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jkpescador
June 13th, 2008, 08:43 PM
What is everyone paying?
What do you live in?
How many in your household?
Do you have solar water heating?

We got our bill and we are using 20.4 kwh/day
We are a family of three living in a house in Mililani.
We don't have solar water heating.
We do have solar fans and split AC.
I have two refrigerators.
We have a timer on our water heater.
I changed most of our bulbs to CFLs.

Someone on the bus said her bill was $97 so that's about 12 kwh/day. She has a family of four and lives in a house.

Nords
June 14th, 2008, 04:26 AM
What is everyone paying?
What do you live in?
How many in your household?
Do you have solar water heating?
- $26.16 due to a 3300-watt grid-tied photovoltaic array. (Started in 2005 with 1100 watts and upgraded each year to max out the tax credits.) Electric bills range from $17-$41, although the fuel surcharges are probably going to keep us above $20 from now on.
- 4BR 2.5BA Mililani home.
- Two adults and a teenager with a huge laundry habit (3-4 loads/week). We'll lower that expense by launching her from the nest in another two years.
Solar water since early 2006. Well worth the cost.



We got our bill and we are using 20.4 kwh/day
We do have solar fans and split AC.
I have two refrigerators.
We have a timer on our water heater.
I changed most of our bulbs to CFLs.
Our power use ranges about 2-3 KWHr/day (depends on the weather; 56-78 KWHr/month since the February rains cleared). We might hit zero this summer.

EnergyStar appliances: GE Arctica fridge, KitchenAid dishwasher (worth every penny!), Kenmore washing machine (practically dries the clothes on the spin cycle), and 60" livingroom ceiling fan.

Conventional electric clothes dryer and a door-mounted drying rack. Spouse draws the line at hanging a clothesline but we run the dryer 5-6 times/week.

Convection/microwave oven (hardly use the electric oven or the range anymore). No A/C but five other ceiling fans and two attic solar exhaust fans. Lots of open windows.

Mostly CFLs (every light that's lit more than an hour/day). Love the low-temperature frosted-globe CFLs in the bathrooms, which keeps them a lot cooler in the summer.

Radiant foil insulation in both attics, most of the south/west walls, and the back of the (wood) garage door. Installing the attic insulation sweated out just about every water molecule in my body several times over-- much easier to do as part of a roof replacement.

Future upgrades include replacing picture windows with awning windows (for more airflow), window tinting, and more roof insulation (when the shingles wear out).

We bought a used (2006) Prius. If the battery-conversion price comes down we'll make it a plug-in and add a few more kilowatts of panels to supply the recharging electricity. The technology exists but the payback is at least 10 years and the range isn't very good-- yet.

Our tax credits and lower electric bills have already paid for the PV array. Not counting the tax subsidies, the lower bills will earn our expenses back by Sep 2010. The electrical work was done by Keith Cronin & crew from Island Energy Solutions (262-3268) which has become a SunEdison subsidiary. We bought used or blemished panels, made most of our own racks, and did our own mechanical.

Da Rolling Eye
June 14th, 2008, 10:54 AM
What is everyone paying?
What do you live in?
How many in your household?
Do you have solar water heating?



Family of 3.
50 yr. old single wall construction, open beam ceiling,
3 bdrm. 1 1/2 bath.
Solar since 2000.
100% CFL lighting.

At that time our bills were averaging $100 per month. The solar dropped it to $65. With the rising fuel costs and surcharges, our bill has more than tripled. We hang our laundry, which made a 25% difference, which was recently sucked up by new higher surcharges. We use at least 2 6,000 btu A/C units every night and 1 10,000 btu unit during the afternoons in the living room and still using 7 kwh less than the same time last year. Yet, our bill remains the same. No "realized" savings.

I'd like to try a PV system, but they're still way too expensive. Like most, we're not that far off from living on the beach. We just don't have that kind of cash for the initial investment.

A couple months ago I recently saw an ad on Craigslist for a custom built windmill system for under $500. Roof mount and hooked up to the grid.
That looked intrigueing and very affordable, but never saw the ad since.

kanahina
June 14th, 2008, 01:33 PM
What is everyone paying?
What do you live in?
How many in your household?
Do you have solar water heating?

We got our bill and we are using 20.4 kwh/day
We are a family of three living in a house in Mililani.
We don't have solar water heating.
We do have solar fans and split AC.
I have two refrigerators.
We have a timer on our water heater.
I changed most of our bulbs to CFLs.

Someone on the bus said her bill was $97 so that's about 12 kwh/day. She has a family of four and lives in a house.

man, our electric bill seemed so high ($340) the most recent bill i got compared to previous ones (usually around $250)!

38.8 kwh/day (it's usually in the lower 30's like 31 or 32)
family of four living in a single family house in hot Ewa Beach
no solar (keep thinking that we should, but just never really made the effort...)
central a/c that is kept at 79 degrees when only the dogs are home and maybe around 76 or 77 degrees when we are home
timer on water heater
some CFL's, some regular that will be changed to CFL's when they burn out... (or should I just change them out now?)

jkpescador
June 14th, 2008, 09:22 PM
Thank you for all the responses.

Nords ... How much would a basic PV system cost today? Have costs been going down?

Da Rolling Eye ... I know the windmill would be outlawed in Mililani. :) I hope you really aren't one step from the beach. Best of luck to you.

Kanahina ... I will say that solar fans would make a difference in keeping the house cooler during the day. The installer said they do most of their business in Ewa.

