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How to slow down your electric meter.

 
Miggy
User ID: 748689
United States
09/01/2009 04:01 PM
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How to slow down your electric meter.
I fully expect every derogatory comment anyone wants to shoot off at me....

But in one year our power company has had 4 rate hikes. The one last month was 13%. The others were 11%, 8% and 10%.

I just got my electric bill and you know how it shows the bars related to the previous year?

I used almost 1/4 LESS electricity this past month and my bill is over $100 more.

These are the facts:

1. I am single. I keep my therm at 83 when I'm not here and 78 when I am (not exactly comfortable).

2. I keep all computers, printers, tv's, etc. turned OFF when I'm not using them. Someone recently suggested that's not good enough: You need to actually unplug everything when you're not using them (lamps which aren't turned on, etc) in order to make a significance.

3. I wash two loads of clothes a week (at most) and installed a cute little 1950 clothes pole in my backyard to dry them with clothes-pins.

4. Since I live by myself I don't cook except for maybe twice a month. The rest of the time I eat sandwiches and fruit.

5. In each of my overhead lights I have 2 bulbs instead of the 3 allotted. And they're 60 watt instead of 100.

6. I run the dishwasher (mainly glassware) once every two weeks.

I'm sure there are other things (keeping drapes shut, water heater temp-, fridge temp, etc) that I'm forgetting to tell you but you get the point.

This bill was $383 for a 1500 sq ft house. When Cap and trade kicks in I have no idea what I'll do.

Until now I have lived a very honest life but I'm SICK of this shit!

I went to a swap meet over the weekend and they had this thing you could buy that would reduce your energy bill by 25%-40%. It's called plug and save.

Then I started googling about how years ago people used to put sand bags on their meter to slow the rotation..

Then something about magnets.

I do NOT want to do this but I am paying 50% of my take home to the electric company and it keeps getting worse every 3 months when they have another rate hike.

Does ANYONE know what I can do to reduce my electric meter?

They are RAPING us and there's nothing that appears that we can do anything about it.

I m a VERY frugal person. I don't even have cable TV or a cell phone. But by the time I pay the water, electricity, phone and trash pick up each month I seriously have very little to even buy food and gasoline with. I haven't bought a new piece of clothing or "luxury" item for over 3 years.

This just isn't right.

If anyone could suggest some things I would be truly grateful.

Miggy
(PS I can't keep the windows open at night because someone would break in- not that it matters- it's still 140 degrees here at night anyway)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 728812
United Kingdom
09/01/2009 04:04 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
dude, people will sympathise, but what you're talking about is illegal. The energy companies are another control system sucking us dry.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 759841
United States
09/01/2009 04:05 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Change all your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs like so [link to mattsimmsy.files.wordpress.com] . You will see a drop in your bill in a month .
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 748689
United States
09/01/2009 04:10 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Change all your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs like so [link to mattsimmsy.files.wordpress.com] . You will see a drop in your bill in a month .
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 759841


Thanks. I put those in almost a year ago. I guess I overlooked the decrease.

Pleas be careful with disposing those. Many people don't know that if they break gasses leak out and I believe there's mercury in it too.

And to the other poster: Yes I know it's illegal but I thought price gouging was too.
BRIEF AND TO THE POINT

User ID: 381742
United States
09/01/2009 04:13 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
I put solar panels on my roof and batteries in my basement. The only power I buy is the 220v stuff.
Poor people do poor people things, and rich people do rich people things.

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

when you rob Paul to give to Peter ... ... ... you will always get Peters support!

:Brieffromnativea:
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 554016
United States
09/01/2009 04:19 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Where do you live?

My electric bill is 120 a month and i have 3 people at home all day that dont leave for work. The Washing machine and dryer are running almost constantly. We cook alot of our food in a 1100 watt microwave and on an electric stove. We hardly ever go out to eat. It is also a 1500 sq ft house. Maybe you should go back to trinity thread and read up on how to test your meter to see if you are being cheated.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 714162
Brazil
09/01/2009 04:22 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
I live in Brasil and recently experienced a dramatic increase in the electricity.

Here's what I did, and it significantly lowered the bill; like by 50%.

