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madman
02-05-2010, 11:47 AM
Well got my highest hydro bill today. near 400 dollars for 2 months. I was trying to figure out?what was going on. I have only been in my non Electric heared shop (hydronic in floor heating sytem i built) cause its so warm. I didnt use much hydro in the Machine shop as business sucks lately. SO well it must be my old dryer (electric ) and my wife likes to wash my smelly clothes and also dry it. (wearing it soaking wet Michael will get you a bad cold she says) LOL Anyhow seriously i am thinking it must be that old dryer. NOW is a gas dryer really good? or a newwer (plastic type front loader that look cheap ) a better way to go? Timwes are sure toiugh in my area. Just wondering what the Guys think bout this? Thanx Mike

Falcon67
02-05-2010, 11:54 AM
>or a newwer (plastic type front loader that look cheap ) a better way to go?
You mean like the $1000 Samsung we have? Sure - IF you buy the matching washer, because the new front loaders spin at up to 3600 RPM and come out with less water, which reduces the time to dry. Just buying the dryer without upgrading the washer is likely to do nothing. Many of the loads I dry now are 1/2 the time or less.

Rich Carlstedt
02-05-2010, 09:22 PM
Before you toss the dryer, clean out the exhaust pipe.
When the pipe gets clogged, drying time goes way up.
Next i would check the spin cycle on the washing machine

Before you go to gas, figure out how much it will cost you.
It doesn't matter, if you heat laundry with gas or electric, its still BTU's.
So ask your gas company how much gas costsper thousand cubic feet, and how many BTU's are in it ?
Electricity gives you 3 BTU's per watt.
So divide the number of BTU's by 3, and you get the number of equivalent watts. Now price out that quantity of watts, and you will be able to compare the costs.
Rich

Black_Moons
02-05-2010, 09:38 PM
Gas for heating is allmost allways cheaper, even though the appliances are usally much less efficent in terms of energy consumption.

$400 sounds a bit much however
How much do you get charged per kW/H?
devide $400 by that cost, devide that by 60 days, then by 24 hours, and you have your 'average' load

Where I live, at 8c kW/H (cheap), thats $400 / 0.08 / 60 / 24 = Continous usage of 3.47kW. Rather.. high, even if you do consider that your dryer is likey running on a 30A 240v circuit at least (7200W), its only on for an hour or two a day.

I'll note theres some complaints about new 'smart meters' being highly inaccurate and overcharging people massive amounts.

a $20 'clamp on' AC DMM can give you an idea of current through a conductor without having to be part of the circuit, Good for tracking down what uses how much. (the wattage ratings on appliances are max wattage ratings, sometimes the wattage required for turnon inrush and much higher then normal wattage)

Also, for standard 120v AC appliances theres something called a 'kill-o-watt'(?) meter that you can plug anything into and it measures long term power usage (kW/H) and power factor and other things.

You can even check on your meter if you really wish. the dryer should be marked with a wattage that should be within about 20% of what it actualy uses, Turn off the rest of the house at the braker box (insure power meter is no longer spining), Turn on dryer, time how long it takes the meter to count a few kW/H. If the math does not work out, You know your meter is Fubar.
(By the sound of it, your meter might be overcharging 2x or more if you are not using any electric heat or air conditioners, and don't happen to be running a 3kW electric anneling oven for the past 2 months..)

Of course, the math is a little diffrent if the power company is charging you 25c per kW/h

Evan
02-05-2010, 10:15 PM
Mike,

How many megawatt hours did you use? How does it compare to a year ago?

airsmith282
02-06-2010, 12:03 AM
you want my hydro bill lol cost me almost 300 bucks a month my entire house is on 11 watt floresent bulbs so is my shop, i have oil heat so only power the fan and a small pump for the furnace and i pay the hydro on 220 volt to run the watter pump for both my house and the land lords and i hav spent mabye 50 hours in the shop the last 2 months and 12 in my basment shop and its all floresent lights to , the price on hydro is nuts ,, and its going up again, and once that hst kicks in up we go again to ,

its bad when your hydro bill per month is amost half of your rent for the month

Evan
02-06-2010, 12:15 AM
Electricity isn't expensive regardless of how it is generated. You are paying to have it delivered as well as a tidy profit. These are todays rates when you buy in large quantities.

