Energy Bill HELP!

Updated on September 15, 2008
S. asks from Desoto, TX
16 answers

Hey moms,

After 3 months of $500+ electric bills, I need some advice on how to reduce this. I have been with TXU forever and my rate is 11.27 per kwh. My house is what I consider average size so I can't understand why my bill is this expensive. It was a little pricey in the summer so we had all our windows replaced. I'm thinking that we may be losing heat through the fireplace. If you all have any suggestions or home maintenance ideas PLEASE let me know. Thanks in advance!.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for the advice. I am going to start by having an energy audit done and go from there.

Featured Answers

J.G.

answers from Dallas on

Sign up for the average billing. That way you pay about the same in the winter and in the summer. My average bill is about $200, so I always know what to expect. I am with txu also.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

A friend told me about Energy Conservation Concepts, Inc. They are funded by a grant thru TXU and others. They came out about a week after I called. They seal off the front door and with a fan suck all the air in the house out thru the door. Like a reverse fan. As it's pulling the air out, they can go to windows, doors, fireplace area, etc and fell how air comes in around these structures. We have noticed a hugh difference in no more drafts. They caulked around all needed windows and put weather stripping around the doors. Best of all it was FREE !! They even did a followup call. I am calling them back up today to thank them. What a difference it made. Call Jannie Leverett ###-###-####. Good luck.
S.

2 moms found this helpful
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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi- I know this is an older notice- but there is a great company to switch to- Ambit- Call Tracy and she can help you- out- You do have the choice- Tracy is just a real sweetie and can get you the lowest pries available- so check what you pay per kilowatt and give her a call
###-###-####

D. S

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Ok there is a problem in your home. You must get an energy audit from your electric provider or hire an AC/Heater guy to come for an inspection of your AC/Heater unit. I've heard a friend had this issue and they discovered a hole in their air duct and leaking air out into the attic. So the unit was constantly running and overworking to heat/cool the home.
So there could be a hole in one of your air ducts; or your AC/Heater unit might need servicing/cleaning. Sometimes a simple cleaning can improve the efficiency of the unit.
Another friend of mine had an inspection of their AC unit done, {b/c their bills were too high} and they discovered that the AC unit was inefficiently cycling air from the attic and cooling that air down and pushing it out to the home. Rather than just taking air from inside the home. Obviously cooling attic air down would take more energy than cooling the home air down.
These are issues only an AC/Heat guy can do tests on and discover for you. You could hire 2 from 2 different companies to get a 2nd opinion. It's worth it for the high bills your paying each month. And it's only going to get worse the hotter it gets this summer!

Either way.... I would bet money that the problem is from the AC/Heater unit... or air ducts or insulation (or lack of). The AC/Heater is the biggest contributor to the electric bill. So most high electric bills are a reflection of the AC/Heater working overtime.

We had our AC/Heat unit replaced 2 yrs ago and it's made the biggest difference! And we had a new roof put on our home last year that has reflective decking (so the sun is reflected away from the home). Our bill last month was $87. We pay 13 cents kwh to Reliant. We have a 1750 square foot, one-story home. This month, we're paying $77.

We do pay a separate gas energy bill to Atmos: last month $104, this month $74.

You could also add new insulation in your attic to see if that helps.

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D.F.

answers from Dallas on

As a business owner of an air conditioning company it sounds like to me you need to have you heating and air conditioning checked out. Depending on how old the units are they can increase your electric bill a lot.
My suggestion would be for you to find someone you can trust to come and take a look at your air conditioning system first before you do anything else. It may be as simple as a good cleaning will help but before you go through the entire house I would suggest you call someone to come and take a look at your unit.
They should come in and go through both your inside and outside unit completely and then sit down and talk to you regarding what they find. If someone does not do this then I would get a second opinion. If you would like to have someone from our company come and take a look just let me know if not then just remember the few things I have said when dealing with an air conditioning company. Our website is www.frostac.com

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Do you have a lot of appliances running? At my house, if it's not on, I unplug it. Even something as little as a toaster oven can continue to use energy even if it isn't on. Make sure you turn lights off when you're not in room. Look for energy efficient appliances too. I agree with the energy audit. One warning about those compact fluorescent bulbs - if you or anyone in your family has a propensity for headaches, I'd avoid these bulbs. They emit a subtle pulse that can actually cause headaches. I had to switch back to regular bulbs after I saw a news story about this and was able to make the connection between my new bulbs and my increase in headaches.

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

We use to have TXU, Reliant and now we have Dynowatt. We are pleased with them. We had heard Dynowatt was cheaper than Reliant and TXU. We do try and keep our lights off when we don't need them and doors closed in our front room where there is some draft in from our front windows. We keep it a little cooler in the evenings and put more covers on at night. We use mostly cold water for washing, unless it is sheets, then we use hot water.

