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Thread: My electric bill is going up 60%!

  1. #71
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I wish it were. But Jevons Paradox has held true historically: as energy costs go down because of increased efficiency, overall consumption goes up. That's reality.

    We need to be talking about reducing overall energy use, and that will take lifestyle changes at a societal, global level. Individual efforts alone won't do it.
    There are a large number of households where their income limits their energy usage. So as energy costs go down, their consumption goes up.

    There are a large number of businesses where as their energy costs go down: their prices go down, demand goes up, and ...

    But reality is often different than what we believe. US energy consumption is down on a per capita basis.

    Life is complex.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Decourcy View Post
    For the same reason the left love it so much. Ignorance.
    The right hate it because they donít understand the benefits of the chamge, the left love it because they donít understand the costs of the change.
    Nailed that.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Why do so many of us search for reasons to do nothing (except whine)?

  4. #74
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    Why do so many of us search for reasons to do nothing (except whine)?
    Spot on. Particularly when there are so many options.

    I must say that I have a great deal of respect for you as a person who not only talks the talk, you walk the walk as well - with success, ingenuity, and creativity.

    My relatively urban situation is one of incremental change. We continue, bit-by-bit to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our use of energy generally. Our retirement home will be a passive home - at least we can generate the energy we need for both environmental and economic reasons and to reduce the amount we consume.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  5. #75
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    There are a large number of households where their income limits their energy usage. So as energy costs go down, their consumption goes up.

    There are a large number of businesses where as their energy costs go down: their prices go down, demand goes up, and ...

    But reality is often different than what we believe. US energy consumption is down on a per capita basis.
    Down but trending upward again by the look of that graph, as is Europe's. However, worldwide energy consumption is not. China is extremely "not." I would bet India is "not" also. That's the big picture.

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  6. #76
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    Why do so many of us search for reasons to do nothing (except whine)?
    Well, that feels aimed squarely at me. Which makes me wonder:

    1. Why do so many of us assume others are doing nothing?

    2. Why is pointing out that, historically, overall energy consumption increases as efficiency increases--and that individual action will not suffice to prevent the worst effects of climate change--interpreted by so many as "whining"?

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  7. #77
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    According to the graph, US per capita use in 2010 was about 83,100 kWh, our electric use for the highest month, times twelve, would be about 6,600 kWh.

  8. #78
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    According to the graph, US per capita use in 2010 was about 83,100 kWh, our electric use for the highest month, times twelve, would be about 6,600 kWh.
    Ah, but you forgot the aluminum smelter down the road!

  9. #79
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    According to the graph, US per capita use in 2010 was about 83,100 kWh, our electric use for the highest month, times twelve, would be about 6,600 kWh.
    But industrial uses are far higher, and (I'm guessing) must raise the per capita consumption disproportionate to what individual homes use.

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  10. #80
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    But industrial uses are far higher, and (I'm guessing) must raise the per capita consumption disproportionate to what individual homes use.

    Tom
    So is the issue with the increased consumption that you're talking about due to domestic per capita consumption, or the growth of consumption for industrial use?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  11. #81
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    So is the issue with the increased consumption that you're talking about due to domestic per capita consumption, or the growth of consumption for industrial use?
    I'm talking about this:

    In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.[4][5]

    The issue has been re-examined by modern economists studying consumption rebound effects from improved energy efficiency. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use, improved efficiency also lowers the relative cost of using a resource, which increases the quantity demanded. This counteracts (to some extent) the reduction in use from improved efficiency. Additionally, improved efficiency increases real incomes and accelerates economic growth, further increasing the demand for resources. The Jevons' effect occurs when the effect from increased demand predominates, and the improved efficiency results in a faster rate of resource utilization.[5]
    Source

    That bolded bit suggests (to me) that the problem is global. As energy efficiency increases, costs fall, and new markets for energy consumption arise--markets that didn't exist previously because the players in those markets could not afford the energy costs. India and China are good examples of quicky rising consumption, I think.

