Reasons for an Unusually High Electric Bill

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As an electric bill is the most significant and inevitable part of your monthly budget, an increase in that bill may negatively affect your financial stability. Although there are many reasons for a hike in an energy bill, figuring out the real reason is essential in knowing how much your energy usage has gone up and how can you reduce your energy consumption.

When you receive a high electric bill, look at the amount of energy usage (kWh). If your energy usage is the same as the previous month’s usage, you should check the rate your energy provider has charged. It could be possible that you are being charged an increase in price or some extra service fees. The following are other possible reasons for an unusually high electric bill due to an increase in energy consumption:

Power-hungry appliances

Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators are the most energy consuming appliances. You need to be very careful when using these appliances otherwise, your energy bill will skyrocket. When you use the washing machine, you should wait until you have accumulated a full load of clothes. Try to use cold water for the wash instead of hot water, and choose a low-heat option for drying. All of these tips are also applicable when using a dishwasher. When it comes to the refrigerator, saving energy is much easier. Set the refrigerator temperature between 37° and 40°F and the freezer between 0° and 50°F. Move your refrigerator away from heat sources, and reduce the frequency of door openings as much as possible.

Seasonal appliances

Weather is a significant and challenging factor for getting an unexpected hike in your electric bill. If the weather is hotter or colder than usual, chances are that the energy bill will increase due to the use of air conditioners, dehumidifiers, hot air furnaces and more. During the time of extreme cold and heat, cooling and heating systems need to be kept on continuously. Therefore, you can expect an unusually high energy bill during those periods. Holidays and vacations can also make a huge impact on the energy bill.

Leaving appliances on standby mode

One of the main reasons for getting a high electric bill is keeping electronic devices in standby mode even when you are not using them. Don’t leave appliances plugged in if you are not using them for a while. Even if these devices are kept idle, they are using energy while waiting for your command. This is known as “vampire power.” You can save a significant amount of energy by unplugging these devices from the wall socket when they are not in use.

In order to reduce an energy utility bill, you also need to take care of some other things. An electric heater is by far the largest energy consumer in most homes and, if your hot water tap is leaking, it will drastically increase your energy bill.  Also, be sure your meter isn’t running when there is no electricity being used in your home.

Common Energy Saving Myths That Lose You Money

 

Myth: Leaving the lights on uses less energy than switching them on or off when needed.

Busted: The extra charge that is required to start a bulb is very minimal compared to energy consumed while leaving the lights on throughout an entire day. So, continue switching the lights off when you leave a room to save energy!

This holds true for other appliances as well. In the past, some appliance manufacturers suggested that customers keep appliances switched on or in standby mode to maintain its life. While this may have been true, modern appliances are designed to be turned on and off regularly, so you need not worry about appliance longevity.

Myth: Closing HVAC vents to unused rooms helps save energy.

Busted: This might seem obvious, but the furnaces continue to produce heat regardless of whether every vent is open or not. At the same time, when a vent is closed, it builds pressure in the duct, which can cause an imbalance in the HVAC system. This imbalance can subsequently damage the furnace or create cracks in the ducts that may lead to heat loss.

Myth: LEDs are costly and do not fit into traditional sockets as well as conventional bulbs.

Busted: LEDs may initially be costly, but it consumes almost 75% less energy than traditional lighting systems. In addition, LEDs have a lifespan of over 20 years, saving you money on replacements and maintenance.

Regarding sockets, LEDs come in different forms, shapes, and sizes. They can be used on a dimmer, free-standing lamp, or traditional pendant fixtures.

Myth: Leaving fans on will help keep a room cool.

Busted: Fans cool people by removing the warm air that surrounds us. Our body cools down when the sweat released from the body is evaporated. Fans aid in this evaporation process and make us feel cool, but they do not cool rooms in the same way. Therefore, a working fan in an empty room is not only consuming energy but also releasing small amounts of heat in the process.

Myth: Setting the thermostat higher helps you warm the room faster.

Busted: The higher the thermostat is set, the more power it consumes. No matter how high you turn the thermostat, the rate of the heating process of the room takes the same amount of time. This process does not work like pressing the accelerator of a car, like you may intuitively think. Alternatively, you can insulate the room by sealing the windows and closing the doors, which will make your room warm up faster.

Myth: Screen savers help save energy when you’re not using your computer.

Busted: Screen savers do not save energy. In fact, the highly graphic animations can consume more energy! Screen savers were previously created to prevent the permanent etching of patterns on older monochrome and CRT monitors, and have thus lost their relevance. Next time you step away from your computer, try putting the computer to sleep instead and save energy!