As far as the energy audit goes, you do have to call TXU for that. I called Dynowatt and they don't have anything like that and referred me to TXU. I called last year summer something like that and finally got to someone and left a message. I finally heard back today from someone. It takes an extremely long amount of time, as I'm thinking lots of people are calling for this. Here is the website they gave me- www.oncor.com Then go to energy efficiency or providers/programs. Then there will be a big list of names of companies that you can call and get names of low cost companies or companies that do not charge a fee for the energy audit.

My cousin sells Ambit Energy and here's her website. http://www.thebluegrassteam.goambit.biz/index.asp or
and her contact info, if you are interested. Here's another website also www.ambitenergy4homes.com and Ambit is .990 per kilowatt.

Her contact info is:

Whitney Pannell
1-###-###-#### phone number
email:[email protected]____.com

You might do a search or get some books from the library on this also. Good Luck, C.

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N.M.

answers from Dallas on

If you think you're losing the air somewhere, you should have an energy audit. There should be information about it on the TXU website. In the area we moved from, we had them done for free. I wish I knew if there was something like that around here. When they come, they test your house and find out where the air is leaking (around ducts is a common place that is easily remedied, or around windows, doors, etc.). They will also determine if you need more insulation in your attic. I'll do some research into the free energy audits, because I'd like to have one done too (we've been in this house for just a few months).

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
With a family home all day it is hard to cust your electric cost. Why don't you change your provider? Ambit rates are at an all time low of 9.9 cents per kwh. That would save you some money and it is free to switch! I switched and save about $75 per month on my bill. Here is my site: www.kendalllindsey.joinambit.com It only takes about three minutes to switch. Also, turn your heater off all night, then click it back on in the morning, that really saves me.
Sincerely,
K.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Turn the dry option on your dishwasher off. Don't open the oven when you're cooking. Turn off lights as soon as you walk out of a room. These are things that have helped us on our bill. Good luck.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

i don't know, i just got my most recent utility bill, and we're in city of denton, so it's electric, water, and garbage all on one bill and this is how it broke down:

$155 for electric
$75 for water/wastewater
$20 for garbage

we have a 3300 square foot home, keep the a/c setting on 76 during the day(73 at night), the heat setting on 70 day and night. i am a stay at home mom, so i am at home using energy most all day every day. we also have 2 kids and 4 indoor dogs, so i do a LOT of laundry.

our last atmos gas bill was about $180 i think.

i would think that if your ELECTRIC ONLY bill is over $500 in the winter and you have gas heat and a separate gas bill, something's wrong...

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E.

answers from Dallas on

Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. We did over about 2 years and I have noticed a big difference in our electric bill. Another thing we did was add solar screens to the windows. Have you thought about switching to gas for some appliances? We use gas for our hot water heater, stove and clothes dryer. We also lowered our hot water heater to the lowest setting possible. We did that mainly to keep the kids from burning themselves when they turned on the hot water, but it saves energy too.

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M.D.

answers from San Antonio on

I work for Stream Energy - call me ###-###-####, or check out my website at [email protected]____.com for our current rates. We are a Dallas-based company and provide awesome rates & an awesome business opportunity! I look forward to hearing from you,
M. Duran

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

if it helps my rate with txu is 12.37 per kwh and my average winter bill is 260. I keep my thermostat at 66-68 degrees and we live in a 3300. sqft house with 35 foot ceilings.....but my atmos bill is averageing 250. to average out to be about the same as a 500. a month. Hope that gives you a good comparison.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

i had the same problem my bill was running 600.00 and i fought it,it turn out that the guys who read the meter were doing it sometimes and txu were over charging me they own words.after 3 months of bitching they gave me credit but you can get the date they come out there to your place and read the meter with them that way you know they are doing their job right.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hey S.,
This is T. Harris, friend of Darlene's. I work with Ambit energy and I love this company! You can even earn FREE energy with them! You also can earn a cruise! Yes, unbelievable! Your 11.27 per kwh indicates that you are under contract because TXU's current offers on the powertochoose website is 15.9 and 17.7! Wow! What happened with me was, I was under contract at 11.5 and went out of contract and without warning I was at 19.2! My bill was $768! Ouch! So know your dates! If you have a little time, you can earn alot with Ambit. We will hold an informational meeting this Sat, 9/20, at Timmarron Country Club at 12:00. I would love to meet you in person. Call or e-mail anytime! Also visit www.tntenergy4less.joinambit.com for more information.

Working Mother of Three! Haley 16, Tyler 14, and Justin 12

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