Why Are You Paying So Much on Your Energy Bill?
Most of us are used to a similarly priced energy bill, but when it becomes too high, you start to question what could possibly make it increase so quickly. Bill shock is pretty standard and might cause a few adverse reactions, maybe even towards your service provider. However, there are plenty of good reasons why your energy bill increased that don’t include a meter misread.
Did the Weather Drastically Change?
Before you start making electricity comparisons for other companies, ask yourself if you recently experienced a freak snowstorm or if the temperature dropped more than 10 degrees. If this was the case, you likely had to turn on your furnace to heat your house, leading to a higher bill.
Did You Invite People Over?
The amount you pay on your monthly bill will directly correlate with the number of people in your home. If one of the people you invited over decided to stay the night, they may have used your water, washing machine, or other appliance, which can add to your overall utility cost.
Are you Spending More Time at Home?
The pandemic has led to many of us spending more time locked away in our homes. If you notice you’re watching more television, playing more video games, or keeping the light on longer, you’ll pay more for utilities. If you’re self-employed, you may get a discount on your utility bills.
Are you Using Old or New Appliances?
Old appliances, like stoves and refrigerators, will often use more energy compared to their newer counterparts. At the same time, plugging in a new flat-screen television or computer will increase energy output. Replace old appliances and turn off new electronics earlier to save!
Did Energy Prices Increase?
An increase in utilities could be the cause of an actual increase in overall utility costs. However, you don’t just have to grin and bear it. If you prefer to pay less on your utilities, start comparing energy companies to see if they’ll offer you a better discount or rebate upon initial sign-up.
Was Your Meter Read or Estimated?
Your energy retailers can’t access your meter all of the time, and they may issue an estimated reader amount based on your past electricity usage. Your utility bills should state whether or not they made an accurate reading or estimate. If it’s too high, it will be corrected on your next bill.
Were you Back-Billed?
Back-billing can happen if you underpaid or your provider undercharged you on your last bill. There are time limits for when you can be back-billed, even if it’s your energy retailer’s fault, and that can change based on your state. Read your bills carefully to ensure you’re back-billed fairly.
Is Your Meter or Reading Correct?
Sometimes your energy retailer may bill you for someone else’s utility usage. On the other hand, your provider may have entered the wrong amount on their computer and may have charged you more than expected. Check your meter and its number to see if they roughly match up.
Did Your Billing Period or Meter Change?
A higher-than-usual energy bill could be from a longer billing period or a meter change. While you can rule out a longer billing period, you may need to contact your provider to see if they switched out your meter. If there was a switch, it likely read your energy consumption incorrectly.
Have Your Discounts Been Applied?
Utility providers may purposely or accidentally forget to apply your discounts or rebates that are owed to you. If you notice that there are no records of your provider applying said discounts or rebates, call them immediately so they can correct your bill and provide the right amount.