Common Reasons Utility Bills Spike and When to Worry

Budgeting is an effective tool to plan your finances every month. You plan for your fixed expenses so you know how much money you have to spend when it comes to the fun stuff. However, what happens when your fixed expenses suddenly seem higher than normal? Things like your mortgage, insurance, and car payments are usually set amounts, but your utilities bills will change based on the seasons and your energy consumption.

Seeing a big spike in your utility bill can sometimes be a cause for concern, especially if you didn’t budget for a high electric bill. There are so many different areas and appliances in your home that affect your energy costs. From the thermostat to the dishwasher to the freezer to the water heater, you are using energy in so many different ways. Your relationships to each of these items, the age and health of your appliances, and the season can all affect your energy bills. Let’s examine a list of common reasons for your electric bill to spike and if/when it is time to worry.

Using old, non-energy-efficient systems.

As technology becomes more advanced and efficient, old systems will start to falter and lose their touch. It may be time to check if your appliances are a good fit for your current living situation. If you have an old heating and air conditioner unit, it will eat up way more energy than the newer, energy-efficient models. After seeing a sudden spike in utility bills, it may be a good idea to consult an HVAC repairman to see if you need a new system. This is the kind of problem that will require immediate action to help your home. Professionals with years of experience will be happy to take you on as a new client and get you set up with a new HVAC unity to help lower your energy bills.

Overusing your appliances.

Another cause for a significant increase in energy costs is overusing your appliances. Using the washing machine multiple times a week or running the dishwasher every night are ways homeowners overspend on energy without even realizing it. This should be an easy fix for you. Make an effort to conserve your hot water by waiting till the dishwasher is full to run it and by consolidating your laundry days.

A change in the season and weather.

You’re probably familiar with the fact that the weather affects your energy costs. The wintertime and cold weather often bring about the potential for seasonal depression and a rising heating bill. So as you look at what to expect during your first therapy session, consider doing so with an extra blanket around you so you can lower the need for heat. Simple adjustments to your thermostat can help homeowners better control the electric bill.

Deciding not to pull the plug.

Raise your hand if you leave most of your electronics plugged in at all times? We’d venture a guess that most of you do this. This can actually increase your energy costs. Even though your device is turned off, it is still plugged into the outlet so it is using energy. You’re basically leaving these items in sleeper mode when you should be completely shutting them off. This is a simple fix that is nothing to worry about. Unplug when you can and see your savings grow.

It could be a broken meter.

You may even want to consider that a high bill could simply be a result of a broken electric meter. Your meter is the gauge for your electric company to inform them how much energy you use. If your meter is faulty, it could cause a high electric bill even if you’re running a house with high energy efficiency. This may be cause for concern because you don’t want to get charged more than necessary. This is a good time to call your electrician and get the meter fixed immediately.

Written By
Sofia Di Fara
Founder | Financial Planner
Sofia Di Fara

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