    But domestically too--mostly industrial, I'd guess. I'm not arguing that because an individual homeowner builds in efficiencies for themselves, that they will suddenly start using more energy. I think anyone who cares enough to do something about their energy consumption is going to end up using less even as their efficiency increases.

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  12. #82
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    That bolded bit suggests (to me) that the problem is global. As energy efficiency increases, costs fall, and new markets for energy consumption arise--markets that didn't exist previously because the players in those markets could not afford the energy costs. India and China are good examples of quicky rising consumption, I think.

    But domestically too--mostly industrial, I'd guess. I'm not arguing that because an individual homeowner builds in efficiencies for themselves, that they will suddenly start using more energy. I think anyone who cares enough to do something about their energy consumption is going to end up using less even as their efficiency increases.

    Tom
    In some ways, I see that as off-topic to the thread. Valuable discussion, but it really doesn't help Botebum deal with the issue that he's facing - a 64% rise in the cost of his electricity at home. In Botebum's case, he's looking for ways to reduce his cost. One way is to reduce his consumption by improving his efficiency at home to reduce his usage. I happen to know that his energy provider will give him free energy audits of his house that will help with his problem. They will give him some things - usually LED lamps, special power strips, etc. on the spot to help with the issue and can also provide heavily discounted programs to reduce air infiltration and improve home insulation values. Some of the programs will make recommendations for changes to domestic heating, hot water heaters, and appliances and currently there are programs that will pay for significant parts of that cost, too.

    Another way, which has been proposed here, is to generate his own electricity with photovoltaic panels. While this incurs a fairly significant up-front cost, I fail to see the downside to doing this which others seem to find. While there is an initial carbon footprint to the manufacture of panels, current data shows that is completely offset by the energy generated in the first three years of the panel's use. The warranted lifespan of my panels is 25 years, and the practical useful life appears to be between 30 and 40 years.

    While improving efficiency is great and helps us reduce our overall demand - something we should all strive to do - changing the source of the electricity used is an even better approach to reducing the demands on climate, IMO.

    As developing nations consume more power - and we know they will - we can only hope that they will choose to generate power with sources that have less environmental impact.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  13. #83
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Ah, but you forgot the aluminum smelter down the road!
    Or the air conditioners in desert cities?

  14. #84
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Down but trending upward again by the look of that graph, as is Europe's. However, worldwide energy consumption is not. China is extremely "not." I would bet India is "not" also. That's the big picture.
    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom
    We need to be talking about reducing overall energy use, and that will take lifestyle changes at a societal, global level. Individual efforts alone won't do it.
    I see the big picture much differently.

    The chart I used shows that US per capita energy usage is much higher than Europe which is much higher than the rest of the world. (to be fair the chart is for personal plus commercial/industrial consumption) In any case, few in the US would be willing to reduce their usage to European usage and few in Europe would be willing to reduce their usage to world usage numbers.

    I would not ask the world to reduce their usage when we are using so much more.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    In some ways, I see that as off-topic to the thread. Valuable discussion, but it really doesn't help Botebum deal with the issue that he's facing - a 64% rise in the cost of his electricity at home.
    Sure, you can look at it that way. But I see this thread a bit differently. The OP isn't about seeking solutions to deal with higher prices--it's simply an announcement of higher prices. It's all connected.

    I agree 100% that changing the source of our electricity is important. But I think that until near 100% renewable is achieved, reducing overall consumption has more potential to slow the effects of climate change than anything else we do. Problem is, no one wants to accept the (perceived) costs of using less. So we're all going to accept the (very real, and largely predictable) costs of continuing to use what we use, or even more.

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  16. #86
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    I wonder what the typical energy usage is for a Home Depot or Lowes? They didn't air condition lumberyards when I was a kid.

  17. #87
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    ^ MC, regarding post # 86, I work in one of those 'big box' stores, near Charlotte - The store recently changed all of its overhead lighting from flourescent tubes to LED's, a step in the right direction, I believe, and a vast improvement in lighting.



