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Old 05-24-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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Cost of electrical power

I'm in the electrical power industry, so I thought I'd calculate the cost of electrity with the various ways we (as boaters) have of making or buying it.
On the self-generation side, this ONLY includes fuel. Not capital, or any other operation expense. I also tailored this for Bahamas/caribbean and US power in FL and here at my house in NY.

fuel $/kWh


Grand Bahama utility $0.22
Carib/other Bahama utility $0.32
9kw Northern lights, .93 gph US- marina diesel $2.33/g $0.26
Lucaya- marina diesel $3.72/g $0.41
16kW Generac, 3.2 gph US propane $2.8/g $0.56
16kW Generac, 312 cfph US nat gas $13/kcf $0.25
FPL utility various $0.10
FEC utility hydro $0.05

Honda 2kW portable, .28 gph US road gas $2.40/g $0.42
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:31 PM   #2
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Great Harbour Cay Marina. $0.75/kw
Bimini Bluewater Marina for 42' boat. $15/day fixed
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:07 PM   #3
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As you note, your analysis only considers the variable fuel cost. To run a diesel genset on board, the cost goes up ten fold if you add capital and maintenance costs, depending on how many hours each year you run it.

Solar is almost totally capital costs, and can be reasonable if you are a full time cruiser and use most of what the sun generates.

And I am not surprised that a natural gas fueled generator is one of the cheapest self generated power sources. Nat gas is the cheapest fuel cost per btu, about half the cost of diesel.

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Old 05-24-2017, 01:33 PM   #4
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This is very interesting, thank you for sharing.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Our electric power costs us $.0673/kwh. Probably among the lowest in the US thanks to the dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers and the nuclear generating station just north of town
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:20 PM   #6
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I'm paying 0.0369 $/kWh at the house, in the summer with a $4.22 fixed monthly charge.

Cat Cay dockside metered is 0.92 $/kWh.
In my limited survey, they are my extremes.

I'm not in a postition to brag, though. My winter propane bill is killer.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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A few days ago we stayed a night in Pelican, AK. It's a boardwalk community of maybe 100 year round residents. There are no car, just ATVs and the like. Moorage for our boat was $42/ night, and 50A power was $52/ night. Had I checked the cost in advance, I would have just run like at anchor for maybe $5-$10.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:06 PM   #8
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It's a common business practice in nearly every business today to charge your basic fee and then.....

Then add on. I expect to pay for electricity. However, I feel like it shouldn't be their high profit item, the slip should be. Yet, it's a common business practice and I just go along. Marina pays $.06/kwh and charges you $.22/kwh.

Look at air travel now. Everything extra. Baggage, meals, now even seat assignment. I knew someone who didn't pay much attention and recently selected their seat without realizing there was a $50 charge.

Hotels. Oh, this one "Resort Fees." You're in a hotel at a resort. Why don't they know that and include it in the rate? They don't give you a choice to not use the resort. Even on Wifi, you have a choice. Now, every hotel in Vegas charges a resort fee. Special $149/night (hidden $30/night resort fee). And one that I only saw recently, an early check-in fee. Yes, normal check-in at 3, check-out at noon. Many people check out at 8:00 so obviously between 8 and 3 some rooms become available. But now, you arrive at 1:00 and check in and they charge you a $20 fee to go on into the room you'd get at 3:00 and for which they're doing nothing more to. A fee for using the safe inside your room.

Cell phone and cable companies quoting low prices but adding fees.

Why should an unlisted phone number cost more?

Money magazine called fees the mosquitoes of your financial life.

Oh and be careful on grocery delivery. Fees vary plus hidden fees. Some charge small fees, but they don't give you the weekly specials so you pay more for food. Oh, and Amazon Prime. The prices are inflated often enough to cover your "free shipping."

You're captive and you're pretty much stuck. At each marina you think "it's just for one night" except one night at 50 marinas is 50 nights.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:10 PM   #9
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I hear you. I want to start charging a Customer Access Fee. That's my fee for allowing access to me as a customer. I'm also considering a processing fee for payments that I make. Two can play this game.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post

Then add on. I expect to pay for electricity. However, I feel like it shouldn't be their high profit item, the slip should be. Yet, it's a common business practice and I just go along. Marina pays $.06/kwh and charges you $.22/kwh.

I get your point, but I would imagine that the charge per kWh is the least expensive part of providing power at a marina. You would have a better idea than I but capitol costs, maintenance etc... probably add up to more than the power bill.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:03 PM   #11
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I get your point, but I would imagine that the charge per kWh is the least expensive part of providing power at a marina. You would have a better idea than I but capitol costs, maintenance etc... probably add up to more than the power bill.
Yes, it is, which is all the more reason not to overcharge for it. If you're paying 7 cents, I have no problem with you charging 12. In fact, i have no problem with you keystone pricing at double your cost of product. Triple and more bothers me. If you're charging too little for your docks, then adjust that. I know I'm the minority too but I would rather pay more for the primary product and not taken advantage of on add-ons.

The cost of land and then of building the docks is the big cost plus the cost of getting fuel set up. Annual operating costs of successful marinas is moderate. The biggest challenge for marinas is that it's a seasonal business. If you have borrowed to pay for the build, then off season can be deadly. Then the real risk of weather. Plus insurance is high, if properly insured including business interruption.

Marinas are too subject to weather conditions that don't damage the marina at all, but just have a severe impact on boating in peak season. There were a lot of marinas hurt badly by Matthew that had no damage from the hurricane. Then also very subject to economic swings. Most marinas in the country have 3 months of peak season and as many as three other months of limited weekend boating. When your season is three months, then three bad weeks really hurts.
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