Suspiciously large electricity bill?

Edwe

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#1
My electricity bill this month spiked form an average of 604kWh per month to 1130kWh.

We are two people, both working 8-5, who shower once a day in a two bedroom flat. We cook using an electric stove once a day and usually have a TV, PC with 400W PSU and three lights (compact fluorescent) on for 3 to 4 hours in the evening. We run the washing machine for 56min every third day. Does everybody concur that there is necessarily something wrong with the bill or is 1130kWh actually "normal"?

Also, how do people afford this?
 

supersunbird

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#2
Were the previous bills estimated? (CoT bills show a different shade if its estimated)

Can you see the meter and read it and see if your actual usage corrospond with the reading? Could have been misread or captured incorrectly.
 

Datura

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#3
My electricity bill this month spiked form an average of 604kWh per month to 1130kWh.

We are two people, both working 8-5, who shower once a day in a two bedroom flat. We cook using an electric stove once a day and usually have a TV, PC with 400W PSU and three lights (compact fluorescent) on for 3 to 4 hours in the evening. We run the washing machine for 56min every third day. Does everybody concur that there is necessarily something wrong with the bill or is 1130kWh actually "normal"?

Also, how do people afford this?
That seems far too much. Are you in a complex?
 

Edwe

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#5
Were the previous bills estimated? (CoT bills show a different shade if its estimated)

Can you see the meter and read it and see if your actual usage corrospond with the reading? Could have been misread or captured incorrectly.
We get billed by a third-party company who manages the meters in our building. The bills all indicate "actual meter reading", but I have queried this per email (no response yet). We have only been living in the apartment since 1 January. Our previous bills were all R580 to R620 (which is what I consider typical) and suddenly we get a shocker for over R1900.

I have a suspicion that two of the digits on the meter reading were reversed, which changes the bill from roughly R600 to R1900.
 
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SauRoNZA

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#6
If it's not a billing problem have a look at your oven and check that it is turning off properly.

I had an issue where the switch on the oven had failed and left it ever so slightly on, so you don't obviously notice it until the power bill comes.
 

Edwe

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#7
If it's not a billing problem have a look at your oven and check that it is turning off properly.

I had an issue where the switch on the oven had failed and left it ever so slightly on, so you don't obviously notice it until the power bill comes.
Thanks, I will check this. Did you have any visual indication that the oven was still on? Our oven has an LED which comes on when the element is on; don't know if it's possible for the element to stay on even when the LED is off (would indicate seriously dodgy design IMHO). We also have an external switch for the oven above the hob, which I turn off when I happen to see it, mostly based on paranoia, although my wife tends to leave it on.
 

supersunbird

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#8
Had higher that usual power bill for 4 months. Then geyser stopped giving warm water. Replaced element and since then power bill back to normal. I suspect faulty element in this case drove up the power bill.
 

The_Traveller

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#9
Thanks, I will check this. Did you have any visual indication that the oven was still on? Our oven has an LED which comes on when the element is on; don't know if it's possible for the element to stay on even when the LED is off (would indicate seriously dodgy design IMHO). We also have an external switch for the oven above the hob, which I turn off when I happen to see it, mostly based on paranoia, although my wife tends to leave it on.
Well if you really want to be a 100% sure that nothing is used while you're away or not using the appliance, then pay your db board a visit and put down the switch(es) in question. Its a biatch I know , but try it out for a month or two and see if it makes any difference.

I had to do this for several months, and do manual readings etc. cos I was getting R80k invoices.
 

Edwe

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#10
Well if you really want to be a 100% sure that nothing is used while you're away or not using the appliance, then pay your db board a visit and put down the switch(es) in question. Its a biatch I know , but try it out for a month or two and see if it makes any difference.

