To gain control over your energy consumption, it's helpful to understand the most common causes of high bills.
Weather is the number one cause of high bills.
- Hot weather - Lowering your thermostat to stay comfortable in humid weather causes your A/C to run longer, which increases energy use.
- Cold weather - Heating your home with your straight cool air conditioner with electric resistance heat elements, can cost two to three times more per hour to run than cooling. People also tend to take longer showers in colder weather, which increases water heating costs.
Electronics and appliances
Many electronic devices continue to draw power even when they are not in use. Consider either plugging these devices into a power strip with an on/off button, or unplugging items when not in use. This includes:
- TVs (larger and plasma TVs use more electricity and produce more heat, which makes your A/C operate more)
- DVDs and DVRs
- Cell phone or battery chargers
*Caution: shutting some items off may require reprogramming
Household size and guests
House guests can cause your electricity use to go up, mainly due to the increase in hot water usage. Also, the size, age and type of house you live in can impact the amount of energy you consume.
Length of billing cycle
The date we read your meter varies slightly from month-to-month due to weekends and holidays, therefore the number of days included in your monthly bill can vary between 25 and 35. So, even if you use the same amount of energy per day, your bill may vary from one month to the next, depending upon the number of days included in your bill.