High electricity bills can be a pain, especially when they catch you by surprise. Here’s everything you need to know to avoid any more unpleasant surprises.
Electricity bill running high? Find out why
The average electricity bills in Pennsylvania are not the highest in the US. But, during summer and winter, that boast can sour.
During summer, you consume more electricity by running your air conditioner around the clock to stay cool, especially with the recent summer heatwaves.
During winter, it’s more of the same, but this time, you’re consuming more electricity to stay warm.
Appliances like air conditioners, heaters, and dryers, are some of the highest energy consumers in your home, and they are the ones you use the most during peak summer and winter times.
Your bills are going to be even higher if you live in a large home with lots of occupants. For instance, a one-story building with two occupants will have a lower bill than a two-story with the same number of occupants. That’s because your cooling or heating system will consume more power to cool or warm a larger space.
Also, electricity providers tend to charge more during peak periods when electricity is in higher demand. The only way to dodge such spikes in electric rates is to be on a budget-friendly fixed-rate plan.
Which appliances use the most electricity?
Knowing which appliances are adding the most to your electric bill will help you better manage your consumption. The biggest culprits are:
All air conditioners consume a lot of electricity, but central air conditioners consume even more – up to 5 kWh (kilowatt-hours) and $60 a month. Considering that you run your air conditioner for hours on end in several rooms, it’s easy to see why your power bill would go up in summer.
When summer ends, you want to enjoy a brief financial reprieve from running your AC. Sadly, when winter comes, you need to stay warm, and using electricity to keep warm is just as expensive, if not more.
If you have a central heating system or separate systems to warm your water and rooms and you are running it around the clock, that’s a lot of money, especially in a big home.
Refrigerators and freezers
Your fridge and freezer are appliances that you probably never turn off. What you didn’t know is the average fridge consumes between 1 to 3 kWh per day. Freezers and larger fridges are worse, consuming around 8kWh per day.
You may not use your dryer often, but when you do, know that it uses around 3kWh.
If you are on a variable-rate electricity plan, using the above appliances during peak periods will cost more. Peak and off-peak periods vary from supplier to supplier, but generally, the off-peak periods when electricity rates are lower are late night and early morning.
Ways to be more mindful and help save energy and money!
The above appliances may consume a lot of electricity, but they are essential. To reduce the cost of running them and save money, consider trading your current appliances for more energy-efficient ones. Appliances that are Energy Star rated come highly recommended.
You can also reduce the cost of running your AC and heating system by properly insulating your home. The more insulated it is, the less heat or cold from outside can get in, and the less power your appliances will consume to keep your home comfortable. You can easily do this with heavy curtains over your doors and windows.
Consider using a fan now and then to stay cool and let your AC take a break. If you are on a variable-rate plan, use your dryer and other heavy appliances only during off-peak periods.
If you prefer a fixed plan, consider comparing electricity providers and switching to one that offers the lowest rates.
Adding a smart product like Nest to your home can also cut down your power consumption by helping you better manage how you use your heating and cooling systems.