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#69200 - 09/02/06 08:35 AM New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Kimmiejoe  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Raleigh, NC USA
I posted this message on the HVAC forum and they suggested I post it here as well.

"I recently received a Progress Energy Bill for $535....thats up about $400/month. I called PE to complain since they had just installed a new digital meter. They have been out several times to check the meter and maintain that the meter is fine. In the meantime I had a HVAC guy from my office come by to take a look at my HVAC system because PE claims that some applicance in my home is causing the spiked kilowatt usage. The HVAC guy didn't see a problem. I went from 88kwh per day last year in June to 202kwh per day this June. PLEASE HELP. I can't afford another bill. What should the HVAC guy be looking for?"

Thank you for whatever help you can offer.

[This message has been edited by Kimmiejoe (edited 09-02-2006).]

Kim Joseph
Raleigh, NC

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#69201 - 09/02/06 09:35 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
mahlere  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
New Jersey
are you positive the original meter was correct?

sound's like you work for a contractor (have them put in an energy demand meter to verify the new meters operation)

#69202 - 09/02/06 09:55 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Kimmiejoe  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Raleigh, NC USA
Thanks Mahlere
I don't know if the old meter was completely accuarate, but I do know that my bill should never be $535 or $611 which is what I've paid for the past two months. In the past my bill was no more than $150, until february when it got to $260.

I don't work for a contractor, but the HVAC guy who manages our system at work came out to the house.

The HVAC forum guys told me to by a Kill-A-Watt tool to plug in everything in the house which I will do today, but how do you plug in the HVAC system?

Kim Joseph
Raleigh, NC

#69203 - 09/02/06 11:17 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Alan Belson  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
This is a long shot, [ but has been known] there any possibility someone else could have tapped into your supply after the meter?

Turn everything you own off at the switches, including the lights, for a few hours. Keep the consumer unit/meter and cabling hot. Is the meter still adding?


Wood work but can't!

#69204 - 09/02/06 11:21 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Trick440  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 248
Waterford, MI, USA
I cracked my meter. After they replaced it my bill came to $350.. normally its about $80.

I called about six times. before it got resolved and I only recieved a $100 credit.

In my case everything was messed up. The old meter was about 10,000 off from what my bill was saying. And then when they put the new meter in my bill was still saying the old meter reading... when the meter reading should of been zero.. because it was a new meter.

Make sure you compare the meter reading on your bill with the one on your meter. I would do that twice a yr. reguardless.

I know in michigan they aren't very accurate in meter readings. It might not be an accuratge thing, its probably they just estimate the readings for years without actually doing readings.

[This message has been edited by Trick440 (edited 09-02-2006).]

Shake n Bake

#69205 - 09/02/06 10:11 PM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Kimmiejoe  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Raleigh, NC USA
Alan Benson / Trick440

I considered that someone might be stealing electricity from me, but I suspected that if they were I would see some type of cable near the house, but I don't see that.

I have been making note of the meter readings daily. I'm averaging about 200 kwh/day. Last year this time it was only about 80kwh/day. When I turn the HVAC off at the breaker it drops to about 10kwh/day. I had a HVAC guy look at it, but he found nothing.

I'm looking for an electrician in the area to come out to the house.

Kim Joseph
Raleigh, NC

#69206 - 09/03/06 02:01 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
LarryC  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
Winchester, NH, US
I suspect that a heater in the AC is stuck on. Is there back up electric heaters for the system?


#69207 - 09/03/06 03:48 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Ask a neighbor with a simular sized house and what his is.... Just to gage... As suggested you may have been getting a deal for years.

Willing to try out something? Shut off the main breaker for an afternoon.... If it is still registering tell your POCO to get back out and refund some money! Seen some spin on their own - even one that went backwards while off, then spun like a top with a 100 watt lamp on. If it is not spinning/calcing Kw on its own, turn breakers on one at a time and find out what is on each, and the amperage is of each. You may find that it may not be the usual suspect. Who knows you may find that some neighbor has an extension cord hooked up to your landscape outlets and run over to his grow room.

If it is the AC, it could be any number of things. Even an open window and it never cycles off....

Either way, have your electrician look at the whole works, and see if his assesment matches up via calculation and actual usage vs. what the meter says. (We really can't do that from here... [Linked Image] )

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#69208 - 09/03/06 06:37 AM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
RODALCO  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 854
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Ask your electricity retailer or POCO for an exact final reading of the old meter.
If there was an under estimation done over the last year there might be a correct catch up reading hence a very high bill.
Was the old meter a clockdial or cyclo type ?

Also a misreading is a possibility when the meter was taken off may cause the high final reading before the meter got changed over.
A 10,000 unit reading error is a lot of money.

As said above check for an illigal tap into your supply.

Put a checkmeter in series with your kWh meter.

200 kWh a day is an enormous amount off power, have you done a check with a clip on ammeter on your supply?

200 / 24hrs = 8.333 kW load per hour.
8333 / 110 volts = 75.7 Amps total.
In case of a 2 phase supply add the readings up and see how far you are off.

Ferraris disc meters in general are very reliable long term. The few times they may go fast is only when exposed to a lightning strike which can destroy the flux of the brake magnet. But you certainly would have damage to your electrical appliances too.

Electronic meters do have faults too when capacitors become faulty on the internal circuitboards.

Isolate circuits at you mcb panel one at the time while checking the meter at the same time and see which one causes the biggest drop in usage, (flashing LED)

If it is your HVAC, check the load on the circuit concerned (amps) and get the serviceman in or sort it out yourself.

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

#69209 - 09/03/06 12:35 PM Re: New Digital Meter & Electric Bill up $400  
Kimmiejoe  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Raleigh, NC USA
LarryC - There is a switch on the thermostat that says 'emerg heat' but I've never moved the switch to that position. I'm not eve sure I understand emergency heat.

E57 I spoke to my neighbors about 2 years ago when everybody's bill got so high one Feburary, so I know that my bill was about the average for my house size. For 5 years, I used about 80kwh/day until now when i'm using 202kwh/day.

RODALCO - I'm sorry, but you're speaking greek to me. I'm keeping all the text from this forum so when I get someone to come out I can give him/her all your ideas.

I'm going out today to purchase a Kill-a-Watt tool and a new thermostat. I'll check the readings from other appliances and see if anything is going berzerk. I recently noticed that when I turn off the thermostat i can just barely hear air still blowing. I wonder if 'off' doesn't work.

Kim Joseph
Raleigh, NC

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