Hey guys, I am not sure how to handle this situation and could use some advice before I call the water company tomorrow (their office is closed now). So I live in a studio apartment in a large building. I've lived her for 2 years with no issues. My monthly water bill has always been less than $50. Nothing has changed in my water usage of the apartment, but I just got a bill for over $650 from the period of 8/14 through 9/13. This includes a $300 "sewer tax." It says I used 64,119 gallons of water! NOT possible. [more inside]
I have questions about this article which I found after receiving a letter from Exelon, our electric utility, warning of a price hike starting June 2016. What is PJM Interconnection and who controls it? Why are electric bills only rising a few dollars a month if the cost of a megawatt-day will more than double? Have 'ratepayers' been getting a deal until now or are we now overpaying for capacity assurance (is it assured)? Any explanation you can give is appreciated.
A young person moved to Los Angeles two years ago. Said tenant moved out in July of this year. Despite many phone calls and emails, the tenant has never gotten a refund of the security deposit from the LA DWP, and it is now four months later. How do we resolve this issue? [more inside]
I'm wasting a ton of money on my current cell phone/home internet plan. To tighten up, I could pay the cancellation fee to AT&T, and for almost a third the monthly cost, give up the home network and switch to something like ConsumerCellular or (from a comparison website) T-Mobile's Simple Starter plan (600 minutes, 500 messages, 2GB; data pass available for unexpected overage; I can keep my iPhone 4). Roaming is not a big issue. [more inside]
My landlords (a lovely 60-something couple who we like and who like us and with whom we have multiple acquaintances) are staying at their/our house for 1.5 weeks while we are on vacation. Can I ask them to knock a few bucks off that month's rent and not be an asshole? [more inside]
I live in the SF Bay area and I'm thinking about moving to colder climates at some point, but for various reasons I can't handle a cold ambient temperature inside my home, even if I bundle up. In colder areas (specifically New England and the Midwest), how easy/possible is it to find apartments that are well-heated (perhaps buildings with a whole-building radiator system?) or other situations where I can have a warm (68-70 degree) home without paying through the nose for utilities? [more inside]
I would like to cancel my natural gas service this summer. Last year, I didn't use any natural gas during June-August. I have a gas furnace and also a gas stove/fireplace. I do not have a hot water heater since that's supplied by the building. I don't cook or use the fireplace. [more inside]
I bought a house, yay. The cable company won't serve me, boo. Why not? They say I have no legal path to get from their utility pole to my lot. The property owner next door is willing to give me permission to cross his lot but balked at an easement. What can I do? (Picture contained within.) [more inside]
Help me understand why the energy company seems to (somewhat randomly) choose to estimate my energy usage rather than billing me for actual usage. [more inside]
is this ConEd solutions on the level, as providing more eco-friendly electricity than my regular Con Edison provider? What are the pros and cons? The agent who is trying to sell me this says my bill will go up a little. This is for residential usage in New York City. Any experience or information on this is much appreciated.
What is this type of heating unit? There are two of them in a 600 sq. ft condo I am thinking of purchasing. The listing says it is "Other/Electric." I have only ever seen something like this in a hotel. My memory of them, is that they are finicky and imprecise! I am afraid that the bills are going to get out of control. What kind of utilities might I see from such a thing? Second floor of a low-rise condo, with outside shared hallways. Toronto, so, winter. (The current owner's bills are supposedly inaccurate because they had a newborn, and were keeping it cranked up.) It's helping me decide whether I can afford this condo. (It's by the beach!) Other photos.
I'm interested in purchasing electricity that comes 100 percent from renewables. I need to understand the costs, but I'm confused. Help me understand the cost of purchasing electricity from renewable sources. [more inside]
I know that system optimizing/maintenance programs for Mac OS X are 90% pointless/useless, but I nevertheless get a pathological thrill out of using them. A person has to have hobbies. There are some pretty crazy ones on the Windows side, with all kinds of "program accelerators" and the like, but the ones I've used on OS X haven't been all that satisfying. Is there a program (paid or free) for OS X that's as insanely anal-retentive as System Mechanic Pro or TuneUp Utilities on Windows? I have used Onyx, Cocktail, iBoost, Magican, and Applejack. It doesn't have to actually accomplish anything -- it can even hose my system for all I care -- it just has to be crazily elaborate.
We've had PG&E SmartMeters installed at our building for awhile, and our landlord is very concerned about the health risks and surveillance risks he believes they pose. He's sent us a bunch of "literature" to read and it all reads like wackadoodle conspiracy theories with no basis in science, as does everything else I've found online. As easy as it is to just roll my eyes and dismiss his concerns, I feel like I should make a good faith attempt to discover if there's really anything to be concerned about. Are there any good, reality-based reasons to be anti-SmartMeter? Any science-based studies from reliable sources on their safety? Any well-thought-out articles on the subject that don't include the phrases "molecular earthquakes" or "like hundreds of cell phones being on at the same time"? Help a skeptic out!
Getting a Nexus 7 tomorrow. I need good review sources for Android app reviews: both games and utilities. [more inside]
My roommate situation is becoming untenable. Should I ride out the storm or leave? What is the best way to bail? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
How to deal a money issue with roommate who has just moved out- never contributed to household cleaning/supplies and did not clean after moving out their things. [more inside]
A Mac app in which I want to force-hide the top menu bars and bottom status bar (not possible natively within the app): what third-party utilities or UI-hacking tools could help? [more inside]
I'm working on the business plan for a "Maker Space" we're trying to start in Rochester NY. I'm trying to estimate utility costs (heating, cooling & basic lighting) for different size spaces (5,000, 10,000 & 20,000 square feet) that we might rent. I know that asking what you pay may not be too helpful because utility rates, climate, building construction and use can vary greatly. But that's what I'm asking -- how big is your building or rental space and how much do you pay on the average each month for utilities? I'd also like to know if there's a good rule of thumb to use or if there is some other way to find out what we need to know.