I am weighing my options about Solar Water Heating. I think PV is actually the way to go but it's more expensive. I think the technology for SWH is improving too as far as panels go and hopefully costs go down. I know some solar tax credits for SWH expire at the end of the year.

We use hot water for showers early in the morning, showers at night, and some dish washing. We don't use hot water for washing clothes. So this always makes me wonder how much we would save with a SWH.

I think the 2nd fridge takes up a lot of the energy for the house. I keep trying to clean it out and turn it off but the wife just bought some items and stuck them in the freezer. :( We dry some of our clothes in the garage. We have ceiling fans in every room. We also bought a window fan that brings in the cool Mililani night air into our bedroom at night. We have insulated our house. We have tint on all the windows.

Amati
June 14th, 2008, 09:45 PM
We just spent a week in a time share on Maui. They had signs in the condo asking to conserve electricity (such as being careful to not run the dryer longer than necessary). I think the electricity bills must be getting high enough to make the condo owners really take notice!

tutusue
June 14th, 2008, 09:55 PM
Okay...1 person in a 464 sq. ft. studio condo...
Association pays for central A/C and hot water...
Some CFLs...
Dishwasher, stack W/D, fridge...
The latest HECO bill was $75.00. :eek:
9 kwh per day

Makaha condo, 400 sq. ft., 1 bdrm, with 1 current, full-time house sitter...
no A/C...
30 gal. water heater...
no dishwasher or in-unit W/D, old fridge...
2 ceiling fans...
Latest HECO bill; $55.00
6 kwh per day

HECO tells me the major difference in usage between the 2 condos is the refrigerator in the studio. Huh? It used to be in the Makaha condo where it didn't spike the bill. Plus it's an energy saver. I moved a much older fridge to Makaha when I took the newer fridge to town.

cyleet99
June 14th, 2008, 10:50 PM
I think we are between 800-1000sq ft, 1 1/2bed, 2 bath. Family of three with occ guests.
Oceanfront condo, no a/c, fans in mainroom and bedroom that run all the time
stack w/d (cold wash only) old fridge, d/w
tiny water heater
no solar anything, about half the lighting is fluorescent or CFLs.
two computer systems online all the time (dh won't allow us to shut them down daily)
bill this month $157.00 for 17 kwh/day. Strangely enough, the last 5 months have all been 17 kwh/day, give or take a tenth. The cheapest bill I have seen so far is 127.00 in January. So I budget for 150.00-200.00 a month.

And dh wants a freestanding AC!!!!!!!!:eek::eek: AACCKK!

Nords
June 15th, 2008, 06:49 AM
Nords ... How much would a basic PV system cost today? Have costs been going down?
Total costs used to be about $10,000 per 1000 watts but are coming down. I'm not current but I watched them come below $8/KW and they're probably still dropping.

Panels get cheaper to manufacture when demand is high. Germany & Japan (and, believe it or not, New Jersey) heavily subsidize PV and have greatly spiked demand. That caught companies by surprise in 2006 but everyone (including Hoku) is jumping on the panel bandwagon. Production has ramped up and prices are dropping.

I used to buy eBay/Craigslist panels for no more than $4/watt, and I'd have to wait months between purchases. But just a couple months ago a local was unloading 10 KW of panels on Craigslist for $4/watt even before the haggling started. Of course people had a bit of trouble coming up with $40K but they sold.

Inverters (what makes AC voltage out of the DC voltage) used to retail at $2500 for a 3000-watt model in early 2005. A few months ago at a home show I saw a 7000-watt model for $4500. Spouse dragged me away before I lost control of my wallet, but if I was starting over again I'd buy twice the inverter that I thought I needed.

Labor is a big part of an installation and that's directly related to the speed at which the guys can work. You may be sold a certain type or brand of hardware because it's faster/easier to install, not necessarily because it's better. Keith Cronin used to talk about all the extra training, special tools, and speed jigs he paid for to make installations go faster, and his guys were $75/hour in 2005-- well worth it, too. I'd recommend getting an estimate from Keith (or using the estimate calculators on PV websites) to figure out how much PV you want and how much it'd cost. If you have solar water and you're not using air conditioning then you probably want a minimum of 3000 watts. If you have A/C then you probably want a minimum of 6000 watts. I'm still trying to figure out how to boost our system "just one more time" to 4000 watts.


Da Rolling Eye ... I know the windmill would be outlawed in Mililani. :) I hope you really aren't one step from the beach. Best of luck to you.
If it makes us feel happier, at last year's science fair a MHS student persuaded a wind-turbine manufacturer to mount monitoring gear on the high school's roof. Over the next couple months she was able to demonstrate that there wasn't enough wind to justify the expense of installing a turbine.


Kanahina ... I will say that solar fans would make a difference in keeping the house cooler during the day. The installer said they do most of their business in Ewa.
Huge, huge difference-- especially if the only other choice is running an air conditioner.

We have a cathedral ceiling next to a stairwell, and the thermocline used to rise 20 degrees as you went upstairs. We cut a hole in the ceiling at the top of the stairwell and ducted it to a solar fan on top of the roof. Even before the ducting was connected you could feel the "whoosh" of warm air leaving the house. Standing under that grating on sunny days you can practically feel the fan pull the combover hair off your head.

The solar fan in our garage attic reduced temps from 125-130 degrees down to the high 90s. Radiant foil on the inside of our (wood) garage door reduced its temps by 25 degrees.

Compared to the cost of air conditioning or 120v fans, solar fans & radiant foil insulation pay for themselves in a couple years. It's even worth the cost of a home equity loan.