I found the breaker for the hot water heater and I shut if off during the day. I turn it on before I go to bed (11-12pm) and then once I shower the next morning I turn it off (7am). The washers have a heating element in them already, and I only wash clothes twice a week and line dry everything except underwear.

Unplugged EVERYTHING when not in use. All tvs and monitors are lcd, but I do turn off my computer at night.

Before, the electricity meter was spinning. Now it barely moves to notice while watching.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 604814
Brazil
09/01/2009 04:27 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
I live in Brasil and recently experienced a dramatic increase in the electricity.

Here's what I did, and it significantly lowered the bill; like by 50%.

I found the breaker for the hot water heater and I shut if off during the day. I turn it on before I go to bed (11-12pm) and then once I shower the next morning I turn it off (7am). The washers have a heating element in them already, and I only wash clothes twice a week and line dry everything except underwear.

Unplugged EVERYTHING when not in use. All tvs and monitors are lcd, but I do turn off my computer at night.

Before, the electricity meter was spinning. Now it barely moves to notice while watching.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 714162



I'll tell you the three things that spun the meter...microwave, coffee maker (who knew), hot water heater.

We cook on a gas stove, so that helps. Got a French press for coffee now.

PS...don't buy any product that is also made by an energy company...kind of a conflict of interest there right? They use way more energy than other appliances.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 760974
United Kingdom
09/01/2009 04:32 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
drill a tiny hole in the bottom of the meter and stick a pin in it to stop the wheel going round be careful not to knock it off :)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 760978
United States
09/01/2009 04:41 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Someone I know years ago used to turn their meter upside down to have it run backwards. Crazy I know but utilities ran $30 dollars a month in the winter for them.
BRIEF AND TO THE POINT

User ID: 381742
United States
09/01/2009 04:48 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Run an extension cord from your neighbors house,and branch it throughout your home.
Poor people do poor people things, and rich people do rich people things.

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

when you rob Paul to give to Peter ... ... ... you will always get Peters support!

:Brieffromnativea:
joyfulheart

User ID: 754273
United States
09/01/2009 04:51 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
don't ya'll have people that read the meters?

Our area has a guy going house to house to get the numbers. Any "tricks" that happen to the box outside would quickly and easily be discovered.



As far as true advice, we have noticed a huge difference with using the attic foil. cheap, easy, fast and makes a difference! We are also in the process of putting film on the windows to help wiht that.
Chawlee

User ID: 760896
United States
09/01/2009 04:56 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
If it's an old style meter with a metal wheel,you can got two pretty strong magnets and a piece of string.Tie the magnets to the string so they dangle down each side of the meter,with the meter wheel exactly between them.It will slow the meter wheel by half if it's a strong magnet.

The electric companies are aware of this and have gone to aluminum wheels,but you might have an old one.
tvtech3

User ID: 728861
United States
09/01/2009 04:59 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
This blewme away but ive been playing w/a small solar system andi have a watt meter that i can plug in each tv/radio/etc into and see the exact amount of watts each onepulls.

Well get this, my 30inch hidef tv only pulls around 60 watts.

BUT GET THIS!!
I took the meter and plugged in my regular drip coffee maker, when its making coffee it pulls 990 watts non stop till the coffe is made, then it shuts off for a little while but it has a warmer onit that keeps the coffe hot, well when the coffe drops to a certain temp the damn things thermostat kicks the warmer on and again it pulls 990 watts about every 5 minutes for 5 minutes at a time.

I said this is crazy and tried 3 frinds of mines different makes coffee makers, same exact watt readings.

So here what i did, go buy one of the coffe makers that has a thermal pot, then it only uses the 990 watts while it makes the coffee, then it shuts off till you make another pot the next morn as the thermal pot keeps the coffe hot for a minimum of 5-6 hours
nwosigns
User ID: 751936
United States
09/01/2009 05:00 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
You need to all the electricity company and have them physically come out to do a reading, have them replace the meter.

No way you should be paying 383 for electricity especially on 1500sq ft.

Earlier this year, I received a $280 elect bill, then the next month it was 340 as I recall. I called the company to complain, requested a meter read, next day I get a call saying there was a mistake in the reading, that there was no reading, the guy did a drive by and estimated the reading based on the previous 2 yrs. True story. My actual bill for the time period?.... $87/mo

Call them, complain, demand they replace the meter.
tvtech3

User ID: 728861
United States
09/01/2009 05:03 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
This blewme away but ive been playing w/a small solar system andi have a watt meter that i can plug in each tv/radio/etc into and see the exact amount of watts each onepulls.

