Did you have a higher than average bill this month? Your electric bill can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Before you contact Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative about your high bill, look into these possible reasons that may explain why your bill was higher than average:
- Longer Billing Period
- Increased Heating and Cooling
- Addition of New Household Appliances or Lifestyle Changes
- Inefficient Appliances and Needed Repairs
- Meter Malfunction
Longer Billing Period
98% of CMEC’s meters are automatically read, however sometimes holidays and meter reading schedules can shorten or extend a billing cycle. Look carefully at your bill to determine if the number of days you were billed was higher this month. back to top
Increased Heating and Cooling
When extreme weather conditions exist outside, the temperature inside is adjusted. During the hottest months of the summer and the coldest months of the winter, our members often increase their energy use. Even if you did not adjust the temperature on your thermostat, colder or warmer than average weather probably had your system working overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. back to top
Addition of New Household Appliances or Lifestyle Changes
When looking at your electric bill, consider any recent purchases or upgrades that may be drawing additional power in your home.
Electronics and other gadgets are making us more ‘plugged’ in each year. Televisions account for about 4 percent of annual residential electricity, and the newer, high-definition TVs (HDTVs) draw even more power. One 50-inch plasma high-definition TV (HDTV) uses approximately 679 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. A 32-inch liquid-crystal display with HDTV capability was pegged at 387 kWh per year. By contrast, an older analog 34-inch TV was estimated to use just 209 kWh per year. And don’t forget about that DVD player, digital cable box and surround-sound system.
Electronics aren’t the only culprits either. Home upgrades may also be adding to your electric bill. Hot tubs, pools and fountains often surprise homeowners when they learn how much electricity they really use.
Also consider how much time you are spending at home. When the kids are out of school during the summer, they may operate the TV longer during the day, or when the whole family is at home for the holidays, your energy usage may increase. back to top
Inefficient Appliances and Needed Repairs
The efficiency of household appliances like air conditioners, washers and dryers has dramatically increased over the last few years. However, older appliances in your home may be losing efficiency, or a needed repair may be what’s drawing more power.
Just a small leak in your water heater could make your water heater work overtime as it refills and continuously reheats. That old refrigerator in your garage may be worth turning off if it’s not being put to good use. If it’s time to shop for new household appliances, choose those that have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR® rating. Contact CMEC to ask about possible rebates on select electric appliances. back to top
Members often ask us if their higher than average electric bill could be due to a meter that is malfunctioning. Meter malfunction is rarely the reason your electric bill rises. In fact, your meter is actually your greatest tool in helping track down inefficient or malfunctioning appliances. Our Energy Expert can show you how to read your meter and evaluate your monthly usage to determine what’s making the biggest impact on your electric bill. Contact our expert today by calling 217-235-0341 or toll free at 888-661-2632. back to top
Find Out How the Little Changes Add Up
Flip the switch. Lower the blinds. Insulate your attic. Lower the temperature on your thermostat. These sound like simple tasks. Take all of these steps around your home or business, though, and you can rack up big savings.