I am weighing my options about Solar Water Heating. I think PV is actually the way to go but it's more expensive. I think the technology for SWH is improving too as far as panels go and hopefully costs go down. I know some solar tax credits for SWH expire at the end of the year.
We use hot water for showers early in the morning, showers at night, and some dish washing. We don't use hot water for washing clothes. So this always makes me wonder how much we would save with a SWH.
Soldered copper is pretty straightforward. Our solar water panels are over 30 years old and were sitting in a vacant lot for a couple years before we found them. I flushed them and tested them, and they've been leak-free for over two years (including the earthquakes). Don't hold back because of material/quality concerns. Inter-Island Solar Supply and the local wholesale manufacturer do a good job and they stand behind their warranties.

Solar water has a 3-8 year payback versus photovoltaic's 20-year payback. Of course the spreadsheets never account for oil prices rising so rapidly, but it's much more achievable to shell out $4000-$5000 for a solar water system (and get back $2500-$3000) than to cough up 10x that amount for PV. Once the hot-water bill is under control then it may be easier to save up for PV.

It's not so much the use of the hot water as it is keeping it hot. We even saw the difference on our highly efficient EnergyStar water heater, let alone on the crap water heaters installed in most houses. On the two or three days a year when the sun can't keep up with our teen's showers and we turn on the electricity to the solar water heater, we can see the change in our electric bill.

You can test this at home by shutting off the breaker to the water heater for a couple weeks. You'll see it in your electric bill and (before your family mutinies) you might even be able to gather enough data to figure out how long it'll take to pay back the expense of installing solar water.


I think the 2nd fridge takes up a lot of the energy for the house. I keep trying to clean it out and turn it off but the wife just bought some items and stuck them in the freezer.
The math that usually persuades spouses is showing them the real cost of those frozen items. Unless you're butchering your own hogs/cattle, it's usually cheaper to let the grocery store keep the meat cold and sell it at a higher price than to buy it on bulk sale and then have to keep it cold at home.

One of the first questions out of HECO's enegy-audit staff will be "Do you have a second refrigerator?" I've even seen California public utilities offer people $100 for their garage fridges-- just enough to give them up, not so much to make it worth replacing them.

In 2000 we bought a higher-quality GE 20-cubic-foot fridge. It was our only fridge and we kept it as fully loaded as can be achieved with a teenager. It consumed an average of 97 watts per hour-- 850 KWHr/year despite its official rating of 745 KWHr/year.

Last year we got a 2007-model GE Arctica 25-cubic-foot fridge. It's a high-end EnergyStar model that used to have to be custom-ordered from Sears. (We got it from a distressed Craigslist seller.) It's rated at 618 KWHr/year and we've been using about 707 KWHr/year. The new fridge is 25% bigger than the old one and yet it uses nearly 20% less energy. Lowe's & Home Depot are selling EnergyStar fridges right out of stock that probably use 60-70% of the energy consumed by the average 10-year-old fridge, and less than half the energy of the typical garage fridge. That payback comes pretty fast.

matapule
June 15th, 2008, 02:55 PM
I am comparing our costs in Mexico to Hawai'i in preparation for our move to Honolulu. I hope you don't mind my throwing in a price comparison here in Los Cabos, Baja California

Temperature/weather quite similar to Hawaii except less rainy. Latitude is about the same. Air cond. only necessary in July, August, and September.

2 bdrm condo on the beach open to tradewinds
1300 sq.ft. cement block construction but lots of floor/ceiling, south and west facing glass
Condo owner pays all utilities except common areas incl. in HOA fees
Family of two plus occasional guests
No solar
Mini split air conditioning units (three)
Celing fans in living/sleeping areas
100% CFL
Elec. 30gal. w/h and cooktop
Have d/w but use it only twice a month to keep things lubed
In unit w/d but dry clothes mostly on clothes racks in guest bdrm.
Energy efficient over/under frig
No t.v. service - use pc and SIRIUS radio for entertainment
Keep a.c. thermostat at 83F during day during hot season, turn it off at night, open sliders, and sleep under fans

Average Oct thru June is 12 kwh/day and about $60 per month
Average Jul thru Sept is 30kwh/day and about $175 per month
Water cost about $40 to $50 per month - low flow toilets, restrictors on showers, no landscaping water - converting to de-sal water over next 12 months and water cost will come down
Telephone plus DSL is $60 per month
Cable TV (if we had it) $60 for basic service (50% stations in Spanish)

It appears that our living expenses - food, transportation, entertainment, housing, utilities - will remain about the same in Honolulu compared to Los Cabos.

Ofa 'atu
Mui Houma

StinkyTheGrump
January 13th, 2009, 02:28 PM
We used 17 - 25 kwh/day for 2008.
We are a family of two living in a house in Waimalu.
We have solar water heating (25yrs old and a 25yr old water heater).
We have central AC but are too cheap to use it.
We have one pretty new refrigerator.
I changed most of our bulbs to CFLs.
We have a plasma TV which uses 500-600 watts and a computer which uses at least 100 watts (even on sleep mode) which are used frequently.
We frequently watch movies from my computer with the video playing on my plasma and the audio on my surround sound, makes for some pretty dam expensive entertainment.

Anyone else not get their HECO bill yet this month?? I've never gotten it later than the 5th of the month so this is odd...

GeckoGeek
January 13th, 2009, 09:21 PM
I don't think I've seen mine. It's paid automatically, so I just open it, cringe and set it aside.

cyleet99
January 14th, 2009, 08:20 AM
My HECO bill link appeared in my email last night. No great surprises, but the kwh/day just keeps climbing.