Well get this, my 30inch hidef tv only pulls around 60 watts.

BUT GET THIS!!
I took the meter and plugged in my regular drip coffee maker, when its making coffee it pulls 990 watts non stop till the coffe is made, then it shuts off for a little while but it has a warmer onit that keeps the coffe hot, well when the coffe drops to a certain temp the damn things thermostat kicks the warmer on and again it pulls 990 watts about every 5 minutes for 5 minutes at a time.

I said this is crazy and tried 3 frinds of mines different makes coffee makers, same exact watt readings.

So here what i did, go buy one of the coffe makers that has a thermal pot, then it only uses the 990 watts while it makes the coffee, then it shuts off till you make another pot the next morn as the thermal pot keeps the coffe hot for a minimum of 5-6 hours
 Quoting: tvtech3



Btw, im here in tn and my power bill averages $60 a month
joyfulheart

User ID: 754273
United States
09/01/2009 05:04 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
depends on where you live-- here in TEXAS (translation HOT IN SUMMER!!) I"ve had utility bills as high as $600

We have expensive utilities compared to other states.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 18328
United States
09/01/2009 05:23 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
drill a tiny hole in the bottom of the meter and stick a pin in it to stop the wheel going round be careful not to knock it off :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 760974


Yup...we did this for over a year until we got caught, then it was the Spanish Inquisition and cost a fortune in penalties, etc.
MagiChristmas

User ID: 706057
United States
09/01/2009 06:05 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Clean the condenser coils on your AC and check the filter element.

Is your water heater electric? :pingu2:
The deception continues to crumble.
Thread: Tips for improving the GLP experience.
Christ was mischaracterized to the point of Crucifixion.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 760968
Sweden
09/01/2009 06:07 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Try to use strong magnets on the electricity meter so that it slows down... LOL
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 730536
United States
09/01/2009 06:16 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Someone told me if you place a big container of really salty water under the meter, it will evaporate so that it corrodes the meter and causes it to run slower.

I have never tried it and have no idea if it works.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 374095
United States
09/01/2009 06:51 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Is it possible to jump the main to a covert sub panel,prior to the meter.

If so you should cycle your theft to take advantage of peak hours.

Best to slowly decrease billable kwh as to not draw suspicion.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 720559
Australia
09/01/2009 07:15 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
I knew an old engineer who worked from home /lots of industrial stuff lathes etc /had both single and 3 phase
the residential meter went backwards every time he started up a welder/lathe etc
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 760699
United States
09/01/2009 07:19 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Change all your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs like so [link to mattsimmsy.files.wordpress.com] . You will see a drop in your bill in a month .


Thanks. I put those in almost a year ago. I guess I overlooked the decrease.

Pleas be careful with disposing those. Many people don't know that if they break gasses leak out and I believe there's mercury in it too.

And to the other poster: Yes I know it's illegal but I thought price gouging was too.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 748689



A better choice are the newer LED bulbs. You can order them direct from china for about 20 bucks a bulb. They have a 50,000 hour lifespan (longer than yours) and a 5 watt LED bulb will give you more light than a 40 watt incandescent. You could leave it running 24/7 all year for a couple of dollars in electricity.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 758669
United States
09/01/2009 07:25 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Where do you live?

My electric bill is 120 a month and i have 3 people at home all day that dont leave for work. The Washing machine and dryer are running almost constantly. We cook alot of our food in a 1100 watt microwave and on an electric stove. We hardly ever go out to eat. It is also a 1500 sq ft house. Maybe you should go back to trinity thread and read up on how to test your meter to see if you are being cheated.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 554016

Sounds like my house, but ours is only $94--$102
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 761097
United States
09/01/2009 08:16 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
Lowering the water heater is a big item. You can save even more by raising the thermostat on the AC in the summer. Use a portable fan. Skip the shoes and socks. Wear short pants and a light shirt. I live comfortably at 81 to 82 degrees in the summer months in Florida.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 748689
United States
09/01/2009 09:28 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
I would like to thank you all for your kind responses.

