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  1. #1

    Electric bill too high due to installer error

    A friend of mine recently discovered that his electric bill had been too high due to his installer connecting his heat pump thermostat incorrectly. The heat strips have been coming on every time the thermostat called for heat, rather than just using them for backup or emergency.

    He has had the installer back several times to investigate this and other issues. Until he finally discovered the problem on his own and fixed the thermostat problem himself. This has been going on for over 2 years and they are estimating about $3200 in excess energy charges due to this error. As an example his bills were running in excess of $500 even in mild months while neighbors were using about half that amount of electricity with similar specifications.

    Should he ask the installer for any compensation for this error? Or possibly ask the power company if they can provide any reimbursement for the error? I'm sure it's a long shot to get anything from either one. Is there any liability on the installer's part?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
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    2,114
    I doubt the power company will offer any refund as it wasn't their fault and the customer was using the electricity.
    From what you describe it appears the responsibility belongs to the installer. However, I must question his competency if he didn't catch the problem on the first call-back. Is this installer a licensed contractor or a cut-rate operation? If the installer is cut-rate jobber then your friend paid the price for going with the cheapest contractor. A true professional should have identified and remedied the problem before it became a cost issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Greenwood Indiana (Indianapolis)
    Posts
    420

    Hmm

    so the heat strips were not coming on in the a/c mode, seems like they should have in this case.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Weaver View Post
    so the heat strips were not coming on in the a/c mode, seems like they should have in this case.
    I don't think the heat strips were on during ac mode. It is a heat pump. He indicated there are two ways to hook up the heat strip control wire to the thermostat, 1. connect here if you have a heatpump, 2. connect here if you don't have a heatpump. I assume it was connected as if it didn't have a heatpump so that it would call for electric heat each time the heater came on. So it was hooked up properly for an install w/o a heatpump, but incorrectly in his case.

    Is there any precendence here on the site for homewoners getting some compensation for stuff like this? I imagine it doesn't happen very often.

    I think the installer has been around a while and is licensed. He just kept telling my friend that his house was large and would be expensive to heat.. And he did replace a fan motor and checked the freon several times, just never thought to check the thermostat I guess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
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    9,765
    if your friend went over 2 years with bills twice as high as the neighbors why didn't he call another contractor in to take a look?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    PA
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    68,795
    mrheatingandair, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Arnold mo
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    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    if your friend went over 2 years with bills twice as high as the neighbors why didn't he call another contractor in to take a look?
    Ditto!

    The original mistake is one thing, but those two years belong to the homeowner.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Fairfield county Connecticuit
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    778
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Weaver View Post
    so the heat strips were not coming on in the a/c mode, seems like they should have in this case.
    I agree Kevin this sounds fishy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairfield county Connecticuit
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    778
    Let us know what wires went to were before and after

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    625
    The elec. heat could and would on many jobs be setup as 2nd stage heating to recover quicker.
    OR
    Setup just for emer. heat when switched to 'emer' at stat.
    luck dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    Quote Originally Posted by rheem n u View Post
    i guess it doesnt always pay off to go with the cheapest quote
    I have seen high dollar companies do the same thing, so just because the company charges a lot for what they do does not in any way dictate the quality of there work.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    PA
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    rheem n u, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.


    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    rheem n u, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.

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