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Why is my gas bill so high? Ideas?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 1st 05, 05:39 PM
[email protected]
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Default Why is my gas bill so high? Ideas?

I'm at a loss. I can't figure out why my gas bill is as high as it is,
while my neighbor's bills are MUCH lower.

I moved into this house a couple years ago and I've had sticker shock
every time the gas bill arrives. The new house matches my old one as
far as appliances as I brought them with me. The only difference is
the furnace and water heater.

As an example; the largest bill I've ever had at my old house was $125
where the largest bill to date at the new house was $320. The house is
bigger by 600sqft but that should only account for winter bills...

I use to think the old furnace was the culprit but my bills are high
all year around. (I even replaced it without much effect) A typical
bill at the old house was $12-$20... the new house never has a bill
below $100, even when the furnace is off all month!

I started suspecting that the meter was bad so I had NIPSCO come out
and check it several times until they replaced it on my insistance. It
didn't help. While they were there they checked of leaks too.

I just talked to the old owner of the house and found out that he too
had the meter swapped. So even he knew something was up.

So my gas bill last month was $101 and my neighbor's bills average $25.
I don't know what to do next. The only thing left to try is replacing
the water heater but I can't imagine that it is even capable of using
that much gas.

The NIPSCO guy shut the water heater off for 20 minutes and checked the
meter. No gas was used. This weekend I'm going to shut it off for a
few hours and see if the meter moves. When I relight the water heater
I'm going to see how much it consumes over X amount of time in case
it's a leak after the shut off valve.

In the meantime, I'm open to any suggestions. If my natural gas bill
goes down, I might be able to fill my car up with the savings!

Thanks for reading this long post.

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  #3  
Old September 1st 05, 06:09 PM
Tom
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Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
I'm at a loss. I can't figure out why my gas bill is as high as it is,
while my neighbor's bills are MUCH lower.

I moved into this house a couple years ago and I've had sticker shock
every time the gas bill arrives. The new house matches my old one as
far as appliances as I brought them with me. The only difference is
the furnace and water heater.

As an example; the largest bill I've ever had at my old house was $125
where the largest bill to date at the new house was $320. The house is
bigger by 600sqft but that should only account for winter bills...

I use to think the old furnace was the culprit but my bills are high
all year around. (I even replaced it without much effect) A typical
bill at the old house was $12-$20... the new house never has a bill
below $100, even when the furnace is off all month!

I started suspecting that the meter was bad so I had NIPSCO come out
and check it several times until they replaced it on my insistance. It
didn't help. While they were there they checked of leaks too.

I just talked to the old owner of the house and found out that he too
had the meter swapped. So even he knew something was up.

So my gas bill last month was $101 and my neighbor's bills average $25.
I don't know what to do next. The only thing left to try is replacing
the water heater but I can't imagine that it is even capable of using
that much gas.

The NIPSCO guy shut the water heater off for 20 minutes and checked the
meter. No gas was used. This weekend I'm going to shut it off for a
few hours and see if the meter moves. When I relight the water heater
I'm going to see how much it consumes over X amount of time in case
it's a leak after the shut off valve.

In the meantime, I'm open to any suggestions. If my natural gas bill
goes down, I might be able to fill my car up with the savings!

Thanks for reading this long post.

Do the readings on your meter match those on your bill? Perhaps the meter
reader has been estimating your bill every month rather than actually
reading the meter. Is the meter hard to get to...I can imagine the reader
estimating a couple of times and then being afraid to actually read the
meter because of the big discrepancy between actual and estimated readings.
I had a big water bill once and when I checked the meter against the bill
there was a big difference. Water company swore that the meter had been
actually read but when I insisted on a new reading I got an amended bill
that was substantially less. And I lived in an apartment once...electric
was pretty cheap even though it was Arizona and hotter than blazes..When the
A/C ;quit, we found out that my A/C was wired to the upstairs apartment and
vice versa. The bachelors upstairs had been sleeping on the balcony to try
to keep their electric bill down. When they got their electric shut off due
to none payment, I lost my A/C.
I doubt you have a leak after the shut off on the water heater or you
wouldn't be here to post to this newsgroup. Is the neighbors bill a valid
comparison...he isn't running an all Electric house, is he?

Tom


  #4  
Old September 1st 05, 06:29 PM
[email protected]
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Default

You think that a water heater can make a $70-80 difference? Everyone I
talked to said no way. I'm thinking about replacing the water heater
anyway and see what difference it makes.

As for the gas leak, what if it was underground? I'm on a slab (both
old and new houses) and I've been wondering if a leak under the slab
wouldn't be as detectable.

Another way to check that would be to have a pressure test done.

And to Tom's reply, If it was an estimated bill it would eventually
catch up with me and I'd eventually have a low bill. In living here
2.5 years, I've never had a "low" bill.

  #5  
Old September 1st 05, 06:42 PM
Doug Kanter
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Default

1) What's the temperature of your water? Fill up a glass and stick in a meat
thermometer.

