Electric bill dispute, please advise

clayfeat

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I rented an office where I had a lighted sign installed. The landlord came to me with bills from before and after I had the sign installed. The bills with the sign were around $15 more than before and he asked if I would pay the extra each month going forward. I was happy to do so.
 

billy logan

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This could be entirely wrong: [2nd edit - ***WAS wrong*** a thousand times wrong, see asterisks below][could still be wrong 'bout something else]

600w bulbs, four or six of them. 360 hours/month if burning 12 hours a day.

If four bulbs x 600w, 2400w x #of hours/mo = ? wattHours/mo
If six bulbs x 600w, 3600w x #of hours/mo = ? wattHours/mo

Factor in the hours per billing month then you have wattHrs, which cost maybe $0.10 to $0.20 ***per kilowattHour*** each. ***not "wattHour"*** still "wow" :)

wow. Definitely switch to LED's. LED's consume about 1/7 the electricity of incandescents. I don't know the savings between LED's and sodium.

and I say ^ this ^ as former "one shelf of orchids and one shelf of syngoniums" green (black) thumb. btw For houseplants I suggest those 6 (six) to 9 (nine) watt "plant lights" - normal light bulb* shape bulbs - spectrum 450 to 650 Nm. Weird orange-pink light.
Last I got them at Walmart they were iirc less than $5. Wouldn't be strong enough for the maples; of course there are LED's for every situation.

*edit - some are reflector bulb shape. But all are standard screw-in socket
 
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suave eddie

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Three people on the property- they all pay 33% of the renters bill.

Enter the problem, one guy has a growhouse that is essential for his biz.

The growhouse uses something like 600w sodium halite bulbs, 4 to 6, expensive to run. This totally increases the monthly bill.

He want to split the bill 30/30/40 and I'm like "no".

With 30/30/40 split, when the growhouse lights are on my bill will go up being part of the 30/30/40, sort of a ballooning effect.

My solution/suggestion, the growhouse uses an extension cord, simply put a $30 meter on the cord that will display usage and other things. We take the usage reading and calculate that into the bill and we could separate the biz from the renters.

What do you think people?
I thought when you moved, you would finally be in a controversy free zone.
At least you're not defending your property with a hammer.
 

telemnemonics

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So you said "on the property" @ASATKat and not "sharing the apartment/ house".

If the three "people" each have their own dwelling unit but pay the electric bill, there should be three meters.
That's on the landlord.
If you all share a single dwelling unit and split utilities, that's more troublesome.

As noted by some, zoning and running a business are issues the landlord and the town need to sort out.
Might not be commercial if growing "for personal use", but if the guy has a welding shop "for personal use" it still falls under zoning and is the responsibility of the landlord when one tenant is abusing usage of the property.

One can for example drop by the police station and ask for something like a desk Sargent or even the Chief if it's a small town.
Might have to make an appointment to sit down with the chief, or with a detective, just a more experienced mature officer who has been down these kinds of roads. They will have had private discussions like this before, it's part of their job keeping their community safe.
Run the scenario by them and ask what they think.
A more senior officer will have the maturity to go over your options rather than demand the address or flip you off.

Or drop by the town hall and find the zoning or building inspector office.
Gotta get past the secretary and talk with a zoning or code enforcement officer.
Same deal, you don't have to gibve them the address, just run the scenario by them as a hypothetical.

IF, the growing operation is above board, it's a legit case where the business needs an electric meter installed by the utility company and billed to the business.
If it's a nice guy stoner dude saving money, so not really above board, there is a real fire hazard to setting up that much electric use without running proper wiring, and the issue is more than asking you to pay for part of his weed needs.

Town officers may not be able to solve the problem for you if it's a gray area, but at least you'd know the laws and not be going on speculation with little information.

Regarding the idea to put a "$30 meter on an extension cord", there are online calculators that show length and wire gauge capacity for current draw. An extension cord is much like a guitar pickup in that the longer the given wire is, the more it impedes current.
As it impedes current it gets hot and will either trip the breaker, or if the hobby farmer changes the breaker or worse, melts the insulation and starts a house fire etc etc.
Even something like a carpentry compressor should not be run on an extension cord because the current over the longer wire actually drops the voltage at the draw end, and will burn out the motor before it trips the breaker or starts a fire.
Fires are generally not going to happen if everything is to code.
BUT, sneaky hobby kids hiding grow operations while stoned, tend to forget code and wing it!
 