I feel bad that I even addressed this but I've lived here (Vegas) 7 years and I don't see it EVER changing....

Every 3 months they go before the commission and are approved another rate hike between the 8-13% range. That's quite a bit for a year.

But the water Authority is just as bad. Though I have green grass year round, after living here about 2 years I went out there and asked why the hell my bills were $100 a month.

Now keep in mind: By working in a casino, I ate one very filling meal at work each evening so I didn't have to cook. I was issued three dry-cleaned uniforms so I only had to wash a load of clothes a week (towels, sheets, etc.)> Basically I showered and brushed my teeth each day. They were quick to tell me (I live in the historic district) that I must have some kind of leaking going on under my house, in the sprinkler system, etc.

So a neighbor recommended an honest plumber. He took his equipment all over the premises and came back, swearing to me that there were no leaks. OK. That costs $100.

Then another neighbor recommended his sprinkler guy and the guy came over, went all OVER the place and said, "Lady, you DON'T have any leaks!" Another $100.

A few days later I decided to slip into a neighborhood bar and have a glass of wine before going home to deal with this house that I KNOW is going to kill me.

I started conversing with a 60-70 year old man and found out he'd been a plumber his whole life in Vegas. We talked about my problem and since he lived nearby he told me he'd stop by in the morning.

He looked around my 1949 house and said:

This is what I want you to do. After you shower and leave for work tonight, turn this outside valve off (on the front of the house). When you wake up in the morning look around the neighborhood and see if there are any "plumbing" trucks around.

He said that back in that time of construction it was common for two or three houses to be hooked up to ONE water line (Mom, Dad, kids in one house- Grandparents in another- and maybe an Aunt and Uncle in the other.)

He said if I didn't see anything to call the water Dept and DEMAND a new meter because he said he could tell the one I had was from 1949.

After not seeing any plumbing trucks I went to the water dept and it was like pulling TEETH to get a new meter. I bet I talked to a dozen people, each saying, "Oh, No!!!!! You've got the best quality out there. I wish I had one of those at MY house!"

I wouldn't budge. The next day they came back and do you know for the past 6 years years my water bill has NEVER been over $50 like the first 24 months I lived here when they were $100?

I knew they'd never credit my account but I wanted them to know that I KNEW what was what!

Now, for all I know the electric meter is the same. I just went and stuck out two magnets to the outside of the glass but I've got a feeling I'm not putting them in the right spot.

Yes, I know it's illegal. Send Obama the bill. Or take my $1200 credit back from the Water Authority that I'LL NEVER SEE AGAIN.

My thermostat has been set to 82 here all day and it only kicked on for about 15 minute4s this afternoon. I've only had this laptop and my office light on.

Maybe I should start taking daily meter readings.

Would THAT help?????

BTW, because Vegas has these 6-7 foot sound walls around each of our homes the readers simply have to click over the fence. In my case, my meter is located on the other side of two buildings.

Also, I have a street lamp sitting on my property. Do you think I have to pay for that for the whole neighborhood?

Thanks again for all of your kinds advice.

Miggy
me
User ID: 748373
United States
09/01/2009 09:30 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
5. In each of my overhead lights I have 2 bulbs instead of the 3 allotted. And they're 60 watt instead of 100.
 Quoting: Miggy 748689


If you're leaving the 3rd one without a bulb, I don't know but there might be energy escaping through that open end.
If you have a dead bulb in the 3rd socket, it makes the other 2 bulbs work harder, don't know if that would matter though.

Some power companies will have a person come out and do an 'energy audit' for free. they hold a thermometer under the hot running water to see how hot the water gets, hold a bic lighter around doors and windows to see if you're loosing energy there and stuff like that. You can call your power company and see if they offer that service.
bruce
User ID: 987799
United States
05/31/2010 01:09 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
covert to being AMISH
Mr. Predictor
Mod Emeritus

User ID: 920983
United States
05/31/2010 01:12 PM

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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
air conditioning will only be for the ruling class in five years
6473madburger

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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 978129
United Kingdom
05/31/2010 01:17 PM
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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.
air conditioning will only be for the ruling class in five years
 Quoting: Mr. Predictor


the ruling class will be dead in 5 years, in that case.