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Don’t Panic Yet if Your Electricity Bill Is Suddenly High
You opened your mailbox and saw your utility bill. You were expecting roughly the same amount that you received last month, but now you can’t help but do a double take after seeing your bill. How is your electric bill suddenly almost double the cost of last month’s bill? We think it’s time you do a high electric bill investigation around your house.
Possible Reasons Behind Your High Electric Bill
A high electricity bill can be frustrating, especially when you are trying to save money or have just set a strict budget. Well, if you want to know the answer to your question, “Why is my electric bill so high all of a sudden?” below are some possible explanations for this unexpected situation.
You’re Using Too Much Electricity
The most obvious reason for your high electric bill is you’re using too much electricity. It can be due to leaving lights and electronics on when you’re not using them, running your heater or air conditioner excessively, or using energy-intensive appliances like washers and dryers. You can reduce electricity usage by turning off your lights and electronics when you’re not using them. It also helps to use energy-efficient appliances and a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature.
The Electricity Rate Increased
Electricity rates can vary depending on where you live and which company provides your electricity. If you find your electricity bill suddenly high, it could be that your electricity rate increased. You should check your account to see if it has, or contact your electric company to ask about recent rate increases.
Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your electricity bill is too high, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips to fix it.
Your Meter Is Faulty
You’re faced with the problem, “My electric bill doubled in one month,” and you suspect it shouldn’t be that high. In this case, the culprit might be a faulty meter. If your meter malfunctions, it can overestimate your electricity use, which can cause the high electric bill. You can confirm whether your meter works properly by contacting your electric company to request a meter test.
Your Home Is Not Energy-Efficient
By not energy-efficient, we mean you might be using more electricity than you actually need. It happens when your home is not properly insulated, uses outdated appliances, or has old windows. Making your home more energy-efficient can help lower your utility bills. With that said, consider adding insulation, replacing your old windows with energy-efficient ones, and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.
You Have a Leak at Home
If your home has a water leak, it can cause your water heater to work harder than it needs to, causing a suddenly high electric bill. If you think you have a leak, fixing it as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage and reduce your energy usage. It’s best to call a qualified plumber to diagnose and repair the water leak.
You’re on a Budget Billing Plan
Some electric companies offer budget billing plans. They allow you to pay the same amount each month regardless of your actual electricity usage. It can be helpful when budgeting, but it can lead to higher bills if your usage exceeds the amount you usually pay each month. If you’re on a plan like this and suddenly have a higher bill, you should contact your electric company.
Due to Seasonal Changes
You’re wondering, “Why is my electric bill so high in the summer?” “Why is my electric bill so high in the winter?” Seasonal changes can significantly impact your energy usage and, as a result, your bills. In the summer, running your air conditioner can take up 50% of your electricity usage. In the winter, heating your home is a significant contributor.
Peak and Off-Peak Hours
Some electric companies have peak and off-peak rates, with higher rates during peak hours. Using your appliances and lighting during peak hours will increase your electricity bills. You can save money on your bill by shifting your energy usage to off-peak hours, such as running your dishwasher or doing your laundry at night.
You Have Inefficient Lighting
Traditional incandescent bulbs waste energy by producing heat instead of light. By switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs, you can use significantly less energy and save on utility bills. More than that, there’s the fact that LED bulbs can last longer than traditional bulbs. It makes them a smart investment in the long run.
You Use an Electric Vehicle
An electric vehicle can add significantly to your electricity usage and your bill since you will need to charge the vehicle’s battery regularly. The best solution is to charge your car during off-peak hours. You can also save money on electricity bills by installing a charging station with a timer to control charging times.
You Have Extra Occupants
Having additional occupants in your home can increase your energy usage, particularly if they have different habits when using electricity. For this, the best thing you can do is to encourage your housemates to be mindful of their energy usage. Ask them to adjust their habits accordingly and follow your rules at home to ensure your energy usage is within your typical range.
Various factors can cause a high electric bill, such as increased rates, excessive usage, faulty meters, energy-inefficient homes or appliances, leaks, electric vehicles, etc. By identifying the cause of your increased electric bill, you can take some steps to lower your energy usage and save money on your monthly payments.
High Electricity Bill FAQs
How can I reduce my electricity bill?
To reduce your energy bill, consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. You can also switch out your traditional bulbs to LED bulbs. It also helps to change and adopt new habits, such as adjusting your thermostat, unplugging unused electronics, and using energy-saving settings on your appliances. You can also reduce your usage during peak hours to lower your energy usage.
Can faulty appliances cause high electricity bills?
Yes. Faulty appliances can cause high electric bills since they use more energy than they should. If you suspect an appliance is the culprit behind your increased electricity bill, you should have it inspected and repaired or possibly replaced.
How can I monitor my electricity usage?
You can use a smart meter, which tracks your usage in real-time. It also sends data to your electric company. Some electric companies also offer online tools and apps that allow you to monitor your usage and receive notifications when your energy usage is nearing a certain threshold. This greatly helps you control your energy usage and save money.
Does switching electric companies help lower energy bills?
Switching electric companies may help you save money on your electricity bill. But only if you choose the right company after comparing rates and contract terms. Look for companies that offer competitive rates and flexible contracts that fit your needs.
What should I do if my electricity bill is unusually high?
If your bill is unusually high, review your energy usage for the billing period and compare it to your energy usage in the past months. It might help you identify where the increase happened. You should also inspect your appliances and lighting fixtures to see if they are drawing too much energy. If you can’t identify the specific cause of the hike, contact your electric company to discuss the issue and explore available options.
Hire a Local Electrical Pro
The methods above are effective DIY tips to investigate, diagnose, and fix your excessive electricity bill. But if you need professional help, then don’t hesitate to contact a local electrician using the phone number or form on this page.
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