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What is my next step to finding electricity over usage? Answered

I need some help! I just moved into a home in Marysville, Oh. Last month we were not living here, had the heat pump set at 65, fridge, and deep freezer and hot water heater were plugged in. Nothing else going, because we were at our other house, packing up. Electric bill came, we used 3200 kwh, I called and had heat pump looked at, everything is running correctly, ugh 150 dollars to find out it was perfect. Electric company came out, meter checked out, and was dead on, actually lagging by 1%. Everyone says heatpumps are more efficient, I lived in Fl for 30 yrs with electric central heat and air, never spent over 900kwh a month on electric bill. This is a small house, 1200sf.. no basement, what should I check next? I bought a kwh meter and tested fridge, its normal ussage, hot water tank is set at 120.. where do i go from here? Also the heat man told me to use emergency when its below 30, I did this for 24 hrs, and used 175kwh, so i switched em heat off! 


Unplug everything. Check the meter, is it still running? Do you have a neighbor borrowing some juice you don't know about? 3200kwh is a LOT...Heat pumps are a lot more efficient than just resistive heating, but gas per watt equivalent is better per dollar generally in markets where its available.

-Was it unusually cold needing a LOT of heat?
-How well is the house insulated. It does you no good to have an efficient heat pump and the equivalent to open windows. Check door seams and window gaskets. Exterior wall electrical plugs leak air like a sivve -- consider getting vapour barrier in the boxes, or spray foam insulation behind and around the electrical boxes inside the wall. Is the attic remotely well insulated? For the cost of one utility bill you can buy a LOT of fiberglass or blow-in insulation.
-Is the floor, walls, or ceilling exceptionally cold regardless of house temperature? Start there.
-You can get a point-and-read infrared thermometer that you go around pointing at stuff and it will tell you its temperature to within a few degrees...They can be had for about $40 for the made-in-china versions from hardware stores...look around your house for cool spots.
-Single double triple glazed windows? Old windows suck, like millenium edition. (see what I did there?)

Consider an on-demand hot water tankless heater...but also that in cold climates, 'wasted' heat is not wasted so long as it stays in the house.

I don't' think I'd leave the place at 65F either.

I'm living here now, 65 is fridgid for me lol! Sitting around the house in sweats, a hoodie, a hat and gloves isn't comfy..but it beats a bigger electric bill! What would you set it at?

I left it at 57 when I wasn't living here.. lol.. but set at 65 now.. I've watched the meter this week, every 24 hrs i check it. Friday i used 137 Saturday i used 116 Sunday I used 97.. so its going down each day, eventhough the weather hasn't changed. Of couse I'm going to continue doing this until I go insane!!

I was reading last night that heat pumps are nothing like as efficient as they are marketed. COP in low temperatures can be as bad as 1, and are rarely as high as 3. So look at your heat losses like Frollard suggests - better even still - get someone to scan your home with an FLIR camera - the ones that show precisely where the heat goes

Thanks for everyones help!! I have lots of ideas, plans, etc now.. going to insulate everything, and go from there.. of course not today.. it looks like a blizzard outside, so its a good day to stay on the couch, relax, and start again tomorrow!! Who do i contact to scan my home with a camera? I've contacted the electric company and they are sending someone out here to do the home energy audit.. (thanks to the person that recommended that as well) i didn't know such a thing existed!! Ya'll are awesome! Thanks again!!

Not sure, but as I understand it, some fire departments are prepared to do it, and the energy audit people MAY have an FLIR camera.


I think he was implying 'if you weren't occupying it for the month'.

I turned everything off, meter stopped. I know I'm losing heat, due to the sunroom. I don't know if its better to use a space heater out there or not. It stays about 8 degrees cooler then the house. Windows are double pane.. not sure when this house was insulated last. Thinking about renting a machine and blowing the attic, see if that helps! Do you know if this is hard process? I looked into Home depot, they charge around 1700 dollars, i think its too high, and if I can do it myself cheaper,I'd be willing to try!

It's the specialized equipment more than the cost of the insulation. Blown in is effective however you get it put in. You could make the blower out of 4-6 inch pipe and a leaf blower; just make a venturi to suck up the material while still blowing out the top, having someone feed the stuff in at the bottom side while you aim in the attic...wear eye and breathing protection.

Sun rooms are terrible to heat, if it's not going to freeze any pipes or cause condensation problems, close the door when its cold and don't heat it.

