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  1. #27
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    Jun 2007
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    Bucks Co PA
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    The transision rate is from the last time we had energy deregulation in the early 2000's. PECO was allowed to charge this to "make up from their lost" due to electric choice. Last time our electric choice was a flop and we ended up with no choice but have continued to pay transisition costs.
    Yeah, the political shell game, .........here is a discount but PECO gets to add a different (transition) charge to make it up. Competitors can't compete, customers get screwed.

    .

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Downingtown, PA
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    Heat pumps were pushed in Peco territoy for the express purpose of justifying Peach Bottom and Limerick. There are areas of Peco territoy where hardly any gas is available because Peco wanted to encourage electric use to the exclusion of their own gas. In fact, in many cases builders who were told gas wasn't available, found the main when digging....sometimes unpleasantly and almost always with an unpleasant result in demeanor. The longterm result is an unpredented levl of propane use as people with heat pumps seek better alternatvies and builders seek ways to better provide what their prospective buyers want in a new home.

    The big shock of deregulation won't be the 5% (or 10% or whatever reality will be) but the removal of the RH and WH rate discounts which will result in a 30-50% overall increase in rates for people with all electric homes. This is something that no one is discussing largely because not may understand it or have reason to seek out the information.

    IMO the best option is gas fired in floor radiant heat, or, if warm air is the sole option, a high ef heat pump with has backup, or what is now being referred to as a hybrid system. I don't see gas rates increasing longterm like electric rates. In fact with the free for all going on in gas discoveries across the country, rates SHOULD be dropping.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Downingtown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrod6 View Post
    I have NG service and use it to heat the house, hot water, dry clothes and have a gas cooktop/electric oven. I was thinking of replacing the Ac with a heat pump and using the gas furance as backup, however am not sure the price can be justified with the new electric rates coming up.

    My NG gas is billed by energy and distribution for each CCF(hundred cubic foot) and the current combined price is $1.59847 per CCF, plus a fixed monthly cost of $12. I have seen comparison calculators mentioned on this site and have been trying to search threads for them, of course when you want it, you cant find it.
    The additional cost of installing a heat pump compared to an a/c is really negligible and gives you the most flexible system with the option of running it any way you choose. It's definitely the way to go.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia Pa.
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    I have had heat pumps in two prior residences and where comfortable with them even as they ran almost continuously, however we had the special rate. Running constantly at the standard 9 cents to almost 10 cents to who knows what generation rate, plus the distribution and transmission rates billed by each kwh is what has me concened. I probably will not switch out my existing AC unit but might consider a HP when it is time to replace ----except that it is best to replace both inside and outside units and this could mean a new gas furnace as well...No easy solutions yet.

    There was one newspaper article that mentioned the elimination of the heating rate and the fact that PECO and the state consumer advocate requested a year delay because they thought it would be too much of a shock to El heat consumers who will see their bills increase this year anyway.

    Our gas rates decreased by .10 cents per ccf in December...so that was Decembers good news.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Downingtown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrod6 View Post
    I have had heat pumps in two prior residences and where comfortable with them even as they ran almost continuously, however we had the special rate. Running constantly at the standard 9 cents to almost 10 cents to who knows what generation rate, plus the distribution and transmission rates billed by each kwh is what has me concened. I probably will not switch out my existing AC unit but might consider a HP when it is time to replace ----except that it is best to replace both inside and outside units and this could mean a new gas furnace as well...No easy solutions yet.

    There was one newspaper article that mentioned the elimination of the heating rate and the fact that PECO and the state consumer advocate requested a year delay because they thought it would be too much of a shock to El heat consumers who will see their bills increase this year anyway.

    Our gas rates decreased by .10 cents per ccf in December...so that was Decembers good news.
    The RH rate AND your WH (OP) rate for electric hot water (if you have electric hot water- I'm assuming you have gas) are going away but they're gonna be phased out. The key to an air source (standard non-geothermal) heat pump is the backup and proper sizing (as is for an air conditioner as well, and MOST are not sized properly. If your heat pump is running continuously something is wrong because your back should kick in either at a preset differential (if the heat pump can't keep up) or at a predetermined outside temperature. The key is using each tool optimally. I always manually switched over from heat pump to gas (actually propane) around the middle of December unless it was unusually mild, and then back around early March to let the system run automatically.