2) Any teenagers in the house?

3) How long's the average shower?

4) On the side of the water heater is tube from the pressure relief valve.
I've seen houses where that was extended to the edge of the floating slab
basement floor. If it was leaking, you'd never know it.


  #6  
Old September 1st 05, 06:45 PM
SQLit
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Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
I'm at a loss. I can't figure out why my gas bill is as high as it is,
while my neighbor's bills are MUCH lower.

I moved into this house a couple years ago and I've had sticker shock
every time the gas bill arrives. The new house matches my old one as
far as appliances as I brought them with me. The only difference is
the furnace and water heater.

As an example; the largest bill I've ever had at my old house was $125
where the largest bill to date at the new house was $320. The house is
bigger by 600sqft but that should only account for winter bills...

I use to think the old furnace was the culprit but my bills are high
all year around. (I even replaced it without much effect) A typical
bill at the old house was $12-$20... the new house never has a bill
below $100, even when the furnace is off all month!

I started suspecting that the meter was bad so I had NIPSCO come out
and check it several times until they replaced it on my insistance. It
didn't help. While they were there they checked of leaks too.

I just talked to the old owner of the house and found out that he too
had the meter swapped. So even he knew something was up.

So my gas bill last month was $101 and my neighbor's bills average $25.
I don't know what to do next. The only thing left to try is replacing
the water heater but I can't imagine that it is even capable of using
that much gas.

The NIPSCO guy shut the water heater off for 20 minutes and checked the
meter. No gas was used. This weekend I'm going to shut it off for a
few hours and see if the meter moves. When I relight the water heater
I'm going to see how much it consumes over X amount of time in case
it's a leak after the shut off valve.

In the meantime, I'm open to any suggestions. If my natural gas bill
goes down, I might be able to fill my car up with the savings!

Thanks for reading this long post.


Never heard of this with gas, water and electricity yes a long time ago.

Turning your meter off is not the way to find out where the gas is going.
Leave the meter on and turn off ALL of the appliance valves. If the meter
moves now you know there is either a leak or another load.

If it is the water heater it would be running all of the time. I once had a
hot water line broken under the kitchen floor, gas bill went from 30 in the
summer to 70. Since the water heater was next to the washer it was pretty
easy to figure out that it was running all of the time. Water bill took a
leap as well.

I had a customer that bought 20 acres of land with a barn and a huge home on
it. I was called in when the kitchen was being remodeled and they needed new
electrical circuits. I went to the service and found no main but 6 200 amp
fusible switches. Ok a bit strange but nothing wrong so far. One switch had
no wires on it so we labeled it as a spare. Kitchen had a panel, barn had
two panels and the sleeping area of the house had a panel. That left one
switch unaccounted for, we continued with the remodel and the owner got the
first electric bill, well over $400.00 and it was not even hot yet in the
Arizona desert. Second bill was over $600.00. Owner was really upset. Rumors
had it that the previous owner was a drug dealer and there was a underground
storage room. I got a tracker and started chasing down the wires. Got to
the mystery wires and they ran straight off the property heading into
another development of homes. I waited until dark, I then turned off the
switch and low and behold the neighbors homes all when dark. I removed the
wiring from the switch and cut it off close to the concrete so it could
never be re connected again, per the owners orders. Electric bill dropped
to the $200 range.

Utility meters are historically accurate. I have seen 3 bad electrical
meters in 35 years. One was bad toward the customer. State regulators take a
dim view of a utility not having accurate equipment. I will bet you either
find another load or a leak.. I am betting on the load.


  #9  
Old September 1st 05, 07:30 PM
Edwin Pawlowski
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Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
You think that a water heater can make a $70-80 difference? Everyone I
talked to said no way. I'm thinking about replacing the water heater
anyway and see what difference it makes.

As for the gas leak, what if it was underground? I'm on a slab (both
old and new houses) and I've been wondering if a leak under the slab
wouldn't be as detectable.


It may be the water heater, but not a gas leak. What about the water itself.
I saw a setup a neighbor made to have warm water for washing his car. He put
both hot and cold water to the outside faucet. I guess it was nice having
the warm water and regulating it from inside, but when the valves inside
were left opened, the hot water began to flow across into the cold water
lines in the house. Flush the toilet, use some hot water.

It is possible that a faucet in the house is not closing properly between
the hot and cold lines even though the water is not flowing out. It would
heat all the lines as the hot water moved through the system.


  #10  
Old September 1st 05, 08:33 PM
Doug Miller
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Default

In article , Ross Richardson wrote:
Does code allow for gas lines under a slab? I would do more
troubleshooting before spending money on a water heater that may not be
the problem. What about ceiling insulation. Is it good? Lots of heat can
go up though the ceiling.


He's not losing enough heat through the ceiling to give him a $100 gas bill in
the *summer*, for Pete's sake.

My money is on a leaking hot water line.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)

It's time to throw all their damned tea in the harbor again.
 




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