Submitted by NeatLeft t3_zzw15i in baltimore

Just moved to the Hampden/Medfield neighborhood over the summer. And have been blown away with the heating bills of this houses.

November was over $450 and December is projecting to be over $625…

We keep the house lowish, around 60°-65°. It’s a single standing 3BR house under 2000sqft. It’s old (1920’s) with no insulation other than the plaster walls. And radiator heat (I thought radiator heat was the most efficient… )!

Anyone else in 21209 zip pay this much? Especially with a similar style house? This is also just winter billing, Summer & Fall were fine.



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dcdave3605 t1_j2dz800 wrote

You need insulation. Fill up the attic.

Then start caulking any crack on your exterior walls. If you have old windows, the seals are probably bad, so fix that. Cheap fix is to use window sheeting (plastic sheet that you put over windows and use a hair dryer to seal).

If you have a unfinished/open basement, your flooring could be letting that cool air in, so insulate. Pretty much seal any possible air gap on the exterior.

Then clean your air filters if you have HVAC. If it's just radiators, make sure they are working properly. Wear blankets and extra layers.
Ask Bge to come do an energy audit including finding out if you have a gas leak or electricity being used somewhere it shouldnt (including theft by neighbors).

Bge raised rates quite a bit this year for delivery, not supply. So yes it's expensive. If you are lower income or have periods of the year where you are lower income for a 30 day period, apply for energy assistance (OHEP). If you qualify Maryland has heating and electric grants to help pay bills. The average benefit is $500 per year. But there are many grants.

Links to OHEP:


Provide all documentation needed all at once with the application, Not separately. This will ensure the case is processed quickly and items not scattered.

If you have back water or sewer bills, also look at grants for that (can apply on same above page).

If you need to make major home repairs go here for grant funding:


engin__r t1_j2eotle wrote

Also make sure to do the home energy audit before you start spending lots of money on insulation. They’ll go around and take a look at what you need, and you can get rebates because of it.


Ok_Spray_2317 t1_j2dvoy3 wrote

Yes, ours has been that high this winter- insulation plays a big part- we have old windows and lose a lot of heat that way. I think prices are just higher this winter too with inflation.


NeatLeft OP t1_j2dw446 wrote

Do you have oil or radiator heat?


fakewallpaper t1_j2exbie wrote

That is a confusing question. Some radiators are oil fueled. Just like some radiators are water and some are steam.


im_that_person t1_j2e4926 wrote

I have a similar sized house and also no wall insulation (do have attic insulation). Gas radiator heat. Our bill is projected to be $600.

So you’re not alone. When I compare our gas usage to last year, we’re actually using a bit less, but rates have gone up a lot. We also keep it set to ~64, but with as cold as it was recently, the boiler was basically running nonstop.

Have a few older windows and some door seals that should be replaced, but still, $600+ in a month is crazy. I’m also considering the budget billing that someone else mentioned, but wish I would have done that sooner


Killbot_Wants_Hug t1_j2e6x0x wrote

Mines projected to be $800+ this month. I don't know that it's really going to be that expensive though. The cold snap is over and I think it was projecting that based on that week's usage which was unusually high.

Also don't know that budget billing really helps. You don't end up paying less. They just charge you what they think you'll average out to have. Then if you're over you'll get a huge bill later. At least that's my understanding. Seems much worse for budgeting to me.


ASK_ME_AB0UT_L00M t1_j2frdtz wrote

>You don't end up paying less.

Correct. Your costs are smoothed over a 12-month window so that you pay the same amount each month.

> They just charge you what they think you'll average out to have. Then if you're over you'll get a huge bill later.

You don't get a huge bill later. It rebalances once per year and your rate will go up or down based on prior usage. The idea of "budget" billing is less about reducing your bill and is more about making your bill the same every month so you can count on it as a fixed expense.


mindblowningshit t1_j2dyd67 wrote

November bill was between $$420 and $460 ( i cant rememeber how much exactly) I weeped so bad because this is downright unaffordable 😫. And I thought it was because I have to use space heaters since the house is old, the oil tank needs over $1000 in repair, plus oil is expensive right now. Also the house is a standard baltimore row home about 1100 sq ft.


Killbot_Wants_Hug t1_j2e6cle wrote

I think space heaters are a really expensive way to heat your house. My bge bill is nearly $500 but my house is 2-3 times your house in sqft. Most of my heating is gas.

