View Full Version : How much does your electric run?

08-06-2013, 02:58 PM
I've had my boat for nearly 2 years at the same marina. All this time, they've had a series of funky issues that for one reason or another we've never received a legit electric bill. Over this time, I've probably only received 3 or 4 bills which varried from $6 to $20. There were many many months where they never even billed me! This not only affects me, but most of the slip renters on my entire dock. Finally, the marina has wised up to the issue and is trying to fix it. They've hired some knuckle dragger that knows a thing or 2 about electric work and he's supposedly fixing things. He worked on my power pole 2 times to no avail. The 3rd time, he gutted the tower and replaced all the innerds with new stuff. From that moment, my meter started running. 2 weeks later, 2 WEEKS, I got a $90 electric bill for only 2 WEEKS! I'm not a live-a-board and leave my A/C on 85 degrees when not there. Only other things running are my float charger for my inverter battery bank and my full size Kenmore fridge. I think this is crazy. I told them I'm not paying it b/c this repair guys clearly doesn't know how to fix this meter. Additionally, my neighbor on the same pole as I am had a monthly bill for only $3!

What's your typical electric bill run each month for your boat and how often are you on it at that rate?

08-06-2013, 06:13 PM
My electric avgs about $60 a month.

08-06-2013, 07:07 PM
$265 a season with an ac unit. $90 without AC. That also includes water.

Miller Tyme
08-06-2013, 08:29 PM
If it was hot I would believe it, I shut my AC down when we are not there so mine mostly runs weekends (friday evening-Sunday) and my monthly bill is 70+. Try turn the AC off when you are not there.

08-07-2013, 07:39 AM
Houseboats aren't that well insulated so the A/C bill could be higher than you expect. I know that on the few days that I turn mine on, it makes a noticeable bump in my household bill.

The only way I know to check for sure though is to install an in-line meter of your own and compare it against the marina's meter.

08-08-2013, 03:03 AM
our dock rent is only 30$ per foot per season and includes water,electric,trash p/u.....pretty good deal.

Frantically Relaxing
08-14-2013, 10:56 PM
I installed my own power meter on April 2nd this year. Unfortunately we only see the boat on weekends, usually from around 3pm Saturday to 9pm Sunday night. We've been there every weekend but one (over the 4th), and we got there one Friday evening (big whoop)...

I have one of those 'bigger' small fridges, not the tiny one but the next size up, plus a drink fridge that's about the same size, plus an RV fridge- they're all running on electric all the time. While we're there the TV and Dish box is on non-stop, as is the coffee maker. When it's hot out, the RV type roof AC is running. (We just replaced the old Coleman with Dometic 2 weeks ago), plus we have a 5000 btu AC unit in the bedroom window, and it runs all day AND night. As for lights, we usually have about a half dozen 14 watt florescent's running. And, we have a portable ice maker going about half the time we're there. The rest is just 'incidental' use, like the microwave and bedroom TV at night...

Last weekend our power meter said 1497 kw-- That's all the power we've used since April. We have an engraving business in our house, and we go thru 2400 kw every month. (The cops would probably think we're growing weed except for the fact that we make their name badges!) 1500 kw for 4 months of weekend use plus 3 fridges running 24-7, I feel that's not bad at all. From checking various light bills around here, power costs an average of 9 cents per kw, which is exactly what we pay our harbor owner, so our 4 months has cost us $135 total. Not bad, and we always got cold food an beverage waiting for us!

08-15-2013, 08:50 AM
Just got August's bill yesterday for $55. We were only there on the weekends again and left the 3.5 ton A/C set on 85.

How difficult would it be for me it to set up my own monitor on my power pole?

08-15-2013, 09:32 AM
Should be simple enough though I wouldn't put it on the pole unless it's YOUR pole as opposed to the marina's. I'd get a short dock cable, a meter, and a meter box. Cut the cable in two, connect the meter box and plug in the meter (you might want an electrician). Plug in the cable and record the readings on both meters. Come back in a few days and read 'em again.

Once you've determined what you need to know, keep it for future use or lend/sell it to your dock mates.

Frantically Relaxing
08-20-2013, 09:25 PM
Here's the meter I used, easy to connect and works great--


EKM has many types, this is a basic 220v meter-- each hot is fed thru a thru hole, there are screws under the cover that pierce the sheathing and contact the wire, when power is applied the meter turns on and keeps track. Goes to 100,000 kw hours, no way to reset, and has a 10 year memory when not in use. And for those who miss the turning wheel in power meters to "watch" how much power you're using, this thing has a red LED that blinks every 1/800 of a kilowatt; every 8 blinks ticks off another .01 kw... With both our AC's going, it blinks about once every 2 to 3 seconds.

I found out our digital home meter also has a blinking light, but you can't see it because it's infrared. I just installed some security cameras last night with night vision, and dammed if the top of the meter wasn't blinking! And FAST too-- I have an egraving business in the basement. I also found out that the old home AC unit pretty much doubled the speed of the blinking when it kicked on! No wonder my summer power bills are over $400...

08-21-2013, 11:03 AM
Sometimes I wish we have meters. Our electric is included in our crazy high slip fees. The good news, is my boat is always a cool 70 degrees when I get there. :)

09-09-2013, 07:13 PM
what many don't understand is the majority of marina's buy there power from the local power company at a "commercial rate", the more they use the more they are charged for there electricity . Do you have a clue where all they us there electricity, every thing the marina owns from rentals units HB's, cabins, dock stores, restaurant,, camp grounds, all these are power drains, at some point it is then sent out to the dock pedestal where your billed at a kw rate based on what the marina total use is, (rate is the key word) thus the more business they do the more it cost you .... the more that dock has to buy from the power company the higher your rate.....so you take your boat out every wk end, those days your not using any power but the marina is, so while your dock buddies are staying on the dock with hot tubes ac going ..... we that are out are paying more for our electricity Now if you get an ele bill from the power company none of this applies,