What Causes High Electric Bills?
Experiencing sticker shock after your latest electricity bill? You’re not alone. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average residential electricity bill in the United States was $121 in 2021. That’s a lot of money, especially if your bills have been steadily increasing over time.
So what causes high electricity bills? Let’s take a look at some of the most common culprits.
1. Poorly Insulated Home:
Poor insulation can be a major contributor to high electric bills. Inadequate insulation in a home or office building allows hot and cold air to escape from the building, necessitating more energy to be used to maintain desired temperatures. This puts an increased burden on heating systems, as well as air-conditioning if necessary.
Aside from raising energy costs, insufficient insulation can also increase the likelihood of dampness, mold growth, and other indoor air quality problems. Taking steps such as sealing any cracks or gaps in doors and windows and adding extra insulation around attics or basements can help reduce electric bills and improve overall energy efficiency.
2. Inefficient Appliances:
Many outdated, inefficient appliances require much more energy than their modern counterparts to perform the same tasks. For example, an old refrigerator may consume twice as much electricity as a newer model. Similarly, older washing machines, dishwashers, and other such appliances may draw more energy than necessary.
Replacing these outdated models with energy-efficient ones can help save considerable amounts on electric bills in the long run. Regularly servicing existing appliances and ensuring that all settings are set to the most efficient mode can also make a positive difference for your wallet and the environment. Check out our article on which appliances use the most energy.
3. Overuse of Electronics:
We all use our electronics regularly, but many of us don’t realize the energy these devices consume when in standby mode. Remember to unplug or turn off your electronics after use to avoid wasting electricity. If you have multiple devices plugged up into power strips, consider switching the strips off until it’s time to use your devices again.
4. Poorly Maintained HVAC System:
Your heating and cooling system can account for as much as 50% of your total energy costs, so it pays to make sure it is running efficiently. Over time, filters become clogged and parts wear out, making the system less efficient and resulting in an increased demand for energy to heat or cool a building.
Furthermore, HVAC systems should be regularly serviced and inspected by competent technicians, as bad wiring and worn-out parts can also lead to higher than normal electricity use. Keeping your HVAC system properly calibrated and running smoothly is essential for maintaining low energy costs.
5. High Usage during Peak Hours:
Most electricity providers have peak hours when the energy demand is highest, usually in the afternoon/evening. If you use more energy during these periods, your bill will likely be higher than it would be if you spread out your energy usage over more hours.
By understanding what causes high electricity bills and taking steps to reduce your use, you can save money and keep your home comfortable all year round!
Consider switching to a provider that offers time-of-use rates. These rates provide a discount on usage during off-peak hours, making it less expensive to use energy when demand is not at its highest.
Tidal Electrical Services Can Help
If you’re still receiving high electric bills even after following these tips, consider reaching out to the experts at Tidal. Our team of technicians has the knowledge and experience to diagnose any electrical problems that could be causing your bills to skyrocket.
Our goal is to help you save money on electric bills in the long run and keep your home comfortable. Contact us today to learn more!