Readers’ Scoop: ‘Watts’ Up With My Electric Bill?

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear TLS Editors. I would like if someone can explain to me what’s happening to our electric bills? I moved to Lakewood a few years ago and since I’m living here my electric bills have approximately doubled. I opened my bill this evening and almost hit the roof. My bill was close to $800 dollars, when a similar Summer month’s bill was under half that amount.

Now I’m not a big complainer, but is this normal? I don’t even know who to start complaining to about this but the first thing that entered my mind was to submit it to TLS and see what other readers suggest doing about this atrocity.

Perhaps local politicians running for office can try and tackle this issue during their re-election campaigns so we can get some answers as to why this seems to be out of control. Or is JCP&L just too big to tackle?

I would like if TLS or its readers can get me some answers to this.

Thank you for listening.

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  1. I would love to hear what poaters have to say as well. Mine was $1500!!! and when i called to complain, I got a wall at every turn!!!

  2. 1. Invest in better windows.
    2. Lower the AC.
    3. Buy fluorescents.
    4. Get your house “sealed” (as per the Powerlutions solar guy).
    5. Buy solar.

  3. hotest July on record. ac systems put in before 2005 are 10 SEER or less (efficiency rating) combined with the super high temperatures equals huge bills. switch to a third party electricity supplier. JCP&L has a list of them. you get the same electricity as before, but would have paid around $600 instead of the $800 you were charged by JCP&L. compare the KWH cost when choosing third party suppliers. There are some suppliers charging 9 cents a KWH. JCP&L charges 13 cents a KWH. Do the math. good luck.

  4. Please post if you had good or bad experiences with these “third party” electric companies? I’m wary of them and unsure if I should go ahead with them.

  5. my bill this month july 25th to aug 25th was $104 and my ac is on 69 and 72 at night its a new house and i have florescent bulbs my july bill june july bill was $198

  6. its the air conditioners that all the developments have they are too small for our houses and end up running all day to get your house to the right temp. a normal twonhouse should have almost double a system that they currently have and gluck replacing costs between 5 and 6k (i looked into it) if anyone has any other good ideas please post.

  7. #1 – If you have central air, a 7 day programable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make to help lower your bills. Many people just hold the tempature on their air conditioners at 71 (or lower) for the whole day. I set my a/c to go on about 1/2 hour before I come home and to go off when I leave my home. Granted many people may have family members who are home the whole day. In that case, you may want to invest in an energy efficient wall unit for one room during the daytime hours instead of cooling the whole house.

    #2 – Use ceiling fans and open windows. A fan is a lot cheaper to run. May not be as comfortable as a/c, but if you need to save $$$ it is a good option

    #3 – Switch to a third party supplier

    #4 – Go on budget billing with JCPL. While this wont lower your bill, it would avoid the “sticker shock” of an $800 summer bill

    why does JCP&L have the monopoly? It’s about time to do s/t about it!

  9. JCPL is not the only generator of power in this area. You can choose to purchase your power from a few different vendors, BUT JCPL delivers the power over their own distribution system (wires) for which they are able to charge a delivery fee Choose your generator but not the delivery company.

  10. my bill this month july 25th to aug 25th was $104 and my ac is on 69 and 72 at night its a new house and i have florescent bulbs my july bill june july bill was $198
    U had your ac on and thats the all the bill was???? How big is your house?? 10 sq feet?
    my bill was close to 600

  11. I have 2 zone ac units, half my kids were away during the summer, ac was set at 74 during the day and higher in the pm, and my bill was still $800! No wonder why we have no money for tuition!!

  12. JCP& L is not the issue. As others have mentioned, you have choices to use other suppliers. No brainer. You can also go solar. Should shave another $200 of your bill.

    The biggest issue is NJ American Water Co. Rates have gone up to unbelievable amounts. My monthly bill is about $200! They have a monopoly & take advantage of us. Others that are in areas that are not serviced by NJ American Water Co pay a lot less. This is something that can & should be fixed if enough people make noise about it. The Township & the BPU can fight back & will if they feel the pressure.

