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  • Writer's pictureAdam H. Cooke

Why is your Electric Bill going Up? 12 Reasons I

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Oct 23rd 2021

You probably don't pay too much attention to your electricity bill if you're like most people. It's sent by your utility, and you then forget about it until the following month. You suddenly notice that your bill has increased or doubled in value -

Rising energy costs are frustrating. After all, your housing payment doesn't change. Your car payment remains the same every month.

There are many reasons why your utility bill could rise or swing as high as $50 to $75 per month. There are many things you can do to reduce your utility bill. First, you need to determine the reason your bill is so high. We will discuss 12 reasons why utility bills are increasing and what you can do to fix them.

#1 Vampire sources draining power

You turn off your lights when you go away. You unplug your curling machine. And you might adjust the temperature to conserve energy. These are great things, but there are still vampire sources of electricity.

Vampires are appliances that remain plugged in. Think your television, your kitchen appliances, your smart speaker, your computer. These electronics and appliances draw very little energy. Your computer will continue to use energy even if it isn't plugged in to the wall or left charging while you are away.

This is a waste of money and energy. Although vampire sources won't cause an immediate $50 increase in your electricity bill, they can add up over time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, this idle power usage is responsible for 10% of residential electricity consumption. This can lead to an increase in energy costs of more than $100 per year.

The easy solution is: When you are done using them, unplug them. Even though you aren't actively using them, they still use electricity passively. That electricity can add up over time. These vampire sources must be stopped immediately to stop your energy bills from rising.

#2 InEfficient Lightbulbs

There are many options when it comes to buying a lightbulb. These include incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent, CFLs, and light-emitting diode bulbs (LED). These bulbs consume different amounts of energy.

CFLs and incandescent lightbulbs emit heat and light in all directions. This can lead to a large energy waste. LED bulbs have a higher efficiency as they only emit light in one direction. They consume 75% less energy than traditional incandescent lamps and last 25 times as long, so you can save on both bulbs and electricity over the long-term.

Look for LED lightbulbs that are ENERGY-STAR-certified next time you need one. These bulbs are rigorously tested and meet strict conservation requirements. They can also help lower your electricity bills.

#3 Bad Insulation

You may find that your windows are not as well sealed as you think. This can lead to high energy bills. Low insulation could be the biggest reason for high energy bills. Consider how much work your HVAC system puts in to maintain your home's desired temperature. This is especially true if your climate is extreme. Your warm or cool air will escape if your home isn’t properly insulated.

According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, approximately 90% of U.S. homes are not properly insulated. The biggest areas of concern are the attics, doors and windows. Together, they account for 50% of home air leaks .

It's easy to see that poor insulation can lead to higher utility bills when heating and cooling your home account for more than half of your monthly bill (54%) According to Dr. Jonathan Levy (Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University, and the lead researcher in NAIMA's study), "residential electricity usage nationwide would drop about 5%" and "natural gas use by more than 10 percent."

To prevent air leaks, inspect the exterior frames your doors and windows to determine if they require new caulking. You can also find these tips on testing insulation in other areas of your house.

#4 Older, Less-Efficient Appliances

This is a simple fact: older appliances are more efficient than newer appliances. This directly impacts your energy bill. ENERGY STAR appliances consume between 10-50% more energy than their less efficient counterparts.

ENERGY STAR appliances can be independently certified to "save money, conserve energy and protect the environment." Replacing a 10-year old refrigerator by a newer, more energy-efficient model can help you save $144 over five years (based on average national electricity rates).

When replacing your fridge or dishwasher, Energy Star's guide to efficient appliances is your first stop.

#5 Irregular Thermostat Use

Your thermostat's use can affect how much or little you pay for electricity. This goes beyond how well your home is insulated. We adjust our thermostats according to how hot or cold we like. Is it cold outside? Turn up the thermostat!

This is a wasteful way to regulate the temperature in your home. Instead of setting the temperature according to what you want, consider what your home requires. To automate these needs, you can use a smart thermostat (or a programmable one) to set up a thermostat. You can program your heat to turn down at night or increase during the day, when nobody is home.

