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Old 12-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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BC Hydro - High Bill, Strange Usage

I recently moved (3 months ago) and we are renting until the new year when we are looking to buy something.

The place we are renting is brand new (we are the first tenants) and it is all electric (no gas).

The first month we were there the usage was not much (end of Summer). Now in the colder months it has gone up, which is to be expected. However it has gone up so much that I'm concerned that there is something wrong with the meter or someone is stealing power.

+100kwh a day (projected 2 month cost of $500)

Initially we were told that the usage is most likely from the heaters (radiant heaters) so we turned those all off and have been using a small 1000w heater/fan combo that runs ever 1-2 hours for 40min to maintain a 70degree temp in the whole house.
The lights are only on when its darker in the evening. Do laundry once a week, dishwasher ever 2-3 days, and stove is used every day or so for 1-2 hours.

We are doing everything we can to conserve power to see if we can get the bill down. The landlord has even gone in and added additional insulation to the exterior walls in an attempt to keep more heat in the house.

We have seen the power usage go down but we have seen some strange things on the bill. There are periods of time where the usage has dropped down to 0 which is impossible as there is always some draw from things in the house like a fridge ect ect.

Does anyone have or has had similar issues?
The usage for yesterday went down to 43kwh for the day with 0 usage after 3pm which makes no sense because we cooked dinner at 5pm.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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the place I'm renting the heat bill is the same when no body was living here as when we moved in and used the house heat.. So I think once you start going over that's when the charges increase.

Call bc hydro? Lol
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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I would contact BC Hydro and get them to do a meter reading. We had the same issue when we moved into our townhouse and it turned out that they were estimating the read outs. This is with the smart meter installed as well. We got credited $300 bucks. But to give you a comparison the last two months our bill was $400 which is normal as we have tons of stuff on and have the radiant heaters on all day.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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Have spoken with BC Hydro, did everything they said to drop the usage down and nothing made a difference.
We also check online daily to see our usage and its all over the place even when our usage is consistent.

Just looking for a leg to stand on when I call them on Monday and see whats up because we even had two engineers come in and do calculations based on energy consumption of devices in the home compared to our usage and they are saying there is no way we are using the kind of power they claim we are.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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I dropped my energy consumption by 6% on the year and still ended up paying 31% more than last year.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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Is this is a townhouse/house or apartments you are renting?

Maybe if is a house try talking to your landlord and see if he can install out of the head monitiors. The ones we installed have liek a schedule and what tempetaure we liek the house to be heated up to at certain time of the day. That really saved us some money. When no one is home we just turn the heat down.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #7
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does the cost of electricity change depending on the time of day or is it a single rate?

i know they have a two-step residential rate whereby they charge you more after you've used 1350 kWh in the two-month billing period. that seems to me like it's just a single rate then, right?

we have a 1200 sq ft place. two sides of our apartment are all windows. five baseboard heaters all set at just under 20degC. our last 2-month bill was $240 ($120/month).

when we lived in a smaller apartment (550 sq ft), there were two baseboard heaters at the same temp. and the monthly bill then during winter was just under $70.

so is that extra $50/month spent on hydro in our new place just the cost of heating up twice the amount of space with one more wall of windows?
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:27 PM   #8
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If you double the volume, you double the amount of energy required to heat that space.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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I read your post to my wife, she said that if certain days your meter show 0 usage it's because there is no communication to the smart meter and hydro that day, they weren't able to obtain a reading. If your hot water is electric check that the hot water tank is not leaking and the temperature setting on the tank is optimal.

Edit: If you're in a suite and you have your own meter when the meter was installed there could be potential wiring issues in the house unrelated to Hydro. Go to the hydro website and search "breaker or meter test". Follow the step by step instruction for a smart meter. If you turn off your breaker and it still shows usage there is something wrong, something else is wired to your meter.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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Check the thermostat on the hot water heater if it is the electric type...one or both might be turned too high ... This was my issue after i turned off all circuit breakers except my heater
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:04 AM   #11
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I live with 3 other adults and a baby in an old house with gas and hydro, this current billing cycle the two combined are about $200; you have to be using a lot of stuff to be $500
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #12
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I live with 3 other adults and a baby in an old house with gas and hydro, this current billing cycle the two combined are about $200; you have to be using a lot of stuff to be $500
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Thats the thing, we aren't using anything.

Currently.

2 60watt bulb on
1 1000watt heater

That is all the usage we are putting on the system at this time (this is not accounting for hot water heater, fridge)

If I look tomorrow at this time of day it will say we are using between 40-80kwh which makes no sense at all.

I will double check the hot water heater today to see what its set at.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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It is a new duplex.
We are the only ones living in this side.
There is an empty suite downstairs as well as next to us.

The landloard came in and took down all the drywall on the ceiling and walls of the unit downstairs and double insulated it.
They also took down all the drywall of the unit next door and put of double insulation.
All windows are double pin, new, and well sealed, there is no drafts in the house.

