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Why is my electric bill so high? How to Troubleshoot a High Electricity Bill

Jan 16

Why is my electric bill so high? How to Troubleshoot a High Electricity Bill

HOUSTON, TEXAS, Jan.14, 2022 - Texas Electricity Ratings

Ever had a high electricity bill catch you by surprise and wondered if it was a mistake or if you were really using that much electricity? This often leads to a phone call to your electricity provider but oftentimes the issue is with how you are using your electricity.

Here are five possible causes why your power bill may be so high:

1) The electricity plan you have isn't suitable for your apartment or home

Despite some electricity plans looking great, once you look at their Electricity Facts Labels (EFL), the actual conditions can be quite dire.

The electricity plan might offer a low price per kilowatt hour, but this is only after your consumption levels are met. Your monthly electricity bill will be high by then.

You can also get electricity on weekends and nights for free, although they have higher prices elsewhere.

While many plans display their benefits boldly in large font, you will need to carefully read their fine print to find out which ones are less beneficial.

There are many more examples of complicated electricity plans that make it seem like they have better conditions than they actually do. When choosing electricity providers, it is important to carefully review the EFL as well as any conditions.

You will often find you can save hundreds per year simply by switching to a better plan.

Remember that electricity providers may switch you to variable-rate plans after a fixed-rate contract ends. This can cause power bills to rise abruptly. After paying the same fixed price per kWh for many months or years, suddenly this price has changed.

This can be avoided by looking for a fixed-rate option or renewing your contract prior to switching to a variable rate plan.

2) Low insulation in your home and potential air leaks

The top two energy costs for Texas homeowners are heating and air conditioning. They often account for more than half of the total energy consumption.

The following three conditions can lead to heating or cooling costs that are even more expensive:

You have old, inefficient HVAC equipment.

The thermostat has extreme settings. It can set the temperature to the lowest temperature in summer and the highest temperature in winter.

Low insulation or excessive air leaks can cause damage to your building envelope.

The reason behind high energy bills in the first and second cases can easily be identified by simply checking your thermostat settings and equipment nameplates.

Insulation and air leakage are more difficult to identify, so your heating or cooling costs could remain high even after equipment upgrades.

Air leakage and low insulation waste energy throughout the year. Your air conditioner will work harder during summer to counter the heat that is entering your home.

Winter is the opposite. Your property loses too much heat and your heating system uses more energy.

An energy audit is the best way to find low insulation or air leakage. These issues can be exacerbated by high energy bills, even with smart thermostats and efficient HVAC units.

A blower door test can be used to identify air leaks, and a thermal imaging camera is used by energy consultants to find poorly insulated areas.

3. Your water heater runs all the time

An analog control system is used for older water heaters. In many cases, the numbers and text have lost their meaning. Many homeowners leave these controls on in order to save time and confusion.

An electric water heater can increase power consumption. Older heating systems are often less efficient than modern models of similar capacity.

An electric heater that has a storage tank is best, and not an electric resistance heater. An electric heat pump, even if it has the same heating power as an electric heater can cut down on your consumption up to 50%.

A tankless water heater can be used, but it will only activate when there is water. You can choose from a variety of options with the ENERGY STAR designation.

You could be still wasting water even after you have upgraded your water heater.

No matter what type of water heater, it is strongly recommended that you have it professionally installed.

4) You are not set up correctly to make money from your excess solar energy

Solar panels can help you reduce your electricity bills. Your energy could be yours for nothing!

The popularity of solar panel systems has grown in America. You can get 26% off their costs as a federal credit if they are installed before 2022.

But, the majority of homes that have grid-connected solar panel systems only consume a small portion of their electricity.

The most productive time for solar panels is around noon. Homes tend to consume the highest amount of energy in the morning and evening (unless they are working from home).

This has led to a lot of solar energy being left unutilized around noon.

The electricity providers will purchase this electricity from your company and apply the credit to your electric bill.

Also, if you don't have an energy storage system for your solar panels, it will turn your house into a power station during the day. Some electricity providers will buy additional solar power for a low price. In some cases, you may not even get credit.

Grid-tied solar panel owners should ensure that they get electricity plans with attractive solar buyback rates. You can also install a battery to store excess solar energy and then use it at night.

Selling your excess solar power does not require additional investments. However, a battery system can be expensive, often more than solar panels.

5) Hidden or mistaken electrical connections to other dwellings

If you have high power bills, it could mean that there are hidden connections to nearby dwellings. In this instance, you may be paying someone else for electricity.

Apartment buildings or multi-family houses are more likely to experience this because there is often shared space and walls.

This could just be an accidental occurrence. It doesn't necessarily mean that your neighbors are trying to steal your energy.

Perhaps there were wiring errors during construction or the electrician attached the wrong power outlet to an incorrect circuit.

Professionals can inspect your installation and make recommendations.

The power meter can be disengaged from all appliances. The device could still be measuring your consumption.

Be diplomatic with your apartment neighbors. You might be dealing with an electrical problem they don't know about.

The good news is many Texans have the ability to reduce their electric bills by installing solar panels and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. There will still be cases, though, when energy costs remain high despite these efforts.

The above are possible reasons why your electricity is high.

For more great tips, check out our energy-saving tips at TexasElectricityRatings.com.

FAQ

Why is my electric bill is suddenly so high?

Misreading the meters is one of the main reasons why your electric bill is so high. It is common for the meter reader to not be able to access the meter and instead estimate the previous usage.

Which items are the most expensive on your electricity bill?

HVAC
Water heating
Refrigerator
Washer/dryer
Stove and electric oven
Dishwasher
Lighting
TV and other media equipment

What can I do to stop my electric bill from getting so expensive?

How to lower your energy bill in 2020

Make sure to inspect seals around doors, windows and appliances.
Leakage in ductwork can be fixed.
Your thermostat should be adjusted (warmer in winter, cooler in summer).
Set the temperature of your freezer and fridge.
Take shorter showers.
Replace your shower head.
Do not wash your clothes with hot water.
Leakage in faucets can be fixed.

Which factors have the greatest impact on your electricity bill?

Your electric heat, water heater, and air conditioner will make up most of your electricity bill. This is why you should focus your energy management efforts on these areas.

What can I do to reduce my electricity bill?

How to Save Energy

Do not turn on standby appliances.
Get a smart thermostat.
Reduce your thermostat.
Buy efficient appliances.
Get a brand new water heater.
Use a cooler temperature to wash clothes.
Manage your water usage more efficiently.
Invest in double glazing windows.

Why is my electric bill so high? How to Troubleshoot a High Electricity Bill.

Texas Electricity Ratings

Texas Electricity Ratings
1502 Sawyer St, Ste 130
Houston, TX 77007
(866) 303-9147
www.texaselectricityratings.com
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TX Broker Registration BR190365

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