Has your monthly electricity bill shot up, and you keep asking yourself this question, “why is my electric bill so high?” Well, I have the answers for you. This article offers you 14 major reasons why your bill might shoot up.
Why Is My Electric Bill So High – 14 Signs You Consume Too Much Energy
Electricity is the power that drives our economy. Whether it’s in our homes or places of work, electricity is an integral part of modern life. Moreover, an all electric house can be one of the best ways to start decarbonizing your life. However, many homeowners at one time or the other have found themselves asking this common question over and over, “why is my electric bill so high?”
Well, opening that electricity bill to find unusually high amounts, is something that bothers many people.
You start wondering what may have caused the high changes in your monthly bill and sometimes you can’t even figure out what.
There are numerous factors that may cause your power bills to skyrocket.
I use Arcadia Power to save money on electricity. They offer free clean energy options to help you save on your electric bill each money.
Therefore, I have made a list of these contributing factors to help you in the high electric bill troubleshooting process.
Things That Are Causing Your High Electricity Bill
Why is my electric bill so high? No need to ask that question again. These are the major reasons for a high electric bill:
1. Use of Power-Thirsty Appliances
As obvious as it may seem, sometimes we don’t realize that some appliances that we use in our homes consume a lot of power. We keep scratching our heads over the issue, not realizing that the answer is in the gadgets in our homes.
Also, when we purchase new appliances, we don’t take our time to research on the amount of power these appliances need. Therefore, we end up having appliances in our houses that drain the power at a very high rate.
To handle this issue, it is wise that every time you buy a new washing machine, a fridge, or a TV, among other electronics, you look for power-efficient ones. There are various electronics that are power efficient, and that will help you save considerably on electricity bills. (see Best Energy Efficient TVs Buying Guide)
Also, some appliances use some power even when you have turned the power off, as long as they are connected. Therefore, you can tackle this by connecting your appliances to power strips.
This way, when you turn off the power strip, they completely go off.
2. Not Turning Off Your Appliances and Other Gadgets When Not In Us
Sometime you may forget to switch off your TV even when you are not watching, or even the bulbs during the day. Although it may not seem like a big deal, when this becomes a habit, it may increase your power bill. It is economical to turn off the gadgets that you are currently not using to avoid unnecessary power usage.
If you have several family members in your house, they should all ensure that they also disconnect their gadgets like computers, phone chargers, etc. from the sockets when not in use.
Don’t leave your bulbs on all day.
Obviously, you will definitely pay more at the end of the month.
3. Energy Inefficient Light Bulbs
If you are still using the old normal bulbs, this must be one reason why your power bill is high. Currently, numerous modern bulbs in the market are quite energy efficient. And, although they might be a bit expensive to buy, they will save you a lot more in terms of monthly power bills.
For example, LED light bulbs can be an awesome way to reduce the dollars on your electricity bills. These bulbs consume less energy than conventional bulbs, with up to 90%. Therefore, you can simply start by changing those traditional bulbs for new LED ones.
4. Old Devices
If you are still stuck with those old appliances, they might be the reason you receive unusually high electricity bills. That old fridge, the old Television set, or that outdated DVR, will keep sucking more dollars from your pockets.
The wisest thing to do is to stop using them and change for the new and modern appliances that are more power-friendly.
You can even donate them instead of having to pay high power bills every month.
5. Heating And Cooling System In Your House
The heating and cooling system in your house may also be a cause for the high-power bills. These systems consume considerable amounts of energy, and therefore, you should use them wisely. Most people will turn on the cooling system in summer, while they turn on the heating system in winter or during cold seasons.
However, how you use your air conditioner or the heating unit may greatly affect your monthly electricity bills.
To ensure that these systems don’t cost you a lot in power bills, ensure that you don’t turn them too high.
Also, turning off the system when not in use or when not in the house is a good way to reduce the amount of energy it consumes.
Using solar power to run an AC unit can also greatly reduce your energy bill. Check our post to learn how many solar panels you might need to run an air conditioner.
6. Poorly Insulated House
Sometimes you may do everything right with the cooling and heating system but still encounter high bills. This may come about if your house is poorly insulated. To ensure that your system does not use a lot of energy trying to cool or heat your house, please do proper insulation for the whole house.
Those drafty loft spaces and the old windows are major contributors to high energy usage and thus the rising bills. You should ensure that you have proper windows, as well as properly insulate both basement and loft spaces.
Although it may seem a lot of work, it will save you enough money with time.
Want to conserve energy in a sustainable way? Check out our guide to the top 5 eco-friendly insulation alternatives.
7. Many People In The House
The more people that are in the house, the more electricity will be used. For example, in summer, when the kids are not in school, the electricity bill may tend to rise. This is because more people are using electronics like TV, computers, laptops and also more phones.
If the whole family is home during summer, they might be in the house to avoid the hot sun outside. This means that more bulbs are on, as well as electronics, and the cooling system. If it’s in cold weather, the same will apply for light bulbs and electronics, as well as the heating system.
Therefore, if you were wondering why you got a high electric bill last month, this might be a good reason.
8. Constant Use of The Pool
A swimming pool, in general, is a huge electric and natural resource strain. If your swimming pool in constant use, this may also be a contributor to the overall high electricity bill. Although pools are an excellent way to keep cool, especially in hot summer, they may also be a significant culprit for the rising monthly power bills.
