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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:02 PM
Original message
Letter from my electric company today
(Here is the foreplay)We want to thank you for being a loyal Reliant Energy Customer. We sincerely appreciate having the opportunity to serve your electric needs.
We want to assure you we are continuing to work to keep prices low, and we realize we have to earn your business everyday.

(Here is where they fuck me)As a result of extreme changes in market conditions--most notably the recent increase in the price of natural gas--many of our competitors, including TXU,have either raised their prices or requested a price increase. These market conditions affect Reliant Energy as well. Therefore, it is necessary to raise your rate and change your savings plan accordingly.

I paid a $700 electric bill last month.
I suppose with this new increase I can count on a 4 digit electric bill at some point this winter. :scared:

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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy crap! $700 and rising ...
Don't you just love the way they try to kiss you before screwing you to the wall.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
31. Self delete.
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 03:35 PM by NNadir
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. I switched to Gexa from Reliant, and rec'd the same basic
letter last week. I guess everyone will be suffering.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. $700?? Do you have electric hot water heat? n/t
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I have 2 electric hot water heaters
One on each end of the house.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. Letter translated into common English:
"You're screwed."
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. How in the name of the Holiest Lord
did you end up paying $700 bucks for fracking electricity???

What the shit were you running, for fuck's sake?

An MRI?

JESUS!!!
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I bet it's air conditioning.
"fracking electricity" ??? :shrug:

Life here began out there.

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Geoff R. Casavant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. 2 things
First, excellent subreference, brought lines of joy to my old face.

Second, AWESOME member name!
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imouttahere Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. I must admit I wondered that myself....
Now, granted, I'm a renter and live in L.A., but I think it's bad when I have to pay $40 a month. Break out the sweaters and blankets.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. lol
You'd think.
The house is pretty large. It is old and inefficient.
I quit running the dishwasher. I do laundry at night.
Last year I had a major gas leak and it was going to cost thousands to fix it.
The plumber suggested I change out my hot water heaters to electric and convert to strictly electric.
So that is what I did and I have regretted it ever since.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
46. Well, with the price of gas,
you might just be breaking even.

Oh and by the way, a dishwasher generally uses a lot less water than washing by hand.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #46
79. Not my dishwasher...you can handwash dishes with very little water if you
are careful. Plus they will probably be cleaner.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #79
80. An article
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/08/dishwasher_vs_h...

The Bonn study proves that the dishwasher uses only half the energy and one-sixth of the water, less soap too. Even the most sparing and careful washers could not beat the modern dishwasher. The study also rated the cleanliness achieved, again in favor of the washing machine...

The dishwasher is not your enemy! :)
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SammyBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. We love your business.
He's a spiked metal dildo. . .stick it in your own ass and use sandpaper instead of lube.

Yeah. . .nice, huh?

Thank you for your business, but if you go to a competitor, it's a name-only change.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Ground silica, actually.
They want him to use ground silica, to cut the lube with.

Holy. CRAP.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. Jesus Hernandez Christ
That's horrible. I am so sorry to hear that. When I lived in Southern California, I got hit with ridiculous power bills, but NOTHING like that.

When people start dying en masse from freezing to death in their own homes, do you think the Bushbots will start to wake up? Do ya?
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
66. nah, they'll be happy, because it will "reduce the surplus population".
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think we can all expect letters like that in the near future.
I know I'm expecting such letters from my electric provider and natural gas provider. They might wait until next year, if we're lucky.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. A $700 electric bill last month...
You got an indoor hydroponic garden in your house or something?

