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Has opening your electric bill given you a jump scare?

Suddenly, you’re staring down a bill that’s somehow doubled. Panic sets in. “Did we accidentally air-condition the neighborhood? Are the kids trying to signal aliens with all those lights? Did the electric rates skyrocket when I wasn’t looking?”

Don’t worry, we’re here to explain why your electricity bill might be through the roof and what you can do to reel it back in.

What Are the Common Causes for High Electric Bills?

While electricity costs may fluctuate, a super high bill is unnerving. Finding out the causes and learning some energy-saving tips can keep surprises at a minimum and your power usage under control. Discover ways to start saving today.

Reason #1: Vampire Appliances

No one likes to pay for something they don’t use, so why continue to pay for electricity on devices that are sitting idle?

That computer charger you keep plugged in all the time wastes energy and money. Devices that stay plugged in all day continue to suck energy, even if they are not in use.

Common “vampire appliances” include laptop and phone chargers, TVs, printers, microwaves, and game consoles. Unplug devices (or, plug them into a power strip and shut it off) when you’re not using them; otherwise, you’ll continue to see unusually high electric bills.

Reason #2: Not Using Lights and Ceiling Fans Strategically

Every house needs light, from stylish fixtures to recessed lighting to lamps. But did you know you can reduce your electric usage rate by being strategic with these items?

Ceiling lights brighten a bright room, but they are not efficient or strategic. If you only need to light a corner of a room (your desk, for example), a ceiling light just wastes electricity. Try lamps instead, which provide direct light using fewer kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Consider using natural light during the daytime while doing regular chores, cooking, or working from home. And don’t forget to turn off lights and fans while a room is unused. Get the whole family on board, and you’ll start to see savings on your energy bill.

Reason #3: Light Bulbs That Are Not Energy Efficient

Though slightly more expensive up front, energy-efficient light bulbs are an easy way to save money on electricity.

LED light bulbs, the industry standard on energy-saving lighting, use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last for years. They also produce less waste because they last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

Once you switch to LED bulbs, you’ll never go back — and your wallet will thank you.

Reason #4: Your House Is Not Properly Insulated

Whether you’re cranking up the heat on a cold winter night or have the air conditioning on high in mid-August, you will waste money if your house is not properly insulated.

Old windows and drafty attic spaces with air leaks are common culprits behind unusually high electric bills. Invest in new energy-efficient windows with better seals and glass, and make sure attic and basement spaces have proper insulation. The investment today will save you money on your bill down the road.

Reason #5: Outdated Appliances

Upgrading to Energy Star-certified appliances can be a game-changer. These modern marvels minimize energy usage without sacrificing performance, significantly saving energy costs over time. Embrace the shift to more energy-efficient gadgets, like a new washer, HVAC system, or hot water heater, and watch as your monthly expenses shrink along with your carbon footprint.

Reason #6: Inefficient Use of Appliances

The dishwasher and the washing machine are two of the greatest home inventions of the modern era. Although these appliances are commonplace, they may be the culprit behind your unusually high electric bill if you don’t use them correctly.

These high-energy-use appliances should run with full loads and less frequency. Use shorter cycles if possible, especially if you pre-rinse your dishes. Save money and time with this simple hack.

Reason #7: Extreme Weather

Temperatures can change drastically in a short time when severe weather hits. We have no control over the weather, but we do have control over how we respond.

If there is a heat wave in mid-March, don’t reactively crank down the thermostat. Instead, leave it alone to keep the temperature inside the house as consistent as possible. If it gets extremely cold outside of the winter months, bundle up. If it gets too hot outside of the summer months, run fans and keep the heat out with closed blinds or blackout curtains.

Reason #8: Leaving Devices Charging

Yes, having a charged phone or computer is a necessity. But what’s not is keeping them plugged in overnight or all day.

The average phone needs around 2-3 hours to charge fully. Keeping your phone or computer plugged in all night or day just sucks energy, and will lead to an unusually high utility bill.

Be aware of charging times and only keep your electronics plugged in until they’re fully charged.

Reason #9: AC On With Windows Open

Turning the air conditioning (AC) on while the windows are open is the equivalent of throwing money out of that window. Either keep the windows open and the AC off, or vice versa.

AC is one of the biggest expenses on your power bill. Don’t let expensive cold air go to waste. Keep your windows shut while the air conditioning is on to lower your energy consumption.

Reason #10: The Wrong Thermostat Settings

Adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees can save you money year-round — about 1% to 3% per degree, depending on your plan and where you live. Instead of setting your AC to 72 degrees, consider 75-78 (the setting recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy).

Experts caution that your air conditioner is unlikely to cool your home to more than 20 degrees below the outside temperature in the summer. In winter, 68 degrees is the advised maximum threshold. Save hundreds each year with these settings!

Smart thermostats make managing your home’s climate and electricity use a breeze. They adjust your HVAC use according to your schedule and preferences to save energy. Many utility companies even offer rebates for installing smart thermostats, making them a smart investment that pays off in lower bills.

Reason #11: Overlooking Energy Audits

Many homeowners don’t realize the benefits of an energy audit.

Conducted by professionals, these audits can uncover hidden energy leaks and inefficiencies in your home. Implementing the recommendations can dramatically reduce your electricity use and lower your bills.

Reason #12: Misusing Space Heaters

Relying on space heaters for prolonged periods in the winter can spike your electricity bill. They consume a lot of energy and should only be used briefly or for emergencies. If your home isn’t providing enough heat, identify and fix the root cause, like poor insulation or an inefficient HVAC system.

Reason #13: Not Utilizing Off-Peak Hours

Many electric companies charge less for electricity during off-peak times.

By running high-energy appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines during these times, you can reduce the amount you spend on electricity, leading to lower bills.

Save on Your Electric Bill with Payless Power

Now that you know what could be driving up your electric bill, it’s time to take control of your energy usage and costs. Payless Power is here to help! Our flexible plans, competitive rates, and no-deposit electricity make saving on your energy bill easier and more accessible than ever.

Payless Power offers a seamless solution for switching to a more affordable and transparent electricity plan. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and affordability ensures that managing your home’s energy usage is straightforward and stress-free.

Take the first step towards lower electric bills and a more energy-efficient future with Payless Power.

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