The electric pool pump uses a significant amount of energy.
For example, if your pool pump runs the whole day for a whole month, you can expect your power bill to rise with an average of between $80 to $90.
This can occur if the kids are at home during holidays or if you have family members visiting for long periods.
To be able to save energy, it is wise to ensure that the pump doesn’t stay on for long hours, especially when the pool is not in use.
And if you want to add some illumination to your pool, consider solar-powered pool lights that will create an ambient atmosphere without adding to the electric bill.
9. Faulty Wiring
Another thing that may be causing you to pay high electricity bills is faulty wiring. If faulty wires come into contact with conductive objects or other wires, they may heat up and cause power usage. This can cause you to pay high monthly bills without knowing exactly what is wrong.
Faulty wiring is not only bad for high power bills but also dangerous when touched. If there are naked wires or loosely connected ones in your house, they can bring more harm than just putting holes in your wallet.
Therefore, proper wiring is necessary to avoid high bills, as well as avoidable emergencies.
10. Faulty Appliances
If your monthly energy bills suddenly rise from nowhere, it is necessary to check if the appliances in your house are in good shape. Appliances that consume significant amounts of energy may include a washing machine, tumble dryers, and dishwashers.
If there is an electrical fault in any of these appliances, it may lead to high consumption of electricity which may lead to high energy bills. Therefore, it is wise to do proper maintenance for some of these gadgets to avoid these costly bills or even breakdown.
A faulty appliance can easily cause shock or fire in the house, which can be even more costly. If you notice some fault in any appliance or suspect that it’s using much more power than before, it’s prudent to have a specialist check on it.
This way, you can avoid paying the high energy bills, as well as prevent any emergency that may occur due to faultiness.
11. Extreme Weather In Your Area
Did you know that almost half of your power bill comes from your cooling and heating system? Yes, you heard it right! For this reason, when the weather conditions are at their extremes, you will most probably have to part with more money to pay for energy bills.
But how does this happen? Well, during the extremes, either in winter or summer, the cooling or heating system will be working at its maximum. For example, in winter, you will need to heat your house more, which will raise the monthly power bill.
On the other hand, during sweltering days in summer, your cooling unit will be at its optimal use. Therefore, when the weather conditions are in either extreme, you might find your electricity bill shooting up.
To reduce these effects, you can program your thermostat, which helps to prevent such spikes in energy consumption. In winter, lower the thermostat by one degree, while you can rise it by one degree in summer.
This way, you will be able to save 5% and 3% of your power bills respectively.
12. Rate Increase From Your Utility
Some utility companies in the electricity market charge different rates at different times of the day. For example, some will charge higher rates during peak hours and lower rates during off-peak hours. Therefore, if your energy rates fluctuate and you use electricity when the rates are high, your bill will go high.
Mostly, peak hours occur during the day, as well as the hours of the evening. Some companies do this since, during these hours, the demand for electricity is at its peak.
Therefore, you should look at the time of the day that you mostly use your electricity. Try to change your schedule and consume more power when the rates are lower.
Understanding when it is cheap to run your devices and appliances can help you save a considerable amount of money.
13. Your Location
Although this is something that can be difficult to change, it is a factor that can make you pay significantly high electricity bills. Different states have varying electricity rates which means that some people in a certain state may pay higher rates than others in another state.
Based on a report by EIA, this is the average you are likely to pay in various states:
- Mid-Atlantic (PA, NJ, NY): $148
- East North Central (OH, MI, WI IL, IN): $118
- Mountain (CO, AZ, ID, UT, MT, NM, WY, NV): $111
- South Atlantic (DC, MD, FL, DE, GA, NC, WV, SC, VA): $110
- Pacific Noncontiguous (HI, AK): $240
- New England (MA, CT, NH, RI, VT, ME): $174
- West North Central (SD, IA, MN, MO, KS, NE, ND): $121
- East South Central (MS, AL, TN, KY): $102
- West South Central (LA, TX, AR, OK): $97
- Pacific Contiguous (WA, OR, CA): $148
Depending on the place you live, you will pay different rates based on the local jurisdictions. The above list indicates how much you will pay on average based on the state you are in.
Since you might not want to shift from where you live, one thing you can do to reduce your electricity bills is to try using solar power.
Various states offer rebates, tax incentives and tax credits for people who shift to clean energy like solar energy.
Therefore, if your state offers such incentives, you can always enjoy lower rates.
14. Your Water Heater’s Temperature
Your water heater is another gadget that can significantly raise your electricity bill per month. The water heater continually heats water in your tank. Even when you are not using hot water, the water heater will still come close to the set temperature.
If you can use the recommended temperature of 120F, you can easily save energy consumption, as well as prevent any safety hazards.
Another thing you can do is to get an insulation jacket for your water heater. Also, you can add more insulation to the exterior of the pipes.
This will help preserve energy and lower your electricity bills.
Therefore, if “why is my electric bill so high?” was your question, then these are the most common causes.
Looking for ways to heat water without using grid electricity? Check out our guide to the best solar water heaters.
Conclusion On Why is My Electric Bill So High?
Sometimes we get electricity bills that make us wonder what went wrong or why the figures are so high. This question on “why is my electric bill so high?” is a question that you will at some point ask yourself. I hope that this article offers you all the necessary information to help you figure out why, as well as how to sort it.
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