Welcome to Ohio! If you don't like the weather wait a bit, it will change! Your getting some real good answers on here, and I cant add much more that hasn't been said. Insulate everything! Check for air leaks on all outer walls around outlets and windows. You may need to also check your thermostat. If it isn't reading right it could be running the pump cycles and not shutting off at the right temp. Or it could be the vents are closed to various rooms and it takes too long for the heat to filter out to the rest of the house. Close off the sun room till you get this figured out, I'm sure it is wasting a lot of your heat.

That was a MONTH'S BILL ???


When I first was in USA high school electricity was advertized to be
costing less and less in the future until it would be only pennies.....

What irony :-P

Follow scrollbars.


The average uk home uses about 3300 kw a year

Utah gets a lot hotter and colder than the UK generally.

Wow...was just waking up for night shift when I typed that. must have been extra tired.

Can the power company tell you how much power was used by the prevoius occupants (no names, just the bill for the property)? You will see if the power was lower when the home was occupied/unoccupied? Is there an external outlet that is accessible by a neighbour?

If there is no neighbour accessible point, it may be possible that someone has plugged into a lighting socket with a specially constructed lead. I used to own one myself.

Previous tenant was using around the same kwh since 2008. I don't understand why she never questioned it.. because I think its insane! At times she was consuming around 4000 kwh a month.. she also had a hot tub running, I drained it, and shut off that breaker in November, so it had no effect on Dec/Jan bill.

Utility companies in USA in my experience LIE ! !

They must be told to fork their tongue and are instructed to do
the same thing the Bahamian cruise employees are told to do  LIE.

LIE to costumers, LIE to municipalities, LIE Mayors and certainly
LIE to the media..


5 years ago

I have a yard light that is provided by the power company. They charge a rental fee for it and then a fee for the power it uses. To figure the power usage they take the wattage of the light and multiply by the time that it is on which changes as the days get longer and shorter. That is the way they are supposed to do it. The lights are not metered. All those street lights you see are unmetered, they figure power consumption based on the run time which is based on the length of the nights. When I first bought the property it was several months before I moved in but I had the power on and was doing some work on the house. When I finished working I turned off the main breaker at the pole which is where the meter was and the yard light. Strange thing was the meter kept running. It was drawing power through it even with the main breaker off. Well, it turns out they had wired the yard light through the meter so they were getting paid twice for power usage. I was the first one to catch them, whoever lived here before paid double for that light for years and years. And I have always wondered if they did it on purpose and if there are a lot of others out there that are the same way. They blamed it on an electrician who I had add in an extra breaker to the box so I could have an outside power line direct from the meter to the other buildings. He never touched anything except to add in the breaker. So they did lie about it. I have never trusted them since.

By the way, electric heat is very expensive unless you get a special rate for it. Yet again a policy that you may have not been told about. People with electric heat often get a different lower rate because of the higher power consumption. You should ask them about their different billing plans.
After moving in and after the first half of the first winter I put in a wood stove and turned the electric heat off. It paid for itself within a few MONTHS. My savings in electricity over the years has probably amounted to between 20 and 30 THOUSAND dollars.

it is possible the meter was read wrong. The older meters use rotating dials that can easily be read wrong and cause you a big jump in the bill. Sometimes, maybe electric company will do an estimated reading based on last years usage at this time. Sometimes they will replace a defective meter and then .... because the meter was "bad" they give you an ESTIMATED bill from last year. They may have suspected the meter had stopped working... then replaced it... then sent you an estimated bill for that month based on LAST YEARS usage. One summer, I reduced our electric usage by about 80 percent by not running our air conditioner. Unfortunately, during that same time, my meter died. So i got a couple bills for about ten dollars! By the time i figured out the meter had stopped turning, the summer was about over. The electric company came out and changed my meter and ESTIMATED my usage over the hottest months of summer. All that conserving did me no good. I had to pay for 3 months of usage based on LAST YEARS electric usage. Sometimes i suspect the electric company does this kind of thing ON PURPOSE so they always get maximum dollars from us.

Its def been read correctly. I met the guy here.. stood outside and watched him test and run a second meter. Mine ran 1% lower than it should, but he explained it can run 2% high or low.. and be within regulations.


5 years ago

You have done everything right. 

Sounds like your FL house was substantially better insulated.

Do you know what is in your walls, do you have double windows and
what is in your roof  and crawl space.

Take a walk around and see if there is anything unusual on your property.