It’s no secret that many people shiver in fear when they think that their electricity bill is coming up soon.
They start wondering how they’ll be able to pay it, considering that the previous bills had all turned out to be monsters when they expected ants. I think you get the point.
Read on to find out what the most common causes of this huge problem are and how you can figure out the solution once and for all - making it easier for you to rest easy and for your wallet to not be empty due to those ever increasing electricity-related costs.
First of all, note that this is a common frustration among homeowners. It’s something that has been this way for many years and will only increase as more powerful appliances are developed and living-costs rise.
The difference between the homeowners that stay frustrated and those that don’t is that the ones that don’t, do their research and find solutions like the power efficiency guide to make this problem less and less burdensome - solutions which we’re going to look at in this quick guide.
The first step that you must take is to ensure that you really dig deep and figure out what the root of the problem is. Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of high electricity bills.
Up first, we have new electronics. Most people think that new electronics are energy savers and won’t cause an increase in their electricity bill. The real issue though is when a lot of these new electronics are plugged in and consuming power. It all adds up - without you even realizing it.
The second common cause of an increase in your electricity bill happens when new people start spending more time in your home. To be honest, there is not much to be done about this. However, similar to anything else in life it’s important to be aware of this and be conscious of the fact that the more people you have visiting or living in your house, the higher the electricity bill will be - unless you address this as we will see later on in this guide.
The next common cause of high electricity bills are old electronics. Again, it’s no secret that having an old heater in the house is much less energy efficient (and as a result will increase your electricity bill much more) than having a newly installed, energy-efficient air conditioner that keeps you warm during the winter.
As with the previous point, having a big number of old electronic devices in your home will increase your bill - and it will increase it a lot.
Keep this in mind when you’re considering why your electricity bill is so high.
Unused, But Active, Devices
Next up, we have the problem of too many plugged in appliances that aren’t being used. It all adds up and the same thing applies here. This includes devices that have stand-by modes, such as microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines or any device with AC/AD chargers (laptops, printers, computers, etc.).
Remember that electricity costs are always increasing and therefore, it all adds up.
“Time-of-Use Plan” Scams
Finally, some devious utility intermediaries or electrical contractors have a plan (which is often called a time-of-use plan) where they’re charged a higher rate based on the time in which they use electricity. Some people get forced into this plan by being tricked into thinking that they will save more energy than it will cost. However, we’ve seen time and time again cases where this didn’t happen - and even worse, the homeowner ended up paying more.
Energy Saving Solutions
So you might be asking - what are the solutions? That is a great question to ask because fortunately for you, there’s a few simple solutions that’ll soothe your headache as your electricity bill decreases or even disappears completely.
An Energy Saving Audit
One thing that I would totally recommend is to get an energy audit done for your house. This might be one of the best long term plans that you can do since you’ll get the best possible ideas and solutions for your specific situation - solutions that you can implement and start seeing changes happening immediately (i.e. Less electricity being used in your home).
Some of these solutions might be having insulation installed in your home; using more LED bulls to save energy; and possibly adding weather stripping in your home.
Be Aware of “Vampire Appliances”
If you have any kind of electricity plan, be aware of how much energy you’re using in peak hours and which appliances are using the most energy at that particular time.
We call these ‘vampire appliances’ because that’s exactly what they are - they should be reduced (or removed) at all cost. These devices use electricity even when they’re “off” by going into standby mode. These vampire appliances amount to 10% of home energy usage on average. This article mentions, when you include all the homes in the US, this equates to 26 average-sized power plants, or 52 billion kWh per year!
Finally, the number one best solution that you should seriously consider, if you’re serious about getting rid of your energy bills once and for all, is to install solar panels in your home. By going solar, you will see both immediate and long term savings. You will hedge against future increases in electricity, making this an ideal long-term solution.
Another benefit that most people don’t think of when it comes to going solar and installing panels in their home, is that their property value will increase. We have seen this time and time again when it comes to property that is about to be sold - the properties that have solar panels installed have a much higher selling value than those that don’t.
Finally, you will also help to protect the environment. As we all know, we must all do our part to help preserve the environment both for us and for the future generations after us.
We’ve looked at various problems that can increase your energy bill without you even realizing it. We’ve looked at the culprits that can cause frustrations and headaches that you might not even realize were there - until you receive your energy bill. Additionally, we’ve looked at solutions that you can decide to implement in the near future to reduce these frustrations - solutions that are both short and long-term.
We’ve agreed that going solar and having panels in your house is the best way to move forward, simply because you can start seeing savings in your electricity bill immediately. Some solar customers are even able to sit back as some bills amount to $0. Imagine that - never having to pay another electricity bill in your life. Wouldn’t that be heavenly?
Please act on the information above if you’re not happy with your electricity bills. Your sanity (and wallet) will thank you!
Article written by professional electrician Gerrit Ballast, founder and owner of Power 4 All, Albany WA.