Watt's Happening

Ask the Expert: Why is my bill higher than expected, and what can I do about it?

Higher than normal temperatures lead to increased energy use

Energy use can increase during certain times of the year for many reasons. Factors such as weather, the number of days in the billing cycle and more unique circumstances like the ones we find ourselves in today can all play a big role. As a home or business owner, it is important to understand these reasons and how to address them, so you can try to save money however possible.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

Not surprisingly, one of the main factors that can affect your energy bill is weather. Why? Weather is the top driver of high bills because your A/C is working longer and harder to keep you cool. While the weather in Florida can be favorable year-round, we all know our sunshine state can get very hot! So far, temperatures this year have shattered records, reaching highs you would expect during the middle of summer. In early April, Miami reached at least 90 degrees on three consecutive days, experiencing its earliest heat wave on record.

This extreme heat will only continue as summer hits its peak, meaning we’ll continue to use more energy. We get it; it is normal to want to turn the temperature down on the thermostat in your home so that you can keep cool. However, did you know that cooling can make up almost 50% of your energy bill during hotter months? That’s a lot of energy that can result in bill fluctuations. You can also consider enrolling in FPL Budget Billing, which gives you more predictable energy bills by evening out your energy costs over the year, so you pay about the same amount each month.

In order to lower your energy usage, it is essential to ensure your A/C is working efficiently. Plus, each degree you raise the temperature of your thermostat can help you save close to 5% on your monthly cooling costs. To increase your energy efficiency, consider the following:

  • Clean your air filter regularly. A clogged, dirty air filter can cause your A/C to work harder and use more energy. To avoid this, make sure to clean or replace your filter monthly.
  • Consider buying a new high-efficiency A/C. If you’ve been planning to replace your A/C or saving up for it, you may want to consider replacing it now to take advantage of the $150 instant rebate program.
  • Keep bedroom and other doors open. Closed doors can block the airflow and can cause your A/C to pump more air to keep the house cool.

It’s a Full House

Nowadays, everyone is home more than usual. Many Floridians are still working from home and with kids out of school, millions of people are increasing their air conditioning, hot water and appliance use.

If you are cooking more than you normally would, the oven, stove and dishwasher are working overtime. Not to mention, with everyone in the house, some lights are likely on most of the day. All this can add up and contribute to a higher energy bill if you’re not mindful about your use. Simple energy-saving tips, such as turning off a fan when you leave a room, cleaning the lint filter in your dryer before every load and unplugging TVs and systems when not in use can make a significant difference in the long run.

Always remember that by using our FPL Energy Manager, a free tool to monitor and manage your energy use, you can take control of your energy costs today.

We hope you use these resources and tips to save money and stay cool all summer long!