Your bill can be high for a number of reasons. Below are some of the most common reasons for a high utility bill.
Special weather conditions during the summer and winter may cause your energy bill to be slightly higher than normal. In the summer it may mean:
- Higher than average air conditioning use and increased use of fans
- Refrigerators and freezers working harder to keep items cold
In the winter it may mean:
- Increased use of fans in your heating system
- Increase use of portable electric heaters
- Extended use of lighting during longer nights
- Use of holiday lights
House guests mean you will use additional water and may heat/cool your house or cook more than usual. This can have a big impact on your bill.
More days in billing period
Billing periods can vary by a few days; more days than average in the billing period may cause an increase.
When adding a large appliance such as a freezer, second refrigerator, or hot water tank to your existing appliances, your energy bill will definitely go up. When buying new appliances, make sure they are energy efficient by using the yellow energy guide to compare yearly energy costs.
Maintenance of appliances
Frost in your freezer that’s more than one-quarter of an inch thick acts as an insulator and forces your freezer to work harder and use more electricity. While auto-defrost freezers take care of themselves, the often use more energy. Dirty coils on the back or bottom of your refrigerator can make it work harder than necessary. Check and clean coils regularly, especially during the summer. Also make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal airtight. Once way to check this is to close a dollar bill or piece of paper in the door. If it pulls out easily, your refrigerator may need a door hinge adjustment or a new gasket.
Summer or winter, a leaky faucet sending 2 drips per second into the sink or tub means 420 gallons of water per month down the drain, along with your money. To check for a leak, turn off all the taps in your house, look at your meter and if it is still turning, chances are you have a leak somewhere.
How you cook
We tend to use a consistent amount of electricity each day with an electric range. When doing home canning or an unusual amount of baking, the amount of electricity will increase. It is also inefficient to place small pans on a large stovetop element.
Swimming pools, hot tubs & saunas
The addition of one of these can significantly increase your bill, both water and energy.
Open fireplace damper
Leaving the damper open while the heat is one is the same as leaving your front door open. It could double your heat bill. Always close your damper after the fire is out. Fix or replace a poorly-fitting damper. And for an extra layer of protection, install and use glass fireplace doors.