He has been super helpful with this all, and has offered us a reimbursement for the high cost for the hydro but I want to figure out whats going on. It not fair to pay that much weather its him or us paying.

This smart meter crap is a joke.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:39 PM   #14
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Radiant heating, is the basement suite hooked to your meter? Is the heat on down there even if nobody is down there? What about a Fridge or anything else running down there?
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostedBB6 View Post
Thats the thing, we aren't using anything.

Currently.

2 60watt bulb on
1 1000watt heater

That is all the usage we are putting on the system at this time (this is not accounting for hot water heater, fridge)

If I look tomorrow at this time of day it will say we are using between 40-80kwh which makes no sense at all.

I will double check the hot water heater today to see what its set at.
That's what I was implying when I said you'd have to be using a lot of stuff to have a bill that high, when my household is bigger than yours and we pay substantially less
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #16
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Radiant heating, is the basement suite hooked to your meter? Is the heat on down there even if nobody is down there? What about a Fridge or anything else running down there?
The basement quite is unfinished, there is nothing at all in it. Not even interior walls. Just one big room at the moment.
It is hooked up to the same meter we are on but there is nothing in there that will drain any kind of power. We walked through and made sure when the landlord was here last time.

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That's what I was implying when I said you'd have to be using a lot of stuff to have a bill that high, when my household is bigger than yours and we pay substantially less
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Perhaps I have a grow op going on under my stairs or something.

Going to be giving BC Hydro a call tomorrow morning and having a chat with them. The usage is 3 times higher than ANY house in our area so something is not right. Even more so when you consider how little power we actually consume.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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I was in similar position as OP (but not nearly as high). Moved to new place, had an EXPECTED reading of usage of $180 for 2 months worth. Next bill came in 2 months later with enough data points for accurate reading. Bill was -$30.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
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We did expect our usage to go up as the weather got colder. That was to be expected but it is just to much to seem right.
I'm hoping that I may get some for of credit or something back from BC Hydro, but I never expect much from big companies.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #19
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Have you asked your neighbors what there bill is? Should be somewhat comparable, you have identical SF.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:37 PM   #20
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That is all the usage we are putting on the system at this time (this is not accounting for hot water heater, fridge)
While rare (in most cases) a colleague of mine had hydro bills of $200 - $300 on a regular basis year-round.

After some digging around, culprit turned out to be his television.

Edit: I should add that after he found out it was in fact his television, he had it repaired/replaced under warranty and his hydro bill dropped significantly.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:42 PM   #21
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for a few months, I had high electricity consumption. Decided to watch the dial on the meter (before smart meters) as we switched off each of the circuit breakers. Turns out the sump pump was the culprit and was on 24/7. Things were back to normal after it was replaced.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:56 PM   #22
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Have you asked your neighbors what there bill is? Should be somewhat comparable, you have identical SF.
With our account you can view others consumption. It simply says "homes similar to yours" sort of thing. And they are all using a third of what we are using. However, it does not say if they are all electric or gas and electric.
We spoke to the people cross from us and they said there bill is around $200 for 2 months so this also leads me to think that there is something wrong.

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While rare (in most cases) a colleague of mine had hydro bills of $200 - $300 on a regular basis year-round.

After some digging around, culprit turned out to be his television.

Edit: I should add that after he found out it was in fact his television, he had it repaired/replaced under warranty and his hydro bill dropped significantly.
Do you know what it was with the TV that was causing issues?

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for a few months, I had high electricity consumption. Decided to watch the dial on the meter (before smart meters) as we switched off each of the circuit breakers. Turns out the sump pump was the culprit and was on 24/7. Things were back to normal after it was replaced.
This was my plan when I found out about the consumption issues, however with the smart meter you can not see your real time consumption. I wanted to start killing breakers and see what makes a difference.
The way it is now I would have to kill the breaker for at least 1 hour and then check in 24 hours on there website to see what kind of change it made. Only issue with this is that the website is not very accurate. With readings of 0 for 8 hours when I check it one day and then its changed to reflect usage 3 days later.....Smart meters.....would make a great skeet shooting target right there.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:20 PM   #23
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Do you know what it was with the TV that was causing issues?
I'm afraid, not. Sorry. The description from the repair centre was very vague - something to do with the main circuit board or a capacitor of some sort (think Back To The Future.) It was drawing power like crazy non-stop.

Figuring it out was a painful process. They literally had to unplug everything one-by-one but thankfully it was a 2 bedroom condo (which they no longer live in.)
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #24
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All electric, so I am assuming that your hot water tank for showers, washing, etc., uses electric instead of gas for heating?

Maybe that could be the thing?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:00 AM   #25
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All electric, so I am assuming that your hot water tank for showers, washing, etc., uses electric instead of gas for heating?

Maybe that could be the thing?

Just my 2 cents.

Yes, everything is on hydro.
We inspected the heater and its working properly, not loosing heat and not coming on when it should not come on.

We are going to have an electrician come in and take a look at everything if there is no resolution tomorrow.
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