Image default
East End News

Have You Gotten Your Electric Bill Yet??

If your house was anything like mine, on the coldest nights, both of the HVAC units in my house ran almost constantly. As a result, I’m the proud owner of a $390 electric bill (Over 1 1/2x my regular bill).

This is not uncommon as I’ve heard similar stories from neighbors and friends. As a Church Hill resident who has owned a couple of homes and familiar with many more are heat pumps the culprit?

One thing about heat pumps in general, when they’re heating a home, is they’re pulling heat from the outside air to heat the refrigerant and then release that heat into your house. This refrigerant is supercooled so generally much colder than outside air BUT as the temperature drops so does the amount of heat that can be pulled in.

While heat pumps are extremely efficient for more mild winters, like we normally have in Richmond, they’re not great for extremely cold temperatures. If it is unusually cold, and we have a cold snap like the beginning of January, you will find that in order to heat your house your Auxiliary heat will be kicking in which for many is electric. Those auxiliary heat strips are NOT efficient and they will increase your heating bill dramatically.

One solution that many new homes are built with is a gas backup to your heat pump instead of electric. This is called a dual fuel system. Gas furnaces get much hotter and are more efficient at heating homes during extreme cold. Something to consider if you’re buying a house or you have to redo your existing system. A lot of newer homes will have two HVAC systems with the downstairs heat pump having a gas backup and the upstairs a regular heat pump with electric auxiliary.

Save Money & Plan Ahead: Make sure and plan ahead for increases in your utility bills during the height of summer and winter. Also, make sure that you set your thermostat a little lower. 65 or 68 can make a big difference in your utility bill compared to 70 or 72. Also, invest in insulation and energy efficiency! Not only will you save money, in the long run, you will also make your house infinitely more comfortable.

Stay warm out there and if you have any suggestions or thoughts please let us know.

A few resources:

RREA – Richmond Region Energy Alliance – You can schedule a free home inspection ($40 donation recommended). They’ll make recommendations like improved insulation, new windows, encapsulating the crawl space, etc. to help you understand how to heat and cool your home more efficiently.

Dominion Energy Assistance – Dominion Virginia Power has a number of programs to assist families that might have trouble paying for their electric bills.


Dominion Energy Saving Tips

Related posts

Good morning! If you don’t have power, please report your outage to Dominion.

Gustavo

Heads up: Planned Power Outage Church Hill North

Jacob C.
avatar
60 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
MarcusChurch Hill People's NewsNatalie SmithDanielle GriffingKamehameha Yancey Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Robbie Summey
Guest
Robbie Summey

FB_1915882435297969

Samantha Hendricks
Guest
Samantha Hendricks

FB_10101586021966488

Ryan Cassidy
Guest
Ryan Cassidy

FB_10156078863458313

Alex Goodmundson
Guest
Alex Goodmundson

FB_1206119449424292

Juliette Highland
Guest
Juliette Highland

FB_10154908894466151

Iesha Adu-Darko
Guest
Iesha Adu-Darko

FB_10209774429175794

Emily Wales Satterwhite
Guest
Emily Wales Satterwhite

FB_10203063635787933

Jessica Jones
Guest
Jessica Jones

FB_10100954894138372

Jasmine Barber
Guest
Jasmine Barber

FB_10208164217845633

Lerence Lubigan
Guest
Lerence Lubigan

FB_10211654737069618

Claire Calise Raabe
Guest
Claire Calise Raabe

FB_10100509750562739

Carmen Emborski Pekarek
Guest
Carmen Emborski Pekarek

FB_10100969104618573

Christine Greenberg
Guest
Christine Greenberg

FB_10103700773023246

Hannah Mason Morgan
Guest
Hannah Mason Morgan

FB_10207800365038154

Sandy Pham
Guest
Sandy Pham

FB_10155299793611062

Ryan Herndon
Guest
Ryan Herndon

FB_1301119433302227

Molly Crowe
Guest
Molly Crowe

FB_10207837027951533

Andrew Caleb
Guest
Andrew Caleb

FB_10104014365601206

Courtney Moore
Guest
Courtney Moore

FB_10101352170431908

Sara Dempsey
Guest
Sara Dempsey

FB_10211321721095944

Jeannie Casey Saxton
Guest

$358

Joe Poston
Guest

I’m expecting more like $500. We shall see.

