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Reasons Your Electricity Bill is So High: What You Can Do to Lower It

Updated on June 21, 2020

As reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), this household and others like it use 901 kWh of electric power each month at an average cost of 13.12 cents per kWh. This figure reveals a definite increase over last year's median price of 12.68 cents per kWh of electricity used. When you realize that you are paying more than $1,400 each year for electric power consumption supplied by well-known light companies, you will understand the great value of investing in a less costly plan through one of the light companies with no deposit.

Although it is obvious that the majority of homes today are consuming higher volumes of electric power on a daily basis than ever before, a yearly energy cost of $1,400 does seem quite high. All household members, from young children to elderly adults, now use more electronic appliances, devices and conveniences than in years past. Most contemporary households have multiple televisions equipped with cable connections that offer numerous gaming opportunities.

Common Signs that Consumers Are Now Dependent on a Constant Supply of Extra Electricity

• When at home, we often feel restless and edgy unless there is a nearby TV, computer, laptop or tablet screen to turn on.

• Whether at home or on the go, we are inseparable from our smartphones, and, of course, their batteries require frequent recharging.

• Electric-powered vehicles are increasing in popularity now and cutting down on air pollution for both in-town driving and highway travel. However, electric cars, trucks or vans must also have their batteries re-powered with electricity supplied by local light companies.

9 Explanations for Your High Electricity Bills and Major Ways of Lowering Monthly Payments

There are definite reasons for high household electricity usage charges.

1. Inefficient Use of Appliances

An appliance that is not cleaned and maintained well will need more energy for operating. If your vacuum cleaner has an overload of dust and debris, it will require more power to run. If the lint filter in your clothes dryer is clogged with lint, the dryer will need to run longer and use more power to dry your clothing. A standard clothes dryer needs 769 kWh of power for good operation, and a clothes washer requires 590 kWh.

In order to help your appliances run more smoothly and efficiently while saving on electricity costs, you should change your air conditioner filters frequently and clean the refrigerator's condenser coils often. Plan ahead to wash and dry only full loads of clothes, combining loads whenever possible.

It will also help to conserve power if you refrain from using your dishwasher's heated dry option and add dimmer-switches to your home lighting system. Another helpful energy-saving habit is keeping your fridge and freezer reasonably full of food while always avoiding crowding of stored items.

2. Energy Overuse by Incandescent Bulbs

If you are still buying incandescent bulbs for use in your home lighting fixtures and lamps, you truly do need to update. You will be pleased to discover that by changing to LED lights, you will use from 80 to 90 percent less energy while enjoying brighter light and long-lasting use of your LED lighting. As your incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with LED lights. You may decide to go ahead and change your most frequently used lighting to LED lights as a start to cost-savings today from local light companies.

3. Poorly Insulated Home

If the rooms of your home are poorly insulated and plagued by the badly sealed windows and door frames that admit cold air and drafts during freezing winter months, your electricity usage will obviously spike to new heights. Your energy bills will also increase significantly to compensate for such diminished creature comforts.

Your power bills will also increase during the heat of summer due to these same poorly insulated areas. You will need to spend more to stay cool, even with the use of high-power air conditioners or an updated cooling system. Only by installing top-quality new insulation will your home interiors provide the comfort that you and your family need during seasonal temperature changes and weather extremes.

4. Temperature Extremes

Your home's heating and cooling costs account for nearly one-half of your electricity costs each year. To compensate for any sudden spikes in energy use, you can pre-program your thermostat. For example, by setting your thermostat one degree higher during summer, you can save up to three percent in energy usage and expenses charged by local light companies.

If you lower your thermostat by a single degree in winter, you can save as much as five percent on your electricity bills. By setting your thermostat to 78 degrees F during hot weather and to 68 degrees F throughout the cold season, you can enjoy predictable cost savings on energy use.

If you have a central air-conditioning system, you can enjoy improved control of humidity and air cooling by setting the fan control for your system to "auto." If you leave the fan control set to "On," you could be charged $25 more each month for electricity usage.

5. Lowered Water Heater Temperature

By lowering your water heater's temperature setting, you can enjoy cost-savings since less energy will be required to maintain high heat. You can also obtain an insulation jacket or add insulation to your water pipes to help retain heat and save on electricity costs. If you lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees F and add insulation to your heater and pipes, you can successfully maintain adequate heat.

6. Digital Devices Left in Standby Mode

When you switch off your desktop computer, laptop or tablet, DVR, PlayStation, and other digital devices and leave them plugged-in to an electrical outlet, they remain in standby mode. Rather than sleeping, these devices are downloading content, performing updates, and using extra energy. Such phantom power draws can actually increase your electric usage bill by more than 10 percent.

A desktop computer can drain 21.13 watts during sleep mode and just 2.84 watts when switched off. A DVR box uses one less watt of electricity when turned off (36.68 watts) than it does when turned on, but not in use for recording (37.64 watts). You can make it simple to avoid draining and wasting energy by plugging your devices into power strips rather than directly into electric outlets. Then, by switching off the power strip and unplugging it, you can enjoy cost-savings on your energy bill.

By turning off all the systems, equipment, appliances, and devices that use electricity in your home and leaving them plugged into a power strip or electric outlets, you can determine how much energy these "vampire devices" are wasting. Just look at the indicator on your electric meter. If the numbers are increasing, your home is experiencing some energy drainage by these vampires. You can also purchase plug-in devices to check for energy drainage.

7. Fluctuating Electricity Rate

During the daytime and into early evening, the peak hours for energy use occur. These hours are when your utility company has the highest demand for power from consumers. Depending on your utility company's policies, your charges for electricity supplies may be higher during these peak hours. If they are, you will be charged less during off-peak hours.

8. Auto-Turn-Off Sensors for Electronics

It is helpful to remind yourself to switch off all electronic equipment and lights when you leave a room in your home. However, everyone leads busy lifestyles today, and you may have many things to keep in mind while involved with your daily schedule of work or studies, activities, and events.

For this reason, you may benefit from installing auto-turn-off controls for the electronic devices and lighting in the rooms of your home. This will prevent you from having to remember to switch off these devices manually when they are not in use. Most people are amazed at how much these simple auto-controls can reduce your home's levels of wasted energy while significantly lowering your electricity costs.

9. Larger Size Homes

The average size of a new house today is a record-breaking 2,467 square feet. In a home of this size, your heating and cooling costs alone can be quite high. However, when building your home, you and your builder-contractor can lower your future energy bills significantly. By focusing strongly on energy efficiency during the design and construction stages of your home, you can enjoy reasonable and even very cost-effective energy bills.

With excellent quality insulation and air-tight installation for windows, doors and skylights, your new home can offer optimal degrees of energy efficiency and cost savings on electricity charges. When you purchase Energy Star appliances and use power strips for plugging in all of your home electronic equipment and devices, you can alleviate any power drainage as well.


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