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)

PRICE
Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 48.79 ($0.04879 per kwh)
Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 51.80
BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD, HOUSTON 44.67

J Tiers
02-06-2010, 10:58 AM
If you get more water out of the clothes, less power is needed to evaporate it. We have a front loader, and the dryer runs half as long as it did with the top loader.

And gas dryers are inherently more efficient....

BTUs are NOT BTus.......

Electric BTUs are rather expensive by comparison, because of built-in inefficiency.

The distribution cost of gas per BTU is relatively low, as an awful lot of BTus worth can flow thru a relatively small pipe or pipeline, per hour. And gas is essentially "picked up off the ground for free", the infrastructure is merely the "scoops to pick it up".

Electricity, by contrast, has many many inefficient steps. We tolerate them because electricity has many uses, providing convenient power. But convenience has a price.

letting aside the power for generation for the moment, which may be hydro, coal, gas, or nuclear (wind and PV are insignificant), there are more losses.

the generator has a conversion efficiency, the wires and transformers have losses, and those losses are usually higher, since reducing them costs money. That calculation was done many years ago, when generation was cheaper and losses could be higher. net delivery losses from shaft torque to your dryer may easily be 15 to 20%, since the net efficiency is all the various efficiencies multiplied.

if the generator is 95%, each transformer is 98%, and the transmission wires are 97% efficient overall, then assuming one step-up, and three net step-down transformers to get to you...... The overall efficiency is 85%.... only 85% of the turbine power gets to you.

If the power plant is coal, or nuclear, only about 50% of the heat energy is delivered as turbine input power to the generator, and that is a pretty good plant. Then only about 43% of the heat energy at the plant is delivered to you as electric power, in a very complicated manner. It could be significantly less, in the case of older power plants.

Even with hydro, a huge, expensive infrastructure is needed to gather the power, and the generation and transmission losses are still there.

Meanwhile, gas delivers its heat in one step, directly..............

Evan
02-06-2010, 11:33 AM
Meanwhile, gas delivers its heat in one step, directly..............

Huh? No it doesn't. There are huge compressor stations every couple of hundred miles or so on the pipelines that recompress the gas using some of the gas as fuel. After recompression a lot of that energy is wasted because the red hot gas must be cooled in huge radiators before it can go back into the pipe. On a typical main pipeline there may be a dozen compressor stations to move natural gas across the country from the source. Also, most gas must have sulphur removed and that also costs energy.

At the point of use there are significant losses on any vented system. Older furnaces have efficiencies in the 60 to 70 percent range with the rest of the heat going up the stack. The newest ones may be in the 90s but they still waste some energy.



If the power plant is coal, or nuclear, only about 50% of the heat energy is delivered as turbine input power to the generator, and that is a pretty good plant. Then only about 43% of the heat energy at the plant is delivered to you as electric power, in a very complicated manner. It could be significantly less, in the case of older power plants.


Combined cycle plants can come very close to the Carnot limit and deliver as much as 60 percent of the input energy as electricity.

Duffy
02-06-2010, 11:41 AM
It is cold here in Quebec. My hydro bill for two months was $167.00, and my gas was $170.00 for one month. We have an LG top loader with no agitator, and it does spin much drier than our previous machine. We have an electric dryer and when it dies I will probably get a gas unit.
Ours is a fair-sized house, (2000 sq ft bungalow,) and I have A LOT of flourescent lights, both regular 34 watt and CFLs. There are 28 tubes, 3 CFLs and a couple of halogen spots in my shop, and 12 tubes and 5 CFLs in the rest of the basement. On the main floor and garage, there are 14 tubes, 23 CFLs, and a few incandesants and halogens. I guess my hydro bill is not too bad; maybe I am getting a bulk rate!
Jerry, there IS a cost to our natural gas. Most of it comes from northern Alberta and northern British Columbia. It is mostly sour, and sweetening it has made Canada a world supplier of sulfur. Also it is 3000 miles to my furnace and it must cost to pump. The recompression stations are huge! I do agree that it has a much better conversion effeciency than any form of electric generation. I think that Hydro Quebec reckons on about a 10 -15% loss from water to my meter. Duffy

J Tiers
02-06-2010, 12:00 PM
Huh? No it doesn't.
............................
Combined cycle plants can come very close to the Carnot limit and deliver as much as 60 percent of the input energy as electricity.

of course it is.....
the HEAT is produced in one place, inside the device and delivered directly to the heated item.

The compressor stations etc are part of the delivery system..... not unlike transmission lines and substations for electric....... with similar losses compared to delivered power.... maybe less.