17.9 in 11/08
18.5 in 12/08
20.9 in 01/09

The only difference I can see is a few hours of Christmas tree lights in December. And that was about 3-4 strands (in a 6-ft pre-lit tree.)

I am resigned to $5-$6 per day for electricity. The other two household members are no help.

buzz1941
January 14th, 2009, 03:17 PM
I was just looking into installing PV. Can anyone recommend a contractor, or is it simple enough to do it yourself? (I'm reasonably handy with home repair and upgrades...)

Nords
January 14th, 2009, 08:03 PM
I was just looking into installing PV. Can anyone recommend a contractor, or is it simple enough to do it yourself? (I'm reasonably handy with home repair and upgrades...)
It is simple enough to do yourself, especially if you've done electrical work around your home. You can still get a shock if you mess up the electrical-safety precautions. Of course if you inadvertently provide a path to ground while you're connecting a live three-kilowatt array to the inverter, then you'll never even know you're dead. But otherwise it's not rocket science.

If you're going off the grid then you can probably get away with anything. What HECO doesn't know won't hurt you.

However HECO's net-metering agreement requires an electrical contractor's license number and a construction permit. I found the permit process to be especially annoying due to the department's lack of PV experience and the bureaucracy. Paying the contractor to run the permit was worth every penny of the $150* to the contractor and $411* to the govt.

The building code of PV systems is non-intuitive. Decisions that seemed logical or more economical were laughed at by the electrician because they didn't conform to code. Community association rules may also be PV-hostile, especially if the sun would reflect off the panels into a neighbor's window.

I used Keith Cronin of Island Energy Solutions because he was willing to let us do the mechanical part (while teaching us the code) and he wired in the first 1100 watts of panels. We did the next two kilowatts ourselves. I've heard rumors that SunEdison has already shut down their Hawaii venture and cut Keith loose, but if he's not interested in the work then he'll give you a good referral.

I'd also recommend Cully Judd & Ron Richmond at Inter-Island Solar Supply. Ron used to handle HECO's net-metering agreements and he can definitely cut through the red tape. And if IISS can't do the job then they'll recommend a trustworthy contractor.

It's worth paying retail for a new inverter (or letting the contractor sell it to you) but PV panels are getting cheap again. All of ours are used or seconds bought through the classifieds, Craigslist, & eBay.

One of the island's first PV home users, Mike Morton, used to say that it was always easier/cheaper to cut back consumption than it was to boost production. He also advocated installing solar water, if you didn't already have it, before photovoltaic.

PM me if you want to come by for a tour. I'll talk your ears off...

*2004 retail prices...

Kelly0040
January 14th, 2009, 08:52 PM
For 11/18 to 12/18 (31 days): 885.9kWh $156.19

I'm unsure how we use so much :( Just two people and a baby. All lightbulbs were changed out about 2 years ago, only 1 computer is on all day. Two to 3 ceiling fans are constantly going. Guess the fridge and our spare freezer sucks it all up? sigh.

Three years ago, our bill was less than $100.

GeckoGeek
January 14th, 2009, 09:17 PM
I'm unsure how we use so much :( Just two people and a baby. All lightbulbs were changed out about 2 years ago, only 1 computer is on all day. Two to 3 ceiling fans are constantly going. Guess the fridge and our spare freezer sucks it all up? sigh.

Three years ago, our bill was less than $100.

Yeah, but what was your kwh/day back then?

If the computer is sucking 100W 24/7, that would account for about 72KWH. Typically the biggest consumer is the water heater. If you've got a dripping faucet, that can run up the bill quickly. Then I'd guess it's the refrigerator and freezer. How old are those units? It might be time to buy something more efficient.

You may want to invest in a Kill-a-watt (http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU) to see just where the power is going.

Nords
January 15th, 2009, 03:21 AM
With fuel surcharges and PUC-authorized hikes, HECO's rates have gone up by nearly 50% in the last few years.

If you go to HECO's website and fiddle around with their account creation, you can take an online home energy survey that will help you figure out what's sucking down all the power. (Creating an account lets them link your actual electric-bill history to the survey.) However most homeowners use the majority of their electricity in this order:
1. Water heater (if it's not gas or solar).
2. Air conditioning (especially if the home isn't insulated like a Mainland residence).
3. The dreaded garage "spare" fridge & freezer.
4. The kitchen fridge.
5. The clothes dryer (if it's not gas or "solar").

Extra fridges are a widespread problem. In the 1990s San Diego used to have a program offering $50 for your second fridge, and they'd even come pick it up.

You could buy a Kill-A-Watt (I love mine) or you could consolidate the fridge's contents into the kitchen and shut off the 2nd one for a month. (And then, if you haven't needed it for a month, you could get rid of it.) It may make sense to store a lot of chilled/frozen food on the Mainland where electricity costs 5-8 cents/KWHr, but around here you end up buying the food two or three times over before you eat it.

Older ceiling fans suck down a surprising amount of power. We use an EnergyStar model in our livingroom that's quieter and more powerful than its predecessor, yet uses less energy. They're more expensive up front, but HECO offers a rebate on selected models.

GeckoGeek
January 15th, 2009, 06:50 AM
I don't think I've seen mine. It's paid automatically, so I just open it, cringe and set it aside.