Roommate has lied about paying her share of the bills and has not paid last month's bills. She's been unreasonable and refuses to talk about bills. Her lease ends in 3 days. She owes hundreds of dollars. Can we pursue legal recourse? (part of the lease posted inside) [more inside]
Hooray! I got my employers' approval to get some electrical work we've badly needed for a long time in our lab/office suite done. I have no word-of-mouth recommendations of local electricians to go on, so I'm checking around online and trying to get quotes. As such, I have a few questions on how to most effectively screen for quality, recognize a fair price for the work, and deal with the etiquette aspects of the quoting process. [more inside]
I am considering changing my electricity provider and I have never done this before. What I want to know are what things should be considered before making a switch such as this. My basics reasons are cost and that Comed, the local provider has treated me like crap over the years and I am tired of their corporate doublespeak and crappy service. [more inside]
What are my options for broadband residential internet in Seattle? [more inside]
I need to be as efficient as possible when using Windows 7, using Office, browsing with Firefox / Chrome, working with files, etc. etc. What are your best tips for being a Windows speed demon? Answers to this question will include keyboard shortcuts, utilities, how you use your taskbar, command-line, whatever. I am looking for how you get the most out of Windows.
What is the purpose of these yellow, columnar, pointy-topped utility structures found frequently on the streets of St Louis: [ex. 01 [gmap] || ex. 02 [gmap] || detail]? [more inside]
How much are your Con Ed bills? Help me work through some issues with my electricity bill in NYC. [more inside]
Are utility company "level payment plans" worth it, or are they a scam? [more inside]
Who should I call, if at all, to get a water meter installed? Our new condo didn't come with one, I have heard it normally sits on top of the hot water heater, and there is nothing there. I got a letter from the water company to the effect that since we don't have one we are being charged a 'high' flat rate in lieu of it. [more inside]
System/network/desktop admins, what tools and utilities do you keep in your virtual toolbox? [more inside]
I live in a house shared amongst 10 tenants, including 2 children, aged 12 and 8. We're trying to figure out a fair way to divide electricity/gas/water bills. Specifically, how much less utilities should the children be charged for, and until which age? [more inside]
Is there a way to estimate the cost of utilities (heat, electricity) in a given city or region? [more inside]
What is the best way to copy files out of a 140 GB dmg file from an external USB drive that is a backup from a previous Mac? [more inside]
I know New York housing laws mandate that landlords keep apartments heated under certain conditions--does this mean they must keep the apartment at that heat, or does it mean that they have to make a heating option available? [more inside]
Where can I find clear information about setting up utilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? [more inside]
Help me figure out whether the landlord is really paying for my heat. [more inside]
Is there a utility that runs on Windows XP that will give an on-screen notification when the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Insert keys are pressed? [more inside]
Water company is about to chase me for money - it's their fault they didn't contact me about this for a year. Is my strategy for negotiating this issue sensible? [more inside]
What is a fair way to estimate, over an entire year, the proportion of an electrical bill that is being used for electrical heating? (Previously) [more inside]
Apartment is without water until July 6th due to circumstances described below. What kind of compensation should I ask my landlord for? [more inside]
Vancouver BC Rental Agreement: Heat and Hot Water included. Or is it? [more inside]
My internet access is driving me crazy. Sometimes pages load and sometimes they don't. Https pages seem to be particularly inconsistent. I recently had to buy a new Zoom DSL modem which has a Linksys wireless router and Vonage running out of the back of it. What tools and troubleshooting techniques can I use to trace down the problem? I have performed an infinite ping on google and the connection is consistently up. My Bittorrent downloads are working just fine. My Vonage which is plugged into the back of the DSL modem is working just fine. Sometimes I can get Gmail, sometimes I can't. Help me track down this problem before I go and buy a new modem / router combo. Help me become a wireless / connectivity sleuth.
If an event of apocalyptic proportions were to occur, which services would shut down first? [more inside]
Who should pay what among a group of renters, subletters, and others for a summer? [more inside]
When did electricity and indoor plumbing first become widespread and commonplace in even the poorest urban first world homes, in the same way that owning a television is unremarkable now? (Obviously rural communities took longer to acquire utilities.)
As a Texas landlord, was it my responsibility to make sure my tenants knew about turning on the gas? [more inside]
Did my downstairs neighbor break my gas bill? Or does the meter reader need glasses? [more inside]
Does a tool exist for Mac OS X--either GUI or command-line--that can churn through a folders (or entire drive) worth of video files and detect which files are corrupted and non-playable? [more inside]
My desktop crashed, and won't boot windows xp from the hard drive. I managed to get into BIOS and set it to boot from the CD drive, and got a live session of ubuntu 8.10 running. I tried to mount the hard drive in ubuntu, but to no avail. Is there some sort of utility that ubuntu can run to look at or diagnose my hard drive? [more inside]
My landlord pays the water bill for my apartment complex. Today the water was shut off in the middle of the day. When I called the water company, they said that the complex was shut off due to non-payment. Are there any legal requirements about notice or use of rental fees by the property management? [more inside]
Is it common to remove a utility pole but leave a small chunk of it still in use twenty feet up? [more inside]