Open Forum

Cost of water and gas per load

  • 1.  Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-11-2015 18:10

    is there a general range of what the cost of water and gas would be for one load of wash?   assuming a load is approx. 10 lbs. I realize this would depend on the type and age of the equipment but trying to get a general sense.  I know water is usually billed on a cubic foot basis and gas is bill by therm.  electricity I know would be harder to determine since it a lot of it would go to the lighting.

    any feedback greatly appreciated.

    thank you,

    john learned

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    John Learned
    Store Owner
    Buena Coin Laundry
    Ventura CA
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  • 2.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-11-2015 18:17

    John,

    Since we know that utilities as a percent of gross sales can run from 10 - 30 percent; simply take the vend price of the washer and multiply it by 20%.  This would give you an idea of what one turn of that washer pays for its share of all the utilities for the building including the lights, heating, etc.

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    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
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  • 3.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 12:14

    My Utilities cost are 35% ... the DWP raised water prices to 5.02 per HCF vs 3.73 just 24months ago

    and sewer price per HCF was raised from 3.27 to 3.73 per HCF

    Equipment Mix

    16 Speed Queen Toploaders $1.75

    11 Speed Queen 18lb front loaders from 90s or early 2000 $2.25

    12 Speed Queen Super 20s  $3.25

    8 Speed Queen 30lb $3.50

    2 Milnor 35lb from 1986 $3.50  (I want to raise the price to $4.00 but don't know how )

    4 Speed Queen 50lb 4.75

    34 Slimline Speed Queen dryers $1.00 = 32mins

    4 Speed Queen 50lb stack dryers $1.00 = 28mins


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    Zee Nadir
    Other
    Pacoima CA
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  • 4.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 14:48

    Zee,

    I see your water rate went up 35% over the past 24 months but are you saying your total utilities are running 35% of your total gross sales?  If that's the case, you need to raise some prices or sell the business before your profit line goes any lower.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 5.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 16:20

    Larry,

    How worried should you be if your utilities are over 35%? Last month was 37% and this was with my price increase.  Also dose that percentage vary with the different seasons or should it 25% or lower no matter what month it is?



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    Paul Jacobs
    Store Owner
    Port Huron MI
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  • 6.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 17:44

    Paul,

    Utilities do vary by season.  For example, air conditioning costs raise my electric bill about $900 per month during the hottest summer months.  Heating/cooling costs are minimal in the spring and fall.

    The definitive question is, when you divide total annual utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer) by total annual sales; what number do you get?  I get 0.13 which is 13%. 

    If I were you, I'd be trying to figure out why your utilities are at 35+%.  Maybe you have too many baths in every turn.  Maybe you have dryers pulling air from the customer area.  Maybe your equipment is old and inefficient.  Maybe your lighting is inefficient.  Maybe your neighbor has an extension cord running from your exterior outlet to his garage.  Something is wrong somewhere.


    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 7.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 18:00

    Larry,

    I came up with .32 or 32% for the year. Looks like I got some homework to do this weekend.

    Thanks for the input.



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    Paul Jacobs
    Store Owner
    Port Huron MI
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  • 8.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-12-2015 18:06

    Paul,

    Yes you do.  I wouldn't be happy with that ratio.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 9.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 12:28

    Paul,

    Your vend prices are way too low.  Let me shine some light on this case from a different direction.

    If for a Laundromat the normal utilities are suppose to be 20-25% of your gross self service income and you are paying 35% of your gross income to utilities; where does this extra money come from to pay the utilities?  It come out of your pocket.  You are give away your hard earned profit to pay the utility company.  You are in effect giving your customers a discount on their washer & drys but you aren't getting any benefit from the discount.  If you were marketing your store with Free Dryers or discounted washers then at least you are trying to drive more business to your Laundromat and you are getting recognition for your discounted prices.  But to have utilities in the 30% range is just crazy.

    I had an experience in one of my laundromats where the water company raised my water rates by 42% without any notice to the public.  I noticed that I was paying $4000 more for the same amount of water.  I raised my prices.  I posted a nice note for my customers and explained the reason for the price increase, but if the local water company is raising their prices, should I swallow the price increase at the expense of my profit?  We all purchased Laundromats to make money.  I fell bad for my customers, but not bad enough to subsidize their washes.

    I have written numerous articles about raising vend prices and I believe that our (collective) in-ability to raise washer & dryer vend prices is the biggest problem facing our industry.  The articles on price increases were featured in American Coin-op.  The in-ability to raise our Laundromat's vend price is a bigger problem than any other we face in operating Laundromat.  Bigger than competition, bad distributors, homeless sleeping in Laundromats, thefts or over heating dryers...

    For a 3 part article on when to recognize you need to raise your prices, to actually raising your prices with a minimum of push back and then the required work after your price increase; go to the attached links.

    http://www.hklaundry.com/articles/1-is-now-the-time-to-increase-your-vend-prices/16/

    http://www.hklaundry.com/articles/2-preparing-to-raise-your-laundromat-vend-prices/18/

    http://www.hklaundry.com/articles/3-the-mechanics-of-raising-commercial-laundry-prices/19/

    We need to get out of the Mom & Pop mind-set and think more like businessmen and we need to operate our Laundromats like a real business, not a part-time play toy.  Vend price is the biggest challenge facing our industry.