The elephant in the room is the initial power plant efficiency losses. Whether those are 50% or 40% makes relatively little difference..... In one case the delivered power is 43% of the heat energy, in the other case the delivered power is 51% of the heat energy.

There is a 20% difference, but in either case there is a huge amount of loss before you even start delivery.

if it were MORE efficient to use electric heat, people would be converting in droves...... but if anything, people are bagging their electric heat whenever possible.

aboard_epsilon
02-06-2010, 12:20 PM
why is an electricity bill called a hydro bill :confused:

terry_g
02-06-2010, 12:43 PM
In western Canada like a lot of places most of our electricity is generated by damming rivers and diverting the water through turbines. Full name is "Hydroelectrictricity".

Terry

aboard_epsilon
02-06-2010, 12:46 PM
In western Canada like a lot of places most of our electricity is generated by damming rivers and diverting the water through turbines. Full name is "Hydroelectrictricity".

Terry

right

so what do you call your water bill :D

terry_g
02-06-2010, 01:07 PM
The City calls it "Utilities"

Terry

MickeyD
02-06-2010, 01:33 PM
If the drying time has really gone up, I would pull it away from the wall, unhook the exhaust hose, and then reach up inside the dryer exhaust and start digging. I do that to ours (we have little kids so it runs a lot) every few years as well as cleaning out the flex hose and it makes a big difference. We have an 8 year old frontloader and electric dryer and even on medium setting the dryer is often finished before the washer when it is clean. You can tell when it starts stopping up because the cycle times get longer and the electric bill creeps up.

Evan
02-06-2010, 01:51 PM
if it were MORE efficient to use electric heat, people would be converting in droves

You are confusing efficiency with cost effectiveness. Electricity is metered where it enters the house. Electric heat is exactly 100% efficient since all of the energy that the meter counts as being used is turned to heat and resistance heating has a unity power factor. Electricity can also be used to operate a heat pump in which case there is an effectiveness multiplier that can be as high as three to one, making electricity the winner in any comparison.

Burning raw hydrocarbon fuels for heat is just plain stupid. Hydrocarbons are much more valuable as feedstock for the manufacture of a bewildering array of chemicals and durable goods.

J Tiers
02-06-2010, 01:58 PM
You are confusing efficiency with cost effectiveness. Electricity is metered where it enters the house. Electric heat is exactly 100% efficient since all of the energy that the meter counts as being used is turned to heat and resistance heating has a unity power factor. Electricity can also be used to operate a heat pump in which case there is an effectiveness multiplier that can be as high as three to one, making electricity the winner in any comparison.

Burning raw hydrocarbon fuels for heat is just plain stupid. Hydrocarbons are much more valuable as feedstock for the manufacture of a bewildering array of chemicals and durable goods.

Nice left turn away from the subject.......

Also GREAT job totally IGNORING the 'global" cost on electric heat......... but unfortunately I already made that point...... Electric is "convenient", but you pay for that convenience.....

aboard_epsilon
02-06-2010, 02:20 PM
we have a new tariff starting in a couple of months time ..
if you generate your own power you will be given up to 3 times the selling price back for every unit you you send back out to the grid ...
this includes micro-generation plant like the whispergen ...which I'm looking into before deciding to install..well Ive been waiting four years for this ..and there is still no date for release ..but release date in the UK is this year.

whispergen.

http://www.whispergen.com/main/technology/

http://www.whispertech.co.nz/content/library/whispergen.html

well it may be more than thee times ..i cant get my mind around the calculations .

the gas this unit uses cost roughly 4 pence per kWh (btus converted for better comparison)after deduction of 10 percent for the 90 percent efficiency of gas .

the unit when generating makes 1000 watts

the price you're going to get back for each unit generated is 32 pence

the price of each electricity unit sold to me is 12 pence .

its the three different prices i cant get my head around how this Will work out .

all the best.markj

Evan
02-06-2010, 02:21 PM
You brought up efficiency. You claimed gas has negligible losses. Both claims were incorrect. Address it instead of ducking the issue.


Also GREAT job totally IGNORING the 'global" cost on electric heat

What "global cost"? Two lefts don't make a right.