Sheesh. I'm slow. I'm on a different billing cycle. I suddenly remembered when I got my last electric bill: Dec 26. :D Yes, THAT day. :rolleyes:

timkona
January 15th, 2009, 07:29 AM
In 2010, State of Hawaii law says that EVERY new home must be built with solar hot water.
At the Federal level, laws are being written to protect Solar Rights, similar to communications rights passed back in the 90's.
At the State level, reps are working on making Hawaii a Solar Rights state just like CA, NM, FL, NV, etc.

Stingy HOA's are on the ropes. Power monger jerks will be kept in check.

GeckoGeek
January 15th, 2009, 08:15 PM
At the Federal level, laws are being written to protect Solar Rights

How does that work? It could mean the end in building new high-rises. Because they will block the sun on the buildings around them.

StinkyTheGrump
March 22nd, 2011, 03:23 PM
Now that the cash rebate for installing solar water heaters has doubled to $1500 it's a great time to get this installed if you haven't already. I'm definitely going to jump on this since I had to rip down my leaky unit last year and did not replace it at the time.
Has anyone put up a solar PV system recently? Costs seem to be way down - I saw a local site yesterday quoting $7/watt, installed, and that probably isn't the lowest.

Zovo
April 28th, 2011, 01:10 PM
Now that the cash rebate for installing solar water heaters has doubled to $1500 it's a great time to get this installed if you haven't already. I'm definitely going to jump on this since I had to rip down my leaky unit last year and did not replace it at the time.
Has anyone put up a solar PV system recently? Costs seem to be way down - I saw a local site yesterday quoting $7/watt, installed, and that probably isn't the lowest.


The $1500.00 rebate for solar hot water, while originally slated to expire at the end of May, is no longer available. The company who handles these rebates essentially ran out of funds to support the doubled rebate; so it's back to $750.00.

That said, there are still plenty of incentives for installing solar systems, both Hot Water and photovoltaic (PV). And not just tax credits; for those homeowners who don't have a large enough tax liability to take advantage of the tax credits, there is a the Federal 1603 grant program which can earn you a check straight from the US Treasury for 24.x% of the system cost.

Might also shop around, a lot of different solar contractors offer a variety of different incentives, including but not limited to Marketing/Referal reimbursements, and/or a willingness to purchase the rights to your Carbon Credits (a value which would really be too small for a single home owner to take advantage of alone).

Kaonohi
April 28th, 2011, 06:58 PM
Three of us with 2 refrigerators and 'sometimes' AC runs us between 200 and 250/month

tutusue
April 28th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Just me in a 464 sq. ft. studio condo, one fridge, central a/c paid by the association (I pay for the fan which is, I was told, equal to using a 60w light bulb), CFL bulbs thruout, no water heater...latest bill is $87. :eek:

ETA: Up from $75. almost 3 years ago. See post #7.

Walkoff Balk
April 28th, 2011, 10:03 PM
The HECO bill has numbers that goes back to one year with monthly readings. So, you can see that even when you use less KWH than a year ago. The amount you pay is more now.

tutusue
June 24th, 2011, 06:39 PM
From 2008:

Okay...1 person in a 464 sq. ft. studio condo...
Association pays for central A/C and hot water...
Some CFLs...
Dishwasher, stack W/D, fridge...
The latest HECO bill was $75.00. :eek:
9 kwh per day[...]
From a couple of months ago:

Just me in a 464 sq. ft. studio condo, one fridge, central a/c paid by the association (I pay for the fan which is, I was told, equal to using a 60w light bulb), CFL bulbs thruout, no water heater...latest bill is $87. :eek: [...]
Whooooa...broke a hundred buckaroonies for the first time. The only changes from above are a new, energy saver dishwasher run once every 5-7 days (fridge was already an energy saver model...and forgot to mention my stove!): $101.69 for 9.5 kwh per day. :eek:
Damn oil.

matapule
June 25th, 2011, 05:48 AM
Whooooa...broke a hundred buckaroonies for the first time. The only changes from above are a new, energy saver dishwasher run once every 5-7 days (fridge was already an energy saver model...and forgot to mention my stove!): $101.69 for 9.5 kwh per day. :eek:
Damn oil.

That's a bit more than we pay in Mexico on average - elec. stove, elec. w/h, all CFLs, no dishwsher, Energy Star fridge, air cond (efficient mini-split system). However, when we run the AC about 3 months out of the year, we leave it at 83F and turn it off at 9pm for the night (sleep with just ceiling fans). We just where minimal clothing around the house during the summer (July - Sept.) ;)

However, your electric rates are much lower by a significant factor than our home in California. If you move back to CA.......bring lots of money! :eek:

tutusue
June 25th, 2011, 10:23 AM
That's a bit more than we pay in Mexico on average - elec. stove, elec. w/h, all CFLs, no dishwsher, Energy Star fridge, air cond (efficient mini-split system). However, when we run the AC about 3 months out of the year, we leave it at 83F and turn it off at 9pm for the night (sleep with just ceiling fans). We just where minimal clothing around the house during the summer (July - Sept.) ;)
What's your square footage, matapule?

However, your electric rates are much lower by a significant factor than our home in California. If you move back to CA.......bring lots of money! :eek:
My daughter lives in Irvine, CA (1400 sq. ft.) and also has a condo in my building (464 sq. ft.). Her CA electric bill is lower than her HI electric bill! :confused:

matapule
June 25th, 2011, 01:43 PM
What's your square footage, matapule?

We have a three unit, zoned mini-split system - living area, principle bedroom, guest bedroom. We run only one unit at a time, never two or more. The largest cooled area (living) is about 500 sqft.


