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Moved house, electricity bills skyrocketed. Why?

By Gnaty77 2 June 2015 29

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We moved house just under a year ago from a two-bedroom, one bathroom to a 3.5-bedroom, two bathroom in the Queanbeyan area and have tripled our electricity costs (from $290 in the biggest quarter to almost $700 in our biggest quarter – summer).

I initially thought it may be due to us having used the reverse cycle heating/cooling but reality is we don’t use it that often. In fact this winter we’ve used it three times for one hour to reduce the chill.

I have phoned ActewAGL to discuss and they say that our consumption is pretty consistent with how the property has been over the last few years, however there are only two of us, with one or two visitors every three weekends or so, whereas the previous occupants had a family of four.

I am concerned mostly that there is an appliance in the house that is using too much electricity or ‘leaking’. When we moved in, within two weeks we had a $300 electricity bill! This says to me that something is using A LOT of electricity.

Is anyone aware of, or can recommend, somewhere we can rent a unit that can measure how much electricity is being used? As a renter, we really don’t want to have to get an electrician in and I don’t think the real estate/owners would pay for it unless there was definitely a faulty appliance.

It should be noted that we have been rugging up and not using the heating cooling, turning off lights and power points etc in order to try and save electricity and we still have a $600 bill for the last quarter… perhaps this is even normal!?

In which case I would like to know how much you pay if leaving in NSW region and for only two people (with visitors maybe three).

Thanks in advance for your advice.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Moved house, electricity bills skyrocketed. Why?
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vintage123 9:08 am 17 Jul 15

hey Gnatty77

Did you ever work out what was causing your electricity bill shock?

Maya123 7:18 pm 05 Jun 15

blandone said :

rosscoact said :

Is this a storage heater thing?

Correct, no tank = no breeding ground for the bacteria. Do not reduce temperature on any hot water storage below 60 degrees, Legionella thrives between 20-60 degrees. Instantaneous hot water at 50 degrees is fine as there is no tank for bacteria to breed.

My booster on the solar hot water tank heats up to 57C, then drops to about 51C before it comes back on again to heat to 57C. I was told by the installer that to keep Legionella at bay the tank must be more than 50C. I turn the booster on when the tank doesn’t reach 50C with the sun, such as in winter. According to Wikipedia, “(Legionella) thrives in temperatures between 25 and 45°C, with an optimum temperature of 35°C” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionnaires%27_disease

This link says similar. http://patient.info/health/legionnaires-disease-leaflet

johnmd 4:20 pm 05 Jun 15

Just to make this a tad more complex if it is the hot water system that’s causing you grief – tempering valve, if one exists mixes cold with hot water and is pre-set so it doesn’t matter waht ypou set the t/stat to as the valve will regulate the temperature.

csdaly 3:54 pm 05 Jun 15

watto23 said :

Completely agree with this one. I upped the temperature on mine by 5 degrees and when the electricity bill came I dropped it back again. It cost me hundreds of dollars to have that slightly hotter water!!

You’ve convinced me to stick with gas water heating for now! At least we only pay for the gas used while we’re in the shower, rather than electricity 24/7 for an electric heating system!

MERC600 2:34 pm 05 Jun 15

Our cousins over in WA say 60 is the one to use for storage.

http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/active-transport/AT_LS_P_adjust_your_water_heater.pdf

The Rheem people seem happy to use between 60 and 75. 75 seems a bit high. Good for pluckin the down off chooks I guess, but I don’t think to many people do that these days.

“TEMPERATURE ADJUSTMENT”
“This water heater features a tradesperson adjustable thermostat. This requires
a licensed tradesperson to make any temperature adjustments. The thermostat
has a maximum temperature setting of 75°C and a minimum temperature
setting of 60°C.”
“We advise you have your electrician adjust the thermostat to the lowest
temperature setting that meets your needs, especially if there are young
children or elderly people in your home. Refer to “Hotter Water Increases The
Risk of Scald Injury” on page 5.”

watto23 11:37 am 05 Jun 15

rosscoact said :

mmmich said :

I really wouldn’t recommend turning your hot water thermostat down to 50 degrees. At those temperatures legionella can grow. You should set storage systems at 60 degrees. This prohibits legionella growth and also doesn’t waste energy getting it hotter.

I would think it’s possibly the culprit though. Do you know what tariff it’s on? If it’s on a peak rate and is a reasonable sized tank or is old and hasn’t had the anode replaced in a long time you could be wasting a lot on heat recovery during expensive electricity times. If it’s on off peak then it won’t be quite as bad.

That’s weird, I thought that all instantaneous gas heaters sold over the last decade and a half have been factory set to 50C. Is this a storage heater thing?

Seems weird also as I’ve been told by many people to set it to 50-55C. Not doubting the statement, but maybe its not a high risk in general. For some any risk is too high of course!

blandone 11:24 am 05 Jun 15

rosscoact said :

Is this a storage heater thing?

Correct, no tank = no breeding ground for the bacteria. Do not reduce temperature on any hot water storage below 60 degrees, Legionella thrives between 20-60 degrees. Instantaneous hot water at 50 degrees is fine as there is no tank for bacteria to breed.

rosscoact 10:08 am 05 Jun 15

mmmich said :

I really wouldn’t recommend turning your hot water thermostat down to 50 degrees. At those temperatures legionella can grow. You should set storage systems at 60 degrees. This prohibits legionella growth and also doesn’t waste energy getting it hotter.

I would think it’s possibly the culprit though. Do you know what tariff it’s on? If it’s on a peak rate and is a reasonable sized tank or is old and hasn’t had the anode replaced in a long time you could be wasting a lot on heat recovery during expensive electricity times. If it’s on off peak then it won’t be quite as bad.

That’s weird, I thought that all instantaneous gas heaters sold over the last decade and a half have been factory set to 50C. Is this a storage heater thing?

mmmich 8:58 am 05 Jun 15

I really wouldn’t recommend turning your hot water thermostat down to 50 degrees. At those temperatures legionella can grow. You should set storage systems at 60 degrees. This prohibits legionella growth and also doesn’t waste energy getting it hotter.

I would think it’s possibly the culprit though. Do you know what tariff it’s on? If it’s on a peak rate and is a reasonable sized tank or is old and hasn’t had the anode replaced in a long time you could be wasting a lot on heat recovery during expensive electricity times. If it’s on off peak then it won’t be quite as bad.

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