Don
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. No.
Just a house from the 50's that isn't energy efficient. :(
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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. That seems out of whack, Horse.
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 03:25 PM by Career Prole
I have a total-electric 80 X 16 foot mobile home which basically is a tin tent...barely any insulation. Not energy efficient by any stretch of the imagination. Electric heat, A/C, and hot water and a family of five and our bill has just started approaching $300.
Sure you don't have a hot water heater leaking through the relief valve or a freezer that never cuts off or something?
Edit to add said mobile home is in central Texas.
:wow:

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. My house is considerably bigger than that
You have 1216 sq. ft of living space (I took off 4' for hitch).
This house is over 2600 sq feet.
The water heaters are fairly new, I purchased them last year and they aren't leaking. It is just totally inefficient. When my bills were around $200-300, I wasn't paying close enough attention because I could afford them rather easily.
Now as they have skyrocketed, I am pretty limited to what I can do about now because I am having a tough time paying them and not alot of disposable income to fix things.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #30
55. Is your house empty during the day? I run my hot water heaters from
about 6-11 in the evening when we use them. They are off the rest of the time.
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Demonaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. how do you do that? are they on timers? how long does it take to
warm them up for a decent shower?
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #59
64. Quick recovery, not long. Maybe half hour. I don't really know as
I shower at night. Turn them off at the breaker box.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #64
72. Water heater timers run about $40-$50
There's some debate as to whether or not they save a substantial amount of money, though.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #72
75. My electric bill dropped about $50-$60 dollars. And we have
enough warm water in the morning to get ready for work.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. I think Horse lives in South or Central Texas
it may be fall where you are, but it's still pretty hot down here. Today's high in Houston is 90.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Northeast Texas
And it is hot here today too.
Projected 90's until mid week next week, then some relief.
I was able to turn off everything for a few days last week, so hopefully that will show some relief on my bill.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. let's hope we don't get too many "blue northers" for a while
It would be nice if we could catch a break on the weather for at least part of this year! :hi:
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errorbells Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. gk ...
you have the intials of my first and middle name :hi:
and I also live in Houston....
all electric...$272. -Sept. bill
and the A/C is crankin'!
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Hi, back
:hi: Error bells? Are you that alarming a person? ;-)
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errorbells Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #45
63. i don't think so...
i am just alarmed :o

FWIW, errorbells is an old Unix text editor command ;-)
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. Just tell 'em
"the check is in the mail."

:rofl:
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
14. where do you live?
i must be naive, but living in louisiana, ppl do not have such incomes, $700 would be more than any but the most well-to-do's disposable monthly income

good thing we can just turn the heat off in winter if it gets out of hand

i get mad if the electric bill is $200 -- and that is in the summer!
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Northeast Texas
I would celebrate to have a $200 electric bill.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. good gawd!
that is too close for comfort!
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
42. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Pinhead's parting shot to us
deregulation of the electric companies? That worked out well! :grr:
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. yep
I hate it.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. My son lives in Vegas. His family consists of three and his house
is the same sq footage as ours, with a second story. His highest electric bill this summer was $100. He was shocked when I told him of my electric bill in July that was $345. I told him that Pinhead deregulated our electric companies and he said, "Shouldn't that make prices go down, make the market more competitive?" LOL, I think that was the bushit Pinhead used to push deregulation. In a perfect World. :rofl:
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
20. you got a BOHICA letter
Bend Over Here It Comes Again.