Mine isn't an end unit, so that helps keep costs down, not sure where yours is.


pinkycatcher t1_j2e8z6z wrote

It depends, they can be really efficient if the only place you're heating is the room you're in. Electric blankets can be more efficient.

With that said, when it gets cold cold, make sure you're heating your whole house so you don't freeze pipes.


Killbot_Wants_Hug t1_j2ffvvq wrote

It can be more efficient to heat just one room in your house. But they said they're using multiple. Per BTU an electric space heater is going to cost you more than using gas heating.


pinkycatcher t1_j2fga9r wrote

Depends on what they mean by multiple. I personally would say multiple to say I have one in a few rooms to not carry around versus multiple on at the same time


godlords t1_j2ebt3s wrote

Insulation will pay for itself within a few years at most. You need to get it done ASAP. If you want to do it cheap as possible, hit me up.


danielballan t1_j2emf1e wrote

Offering a point of reference: my insulated free-standing radiator-heated 1200-foot 1920s Medfield house, kept at about 66F, cost $180 in December and $330 in December. Insulation seems to be helping us out a lot.


IncidentNo4550 t1_j2fmfvu wrote

I'm not in Hampden. I'm in 21218. But for comparison, I have a 1344 square foot rowhouse (not end of group), and have been here 13.5 years. My highest BGE bill was $291.97 in July 2020. The average has been just under $135. The bill I got last week was $145.23, and my next one (which will include the recent cold snap) is currently projected to be $197. I honestly couldn't imagine paying two to three times as much.


atomlinson89 t1_j2dz8wb wrote

I've found wrapping your windows helps slightly. Not going to drop your costs way down but it does help. You can also go to the BGE plan where it averages your costs each year for the last several years and then divided by 12 so you pay a standard bill each month.


PrincessBirthday t1_j2eu1hh wrote

I'm nearby in a similar house situation. We kept it at 53 last month and froze our asses off in the cold snap. Still $420. I want a tax relief like we did for the gas prices, it's insane!!


ElevatorNo7156 t1_j2dzjcw wrote

Mine was $325 for 3 bedroom rancher in Rosedale. Nothing like yours but still very expensive


Willothwisp2303 t1_j2e1qun wrote

My God. This is what we pay in the worst months in a 3,000 Sq ft house with all electric everything with an EV charging.

I guess I need to recommend the insulated house siding. Even when our electricity went out last week in the 3 degree weather, it only got down to 58 inside after 11 hours.


moderndukes t1_j2emdt2 wrote

Remember that we had a few days where the low was 0 - so yeah you kept the temp relatively low at 60 but that’s still your radiator trying to heat ~20k cubic feet of air up 60 degrees; it’s like if it was 30 degrees and you were cranking it to 90. It was bound to be an expensive month.

That all being said, insulation is def something that’s easy to do that and pays for itself quickly. Def do the audit with BGE beforehand where someone comes to your home and runs diagnostics on it to find where heat is escaping - that’ll help you a lot in figuring out where to focus on. Also consider Budget Billing.


Inner_Tadpole_7537 t1_j2ezdc0 wrote

Make sure all your radiators are working properly. You need to bleed the air out from time to time. They have small valves on the side. Also insulation sleeves work really well over the exposed pipes.


B0skonovitch t1_j2f7r9b wrote

So I see these giant bills and they kinda scare me due to things already being tight elsewhere bill wise. I've been on budget billing for 2 years now and my bill is a flat 225 every month. When I get my paper copy it breaks down gas and electric $ each month and I'm almost always in the 170-190 range. Makes me wonder if I dropped budget would I be paying less due to what I use? Or would it potentially skyrocket too? I've been keeping a close eye on each bill now that we're in winter inhopes of seeing that make my gas will go up usage wise and that's why I seem to pay more the rest of the year? If it doesn't than should I drop budget? Totally confused, lol. Thanks for letting me rant.

Baltimore county, radiant heat winter, a/c cooling summer.


SeaworthinessFit2151 t1_j2etimr wrote

Bge adjusted yearly plan. Our house is 1900 sqft of leaky 200 year old row house and it’s never been more then $250 a month averaged.


LDJ4 t1_j2eg2ba wrote

My bill has almost doubled this year and Im in a 1 bedroom apt. It also worries me because we haven't even gotten in the thick of the winter yet.