My daughter lives in Irvine, CA (1400 sq. ft.) and also has a condo in my building (464 sq. ft.). Her CA electric bill is lower than her HI electric bill! :confused:

Rates in CA do vary in different areas. And the temptation is to run the AC in HI more than Irvine, where it SHOULD be used only rarely (my daughters live about 20 miles north of Irvine and have no AC). My house in CA is in the Imperial Irrigation District which provides both water and power (how does a $300/mo power bill (not including water) in the summer sound with the thermostat set at 83F? - relatively new house with all the latest in high tech insulation). There is another power company in the area and its rates are even higher.

I am sitting in my casa at 5:30 in Mexico as I post this. According to my weather station, inside temperature is 88F (outside 92) with 50% humidity. No air conditioning on today. We just open the casa up, turn on the ceiling fan, and get acclimatized in poolside attire or less. Time for a Saturday pm Mangorita with surimi/artichoke pupu! :p

tutusue
June 25th, 2011, 03:09 PM
[...]
Rates in CA do vary in different areas. And the temptation is to run the AC in HI more than Irvine, where it SHOULD be used only rarely (my daughters live about 20 miles north of Irvine and have no AC).[...]
Both my daughter's and my units have central a/c which is included in the maintenance fees. In my daughter's case, that's true for both Irvine and Hawaii.

I am sitting in my casa at 5:30 in Mexico as I post this. According to my weather station, inside temperature is 88F (outside 92) with 50% humidity. No air conditioning on today. We just open the casa up, turn on the ceiling fan, and get acclimatized in poolside attire or less. Time for a Saturday pm Mangorita with surimi/artichoke pupu! :p
I don't have a/c in Makaha and do the same as you...open the place up and keep the ceiling fans going. There are only about 10 days a year that Kona weather makes it uncomfortable there. I do like it comfortably cool at night for sleeping. I love winters in Makaha!

matapule
June 25th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Both my daughter's and my units have central a/c which is included in the maintenance fees. !

I have a problem with that concept. I know it is prevalent in HI. I believe that people should have to pay for what they use. Otherwise, it is open the windows and leave the AC on. I am a believer in paying for what you truly use - perhaps more, perhaps less. This is one of the reasons I have decided not to purchase a unit in HI.

tutusue
June 25th, 2011, 05:09 PM
I have a problem with that concept. I know it is prevalent in HI. I believe that people should have to pay for what they use. Otherwise, it is open the windows and leave the AC on. I am a believer in paying for what you truly use - perhaps more, perhaps less. This is one of the reasons I have decided not to purchase a unit in HI.
I remember discussing this issue with you when you were considering a purchase in Hawaii, and I don't disagree. The problem in some condo buildings like the one I live in in town is that there's no cross ventilation and house rules prevent the resident from propping the front door open. Plus the front door opens to an enclosed hall, hotel style. And, in my case, the (only) wall of windows can't be opened as there's no safety rail or lanai. The real problem is irresponsible residents, be they owners or tenants. My Makaha unit is set up entirely different which is why I've never installed an a/c unit. That building's maintenance fee doesn't include a/c.

matapule
June 25th, 2011, 05:20 PM
The problem in some condo buildings like the one I live in in town is that there's no cross ventilation and house rules prevent the resident from propping the front door open. Plus the front door opens to an enclosed hall, hotel style. And, in my case, the (only) wall of windows can't be opened as there's no safety rail or lanai. .

Very poor architectural design, and I have the credentials to criticize. I wouldn't buy a unit in one of those buildings.

tutusue
June 25th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Very poor architectural design, and I have the credentials to criticize. I wouldn't buy a unit in one of those buildings.
It's only the studio units that don't have lanais. Some studio residents have managed to get their windows open. I'm not comfortable with that in my place. The one and 2 bedroom units have lanais and sliding doors. Then there are the 4 penthouses!!! Still, like so many high rise condo buildings, the front doors open into an enclosed hall that also includes the stairs, elevators and trash rooms. I'm comfortable with the design, possibly because I have something quite different in Makaha.

I know at least one, nice, elder housing condo building that purposely did not add lanais and windows that open. The reasoning was that we senior folks can, sometimes without notice, become disoriented or depressed or sleep walk, yada, yada. The building was designed to prevent potential injuries, either accidental or self-inflicted.

craigwatanabe
July 4th, 2011, 03:10 PM
Hmmm...here on the Big Island I'm paying about $400 per month. And that's no AC. Electricity prices are very high here.:(

tutusue
July 4th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Hmmm...here on the Big Island I'm paying about $400 per month. And that's no AC. Electricity prices are very high here.:(
For how many sq. ft.?

GeckoGeek
July 4th, 2011, 05:30 PM
Hmmm...here on the Big Island I'm paying about $400 per month. And that's no AC. Electricity prices are very high here.:(

We've talked about this before - something doesn't seem right.

I'm super tempted to buy one of these (http://www.theenergydetective.com/store/ted-5000) for my place. In your situation, I think I'd buy one to figure out where the power is going.

craigwatanabe
July 4th, 2011, 11:37 PM
I read on the AP wire that those cable/satellite tv boxes can use as much electricity as a 21-cu ft refrigerator. I got five of them.:(

craigwatanabe
July 4th, 2011, 11:38 PM
For how many sq. ft.?