  13. The cost for the elctricity is around 13 cents per killiwat hours, plus amother 5 cents for delivery, total of 18 cents per kw hour. You can easily calculate how many it costs you to run any given device per hour.

    For example, the average home AC unit uses 4000 watts, or 4 killiwatts. So if it is running for an hour straight, 4 x 0.18 = 72 cents per hour. Running 15 hours a day = $10.80 per day, times 30 days in a month = $324… obviously, the AC clicks on and off, but this should give you an idea how one device can be a huge expense. Now go around your house and add up the watts of all your light bulbs, computers, kitchen appliances etc, and suddenly a $600 bill is not so far fetched at all.

    If you suspect that your bill is way too high, for example, the poster who was away for a month and got a $250 bill, you can learn how to read your electric meter. Read it once, then read it again 24 hours later and see how many KW you used during that period. It is POSSIBLE the meter is faulty. By law, if you request it, JCP&L will come, replace the meter and test your old one.

  14. If you do not use the A/C a lot during the day, you can also save money by switching to the “time of day” billing.

    This system charges you more during peak hours (9AM to 9PM weekdays), but less off peak (9PM to 9AM + all weekend).

    But only switch if you’re not doing heavy use during the day…

  15. most probably your last 2 bills were estimated, and were lower than they should have been. when they finally got around to read your meter they caught up on those underchaeges. the only problem is that because they have you using so much in one billing cycle, you are charged a higher rate. you may as well talk to the wall

  16. Many people dont know this but a working attic fan will help out lowering your bill. This is how it works. the sun passes over youe house a good portion of the day and builds up tremendous heat in your attic, so if you dont have an attic fan to constantly remove that hot air then the hot air will get dumped into the floor right under your attic. So here you are wondering why its so unbearably hot upstairs? Dont keep adjusting the ther thermostat because it will never help when you have all that hot air being dumped in fRom your attic. plus in many homes the actual duct work from your central is running through your attiic and gets heated up from the hot air that has no escape from your attic .So how can you expect to got cool air from such a set up! Bottom line is, you should check your attic to make sure your atic fan is working and if you dont have one at all then have one installed. iIts never too late.

  17. utility costs have sky rocketed in recent years , for the person who said the bill was twice from what the previous year ,my questionis did you use the same or close to the same amount of kilowatt Hrs thats the ony fair way to make a comparison.

  18. Thanx for that tip about the attic fan . Its an excellent idea. I had 2 in my attic and both were defective and had them repaired for a fraction of the price of installing new ones . Boy was there a major difference

  19. Any architect (ask the Frum aehitect in town) will tell you that if your attic was designed correctly it does not need an attic fan!
    What does help is a portable insulated hatch over the attic steps.
    Main problem Im most houses is poor workmanship when the house was built. Leaky duct work. Off brand sliders to the deck or patio.
    How many hundreds of houses in Lakewood have Anderson windows (builders grade) OK but the builder sneaks Silverline sliders in.
    They will not last long and waste all your energy.

  20. To # 36. i installed attic fans by 2 prominent architects this season alone (summer 2010). So i am not quite sure why your spewing your amaratzus . . Do a google search on how and what an attic fan actually does.

  21. Okay, I have read through all of these in hopes that someone would have an answer for me. I understand that bills go up, but I’m sorry …there is NO way in hell, that my electric bill went up as much as it did, because of some of the things listed. I understand that August was hot. Here is my situation – meter was read on 9/9 and I got the bill for $802!! My highest bill has been $254. So, okay, the August reading was estimated, not actual and the meter reading before that was on 7/13. For the estimated, they billed me $166 and even if it should have been $150 higher, there is still no way that my bill could be $800. I cringe when I even say it. I was away for a week in August and unplugged everything that I possibly could, plus turned my air up to 78. When we are home, the air stays on 73. I have not done anything new or different – so why in the world would my bill be that high?? I too, am hitting big brick walls everywhere I turn, but I am not just going to lie down and let JCP&L walk all over me.

    I know a gentleman that was being overbilled for 8 years! Guess what – just recently, he was able to take a really nice vacation, because they cut him a check for $8000!!

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