If you are going to measure the cost of using natural gas you need to take into account the lost opportunity to use it for other products and how much that costs us in increased prices for those other products. If you burn gas the cost of making everything synthetic goes up, from cars to clothing.

loose nut
02-06-2010, 08:28 PM
we have a new tariff starting in a couple of months time ..
if you generate your own power you will be given up to 3 times the selling price back for every unit you you send back out to the grid ...
this includes micro-generation plant like the whispergen ...which I'm looking into before deciding to install..well Ive been waiting four years for this ..and there is still no date for release ..but release date in the UK is this year.

whispergen.

http://www.whispergen.com/main/technology/

http://www.whispertech.co.nz/content/library/whispergen.html

well it may be more than thee times ..i cant get my mind around the calculations .

the gas this unit uses cost roughly 4 pence per kWh (btus converted for better comparison)after deduction of 10 percent for the 90 percent efficiency of gas .

the unit when generating makes 1000 watts

the price you're going to get back for each unit generated is 32 pence

the price of each electricity unit sold to me is 12 pence .

its the three different prices i cant get my head around how this Will work out .

all the best.markj


It's a government subsidy to fund the implementation of small scale electricity plants. We do the same kind of stupidity here.

loose nut
02-06-2010, 08:28 PM
right

so what do you call your water bill :D


Robbery!!!!!!!!

brian Rupnow
02-06-2010, 08:48 PM
I don't have a whole lot of sympathy. My house is well insulated, and about 2200 square feet on one level. My heating system is forced air electric.--and my hydro bills AVERAGE about $800 a month thru December to April!!! I spoke to the hydro folks last week and asked how much per month would it cost if I was to go on equalized billing, based on yearly power consumption.---The answer---$390 a month.----Brian

Evan
02-06-2010, 08:55 PM
so what do you call your water bill

My hydro bill. The well pump runs on electricity. :D

chipmaker4130
02-06-2010, 09:22 PM
1. My wife doesn't like her gas dryer. Sure, it's cheaper to run, but it takes 40% longer to do the job due to the water condensing out of the flame.

2. Tip from an appliance repair guy: Check the lint filter screen by pouring water on it to see if it runs through. I didn't believe there could be a problem 'cause the screen looked fine. BUT... sure enough, water (and air) would not go through. The repairman said it was covered with a clear polymer film that builds up from the anti-static/softener sheets the wife uses. It can be fixed with detergent and a gentle brushing.

twopintsplease
02-06-2010, 10:42 PM
being curious how much is your power per kW/ hour, i am in OZ and from my last bill, between 17 cents to 19 cents a kWh depending on usage (the tariff changes for peaks )

Arcane
02-06-2010, 11:39 PM
Here in Saskatchewan residential fuel rates as of November 1, 2009 are:
Natural Gas $0.2671 per m3
Electricity $0.1022 per kWh

As per SaskEnergy...
Clothes Dryer for 200 hours: Natural Gas Cost $30. Electric Cost $96. Approximate Savings $66.

Black_Moons
02-06-2010, 11:52 PM
The OP has left the building! err. thread.

J Tiers
02-07-2010, 12:13 AM
You brought up efficiency. You claimed gas has negligible losses. Both claims were incorrect. Address it instead of ducking the issue.

Crap.....

I said that the losses in gas distribution were similar to electric distribution losses, possibly lower.... and that electric heat involved large added losses




What "global cost"? Two lefts don't make a right.



You appeared to dismiss the heat engine losses involved in the majority of electric generation and focus primarily on distribution losses of gas.

Sure the electric heat goes right to the point of use, as it does with gas, also. The "global losses " which you have a comprehension problem with are the fact that electricity is not a "given"...... it must be generated, whereas gas (or coal, or even uranium), as a fuel, is already in existence.

if you generated the electricity with gas fueled heat engines, you would have to load another 40% to 60% heat engine loss on top of all the distribution losses.... so a 'global' look at the process reveals huge additional losses which you seem to airily dismiss.

using coal, (or nuclear power, really) changes nothing, as the heat engine still inevitably loses much of the heat energy, meaning that the cost of electric heat is multiplied relative to direct heating with the same or an alternate fuel, because much more fuel must be burned to generate the same heat if the heat is delivered electrically, as opposed to "directly" from local combustion, etc. Even hydro power must be paid for.

I said you pay a premium for the convenience of electric heat because of inevitable inefficiency. it's still true.

if it were NOT true, more and more people would be clamoring to use electric heat. Instead, they are fleeing it as fast as they can, to save money.