3000 sq ft under roof. And that doesn't include the 400 sq ft covered lanai

tutusue
July 5th, 2011, 08:30 AM
3000 sq ft under roof. And that doesn't include the 400 sq ft covered lanai
Hmmm...
3000 sq. ft. = $400.
464 sq. ft. = $100.
:confused:

matapule
July 5th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Hmmm...
3000 sq. ft. = $400.
464 sq. ft. = $100.
:confused:

It would take an energy audit to determine the apparent inequity. I know one person who slept with their lights and TV on all night (I'm not saying that you do this Tutu) and couldn't figure out why her bill was so high. And there may be a difference in rates on the two islands. It can get complicated to determine the cost of electricity. We live in about 500 sqft. in Mexico (even though the actual casa is larger) and we pay about $100 per month during the season when no AC is required and we rarely use the dishwasher and have have all CFL bulbs. We think it is a bargain compared to what we have been paying in CA.

Cost of water is also part of the energy cost equation. How much do you pay for water?

tutusue
July 5th, 2011, 05:35 PM
[...]
Cost of water is also part of the energy cost equation. How much do you pay for water?
Water is included in the condo maintenance fee.

I have the TV and cable box on a timer to turn off 1 hour after I go to bed. I've contacted HECO in the past and have always been told my (energy saver) fridge is the reason for such a high bill! You're absolutely right...it will take an energy audit.

matapule
July 5th, 2011, 06:06 PM
have always been told my (energy saver) fridge is the reason for such a high bill!

Ohhhhhhhhh gaaaaaaaawd! Here we go on the refrigerator from hell thread again! :D:D:D What is it about women and refrigerators? Uaifi gets her ta'uvala all in a bundle about refrigerators too.......don't put the cold cuts in the vegetable bin, milk goes on the top shelf not the second shelf, the butter always goes into the butter holder........on and on and on! Matapule just considers a refrigerator as a place to store the ice cream, that's all.

Leo Lakio
July 5th, 2011, 06:17 PM
Matapule just considers a refrigerator as a place to store the ice cream, that's all.You poor thing. Idea for you: store it in a freezer, not a refrigerator - you'll find it to be a whole new taste treat! :D

tutusue
July 5th, 2011, 07:34 PM
Ohhhhhhhhh gaaaaaaaawd! Here we go on the refrigerator from hell thread again! :D [...]
<tee hee> The HECO customer service rep is a woman! I disagreed with her, of course! I used that same fridge in Makaha for a few years with no spike in the HECO bill.

You poor thing. Idea for you: store it in a freezer, not a refrigerator - you'll find it to be a whole new taste treat! :D
:D

anapuni808
July 5th, 2011, 09:15 PM
I monitor the HECO bills for the bldg where I work. I called to question a raise in our rates late last year (when oil was very expensive!!!) and I was told that part of our rate increases each month was based on the cost at the time the oil was purchased by HECO to be processed into electricity.

Our bills for the office went WAAAAY up this last month. If what HECO told me is correct, we are probably just now getting into the use of that very expensive oil. Another cause for rate increases right now is that the PUC just approved new rate increases.

I'm lucky where I live now in that I don't have to pay any utilities (included with my rent) but I do check with my landlord once in a while to make sure I'm keeping my useage down - or at least not increasing it when I can. :)

matapule
July 6th, 2011, 03:32 AM
You poor thing. Idea for you: store it in a freezer, not a refrigerator - you'll find it to be a whole new taste treat! :D

Freezer? You put ice cream in da freezer? :confused: You meen dare anudder way to kau kau cream besides drinkin' outta glass kine? Hey, maybe dats wha' uaifi all gotta beef 'bout - no put ice cream in frigeraper!

GeckoGeek
July 6th, 2011, 08:52 PM
I read on the AP wire that those cable/satellite tv boxes can use as much electricity as a 21-cu ft refrigerator. I got five of them.:(

Depends on what they are. From what I hear, it's the ones with a built-in DVR that suck the power. It's a desktop computer on 24/7. It's either recording or scanning for something to record.

If it's just a tuner, I wouldn't expect it to draw that much, but if it's digital, well, I guess it's all in how it's designed.

You might want to check the power ratings on them (worst case) or maybe by a Kill-A-Watt to see how much it's drawing.


Water is included in the condo maintenance fee.

I think he's talking about hot water. That's a big portion of the total energy bill. If you've got a dripping faucet, that can explain a lot.

tutusue
July 6th, 2011, 09:43 PM
Depends on what they are. From what I hear, it's the ones with a built-in DVR that suck the power. It's a desktop computer on 24/7. It's either recording or scanning for something to record.
:eek: Even if it's powered off?

If it's just a tuner, I wouldn't expect it to draw that much, but if it's digital, well, I guess it's all in how it's designed. [...]

And, if it's HD?.....

I think he's talking about hot water. That's a big portion of the total energy bill. If you've got a dripping faucet, that can explain a lot.
Hot water is also included in the maint. fee. I love not having a hot water heater!

Walkoff Balk
July 6th, 2011, 10:58 PM
I love not having a hot water heater!

Why would you want to heat hot water? Don't you mean a cold water heater?

Palama Kid
July 7th, 2011, 09:50 AM
However, your electric rates are much lower by a significant factor than our home in California. If you move back to CA.......bring lots of money! :eek:


Matapule, I live alone in house juss under 1300 sq ft:
- Winter average over $80.00 per month, mostly due to electric furnace
- Spring / Fall - no need use furnace all the time - around 50 bucks
- Summer time it's below 40 bucks. I no have A/C, so I keep house open during the evenings to cool off the house; usually around 60° at night. No work all the time, though.