MarkieMark

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Which brings us to insurance coverage.

If there is a disaster, however minor or major, coverage may well be denied in the described situation.

Another reason the landlord would be justified in evicting the lot of ya.
 

suave eddie

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Three people on the property- they all pay 33% of the renters bill.

Enter the problem, one guy has a growhouse that is essential for his biz.

The growhouse uses something like 600w sodium halite bulbs, 4 to 6, expensive to run. This totally increases the monthly bill.

He want to split the bill 30/30/40 and I'm like "no".

With 30/30/40 split, when the growhouse lights are on my bill will go up being part of the 30/30/40, sort of a ballooning effect.

My solution/suggestion, the growhouse uses an extension cord, simply put a $30 meter on the cord that will display usage and other things. We take the usage reading and calculate that into the bill and we could separate the biz from the renters.

What do you think people?

Was the growhouse part of the equation when you moved there?
 

TomBrokaw

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Give 'em the beans!
Is he going to split the profits of the operation 30/30/40? That might be a viable short-term solution until he has enough cash flow to pay for his fair share of the electricity. Might also just introduce more resentment or suspicion of sandbagging.
 

Sax-son

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The electric company here will come out and install a meter on what you describe--then send a separate bill. Seems he'd need that for his "business records":lol::lol::lol:.
That depends on the policy of your local utility provider. Also the electrical infrastructure and building codes in your locality. I have some out building that have electricity via conduct through romex wire only buried under the ground connected to a switch at the house. There is no way they are going to put a meter on that. Without knowing the layout of this particular property, it would be hard to advise on that. There is something that tells me that if it was that simple, they would already have separate meters to all these renter's quarters.
 

pinchegil

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Move, I know its a PITA that and the cost is the only downside, the downsides to staying are too numerous to list here. Even if it is legit you still have the danger and risks of living in or near a grow operation. Not good, puts your guitars and amps at extreme theft risk.
 

Guitarzan

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Three people on the property- they all pay 33% of the renters bill.

Enter the problem, one guy has a growhouse that is essential for his biz.

Ahem. What kind of growhouse?

Power companies generally treat commercial power consumers differently. If he is running a commercial operation on a residential account, you can probably throw the wrench in the machine by having a power co. rep. come out and lay down the law.
 

ASATKat

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Ahem. What kind of growhouse?

Power companies generally treat commercial power consumers differently. If he is running a commercial operation on a residential account, you can probably throw the wrench in the machine by having a power co. rep. come out and lay down the law.
Ahem? What kind of growhouse?

All wood.
 

Daytona.57

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Having an indoor grow hut operation, comes with power and humidity issues.

The wiring has to pass code, and should be GFI, for shock protection.

There is a requirement, for controlled humidity, as too humid will cause mold, which could affect the health of the tenants.

The humidity can be auto controlled by a dehumidifier, that would have to emptied several times a day. The recovered water can be recycled, to water the plants. You are probably, paying for the other tenants, excess water consumption.

LED lights on a timer, could reduce the electricity costs, which is good environmental practice.
 

Slap Axe

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With the mediation of the landlord, we have arrived at a 25/25/50 split, and boy are they pissed.

I'm glad I stood up to bullies.

Now, be pleasent and put it in the past. That's my goal.
Nice work. I just read through every post until I got to your update. That was my first thought, bring in the landlord to mediate.

Unless I missed it, out of all of the potential solutions offered, no one said to just let the landlord determine who pays what percentage of the bill given the situation. I’m a utility consultant by trade and I didn’t even need to start doing math and overthink this one. Glad it worked out in your favor.
 

Telekarster

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Right, not just usage but upgraded wiring inspected for safety and the other factors that come with large money crop inviting burglary etc.

I’m not sure an extension cord can safely supply a grow house.
Commercial baby, commercial.

Spot on T! Indeed there's a heck of a lot more concerns with this story than the electric bill... This person needs to be doing his business in a proper location IMO, and I'd think too that the landlord should have similar concerns, especially with liability and such like. :eek::confused:o_O
 




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