We’ve all been there. You get your electric bill in the mail, and you can’t believe how high it is! You start wondering: why is my electric bill so high? Well, wonder no more!
We’ll break down some of the reasons your electric bill might be higher than usual, as well as provide you tips on how to reduce your electricity usage and save money.
6 Most Common Reasons for High Electricity Bills
If your electric bill has been higher than usual this month, you’re not alone. In fact, the average American household spends about $114.44 per month on electricity. So why is your bill so high? These could be the main culprits.
1. You Leave Your Appliances or Electronics Plugged In
Why is my electric bill so high this month? Well, did you forget to unplug your electronics after you stopped using them? One of the main reasons your electric bill may be higher than usual is because you leave your appliances or electronics plugged in, even when they’re not in use.
While it may not seem like a big deal to leave your TV plugged in all day, it can actually add up and increase your electric bill quite a bit over time. This is commonly called a “phantom load” or “vampire energy.”
According to the US Department of Energy, turned off products that are still plugged in use about 75% of the electricity.
If you want to save some money on your next electric bill, make sure to unplug any appliances or electronics that you’re not using.
2. You’re Using Appliances That Consume a Lot of Energy
Why do you have an abnormally high electric bill? Maybe you use big appliances, like dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers too often.
These appliances use a lot of energy, so if you’re using them every day or multiple times per week, your electric bill is going to reflect that. So, try not to use these appliances so often.
3. You’re Using Old Appliances
What makes an electric bill so high? Old stuff. For example, an old-fashioned refrigerator will use twice as much energy as a new Energy Star model. And an oven from the 1990s can use almost four times as much energy as a newer model!
Of course, we all love our retro kitchen appliances. But it’s important to remember that they come with a hefty price tag. In addition to your electric bill, you’ll also be spending money on repairs and replacements.
4. You Keep the Lights on Even When You’re Out
Why is my electric bill so high when I’m not home? Did you forget to turn off the lights before going out?
It’s easy to forget to turn off the light when you leave a room, but it can really add up over time. If you want to save some money on your electric bill, make a conscious effort to turn off the lights when you’re not using them.
Plus, if you use traditional incandescent bulbs, you should know they are not as energy-efficient as newer LED bulbs.
Do LED lights make your electric bill high? No, LED bulbs use 75% less energy compared to incandescent lighting. LED flood lamps use a small amount of power (11 to 12 watts) to create light as bright as a regular light bulb (50 watts).
5. You Use Your Appliances During Peak Hours
If you use appliances during peak hours, your electric bill will be higher than if you used them during off-peak hours. The peak hours are when you need to be more careful with your power consumption.
During these times, the electric company will charge a higher rate in order for people not to use so much and conserve resources on their end!
Peak hours occur between noon and 6 pm during the summer. Also, between 6 am and 9 am, and 5 pm and 9 pm during the winter. To save some money, use your appliances from 5 pm to 10 pm during the summer and from 9 am to 5 pm during the winter.
6. You Keep Your Hot Water Heater’s Temperature High
What causes a high electric bill? Hot water! We all know how expensive it is to heat water, so when you buy a new heater for your home, turn down the thermostat. The Department of Energy says you can get by with a water heater that is only 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By lowering the setting on your thermostat down 20 degrees, you’ll save 6%–10%.
5 Extra Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill
There are a few ways to save on your energy usage and lower your monthly expenses. Check out our tips below to see how you can lower your electric bill.
Tip #01: Check Your Appliances for Leaks
Why has my electric bill doubled? You might have leaky appliances. They can account for a large portion of your monthly electricity costs. For example, leaking refrigerators can make up to 15% of your home’s total energy usage!
So make sure to check all of your appliances for leaks and fix them. You may be surprised at how much money you can save each month by simply fixing a few leaks!
Tip #02: Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Why is my electric bill so high in 2022? Because you still use incandescent bulbs. One of the easiest ways to reduce your electricity costs is to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. These bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25% longer. Make sure all of your light bulbs are LED or CFL bulbs.
Tip #03: Turn Off Energy Vampires
Simple high electric bill investigation: what’s turned right now? Leaving lights and appliances on when you’re not using them is a waste of electricity and money, so why do that even if you have a six-figure salary? Make sure to turn off all lights and appliances when you’re not using them. Plus, you should unplug appliances that aren’t in use.
Use a power strip for your electronics so you can easily turn them all off when you’re not using them. This simple tip can help you reduce your electricity costs by up to 15% each month!
Tip #04: Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t want your electric bill to be too high, install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on your electric bill. These thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day.
For example, you can set the temperature to be lower at night when you’re asleep, during the day when you’re not home, or during electricity during peak hours (usually between noon and 6 pm, 6 am and 9 am, and 5 pm and 9 pm).
Tip #05: Insulate Your Home
Why is my electric bill so high in the winter? You might be having problems with inadequate insulation. Heating and cooling account for a large portion of most people’s energy usage, so make sure your home is well-insulated and consider upgrading to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
To improve the insulation in your home, you can add weatherstripping around doors and windows, install energy-efficient window treatments, and seal any gaps or cracks in your walls.
Why is my electric bill so high in the summer? If your electric bill is high because you live in a hot climate, there are a few things you can do to reduce your consumption:
- Use a fan instead of the air conditioner.
- Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
- Close blinds and curtains during the day.
- Plant trees or shrubs around your home to provide shade.
Why is my electric bill so high all of a sudden — this is not the best question, as something must’ve been accumulating for a whole month. Still, most likely, the cause may be one of the following: you left your appliances or electronics plugged in, you’re using old appliances, you keep the lights on, or you use your appliances during peak hours.
By understanding these common causes of increased electricity usage, you can take steps to remedy them and save money on your monthly electric bill.
What costs the most on your electric bill?
That would be heating and cooling. Heating your home in the winter and cooling it in the summer account for about 42% of the total bill.
Water heating comes in at a close second, using about 18% of your energy budget. Appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, electric ovens and stoves, and dishwashers are the third-largest energy users in your home, accounting for about 17% of your total bill.
How can I reduce my electric bill?
Here are some tips to help you save on your electricity bill:
- Make sure your home is well insulated and draft-free.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you’re away from home or asleep.
- Replace your old, inefficient appliances with new models.
- Use energy-efficient lighting, such as LEDs.
- Reduce your water heater temperature and insulate the tank.
- Line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Unplug devices and chargers when they’re not in use.
How do I find out why my electric bill is so high?
The first step is to check your usage. Check the kWh usage on your most recent bill and compare it to the same time period from the previous year. If you see a significant increase, that could indicate that something is wrong.
Another thing to look at is your rate plan. If you’re on a variable rate plan, your rates could have gone up. If you’re on a fixed-rate plan, your rates should be the same.
If you’ve ruled out usage and rate increases, the next step is to check for leaks. A leak in your home can cause your electric bill to go up. Check all of the rooms in your house and look for any signs of a leak.
Why is my electric bill so high even though I do all of the above? In that case, call your utility company and ask them to help you troubleshoot. They may be able to offer some insight into what’s going on.