Charlie Barnes
Guest

$468!!

Michael Grabow
Guest

“…are heat pumps the culprit?”

We normally keep ours set around 65, but dropped it a little lower when it was struggling to get above 58/59. There were a couple of mornings where we woke up with it at 54 and the auxiliary heat was on more than I’d ever seen it before. I was thankful the bill was only $175.

dontmincewords
Guest
dontmincewords

I’m taking garlic, potassium, and magnesium to avoid a heart attack when my bill comes in.

Gale Bowles Giegerich
Guest

But remember. You were nice and warm.

L
Guest
L

Dominion also has a program that will average your bill over the course of the year and let you pay the average amount, or something similar. I don’t think you save any money (they reassess every year or so and credit/adjust as needed, I think), but it does sound like it might help folks on a tight budget stave off late fees

Queen of Church Hill
Guest
Queen of Church Hill

Dominion offers “budget billing” where they take the average of your last twelve months and you pay the same every month. The next year, they will adjust your bill accordingly. I’ve been doing it for years to avoid these high winter bills. Also, I have the benefit of knowing how much my electric bill will be every month. You can get an estimate on their website before signing up.

Erika Forsack
Guest

I’m having so much anxiety

MP
Guest
MP

Also, if you don’t want crazy bills like that, you really have to tolerate some cold. Setting the thermostat at 62 keeps the bills from getting crazy. Wear lots of layers inside and get a heavy comforter for the bed. You will survive – it doesn’t need to be 72 degrees inside year round.

Marna Oh Marna
Guest

I’m screwed harder than a whore in port with extra condoms.

BAF
Guest
BAF

Your bill is entirely dependent on the difference between the outside temperature and the inside temperature. Costs more to get to interior 65 on 0 degree day than a 35 degree day same as it take less energy to boil water that was already warm than water that is near freezing. Either lower the thermostat when the difference between inside and outside temps grows or pay more. Just math and physics.

Victoria Lynn Davis
Guest

I almost bitched Dominion out. Ridiculous!!

ChimboPark
Guest
ChimboPark

Electric was $150 with another $75 for gas.

Having a gas furnace on the first floor and heat pump on second is helping but even still they constantly run and struggle to heat up the house.

Iesha Adu-Darko
Guest

$488.21 with it set at 68 downstairs and 70 upstairs ?

Amba Swanson
Guest

Oh geez

Annonymous
Guest
Annonymous

You newbies to CH are cute. Thinking buying an old house would be as energy efficient as buying new. This is a downfall of living in our neighborhood, welcome! You have to make sure to budget for it for sure but don’t get sticker shocked and angry because of your winter energy bills. The character of buying a home built PRIOR to Heat Pumps existing means they are not energy efficient. As stated above Dominion does a great job of allowing the bills to be spread out monthly. Also don’t get mad at dominion for pricing that is set by… Read more »

Lindsay Beach Whitmore
Guest

Ours was $316?

Lindsay Beach Whitmore
Guest

Mary Catherine seems like this will be the norm until it warms up. ?

Ashley Tucker
Guest

These are unfortunately typical electric bills in the winter (for me at least).

Joe Poston
Guest

Turned out to be "only" $295-ish. Not bad considering my Nest app seemed to think I was a bad person who hates the environment.

Joe Poston
Guest

Turned out to be “only” $295-ish. Not bad considering my Nest app seemed to think I was a bad person who hates the environment.

crd
Guest
crd

@8 I too have used budget billing for years. It is convenient and I know how much it will be.

Mark
Guest
Mark

$37. All gas though

MJR
Guest
MJR

$401. Thermostat was set to 61. But downstairs our actual temperature hovered between 54 and 58 as the heat pump couldn’t keep up during the deep cold spell.

Aaron James Sawyer
Guest

Mines huge too

Danielle Griffing
Guest

I like the budget bill option – saves me from sticker shock when the weather spikes

Lauren Lexa Crapanzano
Guest

We got the Nest learning thermostat. It’s been huge is saving us money this winter. I would definitely suggest it!

Joe Dunn
Guest

It is what it is. It was cold outside for a good while. Even though I set it to 68 the heat pump was working overtime, especially if you have two heat pumps. The bill going to be high and Dominion is at no fault

Kamehameha Yancey
Guest

272