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Blog Jun 20, 2020

Why is my electric bill so high? 10 Reasons Why (Updated April 2021)

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You open your mailbox and you see it: the electric bill. You open the envelope and are shocked to find an unusually high bill for the month, maybe your bill doubled or tripled. Why is this? You ask yourself, "What changed this month from last month? What could cause such a sudden increase?” Here are ten reasons why your electric bill might be unusually high, and what you can do to prevent it from happening next month.


why is my electric bill so high

Here are 10 reasons your electric bill might be so high

Getting to the bottom of an unusually high electric bill may seem tricky, but in reality, it may not be as challenging as we believe. The key to fixing a high electric bill is to check your electrical usage (written out in kWh) as electricity prices can go up and down, but the amount you consume can tell you how the things you’re doing are affecting the cost.

Reason #1: Vampire appliances.

No one likes to pay for something that they do not use, so why continue to pay for electricity that you are not directly using. 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.

Reason #2: Lights and ceiling fans that are not used strategically in the home.

Every house needs some form of lighting, whether it be ceiling lights or 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. They waste electricity. Try lamps instead. They provide direct light rather than ceiling lights. In addition, always remember to turn off lights and fans if the room is not in use. Do this, and you will no longer see an electric bill so high.


Reason #3: Light bulbs that are not energy efficient.

They might be slightly more expensive initially, but in the long run, LED light bulbs are a must when it comes to saving money on electricity. LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs and nearly last forever. 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 are 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 windows, 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. Better to be 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. Although these appliances are great for countless different reasons, they may be the culprit behind your unusually high electric bill. These appliances use a lot of energy, and if you are not smart, they will steal money right out of your pocket. Only run the dishwasher when it is completely full, eliminating the need to run it multiple times. The same goes for the washer and dryer. Wait until the hamper is full before doing a load of laundry.


Reason #7: Extreme weather.

Temperatures can change drastically in a 48-hour span. We have no control over those changing temperatures, 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, open the windows and enjoy the unexpected warmth.


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 AC off, or vice versa. The air conditioner is one of the biggest reasons for drains 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.

Devices still suck energy even when they are “turned off.” Yes, you can make sure to turn off your washing machine or TV, but they are still plugged into the wall. Turning something off, really off, might require more than just flipping a switch. Consider unplugging appliances and devices even after you turn them off, especially if you will not be home for an extended amount of time.  

What are some things your doing when you find that your electricity bill is so high? Share your best tips with us on The Payless Power Facebook Page!

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