In 2021, the average American household spent $122 per month on electricity. However, prices change from year to year and each home has different energy needs.
If your recent electricity bills were higher than you expected them to be, you might be wondering what caused it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of different things that can cause fluctuations in your utility costs, so you’ll need to do some digging to discover the problem.
In this guide, we’ll list a few things that may be causing your high energy bills.
Vampire Power Sources
One of the possible causes of a high energy bill is vampire power sources.
When appliances and other electronics stay plugged in continually, they can draw a small amount of energy even when they’re not in use. If left unchecked, the energy can add up and the devices that remain plugged in can cause higher utility bills.
To remedy this issue, make sure that you’re unplugging appliances and electronics that you aren’t actively using so that they don’t use too much electricity. Also, be sure to unplug your phone charger and similar devices once they’re fully charged.
Old and Inefficient Appliances
If you have a lot of older appliances in your home, it could be affecting your energy usage and making your bills higher. You may also find that inefficient lightbulbs are causing problems as well. If you haven’t replaced your refrigerator or other home appliances in quite a while, it might be time to do so.
If you think that old appliances could be affecting your energy bills, be sure to look for ENERGY STAR appliance replacements to buy for your home instead. You should also opt for energy-efficient light bulbs as well.
Poor Home Insulation
Poor home insulation can also lead to a high electric bill as well. You might want to double-check the insulation in your home to ensure that everything is as it should be. If you’re letting too much air get in or out of your home, then you may be paying more money to cool or heat it.
Make sure you haven’t been leaving any windows or doors open and ensure that there aren’t any major problems in the attic. These are some of the most common culprits and could cause poor insulation if left unchecked.
An Inefficient HVAC System
If your HVAC system or furnace has seen better days, it may be leading to inefficiency and higher utility costs. HVAC systems wear out eventually and may need to be replaced at some point.
Newer HVAC systems will be much more energy efficient than those that are older, so be sure to keep this in mind when trying to determine what’s causing high energy bills. You may need to get a new HVAC or furnace installation to solve the problem.
You might also want to check whether your thermostat could be causing your high utility bill. A thermostat that is old or isn’t programmable may be harder to use and could lead to poor energy efficiency.
If you have your heat or air running at all hours of the day, it’s likely that your electricity bills will go up. Make sure that you’re not using heat and air when you don’t need it.
It’s a good idea to invest in a smart thermostat so that you can automate the temperature adjustments in your home. Ensuring that your air isn’t running while you’re not home will help with reducing energy consumption.
Home Habit Changes
If you’ve found that your energy usage has changed considerably in a short amount of time, it could simply be because your habits have changed. If you recently added some new appliances or electronics to your home or if you’ve been home more often recently, there’s a good chance that you’re using more energy than you had been previously.
You might want to take a closer look at your habits. Track your energy usage more closely for a couple of weeks to see if you can determine what changed.
Daylight Savings Time
One of the things that may affect how much you’re paying for electricity is whether it’s daylight savings time. If you’ve found that your energy use has gone up immediately after changing the clocks one way or another, it could be that your habits have changed based on the amount of sunlight that you get during the day.
On long, hot days, you may use a lot of air conditioning. Alternatively, you may end up turning on your lights earlier in the evening during the months when there isn’t as much daylight.
Changes in Climate
Depending on where you live, temperature changes throughout the year could lead to the need to use either more heating or air conditioning. Running your HVAC system or heaters more often could use up a lot more energy and can cost significantly more.
If you changed your usage of heating and cooling in the summer months or in the winter, then this could be what led to your higher energy bills. Energy costs can change as the temperature outside changes, so be sure to keep this in mind.
Rising Electricity Costs
Energy costs tend to rise every year, so you may see an increase in your bill based on the changes.
Rates can vary from state to state and between utility companies. However, if there has been an increase in the cost of electricity, then you’re likely to see this on your utility bills as well.
Energy costs will likely continue to rise as time goes by and this could end up costing you more every year.
Understanding Why You Have a High Energy Bill
If you’ve discovered that your energy bills have been getting higher, it’s important to understand why. Chances are that one of the issues above is what’s causing your energy costs to rise, so consider looking for the above problems first.
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