Understanding What Affects Your Electric Bill

Have you ever looked at your electric bill and thought, “I haven’t done anything differently, so why is my bill fluctuating?” You’re not alone. It’s a common question we hear from members and we’re here to try to help you better understand factors that affect your bill.

While being mindful of your daily energy use is a great way to manage your bill, it’s not the only factor that impacts how much you pay each month. The following all play a part in why your bill varies.

man looking at bill

Changing Weather

Perhaps the biggest reason for shifts in your bill is the changing weather since heating and cooling costs make up the majority of your energy use. Even if you keep your thermostat on a consistent setting, your HVAC system still has to run longer to maintain a comfortable temperature when it’s extremely hot or cold outside.

In the middle of summer and winter, when the weather extremes last for days or weeks at a time, this can cause your electric bill to rise more than usual. Learn more about how weather affects your bill.

Age of Your Home

Similar to appliances, the older your home is, the less likely it is to be energy efficient. Older homes tend to have poor insulation which makes your HVAC system run longer to regulate the temperature. Similarly, older homes usually have less energy efficient windows and doors which means the outside air affects the temperature of your home more easily.

If you’re not ready to move to a new house or do a full-scale renovation, there are small changes you can make to your home to improve its efficiency. For example, you might caulk gaps around doors and windows so cold air doesn’t come inside during the winter and change your HVAC filters monthly to allow for better airflow.

Appliance Efficiency

New appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers are made to be energy efficient so they cost less money to operate. If you have older appliances in your home, they are likely using more energy and contributing to a higher monthly bill.

Try out our appliance calculator by visiting pemc.coop/appliance-calculator to see how much it costs to run your current appliances so you can determine if it’s worth it to upgrade to more energy efficient models.

Find more energy-efficiency tips at pemc.coop/101-energy-saving-tips.