What’s in a bill?

What goes into a bill

When you receive your bill from Piedmont Electric, the basic understanding is that the more energy you use, the higher your bill.

But, it’s a little more complex than that. There are a number of different factors that play a part in the total amount you owe each month. We’ve broken down the main factors that cause your electric bill to change, plus tips to help you better manage your energy use.

Weather
One of the biggest factors that impacts your bill is the one that’s hardest to control: weather. The more extreme the weather is outside, the more your home’s equipment has to work inside to keep your home comfortable. That’s why it’s more common for your bill to be higher in the summer and winter months.

Projects like adding insulation, caulking windows and cutting back on heating or cooling can help. Planning a big home improvement project? If so give us a call so we can let you know how the changes will impact your bill. Some big projects may require upgrades to your home’s electric service. Be sure to check out our rebates and loans to help with projects at pemc.coop/rebates-loans.

Changes in energy habits
You may think that you use energy the way that you always have, and so, your bill should be the same as it’s always been. However, sometimes energy habits change slowly over time without you even realizing it.

If you are spending more time in your home than you used to or you’ve purchased a few new electronics or appliances, all of that adds up to more energy use. Even just spending five extra minutes in the shower each day can lead to a higher bill at the end of the month.

Fortunately, once you realize this, you can make small, energy-efficient changes that can help lower your bill.

Visit pemc.coop/101-energy-saving-tips for ideas on how to get started.

Appliances
How old are the appliances in your home? The older they are, the more energy it likely costs to operate them. While it’s not always possible to replace your appliances with new, energy-efficient alternatives, you can try to be more mindful of how you use them.

For appliances that only need to be plugged in when you’re using them, like a coffee maker, try to remember to unplug them when you’re finished so you’re not paying for excess energy as appliances still use electricity even when they are turned off. To see how much it costs to operate the appliances in your home, use our appliance calculator at pemc.coop/appliance-calculator.

Features of your home
You might expect that two houses with the same square footage and the same number of people living in it will have a similar bill. While their energy-habits might be similar, it also depends on the houses themselves.

For example, if your home has good insulation, your bill will likely be less. Or, if you have an older home with old heating and cooling equipment and poor insulation, your energy bill could be higher than that of a bigger but more efficient home.

Want to learn more about how the specifics of your home impacts your bill? Check out our free home analysis tool at pemc.coop/analyze-my-bill.

Heating and cooling system
Just like any other appliance in your home, your heating and cooling system becomes less efficient over time. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it might take more energy for the same thermostat setting you’ve used in the past.

However, there are a few things you can do to help your system last longer. Changing your air filter monthly is a great place to start. You can also contact one of our licensed HVAC technicians for free advice about your system. Learn more by visiting pemc.coop/hvac-technical-advice.

Water heater
Heated water is a sneaky culprit of higher bills. Every time you take a shower, wash your hands, run the dishwasher, or run the washer on the hot cycle, you’re paying to heat the water you use. By installing a timer on your water heater, you can heat water only when you need it.

You can also consider joining our water heater load management program, which helps you spend less on heating your water and pays you $1 per month for your participation. With this program, we will do all the work while you save money!

Sign up at pemc.coop/load-management.

Regardless of what type of home you have or how much energy you use, your local co-op is here to meet your energy needs. If you have questions about your energy use or want to know more about how you can save, send us a message at info@pemc.coop or call 800.222.3107 and our team can help answer your questions.