Take multiple showers daily, but no big ting as I keep water heater (gas) in OFF position until needed. Cold water for clothes washer. I've rarely used my dishwasher - rinse bowl / cup / utensils after most meals.

FYI around forty bucks every two months for water.

tutusue
July 7th, 2011, 10:40 AM
Matapule, I live alone in house juss under 1300 sq ft:
- Winter average over $80.00 per month, mostly due to electric furnace
- Spring / Fall - no need use furnace all the time - around 50 bucks
- Summer time it's below 40 bucks. I no have A/C, so I keep house open during the evenings to cool off the house; usually around 60° at night. No work all the time, though....]
Just received the following from my daughter who, as I mentioned earlier, lives in a 1400 sq. ft. townhouse in Irvine, CA:
"My place in Irvine isn't usually more than $45 except in the winter when I use heat."

Honoruru
July 7th, 2011, 06:52 PM
We will probably be paying much more for electricity in the near future because of this rate increase proposal (http://www.staradvertiser.com/business/20110707__Rate_hike_could_yield___extra__53M__for_ HECO.html). From what I understand (and I could be wrong here), but this increase is significant in that it is not tied to the price of oil or operating expenses, but is being used to pay for HECO’s future capital improvement projects.

GeckoGeek
July 7th, 2011, 09:26 PM
:eek: Even if it's powered off?

Quite possibly. I'd have to look into how they work. I think some of them continually scan for shows you've said you want.


And, if it's HD?.....

Definently digital.


Hot water is also included in the maint. fee. I love not having a hot water heater!

Just as long as the association doesn't go to sub-metering. (Llike this (http://www.americanwater.com/wsubmetr.php)) It wouldn't surprise me but what it gets to be popular. Without paying for what you use, there's no incentive to reduce energy. Condos may find themselves trapped between high costs and residents screaming about rising maintenance costs.

matapule
July 8th, 2011, 02:18 AM
"My place in Irvine isn't usually more than $45 except in the winter when I use heat."

Not enough information to know what that means. In most situations in California, heating is done with natural gas which is less expensive (in general) than electric heat.


Without paying for what you use, there's no incentive to reduce energy. Condos may find themselves trapped between high costs and residents screaming about rising maintenance costs.

I agree. I think that associations that include all utilities in their dues are going to experience a rude awakening in the very near future. From an environmental standpoint, I oppose utilities for a flat fee (HOA dues). There is no incentive to use utilities judiciously.

maliemalamalama
July 16th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Mahalo, tutusue, for directing me to this thread. I live in a 1400sf townhouse. There are only two in our household (husband and me). CFLs in about 90% of all fixtures. All appliances are energy star. Water heater on a timer. We are at home and awake for six hours in a day. Our kwH usage for all of last year was never more than 500. Starting in January 2011, HECO showed usage went up slightly. In February, it spiked at almost 900 even though Feb is the shortest month of the year, and we weren't even home for 10 days that month. March showed lower usage, but it was still well over our usual. Since then, it has kept going up so that last month's purported usage was over 900 kwH. My bill for June was $283! We do not run a/c; all of our appliances seem to be working just fine. We have not changed our lifestyle - we are creatures of habit.

My friends live in a single family home, have two adults and three teenagers, have at least two people home during the day, and have the tv on and various appliances running continually all day. Their electric bill last month was $245. How can?

I called HECO twice this week and was told that someone would get back yo me in 4-8 weeks! What kine customer service is that?! I just want to find out if we're "leaking" electricity somewhere. Does anyone have any ideas?

anapuni808
July 16th, 2011, 09:34 PM
I'm sorry for your problems with a high electric bill but I've had a lot of experience with HECO customer service through my job and I've never had your sort of problems with them. and I don't think it is just because its a commercial account. I've had personal interaction with them at my apartment too. the response you say you have gotten from them just doesn't seem right. but of course, I'm only speaking from my own personal experience.

also, have you tried going to their website? they have a lot of tips on how to track you usage.

again, sorry for the experience youv'e been having with HECO.

tutusue
July 17th, 2011, 09:04 AM
[..
I called HECO twice this week and was told that someone would get back yo me in 4-8 weeks! What kine customer service is that?![...]
This makes me wonder if HECO is backlogged with a plethora of complaints similar to yours. In addition to your spike in kwH usage have you compared the various charges, under "Bill Detail", of your current bill to bills that were more normal for you?

GeckoGeek
July 17th, 2011, 03:32 PM
Our kwH usage for all of last year was never more than 500. Starting in January 2011, HECO showed usage went up slightly. In February, it spiked at almost 900 even though Feb is the shortest month of the year, and we weren't even home for 10 days that month.

I should have thought of this sooner. Let's crunch some numbers. You say your "base" is 500kwh but Feb was 900. That's 400Kwh unexplained. There's ~720 hours in a month. So to get 400KWH, we'd need a 555W appliance running 24/7. (Or a 1,100W appliance running 12/7, etc).

That's high enough I think we can eliminate most appliances like the PC, cable box, etc. I'd still focus on the hot water usage. If a hot water pipe in the slab sprung a leak, you might never notice the moisture - only the high electric bill and higher then normal water bill. The idea of "leaking" electricity seems remote. Not impossible, but it seems unlikely that the hot has shorted to something that conductive. However, a fault in the water heater can cause it to run at low power. I know you said you have a timer on it, but it depends on if the timer controls both wires or only one.

If you can locate your water and electric meters, you can monitor them for usage and see if you can narrow it down. They might be a bit tricky to read, but I'm sure if you google, you can find out how to do it.