What Is Included in a Power Bill
Most people get electric bills every month, but many people do not know what the numbers actually mean or where they are coming from. In order to understand this, it is essential to understand how electricity is actually measured. It is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and most charges are calculated with a rate per kWh, which charges based on what entity is consuming the power, like a residential or commercial entity.
An electric bill is divided into two parts: delivery and supply. The delivery rate is the fixed cost set by the utility that covers the transportation of energy from their generation site to the consumption site. This includes upkeep of power lines, natural gas pipelines, and physical equipment. The different charges involved in an energy bill include:
- Customer charge
- Distribution energy charge
- Transition charge
- Transmission charge
- Energy conservation charge
- Renewable energy charge
- Distribution demand charge
An increase in your electricity bill can be due to any of these areas, but it might have to do with appliance usage and how often they are in use. Other reasons your electric bill might be increasing include:
- Leaving vampire appliances plugged in
When we talk about vampire appliances and energy vampires, we refer to devices that use energy and power even when turned off. Vampire appliances include phone chargers, cable boxes, computer cords, and coffee pots, and they can account for up to 20% of your monthly electricity bill. Solving this problem will be as simple as identifying what your energy vampires are and unplugging them when they are not in use. It might seem simple, but it can go a long way in saving you money on your electricity bill.
- Excessively using appliances that take up lots of energy
If you are looking to reduce your energy bills, the best place to turn to is the appliances that take up the most energy. For example, appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers use mass amounts of energy, so your wallet will thank you if you avoid using them as much as possible.
- Overusing lights and ceiling fans
Many people use lights to affect the brightness of a room instead of using smaller lights for illumination. Lighting is actually best used on specific areas of a room like couches, chairs, kitchen tables, and workspaces. Furthermore, there is no reason to install a ceiling fan if there is no one in the room because ceiling fans are only meant to control temperature in a given space.
- Improper insulation
If your home is not properly insulated, it can cause significant loss of heated and cooled air, which wastes energy and will drive up your bills. Insulation works by reducing the amount of heat that escapes from your home and will prevent it from getting too warm in the summer months.
- Extreme weather conditions
When temperatures rise and fall, your HVAC system runs longer and at a higher capacity, which uses more electricity and can drive up your bills. When the weather gets warmer, homeowners tend to use more electricity for air conditioning and less natural gas, oil, and wood for heating.
- Leaving AC on with windows open
When you leave the windows open, it increases the load, which means your AC system must work harder in order to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat as cool air escapes the open windows.
How to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient
In order to bring down your energy bills, it is essential to have an efficient HVAC system. An efficient HVAC system will require less energy to work properly. In order to increase your system’s efficiency, we recommend the following steps:
- Retrofit an old system
Retrofitting involves the implementation of modifications to a system to improve the energy efficiency or reduce the energy demand. When we perform a retrofit, we can improve energy efficiency and benefit the building in a variety of ways. In addition to lowering your energy bills, it can improve the overall performance of the system and provide more comfort.
- Invest in a new system
If you have been maintaining your HVAC system and your energy bills continue to rise, it might be time to invest in a new HVAC system. Typically, an HVAC system lasts around 15 years and should be professionally maintained at least twice a year.
- Increase the insulation in your home
Insulation provides a barrier that slows down the heat exchange. Insulation will prevent the heat from entering on a warm day and from leaving the house on a cold day. The right amount of insulation will improve conditions in your home by limiting the energy transfer that affects the indoor temperature.
- Preserve the system airflow and change air filters regularly
In order to preserve the system airflow, it is necessary to rid the system of dust and debris. Dust, dirt, and debris can clog a system and force it to work harder. Furthermore, if you do not change your AC filter, it will begin to fail.
- Clean your drain line
Drain cleaning removes food particles and debris that are trapped in drains. When you clean your drains properly or have them professionally cleaned, it can remove foul odors, create faster drainage, and reduce clogs over time.
How to Increase Lighting Efficiency
Of course, your HVAC system is not the only responsible party for driving up your energy bills. There are also steps you can take to optimize your lighting for optimal efficiency, including the following:
- Switching to fluorescent lightbulbs
- Replacing traditional and outdated light fixtures
- Practicing energy-efficient lighting habits
- Putting lights on a timer system in order to turn on and off at specific times
- Using motion sensors in places where lights are necessary
- Making use of natural daylight that enters the home
- Using light-colored paint on interior walls, ceilings, and other surfaces to help make use of natural light
- Using translucent lamp shades
- Cleaning bulbs and fixtures
- Locating windows and skylights to allow natural
- Turning lights off when they are not in use
- Incorporating dimmer control within the lighting system
If you are curious about how Meyer’s Companies, Inc. can optimize help optimize the systems in your home to lower your energy bills, call us at (219) 240-0610 or contact us online.