Whether you rent an apartment or own a home, the chances are high that you’ll need to pay your electric bill each month. That being said, have you ever given much thought to why you pay the amount you do for your electric service? Different electric suppliers offer different electric rates and contract terms, meaning that not every electric plan is created equal. Even so, the bulk of your electric costs are actually attributed more to your own behaviors as a consumer than the specific rate you get from your energy supplier.
As such, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the things that contribute to your electric bill being higher some months. Most electric providers will offer you the ability to compare your bill against others in your area as well as your historical usage to help you better understand how your electricity usage compares to other homes on your block or in your zip code. Once you understand when your usage is spiking, you may be able to adjust your habits while comparing them with the following causes of higher chargers from your utility company.
Of course, even if you can adjust your behaviors, you may still be interested in switching suppliers to find the lowest price possible. You may want to compare electricity suppliers against each other online to find the best alternate supplier for you and your needs. Whether that means finding a supplier that’s capable of handling green energy or finding an alternate supplier in your zip code that offers both natural gas and electric service, a little research can also help you lower your bill.
Some of the biggest energy suckers (also known as “energy vampires”) in your home are your large appliances. Your washing machine and dryer, for example, are two appliances that can use up a lot of energy. The same can is true of your refrigerator as well as your dishwasher. One way to cut down on these costs is to be more efficient in using these appliances. For example, running your dishwasher or washing machine when it’s only halfway loaded can expend twice as much energy since you have to use the appliance more than once to do the same amount of work.
It’s also worth noting that outdated appliances can also cost you a fortune in the long run. Newer appliances have Energy Star ratings and are made to be more energy-efficient or even take advantage of renewable energy. Outdated appliances may work less effectively, requiring more power to do the job properly.
One habit that many people have is leaving a light on in a room they’re not in. This is wholly unnecessary and could cost you a lot of money if you do it often enough or with multiple rooms at a time. Thankfully, this is easy enough to remedy: turn off the light when you’re done in a room. Kitchens and bathrooms are both areas of the home where you’re more likely to keep a light on inadvertently. You may even want to consider cutting down on light usage by opening up your shades and letting in more natural light, too.
Nowadays, it’s becoming increasingly common to have multiple electronic devices that need charging. With more consumers owning laptops, smartphones, and tablets, the odds are high that you have more than one device plugged in right now while you’re reading this! If the device doesn’t need to be charged (or is fully charged but still plugged in), unplugging it from the outlet can also help prevent phantom power drains from making your bill more expensive.