Anyone else get a hugely incorrect City Light bill?

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    The City Light bill I got yesterday indicates my DAILY electricity consumption has more than doubled since the previous billing period.

    It’s clearly a mistake which I’ll have to get fixed next week. Meantime, I’d like to know if it’s a mass glitch in the system and others in the area have received a City Light bill for double the usual amount. Thanks.



    We haven’t received a bill yet..

    but thanks for the heads up

    i will look more closely than i would have



    I haven’t gotten ours yet. I’ll check. I always check every time I get a bill and compare my usage though.

    Did it say it was estimated or they actual read your meter?



    Got ours today and it was as we expected. A little higher than usual only because I’m at home all day on maternity leave.



    How do I know what it should read? I have my current bill in hand and its about 80.00 more this time then last billing cycle. Is that about right?



    Compare it to the last year. They should have a comparison, unless you haven’t been at your current address a year yet.



    remember, we’ve had a couple of stretches of really cold weather and average temps in general have been colder than usual. Here’s some info from CL re: common causes of higher bills:

    Also, CL switched to new rates on 1/1/11 and there are winter surcharges that start adding up pretty quickly (altho I can’t figure out how they do the billing; even their explanation of the new billing rate makes my head spin:

    If you have questions, call — that’s what they get paid for. There is a Budget Billing Plan that averages usage over the year so that you don’t get the huge winter bills (of course it also means you are giving them $$ before you use the electricity…)



    Yes, bill was up quite a bit this last cycle. When I picked it apart it looks like actual usage is about the same, but all the little surcharges made it mushroom. Spent yesterday moving contents of deep freezer into kitchen freezer, and had a friend who is a retiree on a tight budget take his choice from the overflow.

    So when I am away from home, the only plugged in items will be the fridge and the water heater. I’ll evaluate that later.



    I have yet to see any consistancy with any of our utility bills. WSG is the biggest fluctuator. SCL was quite a bit less than expected this time.



    Yes!!! Our bill is doubled!


    It sure is funny that they spend all this time and effort getting us to switch over to compact flouresent bulbs, that we are now using less electricity that ever before, they keep jacking the rates up.


    Genesee Hill

    I know last year, there was a two month period where the bill was estimated, because of weather difficulties. In my experience, they low ball the estimates. Then, the next two month period, where they actually read the meter, the Kwh usage sky rockets, because the previous bill was estimated. The Kwh usage, when estimated by City Light, is denoted by an asterisk.

    Obviously, the readings are generally estimated in winter, when the usage is the highest. The roads and sidewalks are generally not icy in the late spring and summer.


    Genesee Hill


    Come on! I do not think power consumption is dropping. But, feel free to continue the use of 100 watt incandescent light bulbs if it makes you feel better!

    Our power is cheap.


    Genesee Hill

    While hoping I have not offended anyone (Todd) I read my electric meter every single day. This has been a cool late winter, early spring. Turning the lights off, minimizing the use of space heaters, and shutting down that second refrigerator does make a difference. The longer days mean more natural light. And, if the sun shines, more heat in the home.

    I suggest, everyone concerned about electricity usage learn to read their meter. Instructions are on Seattle City Light. And, no, it it is not quite as easy as you might think. But, easy, nonetheless.

    It is neat that one has the POWER to lower their electric bill. Try reading your meter at the same time every day. Try waking up in a house that is quite cool, or VERY, cool. Maybe, even cold.

    Now that it is Spring (thank gawd) the power usage is dropping. And will continue to drop.

    Then, in summer, one can fantasize about installing air conditioning. NOT.



    I laugh about air conditioning uses in seattle homes. Open some windows and get a breeze going. The heat wave of two summers ago is a fluke. Wear less clothes, head for the mountains :)’s another story…I did use the ac in my car every now and then, esp. after it was parked in the sun for a bit. But, that I even turned off after initial cooling..and rolled the window down :)


    no offense taken G.H.

    I have always figured that the net use of electricity would be the same. By that I mean, we install CFL bulbs, which are said to use 75% less energy.

    Maybe we have more gadgets around the house on for longer periods, like computers, phone chargers, things that for some reason need a red light to tell us it’s off and clocks built into every single kitchen appliance known to man. I have a constanly running clock on my stove, my microwave and my coffee maker. THats 3 things telling me the exact same information in a kitchen that cant be 10ft by 10ft. Do we really need these?



