.
So until it gets to be an extreme cost differential then VFD will chose to control his energy useage rather than energy cost controling VFD.

VFD

Turbine D
25th Jul 2011, 02:03
Our electric bill has two parts, the fixed distribution charge ($0.0221/kWh) and the actual energy charge. The off peak energy charge is $0.0423/kWh, the peak charge is $0.0562/kWh. Although the electric supplier generates its own electricity, in our state, you can purchase electric from other suppliers which advertise lower rates. However, if you chose to, you have pay state sales @ 6.5%; lots of people miss this point. The delivery charge is the same in either case. As I have done, you can sign a two year agreement not to switch suppliers, and receive a 15% discounted rate that is estimated to save $320.00/year. It looks like it will save that much or more given the hot/humid weather this summer.

Natural gas is furnished by the same company that provides electricity. The difference is they purchase it from natural gas suppliers and the price varies based on supply and demand. Again, there is a fixed distribution charge of $0.0327/CCF, plus a fixed delivery residential service charge (gas line upkeep & repair). The state permits you to purchase natural gas from other suppliers on a fixed rate, two year contract, but doing so is a crap shoot as to if you will save money verses the supply/demand pricing and again, you have to pay sales tax. At the moment, natural gas cost is $0.5447/CCF (low demand season).