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Question: Gas use rising in winter despite electric baseboard heaters

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xphrd
xphrd Member Posts: 5
Hi, I'm a renter looking for a bit of guidance. As it's gotten colder, my gas bill shows my usage increasing dramatically, from 17 ccf last month to 43 this month; however, I do not have gas heat (my apartment is heated by electric baseboard heaters), and my appliance usage (hot water, cooking gas) has not changed at all.

I just moved into this apartment two months ago, so I only have two months of bills to look at. It is a second floor apartment in a two story attached row home.

I just want to make sure there might not be something screwy going on, like appliances from the other apartments attached to my meter -- but I really don't know what might be possible, or what sorts of swings in gas usage would be normal in an electric-heated household. Any insights anyone might have are appreciated.

Thanks!

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  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,607
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    It is difficult to say with only 2 months of data. Was something in the first month pro-rated? Did you verify that the meter was actually read and not estimated?
    It is quite possible that you are paying someone else's gas bill. Not sure you have enough information at the moment.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • gardenweasel
    gardenweasel Member Posts: 24
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    I had a similar thing happen once and it turned out the gas company didn't take my previous apartment out of my name, despite my asking them to, and I wasn't looking closely enough at my bill. Then when the heating season began I got a huge spike in my bill and I saw both service addresses still on there. It's worth checking, especially since you recently moved.
  • xphrd
    xphrd Member Posts: 5
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    Nothing was prorated, the meter was read both months. The rate went up, but that does not explain the higher bill as much as the increase in usage, which I can't explain.

    And good thought on checking for the previous apartment - that was the first thing I did. There is only one address attached to the account.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,967
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    how much has the electric gone up?

    Are you sure there electric baseboards?
  • xphrd
    xphrd Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2018
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    The electric is on a different billing cycle, so I won't know how much it went up for a few more days. But, yes, I am pretty certain the apartment is heated only by electric baseboard heaters.

    Interestingly, the gas company says I am registered as a heating gas account. I don't know if buildings with electric heat are usually registered for a different type of account, but the rep I spoke with made a point of noting that fact.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Can you look at your meter with all gas appliances off? Do you have access to your water heater to know when its firing? You also may be sharing hot water, or paying for someone else's range etc.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    Could you post pictures of your heaters and the thermostat that runs them?
  • xphrd
    xphrd Member Posts: 5
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    I do not currently have access to the water heater, but I may be able to get to it through my downstairs neighbor's apartment if I have to. The idea is, if my stove is off and I am not using hot water, the meter should be sitting still, yes?

    I've attached images of my one of my baseboard heaters and my thermostat.

    Thank you for your help on this!
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,967
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    From here it looks like a hydronic (water) radiator with a low voltage thermostat.

    Can you get a picture of the radiator with the cover removed?
    DZorokcopp
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    The end caps may come off easy, one end might have a hinged door. You probably will see copper tubing coming up thru the floor for each end......if so then that is hot water baseboard heating.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    A definitive answer would be had in turning off your gas meter stop valve! If anyone else is on your meter, they will certainly notice something not working. You will have to relight any pilot lights at the end of the experiment. A good pair of pliers would be needed. Maybe when you are going away for a week or so.....
    If they are not marked properly, then the serial number of the meter for your apartment would be had from the gas company.
    Gas companies are not infallible either, we have had mixed up meter numbers on accounts of two commercial tenants, which must have been mixed up for a long time. Only when remodeling was being carried out was the wrong meter turned off!—NBC
    Boon
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    Have you talked to the neighbors and inquired about their gas usage?
    Is your gas bill from an actual gas company or one that the landlord has produced?
    If you have your own gas meter it could be in the basement, locked in the boiler room.
    Or if newer then outside with a meter for each customer.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    You are positive one bill is not estimated, and the second bill an actual reading? Which would make up for the low estimated reading?

    Most gas companies read every other month, and sometimes every two months.

    However I also had a meter miss read that ended up with me receiving a gas bill over 800 dollars one time. Then I did an actual read myself, and sent it in which was lower than their actual reading by a large amount. They took the difference as usage even though it was negative, and added it in to the next months bill which brought it to all most 1000.00. They finally figured it out after I refused to pay. so they are only human.........
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,607
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    He has HW baseboard heat. There is a gas boiler somewhere.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    kcopp
  • xphrd
    xphrd Member Posts: 5
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    !!! Hot water baseboard heating. I had never seen this and assumed mine was electric baseboard. Upon closer inspection, you are correct, it's hot water. Pics attached aren't great, because I had to get down at an odd angle, but they is definitely a copper pipe.

    The water heater is gas, so that explains that. I expect when my electric bill comes in a few days, it will not have changed significantly from last month.

    Thank you guys for your quick and knowledgeable assistance. I really appreciate the help unraveling that little mystery, way faster than I could have on my own.