I had to do this for several months, and do manual readings etc. cos I was getting R80k invoices.
I wish I could take manual readings, as this would allow me to get faster feedback on any changes I make. I am at the mercy of what the billing department says at the moment. Maybe I can try to convince them to help me troubleshoot, since the CEO of the company is also the owner and previous occupant of our apartment.
 

ithacapellin

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#11
What we do now is actually pull the switches down at the main for the stove and the geyser. That way we use the geyser for 90 mins a day (which is enough for us) and makes sure our two boys age 5 and 7 dont get to accidentally turn on the stove. By doing that we manage to get by using about 450kwH a month. We also moved to a prepaid meter which helped tremendously. In you case the best option is to get used to manually dipping the switches. We run our geyser from 5am till 6:30 currently but will probably change that to a time when they doing increase the billing for peak hour.

Good luck.
 

Rocket-Boy

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#12
Get your meter changed to prepaid.
Its pretty easy to see when the power drain is high and you dont get any nasty surprises or randomly high estimates.
Im going prepaid water too the second it is available.
 

Edwe

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#13
Unfortunately, I don't have the option to switch to prepaid. The person who owns the metering company managing the building, is also the owner of the property itself. I guess I just have to insist that they help me troubleshoot or give me access to view the meter.
 

SauRoNZA

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#14
Thanks, I will check this. Did you have any visual indication that the oven was still on? Our oven has an LED which comes on when the element is on; don't know if it's possible for the element to stay on even when the LED is off (would indicate seriously dodgy design IMHO). We also have an external switch for the oven above the hob, which I turn off when I happen to see it, mostly based on paranoia, although my wife tends to leave it on.
Nope.

Basically the switch part that triggered the LED was working but the switch itself wasn't turning all the way back when it went to zero.

So it would sit at something like 10 or 20 degrees, or probably a bit more as you could feel it when you opened the oven to put your hand inside.

The light was off through all of this.
 

Edwe

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#15
Nope.

Basically the switch part that triggered the LED was working but the switch itself wasn't turning all the way back when it went to zero.

So it would sit at something like 10 or 20 degrees, or probably a bit more as you could feel it when you opened the oven to put your hand inside.

The light was off through all of this.
Thanks. What brand of oven was this, by the way? Ours is Defy. As someone who works in the software and electronics industry, the thought that somebody approved a design which allows such a state is absolutely shocking.
 

gfmalan

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#16
My electricity bill this month spiked form an average of 604kWh per month to 1130kWh.

We are two people, both working 8-5, who shower once a day in a two bedroom flat. We cook using an electric stove once a day and usually have a TV, PC with 400W PSU and three lights (compact fluorescent) on for 3 to 4 hours in the evening. We run the washing machine for 56min every third day. Does everybody concur that there is necessarily something wrong with the bill or is 1130kWh actually "normal"?

Also, how do people afford this?
Bliksim, I have the same setup, (people) and the only diffrence is I use the dishwasher nearly daily, and take my washing to be done.

My average is just over 200, last month it was 222units and R346.41
There is seriously something wrong
 

Billy

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#17
I wish I could take manual readings, as this would allow me to get faster feedback on any changes I make. I am at the mercy of what the billing department says at the moment. Maybe I can try to convince them to help me troubleshoot, since the CEO of the company is also the owner and previous occupant of our apartment.

You are entitled to check the meter reading under the Rental Act.
 

gfmalan

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#18
What I did in the previous complex, was to get my electrician to phone the metering company, to meet with them onsite and resolve the high billing.
 

Rabobi

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#19
If it's not a billing problem have a look at your oven and check that it is turning off properly.

I had an issue where the switch on the oven had failed and left it ever so slightly on, so you don't obviously notice it until the power bill comes.
Also had this issue, had to switch it off at the main switch
 

SauRoNZA

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#20
Thanks. What brand of oven was this, by the way? Ours is Defy. As someone who works in the software and electronics industry, the thought that somebody approved a design which allows such a state is absolutely shocking.

Also Defy.

It's actually not unexpected when you take it apart and see what it looks like.

Basically the "stop" had broken and the switch would slip past. The outer housing and inner housing therefore wouldn't line up.

I just super glued it for a short term fix but should probably go looking for a proper replacement.
 
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