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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
23. Haven't received such a letter from City Public Service as of yet.
Have been averaging around $300+ since May, the highest we have ever paid in the 8 years we have lived in our house, and we recently installed a new energy efficient AC system, with a digital programmable thermostat. We have combo electric and natural gas. Water heater and dryer are gas, everything else is electric. Thank goodness our part of Texas doesn't get that cold. At any rate, I am thinking extra blankets and sweaters are in order, just to take the chill off. Have gas logs for the fireplace, but won't be using it. Not going to turn on the heat. Screw the Greedy Bastards!
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I've been trying to decide what plan to take
I have decided I AM not spending money in this house.
It won't value it any more or any less because of our market. This is my last year here.
I am trying to find someone to come out and see what it will take to adapt the fireplace to be usable again.
If that is cost prohibitive, then I am going to board it up.
Looking into blowing some insulation in the attic.
I have switched all light bulbs this month to flourescent--strange light but you do get used to it and it uses considerably less--I understand it will knock my bills down by $300 a year.
I am re-caulking the windows, putting insulation behind the face plates, replacing thresholds, and sealing off anywhere that air might go through.
Stocking up on blankets and heating pads (crispini suggested heated mattress pads :thumbsup:).
I do not want to run this unit.
I looked at some large space heaters on wheels that I may invest in and position in hallways.
I can't afford $700 and I certainly can't afford more.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Sounds like you are doing all you can.
We didn't really want to replace the AC, but it went out and going through the summer months without AC wasn't an option. We keep the thermostat on 80 as it is. Do you have gas logs in your fireplace? I think just removing the logs and capping the line would be all you need to do and that should be easy enough, after turning off the gas at the fireplace. $700/per month would devastate our budget, I can't imagine paying that. You mentioned that you have electric water heaters, perhaps adjusting the thermostat? would help?
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katmondoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #28
57. Maybe you could turn off the hot water when not needed.
I turn mine off unless I take a bath or need to do the dishes. The water stays hot enough for average use but not hot enough for a shower. I turn it off at night and put it on when I wake up. It doesn't take that long to heat up for a morning shower.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #28
65. Get that blown-in insulation in the attic right away!
Look into getting a fireplace insert or woodburning stove rather than using just the fireplace, which wastes too much heat. My folks had a FP insert downstairs in their tri-level in Colorado Springs, and they could heat the whole house by it. Had a blower fan to circulate the hot air from behind the insert throughout the room.

INSULATE INSULATE INSULATE!!!!!!!
Upgrade fridge and freezer to Energy Star
Close off unused rooms and use space heaters, dress warmer, take up baking all your own bread (so the stove heats the house frequently).
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #28
77. Do you have a well?
If it's deep and you use a lot of water, or have a leak, you will use a lot of electricity.
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AirmensMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
25. WOW!
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 03:25 PM by AirmensMom
I'm in South FL and our A/C runs year-round ... everything in the house is electric. The pool pump runs for 5 hours every day (but the pool heater is solar). We have a dorm-size refrigerator and a full-size freezer in the garage, where it's not A/C'ed. Still, I've only seen two bills go over $300 in 11 years.

I don't know if this is something that can be done in your case, but it might be worth looking into. Our A/C has a heat recovery system. It transfers the heat that it takes out of the air and heats the water with it. So, when we have to run the A/C a lot, the water is really piping hot w/out using any extra electricity. That won't help you this month ... it's just a thought. It could pay for itself in no time.


Edit ... Of course, this won't help with your heating bill in the winter. I realize that.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
29. OMG, $700 a month and rising?
Geez, talk about being screwed. I though we were doing bad if electric hit $150.00 during the summer for AC usage. $700, is that normal for your area? If so, I suggest you do either one of two things. Either move to where electric prices are more reasonable, or take out a $12000 loan and put up a 3Kw wind turbine.

I'm just :wow: over your electric bill. Hell, I pay half that amount a month for all bills, not just electric. How do you afford such a bill? I know I couldn't, and I make some decent money.

Hell, rather than using gas or electric for heating water, it is pretty easy to make a passive solar water heater that will do the trick for you.

$700/month? :yoiks: That just floors me, really, it does.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. I have talked to my friends
in this area--everyone I know who lives in a house of comparable size is over $600.
It floors me too.
My mom lives in Phoenix and her bill is a 1/3 of what mine is.
I can't afford it...and it is becoming problematic.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. Problematic? Boy that is an understatement
C'mon up here to Missouri, where living is much much cheaper. I feel for you,and hope you find a solution. I just can't fathom having to pay those kind of bills though. Is the pay scale that much higher where you live?

If you can't afford a wind turbine, insulate like all get out.

Better yet, just move. Any money that you get ahead is just going to get eaten up by energy bills. Time to move on.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
33. Of Reliant Energy's generation portfolio, 73% is either gas or oil.
http://www.reliant.com/wholesale/1,1020,CID39,00.html?1...