    I seriously need to call them as I have been meaning to for a long time. We get periodic reports that we use 80-90% more electricity than our neighbors. The bills are horrendous. And yet, we use almost all CFL’s, all our large appliances are energy efficient new models, we don’t even have a TV, we turn off items (chargers, toasters, coffee pots, etc), we don’t heat our house except a space heater in the 1 room we are in, we turn out our lights. I don’t get it. At all.

    My only guess is the old water heater. Our only old thing.

    Anyone have any ideas of how to check for energy sucks?


    I Wonder

    Todd, you’re not imagining things. Many gov. agencies use a strategy to flatten thier revenue stream to a consistent level. Take RE taxes. Your valuation may lower, but the multiplier is then increased so that the stream stays the same. Look over the past few years at the site. Our valuation decreased, yet the tax amount increased (I know, we approved more taxes too). Same with energy and water. You lower the use, but the agency claims that revenues are lower yet expenses remain the same. Hence, increase rates to balance the budget. Plus, you get the whammy in a heavy year that “we had to buy more *** to fulfill the extra need”. We have to just realize its BOHICA.


    Genesee Hill


    I know what you are talking about!

    I get those same letters a couple of weeks, or so, after the latest electric bill.

    I am also on the bottom of the heap for usage. Because darn near all of the neighborhood has gas. Our one block side of the street does not.

    15,000 dollars to bring gas to our house, and the six neighbors, EACH.

    I called City Light and said that they are comparing apples (no gas) to oranges (gas).

    I still get those goofy, worthless letters, anyway!

    BUT, if ANYONE wants to compare my NATURAL GAS use to ANY neighborhood, I WIN. ZERO!



    Meg…. there is a product called Kill A Watt (P3 international) which is an electricity use monitor. you can plug it in to an outlet, then plug in an appliance to see your usage.

    My last bill was actually down appreciably. Mostly energy efficient appliance. not a lot of toys (no big screen, no xbox, wii, etc). motion detector lights outside, CF bulbs.

    GH… i read where tons of electricity could be saved if we had meters indoors as well as outdoors. The theory is that people will compete with themselves or they will see the ramifications first-hand of the way they use power. probably similiar to the effect a prius driver has when seeing their driving habits translated into mpg.



    I get those letters too and the last one said that we were compared with similiar size homes with similiar heating (electric, no gas) in our area. It said we were 56 out of 100. (we went down from about 80 out of 100 in our neighborhood but funny…our bills are higher)


    Genesee Hill


    Absolutely correct. As I stated earlier, that is why I read my electric meter every single day.

    I notice, for example, the days when I run three loads in the washing machine with HOT water. I have just had City Light dispose of the refigerator in the garage. We keep the heat at 56 degrees at night. And up it to 64 in the evening. We wear jackets in the house.

    It is honestly fun, at times.

    I have read the outside meter daily since December. I keep a copy of the electric bill so that I know how much power I am using per day, week, or month.

    The only thing I dislike about all of this “City Light Comparison to Neighbors Program”, is being compared to neighbors who have natural gas, which most have. It is not available on my street. So, of course in the winter, my bill will be higher.

    As I said earlier, our household will beat any house in the usage of natural gas, or oil heat.




    As far as comparing last year’s with this year’s electricity bills, I received and paid five City Light bills in 2010. The average bill was $45. The highest bill was $54.41 for the period between Sept. 20 and Nov 19.

    The first bill I received and paid in 2011 was $58.61 for the period between Nov 19, 2010 and Jan 21, 2011. The bill I’ve received for the period between Jan 21 and March 23 is $104.92!



    Kill-a-Watt monitors are available for check out from the Seattle Public Library. You may have to be on a waiting list, but it moves pretty quick.

    The Kill-A-Watts were purchased for the library by City Light conservation funds.



    Good to know about the library! I need to check one out. Also nice to know that the comparison might be to people that have gas.

    But our last bill was $390!!! And they have been steadily climbing the past few cycles.

    And like I said “we use almost all CFL’s, all our large appliances are energy efficient new models, we don’t even have a TV, we turn off items (chargers, toasters, coffee pots, etc), we don’t heat our house except a space heater in the 1 room we are in, we turn out our lights.” And, we only wash on cold. And our house is small!

    It is ridiculous!!!

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