Our average electricity usage for the last 6 years for December is 653 kwh with a range of 120. December 07 our usage was 682 kwh. This would not have been unusual except for the fact that, due to an ice storm, we had NO electricity for 6.5 days. Billing cycle per the bill was 31 days. I was expecting a bill 20% lower than the average bill and was dismayed when it was actually higher. So far this month of January, we are using at the about average rate (22kwh/day) as we did in December, the only odd thing is that we had NO power of nearly a week in December. I've spoken with a few neighbors who also lost power and 'come to think of it' their bill went up or didn't go down as much as they would have expected for a 20-25% time of no usage. I ask the REC and they said we 'just used more'. They also tried to blame 'recovery usage'. I'm not buying it. They claim they didn't estimate the bill and when I received the bill I immediately checked and the meter reading seemed in line with normal. I'm talking KWH her not $$ which can be affected by rate changes, surcharge and taxes etc.
Facts: During the ice storm we used a gas generator intermittently during the daylight to power the freezer, tv, occasional PC and a few lights . We relied 100% on wood heat, never falling below 60F. For the entire billing period we did nothing that we can think of unusual that would increase the consumption over the previous December. No extra Xmas lights, no 'recovery' usage after power restoration other than 1 refrigerator . Normal is LP furnace supplemented by high efficiency wood fireplace. Gas water heater and stove. Elec clothes dryer. 1 powered outbuilding. We live ¼ mile away from nearest neighbor so no chance of somebody running an extension cord and stealing from us.
After receiving the bill, I shut the power off below the meter and it quit turning. We've done some other testing by turning off house circuit breakers and watching the meter but have isolated nothing unusual yet. With all house breakers off the meter stops. I have purchase a Kill-a -Watt and have begun looking for the energy thief. I've found nothing yet, although the KAW is fun and interesting.
Where would the electricity go? When reconnecting the lines, can a 'surge' spin the meter forward? Previously we had 2 lines coming into our neighborhood, both lines fell but only 1 was reconnected to restore power. Can this have any bearing? What am I missing? What other testing can I do? Your thoughts and comments appreciated.