    We just moved and this house has gas and an a/c but when the time comes to replace it I will go hybrid again with a high efficiency heat pump and gas back up. In fact, unless I opt to zone the house I'm probably gonna put in a split ductless heat pump to handle the finished basement which the previous owners didn't properly configure for HVAC and a loft which I'm sure will be blazing hot this Summer. While the cost of Peco electric is increasing a lot, once the discounts go away the alternative suppliers will be more enticing for RH customers and splits are far more efficient than most standard heat pumps so.... And I don't have much choice unless zoing the existing system works out.

  6. #32
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    Jan 2004
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    If your heat pump is running continuously something is wrong because your back should kick in either at a preset differential (if the heat pump can't keep up) or at a predetermined outside temperature.
    Depends how cold it is.
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  7. #33
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    Jan 2011
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    Downingtown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Depends how cold it is.
    haha, yea, of course, but really, no, the heat pump should not be running continuously under any conditions. If it can't acheive the desired temperature the backup should be kicking in at some point whether it's designed for a 3, 4 o5 degree differential, and based on an outside thermostat it should cut over when it gets to whatever that is set for, 30, 25, 20 degrees etc. No heat pump or air conditioner should be running extremely long cycles.

  8. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCap523 View Post
    haha, yea, of course, but really, no, the heat pump should not be running continuously under any conditions. If it can't acheive the desired temperature the backup should be kicking in at some point whether it's designed for a 3, 4 o5 degree differential, and based on an outside thermostat it should cut over when it gets to whatever that is set for, 30, 25, 20 degrees etc. No heat pump or air conditioner should be running extremely long cycles.
    Not 100% correct. Many stats do NOT hold the aux heat on until the set temp is reached. So the heat pump runs continuous. Its extremely long cycles that are the most efficient.

    With electric aux heat. The heat pump should not be turned off, until its COP drops to a point that the defrost cycles may it cost more then the aux heat alone.
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  9. #35
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    Downingtown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Not 100% correct. Many stats do NOT hold the aux heat on until the set temp is reached. So the heat pump runs continuous. Its extremely long cycles that are the most efficient.

    With electric aux heat. The heat pump should not be turned off, until its COP drops to a point that the defrost cycles may it cost more then the aux heat alone.
    Your point is VERY debatable. Steady state motors run more efficiently than cycled motors, but proper cycling of a heat pump or a/c is most efficient, far more efficient that the theoretical steady state. Besides, the point here is why would a heat pump be running constantly. If sized, correctly installed with suitable backup, it shouldn't regardless of outside temp or desired inside temp.

  10. #36
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    Jul 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia Pa.
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    I wrote a reply last night but can't find it on the site now but anyway. The constant run I was referring to would happen when the temp was in the teens and single digits. The heat pump would run and there were times when the aux strips would kick in for a while then shut off while the heat pump continued to run. I think the temp had to drop at least 2 1/2 degrees before the strips came on and after it reached within two degrees the strips would turn off while the hp continued to run. If I remember correctly the heat produced at this time was not quite as hot as if you turned the pump off and just ran at the emergency heat setting(strips only)..but it was hot enough to keep the indoor temp from continuing to fall. At first I thought about turnning the pump off and using emergency heat only ....until one day when using EM heat I saw the electric meter spinning itself crazy. I turned the heat pump back on.

    This was many years ago and I doubt that there was any outside sensor invovled with the system. During these times when the temp was so low I don't remember having that many defrost cycles. These seemed to occur a lot when the temp was in the mid to lower 30's, but once down in the teens I don't remember being bothered by them- the system would indeed be blowing cold air for a minute or two during the defrost. Still I was happy with the sytem.