The do own 30% of the South Texas nuclear plant, but do not list it in their plant operations.

This plant established the US record for the cheapest fuel costs in history, $0.004/kw-hr.

http://www.stpnoc.com/PR%20-%20Fuel%20Cost.htm

The corresponding fuel cost for a natural gas power plant operating at 40% (high) efficiency (at the current price of $13.00/MBTU) is $0.111/kw-hr.

Thus the price of fuel for the gas plant is 28 times higher than the cost of fuel for the nuclear plant.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. I don't understand this at all
But along with the letter that they sent, they sent a copy of the sources of power generation:

Coal and lignite 46%
Natural gas 41%
Nuclear 10%
Renewable energy 1%
Other 2%

It also says average price per kWh 12.3 cents
Monthly customer charge $5.12
Off peak (nov-may) 5.0304 cents
on peak (jun-oct) 5.3472 cents
Fuel factor for generation per kWh
off peak and on peak are the same at 6.0867 cents

I don't know what any of this means. :shrug:
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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #40
58. Lived in NE Tx a few years back
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 05:23 PM by bigbrother05
Didn't have Reliant and house was about half your size, but built about 1919. Had space heaters at first, then central heat and air (gas/elect). Our bills were fairly high for the time, can only imagine what it would be like now. Much of the electric in NE Tx is coal fired, you can see it being strip mined along I30 going to Dallas. Because it is intra state production, they can charge anything they like, unless its publicly regulated. That's why energy states can deal with shortages, producers only have to fulfill their minimum contracts to out-of-state customers (interstate) at regulated prices and will sell surplus energy within the state at a higher, unregulated rate. Doesn't make your bills lower, but at least have it should there be increased national demand. That's the source of the old 70s/80s saying in Tx, "Let the Yankees freeze in the dark." (No flames please, just a bit of oil bidness history.)

Something you can do if you get your fireplace going is to use you system's fan to circulate heat through your whole house. If you turn the fan to ON instead of AUTO, it will circulate heat from the room where the fireplace is to other parts of the house. Living in old houses requires some creativity. Ceiling fans set on reverse/winter will also redistribute heat. Tried the electric radiators one winter (the roll arounds with oil in them), were way more expensive than the central system or space heaters they replaced. Good luck with your challenges.

On another topic, remember that you had said something a while back about going to a vigil at the Bowie Cty Courthouse. Kept looking to see any photos, but never saw a follow up. Just wondering, thought we might see some old friends in attendance there.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
35. Holy crap! I couldn't pay that kind of bill
If ours goes over $90 I freak out. But talk to me this winter while I'm buying heating oil.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
36. I have Reliant as well, and have been happy with them...
You have something wrong in your house, badly, They will come out for free and give you an energy efficiency check, etc., just give them a call....Maybe your meter is fucked up. Turn off the main breaker and see if it stops spinning :)

That just a nutty electric bill...

Mine was $203 last month...all electric. Mon-Fri I have the A/C set to 77, then to lower to 73 at 4:00 before I get home. And it still runs straight for several hours.
(It's an old shitty unit that I need to replace some day as well)

House was built in 76', 1500 square foot, windows are fairly crappy/some need replaced. None of those wirly bird things on the roof yet to help keep the attic cool, and I'm in Plano, been hot as shit past couple months.


I have a co-worker in Frisco who's bill was $450, but he has a 3500 square foot house, three young kids at home all watching their own tv, about 4 computer networks running, the wife doing laundry during the day, two 3 ton A/C units, lights on all the time. Granted the house is 5 years old...

BUT A $700 DOLLAR ELECTRIC BILL!
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #36
73. If this is a bill..
.... for one month's usage, I have to agree. I'm in Dallas and I use Reliant also. They are still a penny per KwH cheaper than TXU.

I have a house that is almost 3 times the OPs in size, with tons of windows and 2 separate central A/C units, 2 refrigerators and a freezer. There is a computer for each person here, 5 computers that are on all day. I've replaced most of the lighting with Compact Flourescents, but lighting overall in this house is inefficient because it is that crappy recessed-in-the-ceiling stuff that was popular in the late 70s.