    ------------------------------
    Karl Hinrichs
    HK Laundry Equipment Inc.
    President
    Armonk, NY
    914-273-5757
    karl@HKLaundry.com
    ------------------------------




  • 10.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-14-2015 05:32
    Hi Larry Thank you for your helpful tips on utilities calculation My utility bill is around 34% and your comments are worrying What is the best way to check why it is so high i.e. ,how do I know is it because of my dryer or washer Or my machinery being old or.......can you please advise My mat is in located in Los Angeles area could it be that we pay higher utility charges compare to your area.I pay for water $1900,elec $1200,and Sanitation $1400 and Gas $2000 Thank you ------------------------------ [Al] MAJIDI [Owner] [Wash&Walk] [L.A.] [CA] ------------------------------


  • 11.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-14-2015 07:37

    Al,

    Los Angeles is an area that appears to have a lot of Laundromats based on what I've read on this BB over the years.  The area seems to lack High Price Leaders as well.  I get the impression that everybody - even the largest, newest, best Laundromats - are afraid to up the ante and charge a higher price.  That's unfortunate because if the best won't make an effort to keep up with inflation; who will?  The answer seems to be nobody.

    I cannot compare your utility costs to my own since I don't know how busy your store is.  On the other hand, we can compare vend prices as these play a large role in the utilities as a percent of sales calculation.  My prices are as follows:

    20 lb. front loader - $3.00 (E-cycle) 

    30 lb. front loader - $4.00 (E-cycle)

    40 lb. front loader - $6.00 (E-cycle)

    80 lb. front loader - $11.00 (Standard cycle -  not capable of E-cycle)

    30 lb. dryer - $1.00/16 minutes

    35 lb. dryer - $1.00/15 minutes

    My prices might be double Los Angeles' ultra low pricing schedule.  This alone could account for 50% of the difference between my 13% and your 34% utilities to gross sales.  In other words, if you were charging my prices; your percentage would likely drop to around 22% or so.  The rest of the difference would likely be the inefficiency of your equipment (if it's older) and the fact that you're not running E-cycles with appropriate up-charges.  I charge $1.00 for any optional bath on all of my E-cycle washers.


    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 12.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 01:40
    Thank you very much there Larry One more question I intend to replace some of my 30 and 40 old machines Which manufacturers in this range would my best bet Thanks a lot ------------------------------ [Al] MAJIDI [Owner] [L.A.] [CA] ------------------------------


  • 13.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 07:31

    Al,

    I've been using Huebsch dryers for over 40 years although I also owned 3 Dexter stacked dryers for a while too.  I've owned Huebsch washers since about 2003.  Today, all my washers and dryers are Huebsch.  Obviously, I've not been disappointed in the quality, serviceability, parts availability or technical response from Huebsch  which is a division of Alliance Laundry Systems.  In fact, just a few months ago I bought nine new Huebsch 40 lb. 200g washers.  My customers love these new machines and all my Huebsch equipment. 

    Now you have to understand that any new equipment can have a "bug" in it after you buy it.  Heck, my wife just bought a new Cadillac XTS and the glove box wouldn't open.  The dealer had the car for 3 days putting in a new glove box.  Who'd a thunk?  Anyway, my point is this - you want good factory support that will talk you through any issue and provide replacement parts to fix the problem.  A responsive distributor helps to but I try not to bother my distributor because he always cuts me a good deal on the sale.  Alliance Laundry Systems has a good response system when something goes wrong ... whether in warranty or out of warranty.

    The true value of a laundry equipment (or car) purchase becomes evident AFTER you've made the deal.  Like they say, "a good price is soon forgotten but bad support lingers forever".

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 14.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 09:48

    I have 2 stores in the Brooklyn NY Area, utilities ranging between 15-18% of gross sales. I would suggest reaching out to your gas & electric companies and make sure you are paying the best possible kWh & therm price, see if they can put you on a fixed rate.

     One store has 3 1/2 year old Huebsch equipment and the other store has 1 1/2 yeah old Huebsch equipment.

    20lb washers- $2.25

    30lb - $4.50

    60lb- $5.50

    30lb dryers- $.25 per 6 min, 45lb dryers- $.25 per 4 min

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    Omar Kasi
    Store Owner
    Bubbles & Suds Laundromat
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 15.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 10:42

    Omar,

    Your 60 lb. washers are only $1.00 more than your 30 lb. washers?  Unless you have way too many 60 lb. washers, I suggest a price between $7 and $8 on them. 

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Store Owner
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------




  • 16.  RE: Cost of water and gas per load

    Posted 02-15-2015 12:19

    thank you for all of this good information.  besides the percentage per income method i am also wondering if there any generally accepted guidelines as to how many hcf (or cf) and therms per load it takes per load.  specifically this would to try and determine the profit per load for a wash-dry-fold business.  i know there are many other factors that go into this calculation but i would like to get some sense of what the utility cost would be per extra load.  maybe this is not possible.

    thanks,

    john learned

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    John Learned
    Store Owner
    Buena Coin Laundry
    Ventura CA
    ------------------------------