You can still raise the temperature in summer and winter, even if you're not home. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can reduce your energy bill by about 6% You can save 6% on your energy bill by wearing a sweater next time it gets cold.

#6 Peak-Time Energy Consumption

You may pay more to travel during holidays. However, electricity prices may be higher during peak energy times. Energy rates fluctuate based on demand throughout the day. Most of us work between 9 and 5, so most of our home energy consumption occurs in the mornings or evenings. Due to the rise in demand, energy rates are also highest at these times.

This knowledge will allow you to limit the amount of appliances that are being used during peak hours. To take advantage of the lower rates, you might be able to do your evening chores in the middle of the night or during the day. For example, you can set your dishwasher to delay running overnight. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much your electric bill will go down.

You may not be tracking your energy usage, but who is? It's easy to assume you use approximately the same amount each month. However, this may not be true.

#7 Your social life (really).

You might host parties during the holiday season or in the summer. What happens when you host parties for guests? You might cook more, have lights on in places you don't usually spend time in, or stay up later than usual.

You will likely see an increase in your electric bill if you host guests often. This may not be cause for concern, but it can help you understand why your electric bill has risen.

#8 Changes in your Use

You may not be tracking your energy usage, but who is? It's easy to assume you use approximately the same amount each month. However, this may not be true.

You should think about when you use electricity more: Your air conditioner may be running more frequently in the middle of summer. All those holiday lights use enough electricity for 14,000,000 refrigerators.

You might also have other reasons to change your electricity usage. Are you a homeowner who has recently added an electronic device or appliance to your home? Your energy bill can go up if you add a space heater. Let's assume you have a 1,500-watt space heater. The current energy rate is 10.5 Cents per kilowatt hour (you can check the energy bill to see the exact rate). It will cost you $1.26 per day to heat that space heater for eight hours over night.

(1500Watts x 8 Hours / 1000) x $0.105 = 1.26

This adds up to $37.80 per month on your energy bills.

Consider how much electricity you use if your energy bill has increased. You can then take steps to reduce your consumption, such as turning off vampire sources (#1) or using appliances during off-peak hours (#6).

Save on your electric bill by using clean energy

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#9 Daylight Savings Time

This is a common cause of energy bills changing. Not only does it affect your sleep habits, but also your energy consumption.

Experts disagree on whether daylight savings time actually saves energy as it was intended. Although you may not turn on your lights as often in the evenings, it does make a difference in how much energy we use. Daylight savings time can adversely affect cooling and heating, which make up a larger percentage of our energy use. When it is cold and dark outside, we turn up the heat to keep warm. The air conditioner may be used longer during the summer months.

#10 Extreme Climate

It is not uncommon for residential electric bills to double from one month to the next, as many people believe or hope. Extreme climate is one of the major reasons.

Electric rates will rise in areas with very hot summers and very cold winters. Minnesota's winters can be extremely cold, so your heater will need to work extra hard to keep your home warm.

You will use more energy to heat your home, and that energy will likely cost you more due to high demand. Everybody wants to heat their homes so utilities companies charge more during peak hours.

#11 Rising Electricity Rates

Your bill could also be higher because electricity is more expensive. Your rates have risen to match the constant rise in energy costs year after year.

The U.S. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an average American household paid 13.04c per kWh of electricity in November 2019. This is a 44% increase over the 11.90 cents per kWh rate in November 2018.

Some states might see drops in electricity rates from time to time. The EIA predicts that residential electricity rates will rise at least through 2040.

#12 Energy Market Regulation

Complexity of the energy market is a factor that varies from one state to another. The energy markets are regulated by the states or not.

Electric utility companies are the owners of all power transmission and distribution equipment in regulated market. They are the only energy suppliers that can supply you with the energy generated , and the means to distribute it.

Utility companies are not the only ones who own the deregulated market. Multiple retail electric suppliers instead offer different rates for electricity to the public. You can then choose which supplier you want to purchase energy.

You don't have much room to look for better options if you live in a tightly regulated area. You are stuck paying the rate if your utility raises it. Shop around for a better rate if you live in a deregulated area.

Don't panic if you notice an increase in your energy bills. There are many reasons why your energy bill has increased, and many of them are within your control. There are some things you can do to reduce your power bill.

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