A Guide to Understanding Your Energy Bill

A Guide to Understanding Your Energy Bill

Most people pay their energy bills at the end of each month without ever taking a closer look at the information provided in the monthly statement. But learning more about your energy bill can help you improve your energy efficiency and drastically lower your monthly bills.

 If you’re ready to reap these rewards, take a look at this guide to understanding your monthly energy bill:

What is A Normal Electric Bill?

It’s important to know how much the average household spends on electricity every month so you can compare your monthly electric bill to the national average.

In 2018, the average energy bill in the U.S. was $117.85 per month. The average was higher in some geographical regions than others. For example, the average in the Pacific noncontiguous states, which includes Hawaii and Alaska, was $152.22 per month. However, the average in the Pacific contiguous states, which includes California, Oregon, and Washington, was $100.93 per month.

Compare your monthly bill to the average for your region so you can determine whether you are using more electricity than other households in your area.

A Guide to Understanding Your Energy Bill

What Contributes to Your Monthly Energy Bill?

You should also understand the typical breakdown of a monthly utility bill. Understanding what contributes to your energy bill will help you identify ways to save energy and lower your monthly bills.

Heating and cooling your home accounts for about 43% of your energy bill. Miscellaneous electronics such as computers, TVs, printers, and small appliances account for about 21% of your energy bill. Together, these appliances and your heating and cooling system account for nearly two-thirds of your energy bills.

Your water heater also consumes a lot of energy. On average, heating the water in your home accounts for about 13% of your energy bill. Another 12% of your bill goes toward lighting, and the remaining 12% goes towards large appliances in the kitchen and laundry room.

Why Is My Energy Bill So High?

Your energy bill will fluctuate, so don’t expect it to be exactly the same month after month. But if your energy bill suddenly spikes, it’s important to take the time to figure out why. If you don’t identify the cause of the sudden increase, you could end up making the same mistakes and paying more on a monthly basis on energy comparison.

Energy bills may increase for a number of reasons, including:

  • Your utility provider changed their rates. You can either call your utility provider directly or compare your current monthly statement to one from the past to see if the rate has changed.  
  • You’re using too much energy during the peak hours. Utility providers often charge higher rates during peak hours. Call your utility provider to find out when these peak hours are so you can carefully monitor your energy usage during this time period.
  • Newer appliances are designed to consume less energy than old models. If your appliances are old, they could be the reason your energy bills are skyrocketing.

These are some of the many reasons why your energy bill may suddenly increase. Don’t panic if your bill is higher than usual. Fortunately, it is possible to drastically lower your monthly energy bill.

How Can I Save Money On My Energy Bill?

There are countless changes you can make around your home in order to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your energy bills. Follow these tips:

  • Plug devices into a power strip instead of directly into wall outlets. Then, turn the power strip off when the devices are not in use. This will cut off the flow of electricity so the devices do not continue to consume power while they’re turned off.
  • Keep appliances clean. Dirty filters, coils, and other components can make an appliance less energy efficient.
  • Switch to LED lighting. If you don’t want to switch every bulb, start with the five bulbs you use the most frequently.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Then, adjust the settings so the heating and cooling system goes off everyday during the hours you aren’t home. This way, you won’t waste money on heating or cooling a home that is completely empty.
  • Turn on your ceiling fan instead of dialing the temperature on the thermostat down even further.

You don’t have to make major lifestyle changes to start saving money. Following these tips will allow you to save money on your energy bill without sacrificing your comfort.

Take Control of Your Energy Bill

Gaining a better understanding of your energy bill is the key to improving your energy efficiency and lowering your monthly expenses. Start by figuring out how you are using energy at home with the Benefyd app. Using this app, you can conduct a home energy audit in as little as five minutes. The app will create a customized report full of recommendations that will help you conserve energy and drastically lower your monthly energy bills.