If your electric bill seems higher than it used to be, it’s time to investigate.
1. Check your history. First, verify that the bill truly is higher. Log into SmartHub and review your bills over the past year. You might be surprised to see how much your use fluctuates depending on the season. You can also see your use for the same month in the prior year printed on your bill. That’s generally a better comparison that how much electricity you used than the prior month, since the weather can change drastically. Which brings us to the next point…
2. Check the weather. Fluctuations in outdoor temperatures can lead your family to crank up the air conditioning on especially hot days. Most people with air conditioning use more electricity during the hottest summer months than at any other time of the year. Even if your family hasn’t changed the setting on your air conditioner, think about how much harder it has to work—which takes electricity—to maintain the temperature inside your home when the outside temperature raises a few degrees.
3. Check what’s plugged in. If you thought your bill would be lower during a month when your family was on vacation, you might be surprised to realize that your appliances still use substantial electricity when the house is empty. Your refrigerator, landscape irrigator and well pump, for instance, keep running while you’re gone unless you have unplugged them. In fact, any appliance plugged into the wall uses electricity, whether or not anybody is home to use them.
4. Check your equipment. As appliances such as refrigerators and water heaters age, they become less efficient. If your air-conditioning and heating system or another large appliance is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. If you do replace appliances, check to see if any of them are eligible for a Medina EC rebate at MedinaEC.org/Rebates.
5. Check your lifestyle. If your college-age child is home for the summer or if your school-age children are spending summer days at home instead of at school, your electric bill will be a bit higher than it was while they were away. If your grandkids are enjoying their vacation at your house, your bill could go up. If you’ve had houseguests, you’ve used more electricity. If you’ve added a major appliance, such as a pool with a pump, a hot tub or even an oversized TV, that has affected your electric bill, too.
6. Don’t rely on your neighbors. No two families use electricity the same way and no two homes are built the same, so if you believe your bill is too high because your neighbor’s is lower, you’re not making an even comparison. The better comparison is between your use of electricity now compared with the same time last year, which is shown on every paper bill or can be easily seen in SmartHub.
If you still think your bill is higher than it should be, contact our staff for help figuring it out. Call us at 1-866-MEC-ELEC (632-3532) or email us at [email protected].