Higher than average bill?
We are happy to assist members with usage concerns and billing questions. Before contacting us, please take a moment to read through the information below to help determine how your energy dollars are being spent.
How's the weather?
Heating and cooling your home can average over 40% of your total energy use. So, it makes sense that during periods of extreme heat or cold, the additional load will cause an increase in electric use. Adding space heaters, electric fireplaces, livestock heaters, or vehicle block heaters can dramatically increase your energy consumption. Running dehumidifiers, pool pumps, or that refrigerator in the garage during summer months, will also add to your electric bill.
I wasn't home...
If you leave your home for an extended period of time for business or vacation, any appliance you leave plugged in or connected will continue to use electricity even while you are gone. Your water heater, freezer, refrigerator, HVAC system, landscape irrigation, well pump, pool pump, etc. keep on running when you're not home. Before you leave, make sure to turn off or unplug appliances that aren't needed and adjust your thermostat to help keep heating and cooling costs down.
Me neighbor's bill is much lower...
No two households use energy the same way, so comparing your energy bill to your neighbor's is like comparing apples to oranges. It's best to compare your current use to your past use. Consider the following:
- Has the size of your household increased?
- Have you added a new swimming pool or hot tub
- Have you had overnight guests?
- Do you have an aquarium?
- Did you renovate or add on to your home recently?
- Is there an RV or camper in use?
Lighting and Appliances
Lighting, refrigeration, cooking, and appliances can account for nearly half of the total energy use in a typical household.
The location of refrigerators and freezers is very important. Never place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in unconditioned spaces such as a breezeway, garage, or out-building. A fridge in a 90° environment, for example, uses nearly 50% more power than one in a 70° environment.
If you do have an extra refrigerator or freezer in use, put it in a conditioned space and keep it as full as possible. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator or freezer help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work the appliance has to do to maintain lower temperatures.
Still hanging on to that old refrigerator? Consider getting rid of it. Old refrigerators, especially those bought before 1993, use more than twice as much electricity as a new Energy Star model.
Is something wrong with my meter?
Meters are often blamed for a higher bill but are rarely the cause. In fact, if a meter is malfunctioning, it's more likely to run slow or quit entirely instead of running fast. Fewer than 2 out of 100,000 meters prove to be defective when tested. That's why we try to assist members in finding what's using the power, rather than focusing on the meters.
Still have questions?
If you still don't understand how and why you're using the amount of electricity you're using, please consult the information and DIY savings tools listed on the Energy Efficiency page.