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Old 07-29-2014, 06:53 AM   #1
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Spike in electricity billing

A friend has been camped out at his son's farm in Ontario Canada for a month with his 03 MH. He is a single guy and enjoys working around the farm weed eating and cutting grass so spends very little time in the MH except for sleeping and the occasional siesta in the afternoon. He eats his meals in the family home so has not used his stove. The refrigerator and a few lights in the evening are pretty much all that has been running in the MH. He has not used the air conditioner. The MH is plugged into the barn/shop via an extension cord. His son's hydro (electric) bill went from $250. to $600. Here in Ontario it is difficult to understand your electric bill as it has many extra charges so to arrive at a cost/per/kw is near impossible. We do get charged extra for anything running during peak times which are during the day during the week. There is also an allotted amount of hydro given to a household and if you go over that amount of usage your bill will go up.
My question is though, is it possible that his batteries are trickle charging via electricity somehow using power constantly. If anyone has has any thoughts I would greatly appreciate your ideas. We are soon to be full time and will be staying at our son's farm until we make our way south this winter. We are considering a generator so we can keep track of our own electric usage.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:13 AM   #2
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First thing that popped into my head was a peak demand charge. From what you are saying he is not drawing a high amount but if you exceed an amount you are rated by your highest draw (businesses in US and a couple of states are looking at doing it to residential here).
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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I don't understand your Blog. The motorhome is plugged in at the Barn. If your friend uses the amount of hydro as you say there should be very little increase in your hydro bill. I woud check around the house and the barn. Also there is not an allotted amount of hyro that you get. You pay for what you use. We have of peak use and high peak use. So if you use al ot of hydro in the high peak time you will pay top buck. In any case I find the Increase in the hydro charge unreasonable. Check around the property.Cheers Gerald
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:58 AM   #4
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What kind of MH does he have? Is he plugged in 15 30 or 50? If he is plugged into 15 of 30 he could use a clamp-on amp meter (or go by the display in the coach) and see what he is really using...

I too think it's something else on the farm.

The smart battery chargers/converters/inverters (again we don't know what he has) charge at 60 75 amps (on 12v) at max (800 watts), trickle is more like 5 amps (60 watts). 1000 watts for an hour is 10 cents ($2.40/day). Again I would be very surprised the refrigerator or anything else would be using that much current.

I was plugged into 30 amps for a weekend two weeks ago and my display would show 3 to 15 amps at rest (8 amps is about 1000 watts). A/C's take about 12 to 15 amps each, convection oven on heat is about 10-12 amps.

In my humble opinion a coach would probably run $50/month in a typical summer month in Ontario (70-80 degree weather).
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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Exactly how is the usage determined? Until recently here in Wisconsin the cost was estimated monthly by past history. Once each quarter the meter was read. If the monthly estimates were low the difference was paid when the quarterly reading was done. If the estimates were high a credit was issued. If this is the method currently used in your area it's possible the costs were incurred long before the motorhome was plugged in.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Hard to believe a motor home could even use $ 250 of electricity a month much less $ 600 but I don't live in Canada. Are the rates per kwh that high with all your hydropower?
Here in southern Arizona with 100 degrees F temps in the summer, running AC 24/7 my 3 bedroom house with a swimming pool uses around $ 150 a month.
There has to be something wrong, likely outside the coach
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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I'm near Ottawa Ontario and my last bill was for $258. My RV is always plugged in.(regular 15 amp plug) .
235 KW-hrs @ 13.5cents on peak
261 kwh @ 11.2 c mid peak
820 kwh @ 7.5 c off peak
With a regulatory charge and a debt retirement charge and some taxes (for good measure), the average cost per kwh is a whopping 19.6 cents for one kilowatt running for one hour.
A typical RV A/C runs at about 12 amps and runs probably 1/3 of the time during the day and maybe 1/5 at night on very hot days. 12 amps X 120 is 1.440 Kw. 1.44 divide by 3 X 12 hours is 4 kwh and 1.44 divide by 5 x 12 is 3.45 so a total of 7.45 kwh at 20 cents is $1.50 per day or $45 per month.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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If he has a diesel check the engine heater. I had the same happen to me and tracked it to engine heater had gotten turned on by mistake
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:03 PM   #9
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Is there any chance there was an adjustment made to that bill to make up a difference on equal billing (where you pay an average every month). Unless his electricity is being stolen there is no reasonable explanation, other than theft or an adjustment, that the bill should be $600.....Although hasn't Ontario's electrical charges doubled in the last couple years?
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
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Its gotta be the engine block heater plugged in and turned on......
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:05 PM   #11
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I keep my Motor home plugged in year round and have not had that problem. I have the refrigerator running just in case we decide to go out for a run. It is hard to figure out these hydro bills here in Ontario. You try to save and they jack up the prices you pay.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:38 PM   #12
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How are you're years read? Human error? Happened to me a couple of times misread that first number and your off by about a thousand kWh.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:39 PM   #13
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I swear that said meter before I hit the reply key.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:50 AM   #14
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Thanks for all your ideas on electricity usage and billing for RV's plugged into 15/30 amp service in a barn/workshop. We have a fiver plugged in always to our home with refrigerator running 24/7 and have never noticed significant increases in our hydro bill but I have never owned a MH. Will pass along the information.
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