Has your electric bill doubled or tripled recently? Chances are you haven’t changed anything, but Mother Nature likely has.
We get it. Nobody likes BS (bill shock) from their electricity company – especially when your bill doubles without warning.
Here are the Top 5 reasons your energy bill may have increased so much.
#1 – It got hot (or cold) outside: up to 50% of your electricity usage is due to the cold or hot weather
Believe it or not, about half your energy bill is due to something completely out of your control: the weather. When the weather jumps to 90 degrees or more here in Texas, your Air Conditioner kicks in and causes your electricity usage to double (or worse!). And if you have an electric heater, the same usage (and bill) spike happens when a “cold snap” hits.
At Pogo Energy, we believe that knowledge is power, and that’s why we provide you daily usage updates. Even when the weather spikes, you won’t be surprised with a huge bill 30 days later. With Pogo, you know each day how much you’re using, and you can take action.
So how do you lower your electric bill then? You have two choices: you can either gain super-hero powers and learn to control the weather, or you can adjust your thermostat. (Option 2 might be more practical.)
By changing your thermostat by as little as two or three degrees, you could lower your bill by 10% or more. While that’s no way to reduce your bill down to what you pay in the Spring or Fall, those couple of degrees on your thermostat can really help. So go ahead and wear your swimsuit around your home or bundle up a little extra in the winter when mother nature decides to go crazy.
#2 – Your using old-school lightbulbs: time to change to LED lights
It may seem crazy to change your lightbulbs before they burn out, but a new LED lightbulb could save you $10 a more per year per lightbulb vs. an old-fashioned bulb. Have you got 20 lights? Then, you might save $200 a year. New LED lightbulbs us as little as 10% of the power of that old-school light bulb.
Renters tip: save that old bulb for when you move out (if it still works). LED lightbulbs can be a bit expensive, so if you want to lower your monthly light bill right away by replacing an expensive, working bulb, then save that old bulb and swap it back in before you move out. You paid for those LED lightbulbs, and they’re expected to last 50X longer(!) than that old, incandescent bulb. So be sure to take your LED bulbs with you when you move. (And be sure to take Pogo with you, too – we’re a lot easier to move to your new place than your sofa.)
#3 – Your water heater is working too hard: lower the temperature on your water heater, and maybe give it a jacket (insulation)
I bet you didn’t even know you could do that, right? Your water heater is responsible for up to 25% of your monthly electricity, so it’s worth taking a closer look at how to make it more efficient. If you have access to your water heater, the easiest thing to do is make sure it’s temperature is set to no more than 120°F.
If you’re looking for a fun DIY project, then check out this exciting video from the US Department of Energy on how to add a jacket to your water heater: Insulating Your Water Heater Tank.
#4 – Your appliances aren’t running at top efficiency: do the small things
Your appliances, like your clothes washer and dryer, and your refrigerator, use about 20% of your monthly electricity budget. While the 1990s were great for that grunge look (where apparently doing your laundry was optional), there are things you can do to lower your energy use and keep your clothes clean and fresh.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full (but don’t overdo it)
- Clean that lint trap in your clothes dryer before every load
- Try to wash and dry a full load of clothes when possible
- Turn off the heated dry setting on your dishwasher
- Air dry your laundry – put that shower curtain bar to good use
- Change your AC air filters once a month
- Clean (gently vacuum) your refrigerator’s condenser coils
#5 – You’re paying for things outside of your control: the dreaded TDU charges
About 40% (or more) of your electric bill is completely out of your control – in fact, these charges are outside of our control, too, sorry! The company that delivers the electricity from the power generators (like the wind farms and solar fields) to your home is called a Transmission and Distribution Utility, or TDU.
Your TDU is responsible for managing all those high-voltage wires running across the great state of Texas, and magically (and safely) changing that electricity to the voltage that works in your home. They’re on call 24x7x365 in case of emergencies or outages (usually due to weather). Learn more here >
So, while nobody likes paying extra for stuff, your TDU serves a vital purpose in delivering your electricity, and they charge you a fee for this. Rest assured that at Pogo Energy, we never mark-up these charges from your TDU – they’re passed directly through to you, no tricks or gimmicks by us.