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the hard question about electricity bills on STX

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kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Good morning!

I've heard many people say that electricity bills on STX are outrageous. I understand that your bills are crazy high, probably higher than I can imagine right now. But in order to decided if I can afford to live there, I would like to have more concrete data.

So people living on STX, please share with me what is your typical electricity bill per month?

What's the size of your house (data for 2-3 bedroom houses would be ideal)? Do you run any atypical machinery or just the usual household appliances? Do you run a pool filter or fans/AC 24/7?

Thank you!

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 2:51 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I think if you figure it as 0.50/kWh (that's a little high but close enough) you can calculate the difference between what we pay here compared to what you pay where you are just by looking at the breakdown on your bill.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 2:59 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Oh! Thank you! I'd never thought of that.

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 3:01 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Not all households are created equal. Some places run A/C in the afteroon and at night. Some hardly ever turn on the A/C. Some have high effieincy appliances and light plans some do not. Before you rent/purhcase a place, ask the prior residenta about thier elctric bills. How oftn they use the A/C etc? Also ask if they have ever had to purchase/truck in water.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 3:25 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Thank you, blu4u. I was planning on doing that when we actually start looking for a place. I appreciate the reminder.

Right now I'm just trying to get an idea of what is a "typical" monthly bill on STX .

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 3:28 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

The thing is there is no "typical monthly bill" - as previously pointed out how much YOUR bill will be depends on the size, location and energy efficiency of the particular house where you live and YOUR lifestyle. Keep in mind that while you may think you can live without using your A/C often YOUR RESOLVE may change when the weather gets hot and humid. Suffice to say, you'll probably be paying more for electricity in the VI that you currently do "back home".

Not to sound condescending but If having a high electric bill is a major factor in determining whether or not you can afford to live on the island you might want to rethink your plans or at the very least work out a strict budget. Unless you currently live in a major city like New York you'll probably find that in order to maintain a lifestyle similar to what you now have you will be spending anywhere from 20% to 40% more if you relocate to the islands. Now most people looking at that range will want to focus on the lower end of the scale but if you are serious you'll focus on the upper end. that way, if your actual living costs are, in fact, on the lower end you'll be pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, if you use the lower numbers and underestimate how much money you'll need to live comfortably you'll be in for a different type of surprise.

So, you will either need more money (not always easy to accomplish) or make some significant changes in your lifestyle - some people idyllically refer to that as "living a simpler life" while others are more pragmatic and call it "doing without". Your choice as to what to call it - good luck in following your dream.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 3:54 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Well said, Afriend.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 4:13 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Thank you for the advice.

Do not be concerned. The price of electricity is not a major factor in determining whether I move or not. But since people have remarked upon it, I wanted to know what you consider expensive. I live in a rather expensive part of the US and many of the prices I have seen on this board are similar to the prices I pay now. So what you consider expensive, I may not.

I am also looking into the future. If WAPA's rates double because of the Hovensa closure, what does that mean in terms of real numbers? The difference between $100 and $200 is almost negligible. The difference between $1000 and $2000 is not.

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 4:19 pm
trainwreck82
(@trainwreck82)
Advanced Member

Real number: I have a 2br/1bath place with no A/C. Average fridge, a few fans running most of the day, 2 laptops, 1 desktop computer, small hot water heater, 32" lcd tv running a couple hours a day on average, a receiver and two floor speakers. My bill runs between $120 and $150. Without the computers I was doing as low as $90/mo.

On the flip side, I have friends that have had WAPA bills as high as $600 for a house.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 5:37 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Thanks, trainwreck82. That helps!

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 5:59 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

you'll probably find that in order to maintain a lifestyle similar to what you now have you will be spending anywhere from 20% to 40% more if you relocate to the islands.

Generally, estimate bout +20% cost and -20% value for day to day expenses. For example food items cost more, the availilbity of quality items is less. Electricity cost more and but frequent blackouts. An exception is Rum. costs less and you can easily find it.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 6:00 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Hee hee hee hee. Rum is pretty good compensation! Thanks, Blu4u!