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  18. #88
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    I can't control what everyone else does or might do. We don't consume more because our costs are less. (Did you notice that our rental place also has solar power?)

    For those who can't afford to change, tax credits or subsidies can give them an incentive. But some people are so fixed in their habits that they can't stand any change whatsoever.

    Still, if you compare the scope of voluntary change to those involuntary changes (and damages) wrought by climate disasters, you might conclude that your reasoning is faulty.
    Tax credits don't give everyone an incentive. I am retired and have my income structured such that I do not pay US income tax since the bulk of my income comes from qualified dividends and long term cap gains that are taxed at 0% for my income level. The standard deduction takes care of everything else. So I get no tax credits since the credits are non-refundable. I could easily afford to install a full solar setup or buy an EV, but I would not get a cent in tax credits. Tax credits as currently structured are a nice benefit for the better off, but leave those with modest incomes out. If I was to receive a tax credit I would certainly take advantage of it to upgrade the solar on my yacht (aka second home).

  19. #89
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Sure, you can look at it that way. But I see this thread a bit differently. The OP isn't about seeking solutions to deal with higher prices--it's simply an announcement of higher prices. It's all connected.

    I agree 100% that changing the source of our electricity is important. But I think that until near 100% renewable is achieved, reducing overall consumption has more potential to slow the effects of climate change than anything else we do. Problem is, no one wants to accept the (perceived) costs of using less. So we're all going to accept the (very real, and largely predictable) costs of continuing to use what we use, or even more.

    Tom
    Here's where we're going to disagree. I don't necessarily think that the increased demand for electricity is necessarily bad - particularly if there is an offset of the use of other fuels that are worse for the environment. For example, EV's, heat pumps, etc. to offset fossil fuel use.

    Here's where we do agree - I do think that we need to be doing more to replace the electrical generation by non-renewable fossil fuels to meet that increased demand for electricity. The local electrical distributor that manages grid load predicts a 1.8% increase annually in electrical demand for the region. I don't know whether the annual increase in solar, wind and other "green" power is meeting or even exceeding that 1.8% annual growth. What I do know is that solar photovoltaic alone is 19% of the supply. The downside is that the consumption exceeds in-state supply by 30%. That's not good.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  20. #90
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Here's where we're going to disagree. I don't necessarily think that the increased demand for electricity is necessarily bad - particularly if there is an offset of the use of other fuels that are worse for the environment. For example, EV's, heat pumps, etc. to offset fossil fuel use.
    I agree with you here, I think--increased demand is not necessarily bad. But given that much of the increased demand will be met by electricity produced by fossil fuels right now--especially coal--I think in the real-world application, it IS bad. Once renewables make up the vast majority of the supply, it will stop being bad. But it's bad now. And I think it will continue to be bad for some time.

    That said, renewables are increasing. That's encouraging.

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  21. #91
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd D View Post
    Tax credits don't give everyone an incentive. Tax credits as currently structured are a nice benefit for the better off, but leave those with modest incomes out.
    My wife and I would get a tax credit for an EV. But even with a tax credit and free charging, the economics don't work out. I think they work out worse for those of more modest means.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    The utility bills are insane now. Many small businesses will not survive such a rise.
    I am always looking ways to save cash these days in order to be able to pay all the bills.
    Twilio slack is one of those things. Definitely saved my a decent amount on the mobile conversations.
    Last edited by mike9199; 09-30-2022 at 11:39 AM.

  23. #93
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike9199 View Post
    The utility bills are insane now. Many small businesses will not survive such a rise
    Unless they had the foresight to put in solar….

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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Unless they had the foresight to put in solarÖ.
    My parents are putting solar in at there house in Michigan. It should only take 2-3 years to pay for itself.
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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Given the reduced cost with a solar PV system, you might calculate whether it makes sense to take out a loan to do the installation, with the prospect of lower utility cost in the long term.

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    Default Re: My electric bill is going up 60%!

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    My parents are putting solar in at there house in Michigan. It should only take 2-3 years to pay for itself.
    Is there any kind of subsidy in their deal?
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

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