Why is my electric bill so high? You’ve likely been surprised by the higher monthly bill amount than you expected if you own a house. Homeowners often complain about their rising electricity bills. Why is my electric bill so high?
You can find out the cause of your high electric bills and take action to reduce the impact they have on your wallet. Here are some tips to help you start troubleshooting your electric bill.
The Top 6 Reasons for High Utility Bills
Here are the six most common causes of a high electricity bill.
- Your appliances are older
- Your appliances are being used inefficiently
- You switched to a brand new rate structure, like time-of-use
- The overall cost of your utilities is increasing
- Your thermostat is set at extreme temperatures
- You are using inefficient heating and cooling systems
Electric bills for U.S. homes are higher during the summer when air conditioners operate the most. If you find that your bills are higher than normal for the season (or when compared with the previous month), then you should take steps to reduce your electricity consumption.
1. You Have Old Electrical Appliances Around Your Home
The electronic appliances in your house will degrade over time and lose their efficiency. Older appliances were not made to the same efficiency standards as those required today. They will use more energy to produce the same amount of power as an ENERGY STAR appliance of today.
Replace Old Appliances With Energy Star-Rated Appliances
Upgrade your older appliances to the latest technology to save money on your energy bill. When shopping, make sure to look for appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified, especially for those that consume a lot of electricity, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, and other large appliances. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can result in substantial savings. According to ENERGY STAR, a typical family can save $450 on their annual energy bills by using certified products.
Schedule a Home Audit to Get a Professional’s Opinion
A home energy audit can be beneficial in identifying improvements that can enhance the energy efficiency of your home, ultimately leading to lower electricity bills in the long run. An energy auditor typically suggests various measures, such as adding insulation, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs, applying weather stripping, utilizing standby mode for devices, and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.
Implementing these recommended home improvements after an audit can result in energy bill savings ranging from five to 30 percent. Additionally, it’s worth checking with your utility provider as they may offer free or no-cost audits funded through your utility payments.
2. You’re Not Using Your Appliances Efficiently
Even if the appliances are not used often, many homeowners still have high electric bills due to their appliances. Modern electronics draw power from the grid even when they are turned off. It’s easiest to think of it as if these appliances were on “standby” until they are turned on. Some people call these “vampire” appliances. In your home, they may be DVR systems or garage door openers.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that appliances in standby account for between 5 and 10 percent of your home’s energy usage. They cost on average $100 per year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s estimates, appliances on standby are responsible for 5 to 10% of your home’s electricity usage and an average of $100 in annual costs.
3. You’re Using a New Pricing Structure, Such as Time-Of-Use
You may have been required to sign up for a Time-of-Use (TOU) plan by your utility. This could explain why your electric bill is higher.
Rate plans TOU charges different rates based on when you use electricity. The “peak hours” or times when the utility charges most are the evenings, as people arrive home from work. If you have a TOU and use electrical appliances at these times, your bill will go up. During the COVID-19 epidemic, electric bills increased because more people spent time at home and worked remotely during the day. While TOU plans may help you save some money, your energy usage will increase if it doesn’t match the cheaper times.
Save Money by Adjusting How You Use Electricity at Home
Are you willing to adjust your daily habits and routines in order to decrease your electricity usage during peak hours, even if you don’t use much electricity during off-peak periods? While it may appear challenging for homeowners who leave their homes for work during the day and return in the evening when rates are higher, there are strategies you can employ to save money by taking advantage of time-of-use pricing and scheduling your energy consumption outside of peak hours.
Many appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers, offer scheduling features that allow you to preset the timing of their operation. By utilizing these features, you can save money by running these appliances during off-peak hours. Furthermore, charging your electric vehicle at night, when rates are lower, can result in cost savings.
Increasing your awareness of energy usage can also be helpful. You can try waking up earlier to start energy-intensive household chores, waiting until late at night to charge appliances, or simply being more mindful of your energy consumption. These actions will assist you in reducing your energy usage during peak periods and ultimately save money on your electricity bill.
4. Your Utility Rates Have Increased
Electricity prices fluctuate across the nation, and they do increase with time. The cost of electricity and other energy sources like oil and natural gas is increasing across the country. Gas prices are rising when you fill your car’s tank while away from home. Even if your electricity bill isn’t higher, the price you pay will increase as electricity rates continue to rise.
Solar Panels Can Offset Your Electricity Bill
Solar can be used to reduce your electric bill in two ways: by installing solar panels on your property or by subscribing to a community solar farm nearby. Installing solar panels on your property is the best way to reduce your electric bill. You’ll avoid thousands of dollars worth of electricity costs over the course of 30 years with your solar system. And you can start saving from day one if you finance it for $0 down with ESD Solar.
If you are a renter, or you don’t own a roof that is suitable for solar power, you may be able to get a discount by signing up for a com munity solar program. You’ll receive credit for the electricity generated by a solar farm in your area, typically at a rate lower than that of your utility. Electricity bill savings vary from program to program and by month. Most community solar subscribers get a 5-10% discount on traditional electricity over the course of a year.
Compare Electricity Plans in Your Area to Save Money
To save money on your electricity bills, it’s worth comparing different electricity plans available to you. Platforms like WattBuy provide an energy marketplace where you can compare various plans and potentially achieve significant savings, up to 40%. Apart from financial benefits, there are also environmental advantages associated with choosing the right plan.
While you may not have a restricted selection of utilities, you still have the opportunity to explore a range of plans and find one that suits your needs. By taking the time to compare electricity plans, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and energy requirements.
5. You Constantly Adjust Your Thermostat to Extreme High or Low Temperatures or You Keep It on a Constant Temperature
Experts recommend that you set your thermostat to 68 degrees during summer and 78 in winter in order to save energy. If your heating and cooling systems are constantly running, energy consumption will increase. This is more likely to happen with a high-temperature setting for winter or a low-temperature setting for summer.
Use a Smart Thermostat to Control and Monitor Your Home’s Electricity Usage
The HVAC system in your home is a major energy consumer. It uses less power when you don’t change the temperature constantly. There are many energy management systems and smart thermostats available that can help you reduce your utility bills and save energy by setting the temperature at a specific level.
6. You’re Using Inefficient Heating and Cooling Systems
Heating and cooling your home can be expensive, particularly when faced with extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, and increasing temperatures. If your HVAC system is old, it may not be as efficient as newer systems. While heat pumps have been in use for a while, their popularity is growing, and they are becoming more advanced. They can even provide heat for homes during extremely cold temperatures. Heat pumps can also be utilized to heat water, as seen in the form of a heat pump water heater.
Install Heat Pumps to Increase Energy Efficiency
Heat pumps that utilize air as a heat source are an efficient solution for heating and cooling homes. While air conditioning systems can be highly efficient, they still require a separate heating system, such as a furnace. Heat pumps, on the other hand, offer a comprehensive heating and cooling solution. They can significantly reduce your monthly utility bills, making them a cost-effective choice.
Additionally, you may be eligible for local heat pump rebates or incentives provided by your utility company or state. To learn more about these opportunities, consult a trustworthy heat pump contractor.
ESD Solar Is Here to Help You Get Started On Your Solar Journey
Harness the power of solar energy to slash your utility bills! Discover the most cost-effective solution to reduce your solar and overall electric expenses. ESD Solar is ready to provide you with a complimentary solar quote. Even if solar panel installation isn’t feasible for your property, we’ve got you covered! Act now and take control of your energy costs.
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