If you are going to measure the cost of using natural gas you need to take into account the lost opportunity to use it for other products and how much that costs us in increased prices for those other products. If you burn gas the cost of making everything synthetic goes up, from cars to clothing.

Any way you slice it you are still using the gas. In fact gas is used to generate electricity....... so you double the losses and add more. Distribution loss x 2 plus heat engine efficiency losses.

aboard_epsilon
02-07-2010, 08:30 AM
for the consumer thats "US"..the efficiency of electricity is based on a direct basis ..EG.....ELECTRICITY IS 100 PERCENT EFFICIENT AT TURNING 1 UNIT INTO 1000 WATTS OF HEAT ..at his end.

GAS...looses efficiency because of the flue and how much heat doesn't make it into the boiler core because of the design ..if it doesn't make it into the boiler core ..then it goes up the flue ..not to be recovered ..Latest and best boilers are 90 percent efficient.

Here's a site that converts all your btus into KWH'S states the efficiency of each heat source.

the price per unit, is in UK money ..but that doesn't matter ..its just to give you the idea ..

scroll down for the charts

http://www.nottenergy.com/energy-costs-comparison3


there also are a lot of useful links at the bottom of the page
all the best.markj

John Stevenson
02-07-2010, 08:59 AM
Think about altering your life style.

Buy a pair of jeans from ASDA / Wallmart 3.00 a pair.
Wear for 3 weeks until you can't bend down in them and throw them on the fire to create heat and save running the central heating.

It's cost you 3 for the jeans which you need anyway, you have saved washing powder, time to do washing, electric to do washing , drying and ironing which added up cost more than 3.

When I go abroad I dump most of my clothes before coming back and use the baggage allowance for something I need or can sell instead of bringing back washing.

.

aboard_epsilon
02-07-2010, 09:07 AM
JOHN.
that certainly works for continental quilts ..

don't think the neighbours would like me burning one though

aldi sells a double for 7.99

you tried washing and drying them ..will come out far in excess of that .

all the best.markj

loose nut
02-07-2010, 10:44 AM
I don't have a whole lot of sympathy. My house is well insulated, and about 2200 square feet on one level. My heating system is forced air electric.--and my hydro bills AVERAGE about $800 a month thru December to April!!! I spoke to the hydro folks last week and asked how much per month would it cost if I was to go on equalized billing, based on yearly power consumption.---The answer---$390 a month.----Brian

Can you switch to gas heat, I'm on equalized billing (budget billing, 10 month of the years with two months for adjusting payments or refunds).

$59.00/month

My house isn't quite as big as yours but you are only a couple of hundred miles north of me so the temp. difference can't be that great. It should save you a lot.

As for electrical costs /Kw, if you add in all the "extra" charges, the actual cost is double what they say it is. We are quoted 0.087/kw but it is closer to 0.14/kw when the delivery charges, extra fees, taxes etc. are added in.

It's is just another scam.

brian Rupnow
02-07-2010, 11:30 AM
Loose Nut---That "couple of hundred miles north" puts me into a totally different climatic zone than you are. The southern part of Ontario is at the same latitude as northern California. There is no gas available where I live, or at least there wasn't untill 2 years ago. My wife retires next December, and we will probably move to a smaller house then, so I don't want to spend the money to change our furnace system over now. My heating bills are the same as my neighbours in the area. Our winters are much longer and colder here.---Brian

loose nut
02-07-2010, 03:20 PM
Brian, depending on the year, it isn't that much warmer here. This year isn't to bad but some years the jet stream pulls the arctic winds down here the same as it does were you are. Looks like you have a bad case of the utility ripoff.

P.S. I just looked it up on a map, your only 90 miles farther north then I am.

Black_Moons
02-07-2010, 07:41 PM
Seriously, id put the effort towards checking your meter after doing the math on your bills! There HAVE been reported case of electric meter ripoffs:

http://stopthecap.com/2009/11/05/another-metered-service-ripoff-pacific-gas-electrics-smart-meters-are-cunning-little-thieves-critics-allege/

http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090512233656AAcB4mT
Theres some real BS, Yea, a loose wire 'leaked' several hundred dollars of power a month. Nothing to do with a faulty meter im sure!
PS hows that power pole doing, glowing nice and red yet?

The Artful Bodger
02-07-2010, 09:35 PM
When I go abroad I dump most of my clothes before coming back and use the baggage allowance for something I need or can sell instead of bringing back washing.

.

I believe there are UN conventions relating to the international dumping of toxic grundies.:D