After you check your mailbox, opening your electric bill may cause a rise in blood pressure. You’re shocked to find a bill that’s double your typical charges. Your brain races, wondering, “What changed? Did we leave the door open and the A/C running? Did my kids leave all of the lights on?! Did the rate go up? What’s happening?” Read on for more on why your electricity bill might be high — and what you can do to prevent it. 10 Reasons Your Electric Bill is High
Here are 10 reasons your electric bill might be so high
While the price of electricity may fluctuate, getting an unpleasantly high bill is unnerving. Finding out the causes, and some simple solutions, can help you keep surprises at a minimum and your power usage under control. Discover ways to start saving today.
- Reason #1: Vampire appliances.
- Reason #2: Lights and ceiling fans that are not used strategically in the home.
- Reason #3: Light bulbs that are not energy efficient.
- Reason #4: Your house is not properly insulated.
- Reason #5: Old, outdated appliances.
- Reason #6: Running appliances that are not filled to capacity.
- Reason #7: Extreme weather.
- Reason #8: Unnecessary charging time for devices.
- Reason #9: AC is on while the windows are open.
- Reason #10: Off doesn’t always mean off.
Reason #1: Vampire appliances.
No one likes to pay for something that they do not use, so why continue to pay for electricity on devices that are sitting idle?. Devices that stay plugged in all day continue to suck energy, even if they are not in use. That computer charger you keep plugged in all the time is a waste of energy and money. Unplug your devices that are not in use; otherwise, you will continue to have an unusually high electric bill. Some common “vampire appliances” include chargers (computers, phones), TVs, printers, microwaves, game consoles, and more. Put them on a power strip and shut off the strip when not in use.
Reason #2: Lights and ceiling fans that are not used strategically in the home.
Every house needs some form of lighting, from stylish fixtures to recessed lighting to lamps. But did you know that there is a way to eliminate unnecessary electric usage by being strategic with the lighting in your house? Ceiling lights might create a bright room, but they are not efficient nor strategic. If you only need to light a corner of a room (by your desk, for example), they waste electricity. Try lamps instead, which provide direct light and use less kilowatt-hours. If it’s daytime, consider using just natural light while doing regular chores, cooking, or working from home. And don’t forget to turn off lights and fans if the room is not in use. Get the whole family on board, and you’ll start to see savings on your electric 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 light bulbs and nearly last for years. They also produce less waste because they last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. Once you make the switch, you will 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, if your house is not properly insulated, you will be wasting money. Old windows and drafty attic spaces are the culprits behind your unusually high electric bill. 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: Old, outdated appliances.
That old TV setup in the basement that no one ever watches is sucking energy and sucking money right out of your wallet. Old appliances and electronics that are never used are not worth saving. Instead of keeping those old electronics, consider donating them or recycling them. It’s better that they’re out of the house than sucking up more energy and increasing your monthly electric bill.
Reason #6: Running appliances that are not filled to capacity.
The dishwasher and the washing machine are two of the greatest inventions of the modern era. Although these appliances are a necessity in today’s home life, they may be the culprit behind your unusually high electric bill. These high-energy-use appliances need to run with full loads and as a result, with 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 48-hour span. 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, do not change the thermostat to reflect that temperature spike. Instead, try to keep the temperature inside the house consistent, and ignore those brief spikes or plummets in the temperature. If it gets cold, bundle up. If it gets too hot, run fans and keep the heat out with closed blinds.
Reason #8: Unnecessary charging time for devices.
Yes, having a charged phone or computer is a necessity. But what is not a necessity is keeping that phone or computer plugged in overnight or all day. The average phone needs around 2-3 hours to fully charge, not a full 12 hours. Keeping your phone or computer plugged in all night drains energy, and will lead to an unusually high electric bill. Be aware of charging times and remind yourself not to leave your electronics plugged in overnight.
Reason #9: AC is on while the windows are open.
Turning the air conditioning on while the windows are open is the equivalent of throwing money out that same window. Either keep the windows open and the A/C off, or vice versa. The air conditioner is one of the biggest expenses on your power bill. Do not let expensive cold air go to waste. Make sure you keep your windows shut while the air conditioning is on to lower your next electric bill.
Reason #10: Off doesn’t always mean off.
Everyone wants a comfortable home, whether it’s during the chill of winter or dog days of summer. But 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 A/C on 72, consider 75-78 degrees (the recommended setting by the Department of Energy). Experts caution that your air conditioner is unlikely to cool your home more than 20 degrees from the outside temperatures. And keeping your home at 68 degrees during the winter is the advised threshold. Save hundreds each year with wise thermostat settings!