High energy bills are the bane of just about any household. On top of your mortgage, food, clothes, gas, and other essential expenses—you don’t need disproportionately high utility bills to add to that.
Suppose your household’s level of usage does not warrant the high numbers you see on your bills. In that case, there may be underlying reasons other than simple utilization. So if your bills are consistently higher than you expect, here are the possible causes—as well as their solutions:
Your Appliances Are Not Energy Efficient
Older and poorly maintained appliances tend to consume more energy to operate. In contrast, appliances specifically designed to be more energy-efficient consume up to 10% to 50% less electricity.
That said, if your energy bills are higher than they should be, it may be time to switch to newer and more energy-efficient appliances. Apart from that, ensure that you perform regular maintenance on your energy-consuming devices so that they don’t need to consume more energy than necessary to function.
There Are Leaks in Your Plumbing System
Even the tiniest leak can waste gallons of water every month. And if you have multiple leaks in the house, that can contribute to a high water bill. More than that, leaks can lead to moisture and humidity issues, leading to mold growth, wood rot, poor indoor air quality, and a host of other problems.
Inspect your home for signs of excessive moisture; they will usually lead you to possible leaks in your plumbing system. If you can’t find anything, hire a plumber to rule out this problem—they have better knowledge of where to look and what to look for than the average homeowner.
You Are Not Unplugging Your Devices
Leaving your electrical goods plugged in when not in use still consumes energy, even when they are turned off or on standby mode. (This is often called “vampire energy” or “energy leaks.”) Obviously, you cannot unplug refrigerators, freezers, and digital clocks. But for things like coffee makers, computers, and chargers, you should unplug them when not in use.
Your Toilet Is Running Continuously
A running toilet can waste up to 4.5 gallons of water a minute, which can increase your water bill by nearly $60 per day. That said, you must fix a running toilet as soon as possible to prevent water loss and, consequently, higher water bills. If you can’t fix it on your own, turn the toilet’s water supply off until you can get a plumber to your house.
You’re Charging Your Devices Overnight
Charging your laptops, tablets, phones, and other mobile devices overnight consumes more electricity than necessary. More than that, leaving your electronics plugged in overnight increases your fire risk.
That said, avoid charging your devices overnight. Plug them in to charge a few hours before going to bed, but always remember to unplug them before sleeping.
You’re Using Major Electronics During Peak Times
If you have adopted a time-of-use (TOU) plan, it could be the reason for the spike in your energy bill. TOU plans charge varying electricity prices depending on the time of day you’re consuming energy from the grid. Usually, the time you consume the most amount of electricity is when energy costs are most expensive.
To reduce your energy bill on a TOU plan, change your day-to-day habits, so you consume less energy during peak hours and increase energy efficiency in your home. Peak hours are usually the time when most homeowners get home. For example, you can run the washing machine later at night or turn on the air conditioning earlier in the afternoon and turn it off before peak hours start.
The Weather Is Too Hot or Too Cold
The weather is a significant factor in your energy bills. Naturally, you will adjust the temperature inside your home if it’s too hot or cold outside. Although this will inherently raise your utility bills, there are plenty of ways you can prevent this from rising excessively.
For example, you can find alternative sources to cool or warm yourself during extreme weather. Drink ice-cold beverages when it’s too hot, or pile on more clothing when it’s too cold. Turning off the heating or cooling is not a viable option, but you can always find alternatives to avoid overusing your HVAC system.
This article should help you determine the cause of your unusually high utility bills. As you can see, every possible problem has a corresponding solution. Not only will you reduce your bills, but you also make your home more sustainable.
Meta title: Why Are My Utility Bills So High?
meta desc: Are your utility bills disproportionately high compared to your level of usage? Here are some possible reasons and what you can do to resolve them.