It’s an awful feeling when you receive a ‘higher than expected’ electricity bill. Unexpected expenses can cause emotional and financial stress and leave you suffering from ‘bill shock’. Here at LPE, we want to help you save money, save electricity and save your sanity. So we’ve compiled a list of the most common causes of ‘bill shock’.
A change in seasons
A change in the seasons will often cause your electricity usage to change. In the winter months, our days become shorter so we use more lights for longer periods of time. In the summer months, days are warmer so we use more appliances like fans, water coolers and air-conditioners to keep cool. To gain an accurate indication of your electricity usage, be sure to compare your electricity bill with the same billing period from the year before.
Using the air conditioner to heat or cool your home
There was a time when air-conditioning was considered a luxury. But here in sunny Queensland, air-conditioning is a necessity, particularly in summer when temperatures reach the high 30s. While it’s tempting to turn the air-con down to 18C for maximum relief from our scorching heat, it will cause a spike in your electricity bill. The most cost efficient way to use your air-conditioner is to keep the temperature at 24-25C. Similarly, if you’re using your air-conditioner to keep your house toasty and warm during winter, this will also increase your electricity bill.
Did you have extra people in the home?
It’s always fun when family and friends come to visit. But we often forget the additional costs of extra guests by the time our electricity bill arrives. Having extra people in your home adds to your hot water usage and your everyday electrical usage like television, refrigeration and lighting. Was your last bill during the school holiday period? We all know how kids love to sit in front of their computer or television during school holidays. This can also contribute to a spike in your electricity bill.
Are you using old or power-hungry appliances?
Do you have a trusty old freezer that’s still working decades later? Old appliances, though trusty and functional, become less efficient over the years and cause a spike in your electricity bill. But even new appliances use different levels of electricity to operate. Do you know what your appliances are costing you in electricity? Before buying new appliances check the Energy Rating Level to find the most cost-effective appliances for your home. It could save you lots of money at bill time.
It’s easy to forget there are different electricity tariffs depending on the time of day you use your appliances. For instance, If you’re using your high-consumption appliances like dishwashers, clothes dryers or pool pumps during peak times, your energy consumption will be higher. To keep your electricity bill down, try using high-consumption appliances after 9pm when it’s off peak. Learn more about the different tariffs here.
Are you using more hot water?
It’s common for variations in your electricity bill during winter. In the colder months we all tend to linger in that steaming hot shower, using more hot water than normal and causing a potential increase in your electricity bill. Did you know the most cost-effective shower is just 4 minutes long? It’s a challenge in winter but try keeping your hot shower to a minimum to prevent a spike in your bill.
Check the billing period
How long was your billing period? Billing periods are rarely the same so check the actual number of days per billing period. This will often explain a variation in your bill.
Occasionally your meter reader can’t access your meter to do an accurate reading. If this is the case, we’ll estimate your energy usage based on the same billing period the year before. If your estimated usage is higher than your actual usage, the amount will be adjusted on your next bill.
Was there an unpaid balance from your last bill? Unpaid balances are carried over to your next bill which will increase your electricity bill.
Are your concession details correct?
Are you eligible for a concession on your electricity bill? For instance, if you’re a Queensland senior or pensioner, you may be eligible for a concession. To find out if you’re eligible for a rebate on your electricity bill, get in touch with us here.
Still, having trouble paying?
We understand the financial pressure bills can have on families if you are having trouble paying your bill – We can help with payment extensions, payment plans Please contact us today to discuss payment options 1800 040 168. We hope you’ve found these tips useful for explaining an increase in your electricity bill. If you’d like more power-saving tips you might find this article useful too.