I do use gas for hot water, and I'm a Nazi about the A/C - we run it at 81 degrees in the daytime and 78 at night. Anyone in Tx who is still keeping it at 70 degrees will need to rethink and adjust :(

My worst bill ever was last month at $315.

It really is possible to have some kind of electrical load (loss) that you are unaware of. It would be worth (for the OP) to check it out.
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. a suggested link
I'm sure you've probably already done most of this, but here's a link from my frugality site that helped a couple of people:

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mortgages/20030508a1.a...

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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
39. What was your KWH for that month?
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 03:47 PM by berni_mccoy
The average American home uses 830 KWH / month.

We are 50% above average but taking steps to conserve
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. I am looking at my current bill
kwh usage is 4275.
Is that what you are talking about?
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #43
49. So, your bill should be 493.89
Energy charge 4275KWH @ 0.054029KWH = 230.97
Fuel Factor For Generation 4275KWH @ 0.061501KWH = 262.91

= $493.89
I don't know what your city tax is, but mine was 1% so it was $2.01

Is your bill wrong?

I used the KWH charges from my reliant bill to come up with the numbers.....
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. This is my current bill
I am still looking for the other one.
I don't know what our city tax rate is though. :shrug:
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. Some things I've done to lower mine...
I have a spare bedroom filled with crap while remodeling, I closed the A/C vent and put a rag in the door crack, never go in there, no reason to cool it...

Wash your condenser(the outside A/C unit with the fan) Just take the hose and spray around all the sides and blow any leaves, dirt, crap out. Mine was filthy when I bought the house. you won't hurt it with water. (rain eh :) )

Put some of the plastic up in windows you never open. The cheap stuff people usually put up in winter. (comes with double sided tape you put around the window frame) It looks like crap, but hey, in rooms your never in, you shouldn't care

Only run ceiling fans if your sitting there and it's keeping you cool. It's a myth that running ceiling fans all the time help keep the house cool. They suck more energy than they save.

If you don't have a timer for your A/C unit, get one. A cheap digital programmable timer go from 20-30 bucks at Lowes/Home Depot

Obviously make sure your filter for your A/C unit is clean. To get to it, there should be a half-size door somewhere in a hallway with a huge metal object (your evaporator/fan). Usually on the bottom 2 feet up from the floor at the base of that unit will be a cardboard filter you can pull out.


Hope any of this info helps :hi:
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. Could the usage be tiered? In other words, you pay one price
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 04:49 PM by MADem
for KWH up to a certain point, and then once you pass that point, you pay a different price?

I'd turn out as many lights as possible, and maybe look into an electric shower setup http://www.victoriaplumb.com/victoriaplumb_com_Electric... Hot water ON DEMAND, and no wasteful heating of a big ass tub of water in a heater that must be reheated as it cools.

Also, if the water heaters are not wrapped, they NEED TO BE.

Above link is UK, here is a USA one http://www.instanthotshowers.com/
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Yes.
It is tiered.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. Wrap your water heaters, start saving for an electric shower
and turn off lights...I know, that is hard to do if you have a family that is forgetful...I sound like the quintessential grump sometimes, with the "You wanna light up the world, you can pay the bill!!!" rants, but getting in that habit, and increasing your use of fluorescents, has cut my bill a bit.

Of course, we heat with gas, so we may pull out a few space heaters this winter!
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nookiemonster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #56
69. Flourescent bulbs kick ass!
You will initially pay more for a flourescent that screws into an incandescent base, but it will definitely pay for itself in time. They last ALOT longer that incandescents, and are much more efficient since they burn cooler. Incandescents burn hot and lose much of their efficiency due to heat.

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #53
70. I have that type of plan.
I pay one set monthly rate until the end of the year and if I go over or under the average KWH at the end of the year, I either pay the difference or I get a refund. Works for me. My bill averages $90 a month.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #43
52. HOLY COW!
That's a lot of power. You are using 3 times as much as we do here, and my bill is about 230 / month (New England), so I can see why your bill is so high.

