The Information You Need To Manage Your Electric Use And Cost

Every household runs on a budget. And while some may be larger than others, it is still equally important to remain within the limits afforded by that general financial guide. So when you open your electric bill and discover a drastic increase, it impacts all of the other expenses within your budget. And in some cases, a sudden and significant jump in an electric bill can mean that other responsibilities must go unpaid.

Knowledge is power. And when it comes to your electric bill, it helps to know where the power and money are going and how you can better manage the consumption to reduce your future electric bills. In general, most home’s largest energy consumer is HVAC equipment. This one feature accounts for nearly half of all electrical use in the house. The water heater comes in second with 14%, followed by all other appliances using 13% of your home’s electricity. Lighting takes another 9%, and television and media account for about 4%.

Why Has My Electric Bill Increased

Knowing which items are consuming power is only part of the solution. The other part is understanding how these devices might be misusing energy or failing to provide their service in an energy-efficient manner. Below are the top reasons most electric bills increase:

  • Energy Vampires- These are devices that continue to consume power, even when they are turned off. They go into a sleep or standby mode and account for about 10% of the average electric bill. Unplugging these devices or using a power strip will stop this wasted energy.
  • Poor Lighting Choices- Overhead lights provide a wash of light in the entire room. But often, they are not sufficient for workspaces, so you add lamps for direct light. Eliminating overhead lighting is a great energy saver and can reduce unnecessary heat in the room.
  • Poor Lightbulb Choices- LED bulbs deliver the same lighting quality while using about 90% less energy than incandescent options. And even though they cost a bit more, they offer a life expectancy exponentially longer than cheaper traditional light bulbs.
  • Poor Insulation- When the temperature changes drastically, your heating and cooling costs are likely to spike if you do not have the proper insulation in your home. Window quality and window coverings are also contributing factors to substantial warm or cool air loss.
  • Outdated Appliances- Old appliances can consume double or triple the energy used by a new Energy Star appliance. When you are ready to update, be sure to look for the Energy Star to get the most energy-efficient appliances on the market to help reduce your energy cost.  
  • Inefficient Appliance Use- Never run the dishwasher or washer and dryer unless you have a full load. These appliances are only saving you energy and water when you run a cycle with a fully loaded unit. Washing only a single outfit or a few dirty plates is a massive waste of energy.
  • Overnight Charging- Most tablets, smartphones, and laptops only require a few hours to achieve a full charge. However, if you leave them plugged in all night, they will continue to bleed electricity. Monitor the battery indicator on your electronic devices, unplug them from the charger, and remove the charger from the outlet as soon as they reach a full charge.

To learn more about installing energy-efficient appliances, lighting, or easy to access outlets, call (915) 328-4229. The licensed electricians at Secure Electrical Contractors have decades of experience helping customers locate and eliminate energy wasters in their homes. And we always provide a free estimate and warranty for every job in your home.