  11. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCap523 View Post
    Your point is VERY debatable. Steady state motors run more efficiently than cycled motors, but proper cycling of a heat pump or a/c is most efficient, far more efficient that the theoretical steady state. Besides, the point here is why would a heat pump be running constantly. If sized, correctly installed with suitable backup, it shouldn't regardless of outside temp or desired inside temp.
    BS.

    Even the old mercury thermostats had the heat pump running 24/7 at low outdoor temps. And just cycled the aux heat on and off, not the heat pump.

    Some digitals can be set to satisfy the thermostat's heat call, but not many. And they tend to have very short off times in those set ups. So that the heat pump is only off a minute or 2 at low temps.


    Heat pump is sized to the cooling load, not the heating load. So its going to run 24/7 when it gets colder outside.

    I've worked in your area. And heat pumps in your area aren't shutting off when it 20 degrees or lower outside. Lot of them weren't shutting off when it was 25 outside.
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  12. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrod6 View Post
    I wrote a reply last night but can't find it on the site now but anyway. The constant run I was referring to would happen when the temp was in the teens and single digits. The heat pump would run and there were times when the aux strips would kick in for a while then shut off while the heat pump continued to run. I think the temp had to drop at least 2 1/2 degrees before the strips came on and after it reached within two degrees the strips would turn off while the hp continued to run. If I remember correctly the heat produced at this time was not quite as hot as if you turned the pump off and just ran at the emergency heat setting(strips only)..but it was hot enough to keep the indoor temp from continuing to fall. At first I thought about turnning the pump off and using emergency heat only ....until one day when using EM heat I saw the electric meter spinning itself crazy. I turned the heat pump back on.

    This was many years ago and I doubt that there was any outside sensor invovled with the system. During these times when the temp was so low I don't remember having that many defrost cycles. These seemed to occur a lot when the temp was in the mid to lower 30's, but once down in the teens I don't remember being bothered by them- the system would indeed be blowing cold air for a minute or two during the defrost. Still I was happy with the sytem.
    On demand defrost has been around for a long time. So its possible you had an early version of on demand defrost control. Which would not have gone into defrost as often at low temps as it did at higher temps when there was more moisture in the air.
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  13. #39
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    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrod6 View Post
    I wrote a reply last night but can't find it on the site now but anyway. The constant run I was referring to would happen when the temp was in the teens and single digits. The heat pump would run and there were times when the aux strips would kick in for a while then shut off while the heat pump continued to run. I think the temp had to drop at least 2 1/2 degrees before the strips came on and after it reached within two degrees the strips would turn off while the hp continued to run. If I remember correctly the heat produced at this time was not quite as hot as if you turned the pump off and just ran at the emergency heat setting(strips only)..but it was hot enough to keep the indoor temp from continuing to fall. At first I thought about turnning the pump off and using emergency heat only ....until one day when using EM heat I saw the electric meter spinning itself crazy. I turned the heat pump back on.

    This was many years ago and I doubt that there was any outside sensor invovled with the system. During these times when the temp was so low I don't remember having that many defrost cycles. These seemed to occur a lot when the temp was in the mid to lower 30's, but once down in the teens I don't remember being bothered by them- the system would indeed be blowing cold air for a minute or two during the defrost. Still I was happy with the sytem.
    When the auxiliary, or backup kicks in you should feel considerably hotter air than what the heat pump produces. If not, there could be a problem with the backup, especially electric.

    Yes, a common misconception people make about electric resistance heat is that it is "more efficient". Yes, it is, it's 100% fuel efficient meaning there's no heat loss in the process of making heat like there is with fossil fuels, but that doesn't mean it's cheaper to operate, because it's more efficient. An old 70% efficient gas furnace is less costly to run than electric resistance heat (the typical heat pump backup where there's not gas available). For me, what makes heat pumps a dog in the north is the lack of a good back alternative like gas or propane, and where gas is available people seldom think to install a heat pump and optimize their choices. It's a weird thing. I've asked builders how much extra for a heat pump with gas rather than just a/c and they look at me like I'm a Martian. It could be a great marketing tool for them and great for their buyers but they just don't have a clue. Everyone wants to do everything as cheaply as possible without consideration for the longterm cost (and comfort).

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