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 6:22 pm
loungestx
(@loungestx)
Advanced Member

And depending on where you live you may be paying a heating bill that will go away, (my worst electric bill has never even come close to my best heating oil bill), you can almost always sweat through a hot day but you have to have the heat on in cold areas so that may be a cost balance for you. I also find that I put a lot less miles on my car on island as opposed to NY so less gas used. I also will drive a much crappier car that takes regular as opposed to one in NY that takes premium. But yes electric costs more, look at the big picture though it may balance out for you. And there is the beach!

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Posted : April 9, 2012 7:45 pm
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Thanks, loungestx. I was having that very same thought! We have oil heat here, so our heating bills are rather immense. When I run our current kWh at 50 cents per, it ends up about equaling what we spend on heat and electricity combined here.

Also, we have three cars here but will only have one when we move, which is also a savings.

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2012 7:55 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I keep my freezer full of frozen water and rotate it in the fridge and turn my hot water heater before I shower (although I also work out before I shower, so the kind of cold water feels good) and my bill is $20 a month.

Most of the cost of energy is waste and lose, not consumption. Don't be a wasteful jerk and you'll be fine. It's an island, use only what you need. A lot of people like to act like they live in la la land, backed by tax reduced energy needs and then bitch about the cost. Just don't be foolish.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 11:10 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I plug my fridge into the neighbor's outlet. That saves a TON of money. JK.

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Posted : April 9, 2012 11:56 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

hahaha. got me beat.............................................for now

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Posted : April 10, 2012 12:17 am
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Thanks Jamison. I'm not someone who takes long hot showers here in the Northeast, even in the winter. I cannot even imagine wanting a hot shower if it never gets below 75 degrees outside! So thanks for the affirmation.

I lived in Japan for a year and everyone had me hysterical about the cost of living over there before I went. But I learned quickly if I lived like the Japanese did and not like an American, I didn't spend so much. I'm expecting to have to do things differently from the way I do things here. If being more frugal with power use is one of them, I'm sure I will adapt.

@STXBob: That's the best idea yet! 😀

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2012 12:18 am
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I'm from Bucks county PA and it's cheaper here in almost every way. It's gonna get tougher than usual here, but it's amazing and I say do it if you can.

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Posted : April 10, 2012 12:20 am
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

😮 Holy crap, Jamison! I live in Bucks County! I'm right near the border with Northampton along the Delaware River. LOL!

That's what I was saying earlier -- I think prices on STX sound reasonable!

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2012 12:25 am
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

haha, It's cheap here. Seriously. Some things are expensive, but not really compared to there. I love it here and I'm not leaving. I'm from New Hope and worked at JnP's for the last few years. I just started bartending here for great people and I'm happy as hell. Most fun things are free, especially after you get to meet people (which is super easy).

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Posted : April 10, 2012 12:37 am
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

Awesome! Well thanks for the encouragement!

I was wondering if "Jamison" referred to the town in Bucks. I took an Irish language course at the retreat there.

... or the whiskey. 😀

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2012 12:40 am
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

ah, neither. I don't care for the whiskey or that town haha. If ya need anything, hit me up. 🙂

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Posted : April 10, 2012 12:46 am
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

I have a home depot driveway solar shower. One long coiled black hose to a pcv fitting to a spray head. I get about 2 minutes of sciolding hot water, two minutes at the correct temp and the rest cool. Turning on and off the hose at criitcal points (when sudsing) evens the temp and prolongs the hot. A black plastic concrete mixing tub acts as shower pan and rinse pail for my swim wear or work out clothing. dump out the tub and hang up the gear. And presto, laundy and bath and plants watered in less than five minutes. VI high tech!

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Posted : April 10, 2012 12:56 am
kass
 kass
(@kass)
Advanced Member

@Jamison: Will do! Thanks for speaking Bucks County!

@blu4u: I've used a solar shower before and never had it get scalding. Just luke warm. It really gets scalding? Awesome what a tropical sun will do.

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2012 2:22 am
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