MH Bill for those who live in SF ?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Gonzo, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Gonzo

    Gonzo Guest

    Now that I'm doing my research into the whole Metal Halide option for my new tank, I'm seeing that PG&E has tiered electricity pricing. Grrr. So for those of you who run MH's in San Fran, a few questions:

    1.) How much a month are you paying for your MH's?
    2.) How many hours are you running them?
    3.) If you could switch out your MH's for all LED's (with no cost) would you?


    I know Jess's answer to #3 already :)
     
  2. sfboarders

    sfboarders Guest

    I think you need to ask more questions. :p How many bulbs? 250W or 400W?
     
  3. iani

    iani Guest

    Well, think about it this way. @ the highest tier electricity is ~40 cents per kwh. If you run 2 250w MH for 6 hrs a day that is 3kwh per day x 30 days = 90kwh x 40 cents = 36 dollars a month at the highest tier.
     
  4. sfboarders

    sfboarders Guest

    Oh don't forget you might need to get a chiller. So if you decide to get one, your bill will be $$$$ :D

    I always find it exciting when I open my PG& E bill. Wondering what it'll be like when I start using the heater. :((
     
  5. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    I don't know exactly how much my MH's are costing me. At my old apartment, I think my fish tank stuff amounted to about $20-30 a month. Now, my total bill is about ~$50 a month in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom place. I'm running 2x150W MH's.
     
  6. Gonzo

    Gonzo Guest

    Good call John - i'm brain dead today :)

    Now that I'm doing my research into the whole Metal Halide option for my new tank, I'm seeing that PG&E has tiered electricity pricing. Grrr. I'm looking at running 2x250w MH's. So for those of you who run MH's in San Fran, a few questions:

    1.) How much a month are you paying for your MH's and what wattage are you running?
    2.) How many hours are you running them?
    3.) If you could switch out your MH's for all LED's (with no cost) would you?
     
  7. Gonzo

    Gonzo Guest

    Iani: that's a good point. For some reason I was thinking it would cost me 50$ (or more) per month...I could live with $36.
     
  8. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    well...and a 250watt MH doesn't draw 250 watts. Check the actual draw on the ballast. Wall power is different then what we first assume it is.
     
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrr... I wish people (especially the pro LED people) would stop perpetuating this. I can tell you after running a tank in San Francisco for... 7? 8? years with halides that you most probably will not need a chiller, and even if temperatures do get a bit critical, fans will be more than sufficient for the few days each year that it happens.

    Now with that said, the other side of the coin is you'll also use less electricity heating your tank, yes halides do transfer more thermal energy to the tank than LEDs but with LEDs you'll find your heaters are turning on a lot more so you may not gain terribly much in power savings if you make a switch to LEDs.

    That said, I run my halides for about 5.5 hours each day. During the day time hours, although if I did switch to a more night time schedule (i.e. when many come home from work) then probably could save a little more as that's prime heating time. The reality of the situation is with my tank about 50% of my total energy usage comes from heating it, and I figure that's something that can be cut down fairly easily if you make an insulating room with the tank, or throw up some foam panels on the back or something.

    Would I go over to LEDs? probably not right now. I don't have very expensive bulbs that I use, so any payback period with LEDs would be next to non-existent... especially when you factor in the heater power I'd use.
     
  10. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    While running MH, the most I've had to do was run a single 80mm fan on hot days. This was in Livermore which normally is a fair bit hotter than SF.
    And as mike mentioned, in winter with LEDs, my heater was on a lot. With MH, not as much.
     
  11. iani

    iani Guest

    True, Tony. Assuming an electronic ballast it draws pretty close to 250. Magnetic HQIs draw near 300w though.
     
  12. iani

    iani Guest

    Huh? How did 3x250w @ 6hrs a day cost you 180 a month? That makes no sense.
     
  13. holy crap...where do you live so i can know never to move there
     
  14. houser

    houser Past President

    I recently got busted by the missus about the power bill.
    I run 250 x 2 for 7hrs a day. Pay full price for power basically since we have a full household and lots of other stuff.
    But when you think about it it's really just small change/day to either go up or down an hour.

    I lowered from 8hrs previously to sort of counter my heating costs accrued during the night since it's colder than my tank. I could run the bulbs overnight to heat the tank yes, but I have to sleep sometime.
     
  15. Gonzo

    Gonzo Guest

    Dave,

    If you don't mind me asking, how much would you estimate you are you paying to run the lights?
     
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    This answer probably won't be the same for you though.

    As Ian already said calculate for the highest tier you pay for, look at your PG&E bill it'll show, and simply call lights as an added expense on top of that. Watts / 1000 x hours on x 30 = kWh per month you'll use, multiply that by whatever the rate is at the highest tier and that's your cost.

    Oh and San Francisco residents get screwed even more because we don't need any sort of cooling in our houses, we get a smaller baseline when computing the tiers in summer months, in winter months its pretty much even with many other parts of the bay/state. :)
     
  17. houser

    houser Past President

    well

    250 x 2 = 500W
    500W x 7 = 3.5KW
    3.5KW x $0.40 = $1.4
    $1.4 x 30 = $42/month

    OK sure hope I just did that right so I don't look like an ass.
    FYI I stagger my halides one on first is first one off... So photo period is 8hrs

    I use electronic icecap ballast so not exactly sure input current so this isn't exact.

    If PG&E ever figured out how to itemize tank expenses I'd be in real trouble at home.
     
  18. houser

    houser Past President

    It's a one line answer to a 3-part question!!

    Do you heat a lot?
     
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    You were a little sloppy with the units so I corrected you, sorry its the teacher in me ;) (now that makes someone look like an ass.. namely ME :D)
     
  20. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    You were a little sloppy in not leaving a space between numbers and units, so I corrected you. I also corrected your punctuation and capitalization.
     

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