Why is my bill increasing?
In the months following unusually hot or cold weather, you may see higher energy bills.
Two factors can impact your bills. The amount of energy used – measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) – and the weather. The hotter or colder it gets, the more energy you may be using. Air conditioning and heating systems are running longer, working harder and using more energy. Here are some factors to consider and tools to help you take control of your energy use.
Your energy usage can creep up quickly when heating or cooling your home which means higher than usual energy bills. There are a lot of factors at play—from how well your home is insulated to your furnace or AC working overtime to keep your home comfortable. Homes with electric heating systems can see especially large jumps.
Extra Billing Days
It's normal for the number of days in each billing cycle to change from month to month. More days per cycle will cause your bill total to be higher. You can see the number of days in your billing cycle on your bill or in your online account.
Electric Heat/Heat Pumps
Even if you have lowered your thermostat, extremely cold weather can require your heat pump to change how it operates. When the temperature outside falls below a certain degree, supplemental heat may kick in to help your system run. In extreme cold periods, when heating needs are the highest, most of the heat provided comes from the less efficient supplemental heat. This is how your bill can increase, even if it seems you haven't done anything differently. If you used the emergency heat option on your heat pump, you most likely will need to manually change your thermostat back to normal or you will continue to use supplemental heat.
Even if you rely on your natural gas furnace as your home's main heat source, your electricity bill can still increase. Your natural gas furnace most likely relies on an electricity-powered blower to help move hot air through your home's ductwork. That electricity-powered blower is operating longer and harder to keep the same temperatures in your home when the outside temperature plummets.
Portable Space Heaters
In extreme cold periods, many people supplement their normal heating system with portable electric space heaters. Electricity to run just one 1,500 watt space heater can cost more than $4 a day, or $30 a week and $130 a month.
Wood or Pellet-burning Stoves
These heat sources may also indirectly impact your electricity bill. While higher-efficiency stoves are now available, they still require venting and blower fans to exhaust fumes and smoke from your house.