This is a mystery that has been plaguing me for over 5 years. I own a house (about 1500 sq. feet) in a mid-Atlantic state that I rent to a family (mother and 4 kids). The house used to be a two-unit apartment building, which we converted to a single family home. The house was a total gut-job. The house is all-electric (water heater, HVAC, washer and dryer, stove, etc). Because it used to be a two-unit apartment, it used to have two separate meters and the electric company still has us listed as having unit A and unit B in their computer. According to the contractor, we only use the electrical connection to unit A and capped off the electrical connection to unit B. There is only one electric meter on the building now. The family that occupies the house right now is complaining about 5 figure electric bills. The last winter bill they received was a whopping $1,200 (for a one month period) and they just got their August bill and it was $1000! Iíve had three different electricians come to the house and they all give the electrical system a clean bill of health.
Before the tenants moved into the house, I did some minor renovation work in the house. I came in for two days, and the bill for that month was $100!! I spend that much a month for my own home. Also, the person who renovated the house did a shoddy job (we found out later that the tub drain wasnít even connected to the sewer pipe - that was fun cleaining up the mess in the crawl space), so I have no confidence that the house was constructed the right way, and I have a suspicious feeling that something is not right with the electricity. Also, the tenants suspect that the energy eater is the HVAC system (it is a heat pump), and according to the HVAC technician, it is in good working order. Could one HVAC system suck up that much energy?
Iíve been doing some reading on the web and saw some articles on exposed wires that were never disconnected, improper connection to the electrical circuit that could leak electricity, etc. etc. I keep calling the electric company and they send out technicians out there, and each time, I get a report saying that everything is working properly. I will be hiring another electrician to do a thorough inspection of the electrical system. I know there is something wrong and want to make sure that the electrician is doing a proper job with the inspection. Can you all give me some advice on what to look for? Do we need to tear down walls/ceilings to do a thorough inspection? Or would looking at the electrical box and the outside connection be sufficient? Could it be that the electric company is charging the tenants for both Unit A and Unit B? This is the second sets of tenants that Iím losing because of the high bills. Can someone help?