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Old electricity rates

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KL7AJ, Jun 26, 2020.

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  1. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There have been a lot of comparisons of rig costs now, compared to say, the 1950s. But I wonder if anyone's done a comparison on the cost of electricity (adjusted for inflation, of course) for the 1950s. It seems a LOT of hams were running 1KW AM stations.....continually. I can't imagine what the electric bills were..when I think of what I pay. Does anyone have any meaningful benchmarks?
    Just wond'rin.
    Eric the Old
    K1OIK likes this.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

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  3. K4PIH

    K4PIH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bring me some fresh electricity!
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  4. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    When we moved into my wife's parents house some 35 years ago I found in an old filing cabinet some electric bills going back to 1952. As I recall they were around $10 dollars. I'm sure that as frugal as they were there was a minimal amount of KWh but still... under $10 a month including taxes and service fees.

    My bill probably averages about $150 a month or there about. I'm CERTAIN that we use at least 5 X the KWh that they used. So how's that math work out?

    150 / 5 = 30 for the same KWh ? That simply can't be correct.

    It clearly went up more than triple since the early 50s.

    OK, maybe not THAT far off. Maybe we don't use 5X the KWh they did?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  5. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

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  6. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did it say what the rate/kwh was back then?
  7. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I seem to recall monthly electric bills in the '50s of around $15.00 and heating oil in the 12 to 15 cents per gallon range. The weekly grocery store bill for 4 people around $20.00 or less. I think my Dad made in the vicinity of $70.00 a week.
  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A bit off topic, but way back when we moved from Ohio to Ky and got on TVA power the price went WAY down.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
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  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very cool. Well I see the average has dropped by about 30%.
    Isn't that when y'all upgraded from mule-driven generators?
  10. NG1H

    NG1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the 1950's your average middle class house had 100 amp service. They didn't have a clothes dryer. The range and water heater were likely gas. They had one TV. The only high current item was possibly air conditioning. And even that was a maybe. Even in the deep south a lot of new homes were built with attic fans. A 3-4X power usage today compared to 1950 would not be unreasonable.

    Kind of wandering a tad OT but most people don't understand just how much things have changed even since the 70's. In 1970 the median household in the US had:

    1 car
    Still no clothes dryer
    1 TV and it was B&W
    Lived in a house under 1200 SF
    No microwave or any other kitchen appliances other than a blender

    Some things have changed quite a bit for the better in the intervening years.

    NK2U, KA0HCP, W0FS and 2 others like this.

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