Tuesday, August 7

Comparing Utility Bills from One City to Another

Continuing my fascination with my utility bills, I thought it would be prudent to compare the rates I pay now in Birmingham, AL to what I will be paying in Clearwater, FL.

I started with Water and Sewer, since it's common knowledge that Birmingham has the highest sewer rates in the nation.  I have our corrupt former county commissioners to thank for that.  Of course, they get free water service where they are now, but those of us not incarcerated are left to pay for their criminal activities.

If I use 4,000 gallons of water, my bill in Birmingham, AL would be about $69.34.  In Clearwater, FL, the bill would come out to $49.88, a savings of $19.46 per month, which represents a 28% savings.

On to Power.  Currently my energy usage is a combination of natural gas and electricity.  I use gas for hot water, the fireplace and heat.  In Clearwater, everything will be electricity.  What most people don't realize is that it is actually hotter (only slightly, but still...) in Birmingham in the summer.  The winter weather is milder in Clearwater, and I suspect I won't have to use my heat at all, even though my real estate agent thinks otherwise.

Electric rates are higher in Clearwater - a bit more than $.11/kWh versus about $.08/kWh in Alabama.  However, I believe the milder winters in Florida will mean we can save a meaningful amount of electricity from December-February since we probably won't use any heat.  I guess I'll have to wait and see what the difference is for power.

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