What has been the effect of your shop on your electric bill.

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 12-19-2013 04:17 AM 1444 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

7665 posts in 2235 days

12-19-2013 04:17 AM

My electric bill has gone up ~$20/month since I set up shop… Accept for the cold of winter, when I run electric space heaters. That pushes it up another ~$10

Seems like a lot to me.

What are you guys experiencing

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

10 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


7687 posts in 2056 days

#1 posted 12-19-2013 04:19 AM

My electric bill is typically about $35-40 every 2 months.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3215 days

#2 posted 12-19-2013 04:43 AM

$150 a month is a good month for me when I don’t run the heating or cooling.
$20-$30 a month is a very small amount…but there are a lot of factors such as how many hours you are in your shop each week, what tools you are running that are electric powered…such as saws, dust collection…etc. and how frequently you start up and stop your power tools. The surge of electricity used on tool startup can be a factor.

View Texcaster's profile


1271 posts in 1580 days

#3 posted 12-19-2013 08:22 AM

I’m an electricity producer. We were early adopters and sell back to the state at a much higher rate than is possible today. We’re on a ” legacy ” scheme that expires in 2030. Most of my shed is run on 3ph power, much cheaper than domestic power, solar hot water as well. The house doesn’t have a heater or AC. One month a year I could use both.

We don’t have water to the property and collect rainwater. We have 5000 & 3000 gal. tanks, that can last 4 months without rain. Ex: turn on the shower, get wet, turn off the tap, soap up, wash, turn on the tap to rinse, half & full flush toilet, no dishwasher. Sewerage goes to a septic tank, the ” grey water ” to the grey water tank and then the garden.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 12-19-2013 10:36 AM

I live in Missouri and I built a 28 by 28 shop with lots of insulation, double pane windows, insulated over head garage doors, and insulated walk thru door. I have installed a down draft house furnace (gas) and 200 amp electrical panel for my tools. I work in the shop 3 to 4 nights a week after working my full time job. I have seperate utility bills for this piece of property. My bills range from 23 dollars (min utility bill) up to the high of 34 dollars when the weather was below zero. I can go to the shop and flip on the heat and turn on the flour lights go inside my house and wait 10 to 15 minutes and the shop is in the 70 degree range – should have done this project 30 years ago – one of the best things I have done !!!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2016 days

#5 posted 12-19-2013 01:06 PM

No one in this thread has mentioned the cost per kWh, which is extremely local… Without it, you’re comparing apples to oranges.

If you know your kWh cost, you can get a rough idea of what it costs per hour to use the shop at various times of the year. For example, heat, a/c, and lights can be calculated right off the spec plate, using something like this:

My 5000 watt heater costs ~ $.80/hr. to run steadily, at my delivered electric rate of $.16/kWh ($.08 + $.08). Check your bill for both the generation and delivery charge. If the delivery is charged per hour, add them together for your cost. If delivery is flat rate, it doesn’t matter, so you can ignore it. Lights are similar, add ‘em all up, and calculate the cost per hour to leave them on.

Here’s a table that can help figure flourescent costs per fixture:

Incandescents are simple, 100 watts = .1 kW… Just read the bulb and add it up.

Power tools are a little different, as the usage is intermittent. Dust collectors are probably the easiest and most important to add, as they run with every other machine, you can get a rough estimate of what the other stuff costs.

Unless you’re a multi-person commercial shop, I’ll bet your biggest draws are lighting, comfort, and the DC… the rest is pocket change. Remember, this is rough, as it doesn’t account for machine starting, load factor, etc… but on $20 worth of electricity, who cares?

View jmartel's profile


7687 posts in 2056 days

#6 posted 12-19-2013 02:23 PM

We have basically the cheapest rates in the country in Seattle. I pay $0.0466/kwh. So, my $35-40/2 months is the entire bill, including fees for the whole house.

Texcaster: Do you have a purification system for your water at all? Or is it just straight rainwater.

I live in the city, so no worrying about not being hooked up to stuff, but I was planning on eventually putting in a small rainwater barrel so I can water our tiny garden area.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 12-19-2013 04:18 PM

I’ve never noticed an increase, but I set my shop up pretty much immediately after moving in to our house.
I have three light fixtures in my shop that are on the same switch. The lights alone probably add several dollars per month to my bill. I don’t care enough to do the math though.
I also have three battery charges for my cordless tools that almost perpetually have a battery hooked up to them. I’m not sure if that’d make a noticable difference or not.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1324 posts in 1855 days

#8 posted 12-20-2013 09:50 PM

I was out of the shop for a while. Then I spent most of a month out there. I noticed it was a $65 jump for that month. I was running the TS, DC, and planer a lot.

View Texcaster's profile


1271 posts in 1580 days

#9 posted 12-21-2013 12:37 AM

jmartel, we only filter the water we drink with a simple Britta bench top jug. Some people have a form of town water called ” trickle feed ”. This goes into a water tank to augment rain water but the taste is foul. There is a small industry of water carriers, tank cleaners, tank sellers/ repairers and water pumps.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7665 posts in 2235 days

#10 posted 12-21-2013 02:49 AM

Bill, Sounds like you need to dig you a well.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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