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Why is my utility bill high?
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The first thing you need to do is to figure out what is normal.
What is a normal utility bill for you?

The City utility bill includes electric, water, water surcharge, sewer, trash, and sales tax.  Examine your bill when you receive it.  Does it seem high?  
  • Look at your electric (kWh) and water (GAL) usage. 
  • Look at your previous months usage.  
  • Look at your previous years usage for the same month.  
  • Look at how many days are in the cycle. 
  • What was the weather during that cycle? Was it colder or hotter than normal?   
  • Is there a PB (Previous Balance) on it? The billing date of the new bill is always the 1st of each month.  If you pay a delinquent bill on the 1st or after, it will not reflect on your new bill.  You can check with the Office to make sure your payment was received.   
Here are a few things that will increase your monthly kWh/water usage

Insulation.  Poor attic insulation is likely the #1 cause of energy loss in your home.  Proper insulation lowers energy bills and creates a more comfortable home.  

Seasonal items.  Appliances and other equipment used at different times of the year (air conditioners, dehumidifiers, hot air furnaces, electric heaters, etc.)  can make a significant difference in your kWh usage.  Even if these items run on gas or oil, chances are that electricity is still used for circulation.

Water leaks.  Did you know a dripping faucet could add to your usage, also a dripping water heater, and toilets are considered a silent leak.  You can test your toilets by putting food coloring in the tank.  If the color shows up in the bowl, your seal in the tank needs replaced.

A full house.  Times of higher occupancy and activity, like holidays and school vacation (Spring Break), can cause your kWh usage to higher than normal.  House guests, including kids home from college, can use a lot more electricity, for example, more showers, laundry, cooking and dishes, all of which use hot water.  In addition, the size, age and type of house you live in an impact the amount of energy you use. 

Faulty appliances.  A leaky water heater, a pool pump that's running constantly, a faulty thermostat, older refrigerator or freezer with a poor door seal, etc. are all defects can lead to a surprisingly high electric bill.  Many electronic devises continue to draw power even when they are not in use. Consider unplugging these items when not in use, or use a power strip with a convenient on/off switch.

That forgotten item.  Did you use an electric leaf blower, do more computer work and printing than normal, buy a larger refrigerator or large-screen TV?  Any of these things could cause an increase in your kWh usage.

Ways to lower your kWh usage:

Seal up the house.  You have money leaking through cracks around the doors and windows.  Make sure your attic has the proper amount of insulation.  According to Consumer Reports, sealing leaks can reduce energy cost by 15 to 30 percent.

Unplug electronics.  I know, I know.  It should go without saying; but, we seem to forget about phone chargers and camera battery chargers and leave them plugged in.  By using power strips, you could shut off electricity to these devices all at once.

Replace air filter.  Most of us are pretty good at replacing our filter, but we could be more diligent.  Dirty filters restrict airflow causing the AC system to run longer and use more energy.  Add a recurring task to your calendar to make sure the air filter gets replaced.


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