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Why is My Bill so High??
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When you receive your bill and you think it is too high, here are somethings to research.
Review how much power you've used for the last 13 months.  This is called Kilowatt hour (kWh) history.  This history is provided for you on every bill. You can compare your most recent month to that same month one year ago. Whether fluctuations may be a factor in any major differences, but this is a good place to start your search.  The kilowatt hours you use are the main driver of costs on your electric bill.

Check to be sure this is a true high electric bill.  Are there other charges beyond electric service?  Any additional service fees ?
  • Have any past-due amounts from the previous bill been added to the total?
  • Are there other services such as water, sewer, trash, security lights, etc?
  • Don't forget about taxes
Check the number of days that are billed for your electric use.  This varies from bill to bill due to the number of days in a month and a billing cycle may be a bit shorter or a bit longer depending on how the weekend falls or if there are holidays.

Check the kilowatt hour total by month.  From the history, are the winter months  higher, indicating some for of electric heat, higher hot water use or heaters being used on water beds?  Do the summer months indicate air conditioning?  Were the temperatures higher or lower than normal during this period?

If you leave your home for an extended period of time for business or vacation, any appliance you leave plugged in or connected will continue to use electricity even while you are gone, especially your hot water heater, freezer, refrigerator, HVAC system, landscape irrigation, well pumps, etc.  Most of us note that the TV and lights were not on, but we forget about these items.

No two households use energy the same was, so comparing your energy bill to your neighbor's is like comparing apples to oranges.  It is best to compare your current use to your past use.
  • Determine if the size of your household has increased or did someone stay at home more.
  • Have you added a new swimming pool or hot tub in your backyard?
  • Have you had 'a guest' stay for an extended period?
  • Do you have hobbies that include the use of power tools, ovens and other high electrical resistance tools or appliances?
Light, refrigeration, cooking and appliances account for 56% of the total energy used in the normal household.  The location for refrigerators and freezers is very important.  NEVER place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in an unair-conditioned space such as a breezeway, garage, or out-building.  The refrigerator or freezer will have to work harder to over come excessive heat during warmer months.  Make sure that your refrigerators and freezers have adequate ventilation.

If an appliance is more than 15 years old, the efficiency of that appliance may be decreasing significantly and requiring more energy to do its job.  It is important to clean or replace the condenser, coils or filters on some appliances regularly.  You may need to replace the appliance itself.  Many times old electrical wiring will have loose connections resulting in increased electrical use and create potential safety hazards.  

The additional heating or cooling load will cause an increase in electric use.  Heating and cooling your home averages around 44% of your total energy use.  Using space heaters, fireplaces, livestock heaters or vehicle block heaters in the winter can dramatically increase your energy consumption.  Running a dehumidifier or watering a lawn, gardens, and animals in the summer months will increase your energy use.

Lightning can sometimes damage your well pump, sump pump, or appliances increasing the running of these devices.  If underground wiring-insulation is damaged, an increase in electrical use may occur when the ground is saturated with moisture.  You may want to consider having an electrician test your home's ground rod installations.

Has there been any underground excavation recently?  If you have underground wiring, the electrical wires may have been nicked resulting in a direct short.  Many times room additions are competed without proper sizing of HVAC for additional heating and cooling loads.



City of Herington 17 N. Broadway,   Herington, KS 67449    -    785-258-2271
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