I'd say you would be well served to bring in an electrician to see what's drawing so much power. Something isn't right with that much use.
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Ksec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
47. something has to give
We keep getting these raises in utilities and such, while the money coming in stays at the same low level. Something has GOT to give.

Im one step away from a fkin cardboard box on a streetcorner. This has become serious. People cant keep expecting to be able to cover these rising costs while the income stays so low. Something has got to give. I have two kids and Ill rob a bank or something if I have to .
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Shine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
60. Jesus, and I thought I had it bad! Kinda puts it all in perspective...
I was just sittin' here, paying bills and bitching about our PG&E bill of $223...over $163 of it is for electricity, alone. I'm out here in CA, on the central coast, and it's already this high! They're saying to expect it to go waaaaay up this coming winter, too. Great. :eyes:

We're getting new windows installed next month. Hopefully, that should help...once we deal with the initial expense.

That sucks about your bill. Do you have any extra limbs you could sell off?
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
61. Hate to say this, but maybe people need to rethink where they live
Please don't take this too personally, but maybe with the coming oil crisis and the amount of pollution that is created from coal people need to think about more energy friendly living locations or make do with fans and/or room sized air conditioners.

The amount of energy consumed by folks living in very hot/humid and/or cold climates sucks up way too much of what precious resources our planet has left.

I live where it is 110-115 degrees in the hottest part of the summer. I put in a window/room sized air conditioner in the living room this year and just used it a few hours a day. My PG&E bill stayed around $100 a month. I used fans to blow the cool air to the kitchen and have a small fan in my office. I also have an attic fan which helps to suck out the hot air that rises/gets trapped during the day.

The water heater is wrapped and on a timer. I have funky double windows and by that I mean two sets of cheapo aluminum clad windows.(not my doing) I will be adding bubble wrap to my single pane office window (located in a converted breezeway) this winter. I guess I will have to make due with blurry images of the deer and cows that cruise by.

I wash dishes by hand and use cold water wash and line dry my clothes.

I have small 1950's-60's? register heaters that are located in the living room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom for use during the winter. I only use the one in the living room and we dress dress very warmly.

There is no way I could even think about paying a $700 bill!!! Nor would I want to be lining the coffers of the energy companies to that extent.

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. No offense taken
I plan on moving in the next few months.
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imouttahere Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #61
76. I was thinking this too, and something else...
hearing about these bills makes me grateful to be living near the ocean (of course I can't afford to own my own home here, but...). Open a window, instant air-conditioning...and it never gets too cold in winter, obviously. But the other thing that came to mind was the size of homes. One of the posters said they "never go in there." I can't imagine having a room that I didn't use. Just didn't grow up that way, I guess. I think people also need to re-think how much room they really need. Especially if you don't have children.
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
67. Our bill from Reliant was $661(North Texas)
We live in an old farm house that desperately needs to be upgraded in the insulation dept.We have one HUGE water heater.I nearly lost it when I saw that bill.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
68. Some suggestions for you.
I grew up in an old and inefficient house that my Mom still lives in. Granted, it's not as large as yours, but we did take measures to cut electricity costs since my Mom was a single parent:

1. Put plastic on your windows. It's not pretty, but it keeps air from escaping around old, warpy panes.
2. Line dry some of your clothes (when it's not TOO cold - and, when it is, take vent hose off the drier and let it help warm your house. It's kind of moist, but that's usually helpful in the dry, winter months).
3. Wear some clothes more than once - usually you can get by wearing jeans and some sweaters without having to wash them every time (unless, of course, it's kids clothes that just get filthy every time they wear them. LOL).
4. Turn the heat down at night and when you leave. Don't turn it off - just knock it back to about 68 or so. It won't take long to heat back up your house when you get back or wake up, but it won't have to run as much.
5. I do recommend updating your appliances (water heaters, etc.) if you can afford it.

