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Why is my bill so high?

Fluctuations in weather, days of use, and household habits affect energy use

That’s a question I ask even after two decades of experience in the energy industry. There are only a couple of times in the spring and fall of every year when I feel my electric bill matches up with my energy use: April and May, and October and November. At other times, I know it can be difficult to pinpoint why your electric bill may be higher than expected.

When reviewing my own January bill, I was amazed to find I was using a lot more energy per day than during the same billing period one year ago, about an extra dollar per day. How could this be? One of my daughters has completely moved out of the house, and the other just drops in from college once in a while when she needs money or her clothes washed. It was impossible for me to believe that my wife and two dogs were using more electricity.

I started looking at our usage patterns and related it back to the weather. I found that during those billing days in December, the weather was slightly colder than one year ago. On top of that, we hosted my wife’s family at the house for a week. We cooked more, there were more showers, and the baby needed the thermostat turned up to make it more comfortable. When I started adding it up, it equated to a higher bill.

Your electric cooperative works hard to make your bill easy to understand and provide you with ways to keep your bill in check. Co-op staff are available to help you better understand how you are using your energy and what may cause an increase in your bill. Many co-ops offer energy audits to help you identify ways to make your home more energy efficient, as well as rebates on electric appliances and weatherizing your home. Several co-ops offer prepay programs to help even out your monthly payments.

We understand that energy is an important part of your budget. We know when weather extremes happen both on hot summer days and frigid winter nights, your bills will increase.

As we enter another beautiful Kentucky spring, when a light breeze comes through open windows, remember there is relatively no energy being used by your home. These spring days are simply a deposit in the bank for those days that are more uncomfortable at other times throughout the year.

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