Why is my electric bill so high? We have been taught from a young age that electricity is shocking, but no one warned us about electric bill shock! Awful jokes aside, most people have had times when they opened their electric bill and couldn't believe their eyes.
Why Is My Electricity Bill So High?
High bills can hit seemingly by surprise and put a damper on your plans. But you aren't powerless to prevent these high power bills, there are steps you can take to diagnose, and even eliminate high energy bills forever.
Ultimately the answer is going to come from one of two places. Either your electricity rate is too high, or your energy consumption has gone up. In either scenario, APG&E is here to help. Check out some common causes of high energy bills, and how you can fix them.
1. Your Energy Contract has Ended
If your electricity contract has ended, your supplier has no idea how much longer you are going to stay with them. This uncertainty means they are buying power for your house that you may never use. To offset this risk, rates are often higher if you are between contracts.
The good news is that you can easily fix this problem. Renew your electricity contract, or shop for a new provider and you can lock in a low fixed rate for a year or more.
If you are with APG&E, we try very hard to remind our customers about the end of their contract. We send reminder emails and letters leading up to the end of your contract. We even try to find special offers as your renewal time gets closer.
What happens when your contract with APG&E expires?
2. Broken or Old Appliances
Most of our electricity spend goes to pay for our heating and cooling. But in the event that your air conditioning unit or heater is getting older or damaged, it will have to work harder to keep your house comfortable. drastically increasing the amount of electricity you use.
If you are in the market for new appliances, be sure to look for energy-star-rated appliances. This rating not only helps to promote energy efficiency but also tells you what your estimated energy spend will be. Next time you buy a hot water heater, or other appliance, keep an eye out for the energy usage sticker provided by energy star.
Related post: What to do with old appliances
3. Power Vampires
Many appliances and devices draw power even when you think they are turned off. These appliances may actually still be on in standby mode, or they may not even have the option to turn them fully off. In either case, they still use your power and drive your bill up even when you aren't using them.
The most common location of power vampires is in your living room. Your television, Xbox, and receiver all use power even when they aren't active. By plugging these types of appliances into a power strip
Read our full guide to common power vampires to learn more.
4. Incandescent Light Bulbs
For over a hundred years, incandescent bulbs were the cheapest and easiest option to light your home, but lately, this trend has been shifting. LED bulbs are getting cheaper, and the costs of keeping old incandescent bulbs in the home are starting to add up.
LED lights aren't just more efficient to run, they produce considerably less heat. Your air conditioner and your wallet will thank you since they won't be fighting to keep your house cool while you keep it lit. In addition to efficiency and cooler operating temperatures, LED lights to come in a variety of more natural colors, allowing your house to seem fresher and more spacious without the ominous orange glow of old incandescent lights.
Related post: Energy Saving LED Light Bulbs
5. High Electricity Rates
Many people have been with their electricity supplier for years, never thinking to shop around for a better deal. This can seem easier, but with how volatile the electricity market can be, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
If you haven't shopped for electricity in a while, take a look at current energy prices and see how much you could be saving.
Gimmicky Electricity Rates
"Free nights, Free weekends, Free toasters, free...free...free..." Does this sound familiar? It seems like you can't drive down the freeway or turn on the radio without someone promising you free things when you sign up for an energy plan. While not all of these plans are bad, some of them are more complicated than most people aware of.
"Free Nights" electricity plans are a great example. It seems easy, just do loads of laundry at night, avoid high energy usage activities during peak hours, and easily save money. But the fact of the matter is, peak hours are peak for a reason. The sun is up, the air is hot, and most people are awake. This means you are going to want to get work done and be comfortable doing it. Simply sweating it out in the dark to save a few dollars isn't worth it to most people.
If you want to bust more energy plan myths, check out a few of our blog articles on the subject.
Free Nights and Weekends, Top Plans Compared.
Wholesale Energy Plans, Are They Worth it?
Demystifying Misleading Energy Plans
For more great information about your electricity bill, check out our guide. Your Electricity Bill - 6 Questions You Should Ask?