Are you wondering why your energy bill is so high right now? Let’s look at a few reasons why and how to solve these issues.
Reasons Why Your Energy Bill Is High
There are many reasons why your bill will climb month to month, slightly or dramatically. Thankfully, there are also plenty of actions you can take to lower your energy bill. Follow our guide below to help save on energy costs in the future.
1. Inefficient Lightbulbs
You certainly have a lot of choices when it comes to lightbulbs these days. Choices include halogen bulbs, incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). All of these bulbs will use different amounts of energy over time. CFLs and incandescent bulbs will emit light and heat in all different directions, which can waste a lot of energy. LED bulbs, meanwhile, are much more efficient since they emit light in a specific direction. These will use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs last 25 times longer, as well, meaning home and business owners will undoubtedly save money in the long term. Solution: Look for ENERGY STAR-certified LED lights, which will help lower your electricity bill.
2. Insufficient Insulation
If your windows happen to not be closed properly, it can cost you a lot of money. Insufficient insulation has been known to be one of the biggest reasons why your energy bill is so high. Put simply, if your home is not insulated properly, then the warm or cool air will escape. Currently, the North American Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates roughly 90% of U.S. homes are under-insulated. Doors, windows and attics are some of the bigger problem areas in the home. Sometimes, these areas can account for up to 50% of all air leaks. Solution: In order to fight air leaks, check all exterior frames of your windows and doors to see if they need caulking re-applied.
3. Other Sources Draining Power
Simply remembering to turn off the lights and adjust your home’s temperature when you leave will save you in energy costs. While these are all great steps to take, there’s still a chance that vampire sources are draining electricity. Vampire sources are appliances and electronics that remain plugged in all the time, night and day. Your appliances, television and computer are all examples of vampire sources. These appliances/electronics use a small amount of energy all the time. When you leave any electronics on the charger, it will continue to use power long after it’s fully charged. Solution: Unplug all devices as soon as you are done using them. They are passively using electricity at all times.
4. Irregular Thermostat Use
Believe it or not, how you use your thermostat can either lower or raise your electric bill. Most individuals will simply adjust the temperature according to their comfort level indoors. This is actually a very inefficient way to control temperature inside the home. Think more about the home’s needs than the needs of individuals here. For example, you could program the heat to dial back during the day when nobody is home. Solution: Try raising the temperature just a bit higher than normal during the summertime. Lower it a bit in the winter, and this could lead to an estimated 6% savings on your energy bill.
5. Changes In Energy Consumption
If you are not tracking your energy use, it’s easy to assume you use the same amount each month. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Consider the times of the year that you use the most energy. This could be in the summer when the AC is running a lot or during the holidays when festive lights are displayed. There could be other reasons why your energy consumption has changed lately. For instance, you may have purchase a new appliance or electronic device. A space heater could also cause a large jump in your energy bill. Solution: Figure out why energy consumption has changed, then figure out how you can lower the usage throughout the day.
6. Energy Use During Peak Time
Just like Uber rides to a highly-anticipated event, it is possible you’ll pay more for electricity during the most popular times for energy use. Energy rates may fluctuate throughout the day, depending on the demand. Based on the numerous Americans working 9-5 workdays, peak energy use time is during the early mornings and evenings. Knowing this can help you strategically limit the use of appliances during peak hours. Solution: Try to do some of your typical chores during the middle of the day or late at night, if possible.
7. Climate Challenges
One of the biggest reasons why a bill may double from month to month is due to climate conditions. Extreme climates, including areas with cold winters and harsh summers, will typically see rises in electric rates during those seasons. When your AC or heater has to work overtime, it will undoubtedly impact your bill. Solution: Work on conserving energy during the times of year without harsh weather conditions.
8. Increasing Electricity Rates
Another simple reason for higher expenses is the rising rate of electricity nowadays. Energy rates have consistently risen year over year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a 4% increase from November 2014-2018. Solution: Prepare for electricity costs to continue rising until 2040, according to the EIA.
9. Daylight Savings Time
Often overlooked, daylight savings time can drastically alter your energy use. This was originally intended to save energy, but centuries ago most energy usage came from light. Nowadays, lighting makes up very little of our overall energy usage. Heating and cooling now make up the largest portion of energy bills, which is affected by daylight savings time. Solution: Run the AC less during long summer days, and heating less on colder mornings.
10. Your Social Life
There are certainly times of the year when you are more likely to have people over at the home. What happens in these cases is that you’ll most likely have more lights on, cook more and use areas in the home that are usually vacant. Solution: Hosting guests frequently will cause your bill to increase. Arrange a gathering at a local restaurant instead of hosting a large party.
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