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Reasons for abnormal electricity bill in CT?

tallaey Member Posts: 2
I just moved to the New Haven area and my first full month's electricity bill was $96 while my upstairs neighbor, who has the exact same size apartment just directly above me, had a bill of $36. 

I barely have anything plugged in and my neighbor says even when he uses his AC in the summer it's not that high.  I've asked around and people who have comparable size apartments or larger homes tells me this is abnormal, and the only people who says it's not is the electricity company.  They told me to do a breaker check to see if my apartment wires are crossed that would cause me to pay for other parts of the building as well.  I don't know if this is likely, but does anyone have an idea of what other factors would cause this much of a difference?  I have nothing plugged in but a refrigerator, stove, laptop on sleep most of the time, an alarm clock, and a cable modem.  I can't understand how this would account for my bill being double that of my neighbors.  


  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    If you complain,

    they will replace your meter. The chance are very good that the problem is not the meter however. In fact, you may be better off with an old meter as the bearings may get gummed up and run slow. So do not replace the meter in haste.

    I had a refrigerator that was about to quit. Probably low freon pressure. But refrigerator techs are harder to find than heating techs. I could get one to put more freon in, but not one to find the leak. It got to where it would run 24 hours a day and be unable to keep the box under 40F inside. I got a new one and it is off much more than it is on, but I have not actually timed it.

    I have a computer that runs 24/7 and draws 400 watts most of the time. That runs up the money. It does not hibernate when unused, but it is actually calculating the whole time, so it could not switch to low power anyway. There is also a router and the power supply to my Verizon FiOS box running constantly, but they take very little power. If your house was not specifically built as 2-family, you might be powering something for your upstairs neighbor. If you both have electric hot water heaters, you could probably check that easily enough.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,988
    I would turn of your power

    @ the mainr when the upstairs tenant is in... see if that gets a response.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    A $30.00 solution....

    Go to Home Depot, or Lowes, or where ever, and purchase a Kill-A-Watt meter.


    Plug each device into it for one hour, and figure out your hourly power consumption.

    There is also a real possibility that the "House" power requirements are coming out of your panel.

    Let us know what you find.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • LarryC
    LarryC Member Posts: 331
    Check for heating / defrost circuits running.

    Some refrigerators/freezers have a heating unit to prevent the door from freezing shut.  That might be stuck on.

    Is a washing machine or dish washer set for HOT water wash?

    Are there outside lights, electric baseboard, water line heat tape, basement lighting, house washer and dryer coming off of your service.

    Looking at the electric meters, there should be one for every apartment PLUS one more for the house loads.  House loads are those electrical circuits that are common for everyone in the building such as outside lights, common hallway lighting, community washers / dryers, etc.

    Good Luck.
  • tallaey
    tallaey Member Posts: 2

    Thanks everyone, this is useful advice.  I'll try to shut down the breakers and see if anyone notices.  If that doesn't work, I'll go down the rest of the list.  I'll be back and post  what I find out!  Seriously thinking of moving out.  They offered to do a meter test and I might do that as well.  Although the meter is reading something so I don't know how much that will help...
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    Wrong bill

    Go outside and look at both meters - are they both moving? Oh bring your electric bill and make sure that you know what meter is yours. Now go inside and turn off every breaker in your breaker box. Go back outside - Did your meter stop turning - it should be dead still. I have seen people charged for the wrong meter. I have seen the A/C condenser wired to the wrong breaker box many times.
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