Michigan Electric Bill with Geothermal

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by harperland, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. harperland

    harperland New Member

    I had a closed loop system installed for our new home in 2011. It's a Bryant unit (16.1, EER, 3.5 COP). Even though I had natural gas as an option, I thought the geothermal would be cost effective, so I do not have natural gas running anything here. Have been concerned since then about the electric bill charges. The home is a 1600 foot ranch. I am the only person living here, and use very few appliances or electronics. I do have a well and septic. Comparing with my neighbors with the same size home with well, etc, who use natural gas and electric, their combined bills for these past two months have been less than $100/month. Mine has been $180, with it going up to around $260 in the winter. I have had my contractor look at the unit and he says all is fine. Have had an energy audit, and no big ideas there either. Someone suggested getting some monitors on the geothermal to see if that might identify any issues. Just not sure where to go from here. With the expected rise in electric, I am seriously considering going back to natural gas.
  2. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    While your neighbors bill is not un interesting, the variables are many. If you have electric hot water and we are not running the DSH (such as cooling the house) you could lose ground there.
    The payback against Nat Gas is slower so if the designer is unevolved, you could be spending more than you would with gas. You need to detail design, electric provider and location in MI to best evaluate your system.
  3. harperland

    harperland New Member

    Joe, Thanks for the response. A few more questions?
    -What is the DSH?
    -I know that my hot water is utilizing the geothermal as well, but I'm pretty naïve about the details of most of it. Apparently it's time to get some schooling :)
    -I have also noticed that my hot water doesn't seem to stay hot for as long now.
    -I did an energy audit with my electric provider, but I'm wondering if I need to go further with my electric company.
    -Sounds like the first step may be to get my geo design looked at. Is that something that the installer would normally do? Just a bit worried that they might not be the most knowledgable or as use say "unevolved".
  4. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    They may have given you a design sheet with load and such on it. Without more info we'll have little to offer.
  5. harperland

    harperland New Member

    Just spoke to my geothermal installer, and he said that the unit is only heating the water if the geothermal unit is running. So, many there are a lot of month/days that I'm not heating or cooling, and therefore using electric for my water heating. I guess that could be an energy hog??
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Again with little info it's hard to tell. I don't know what they or you use for hot water or their demands. Did your installer put in 2 tanks or just one? Can you attach pics or answer some of the questions?
  7. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    $180 / $260 sounds heavy for a 1600 SF house with one resident. Unfortunately it will likely require a careful energy audit by an enlightened provider to get to the bottom of this.

    In cases like this often the most interesting bill is the LOWEST one - ideally ones from months with little or no heating or cooling (November and March in Fla...Maybe October and May in MI?)

    Bills from non-HVAC months let us suss out what else may be going on, such as 24/7 hot water recirc pumps or ridiculously-timed pool pumps, fountains.
  8. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    If I had natural gas that's what I'd be heating with...

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