I'm so sorry for your $700 bill. I can't imagine that. I have 1,500 living space and my bill - in the winter, even - tops out at just over $200. It's about $150 this time of year.

Good luck!
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
71. Reliant
The original name of the co. that is now Reliant was Houston Lighting & Power, aka Houston Looting & Plunder.
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Tracyjo Donating Member (426 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
74. $700.00? That's more than my rent
I'm in Virginia, and my last electric bill was $61.00. I'm prepared for it to double, but $700.00, jeez...That's more than I pay to live here.

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newportdadde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
78. WTF? 700.00?
WOW - man we have 2300 30 year old house with the most inefficient AC and water heater money can buy and our monthly electric during the peak of summer gets maybe to 220.

That sounds flat wrong to me.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
81. Can You Spell D-E-R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N?
Remember the good old days of effective Public Service Comissions?
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
82. Look at all the taxes your energy companies paid last year
sorry about the long list,but there are several energy companies here who have paid NO taxes.



Company ($-millions) 2003 Profit 2003 Tax 2003 Rate
Boeing $ 1,069 $ –1,700 –159.0%
Entergy 562 –758 –135.0%
Pepco Holdings 138 –127 –92.0%
Nucor 79 –59 –74.9%
Graybar Electric 14 –8 –57.3%
CenterPoint Energy 660 –288 –43.7%
CSX 179 –70 –38.8%
NCR 103 –39 –38.0%
Dillard’s 20 –5 –27.0%
Unisys 151 –39 –25.6%
ITT Industries 283 –66 –23.4%
Baxter 818 –142 –17.4%
OGE Energy 215 –36 –16.6%
Public Service Enterprise Group 1,369 –208 –15.2%
FPL Group 1,282 –181 –14.1%
Consolidated Edison 852 –120 –14.0%
Reebok 32 –4 –13.7%
KeySpan 718 –90 –12.5%
AT&T 2,723 –343 –12.6%
Kelly Services 18 –2 –12.6%
Toys “R” Us 147 –16 –10.9%
Reliant Resources 138 –14 –10.4%
Marriott International 384 –38 –9.9%
Ikon Office Solutions 146 –11 –7.7%
Pitney Bowes 623 –44 –7.0%
Valero Energy 634 –41 –6.5%
Ingram Micro 9 –1 –6.0%
Manpower 52 –3 –5.7%
Newell Rubbermaid 249 –14 –5.5%
SBC Communications 8,941 –476 –5.3%
Danaher 553 –23 –4.1%
Disney, Walt 1,764 –59 –3.4%
Time Warner 4,224 –140 –3.3%
Caremark RX 475 –13 –2.8%
Pfizer 6,088 –168 –2.8%
Ryder 149 –4 –2.7%
Saks 108 –3 –2.6%
Lehman Brothers 1,825 –39 –2.1%
Timken 52 –1 –1.8%
Computer Sciences 558 –8 –1.5%
Burlington Northern Santa Fe 1,226 –18 –1.5%
Caterpillar 485 –6 –1.3%
Principal Group 924 –11 –1.2%
Lexmark 307 –2 –0.8%
Shaw Group 15 –0 –0.3%
Sysco 1,264 — —
TOTAL $ 42,622 $ –5,438 –12.8%
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myrmenki Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
83. My annual bill is less than half of your monthly
I just don't get it. You are using 56 times as much kWh as I do, and my next annual heating and electricity bills put together, with higher energy prices this year, will be around $350. Hell, I pay in two years what you pay in one month! (Your energy company has lower prices than mine, btw.)

Listen, you said you wanted to move into another house, and please, do it, and do it as soon as possible. You probably have some pixie-like demons in your house, that suck electricity while you're not looking. And don't tell them your new address.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
84. Sounds like time to start looking for a more energy-efficient house--
with low ceilings, small rooms, double-paned windows, high R-ratings in exterior walls, an attic with blown-in insulation, solar panels, etc.
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