The predominant question in many households is – why are my electricity bills high, though we have not used any electricity at all? Or – why do I have to shell out such huge amounts of money for my electric bills when I’m rarely home?
Well, we do not exactly know why your utility bills are high, and no one but YOU could figure it out. However, if you need advice on HOW you can find where your utilities are getting drained, we are able to help you.
What is Normal?
Make sure you know how much energy you consume. The best way to find out why your utilities are getting expensive by the end of the month is to figure out your consumption rate. The normal consumption rate in many households (small families of 3 or 4) in the EU is around 850 KwH. If your consumption is near that amount, you are not excessively misusing your energy sources.
However, please note that ‘normal’ and ‘average’ are not necessarily ‘good’. There are people who use just about 90 KW a month and are doing fine. Check if you have Wi-Fi and HVAC on all the time. Check if your kitchen appliances are on standby when they need not be.
Unit Costs Increase all the Time
The costs of electricity have increased. Sometimes, per unit electric costs increase without you knowing about it, and that is why your bills are high. Perhaps, your provider decided to include an extra charge on your bill, without letting you know about it. If these are possible reasons, you probably just have to ‘grin and bear it’ or find out if it is possible for you to switch over to a greener electric source, possibly generated from your own roof.
Send in Your Meter Readings
Make sure you receive accurate bills. We complain about bills and huff and puff about the rising costs of our utilities, yet none of us meticulously tries to understand the bills and how they are generated. Bills are after all, drafted by humans (or machines) and both of them are prone to erroneous ratings at times.
One family whose average monthly usage was about 600 Kwh received a bill for a 1400 Kwh one month. The family was adamant that they could not have consumed so much electricity and when an inquiry was initiated it turned out that the meter readings had been incorrectly calculated by the automated system; a ‘normal’ bills was generated, which was subsequently paid by the family.
The next time you get your electricity bill, make sure you know how many units you have used and whether your bill is accurate.
Check Your Meter
Check your electricity meter if you do suddenly receive bills that are sky-high and nothing seems to be a problem, you might need a meter repair scheduled. Though very uncommon, meter break downs do happen. Ask an electrician to come over and verify whether your meter is working well.
For people living in apartments and multi-dwelling buildings, there is the problems of meters being wired incorrectly, and you find yourself paying for electric bills that are used by your neighbours. In these cases, you must make sure your meter has wires only from your household, which again needs to be checked by your electrician.
Buy electricity monitoring devices to check how much you are using each day. The best way to know how many units of electricity you consume is to have an electricity monitoring device installed at home.
These will do until you get a smart meter installed. Most of these devices come with an ability to let you track your electric usage, while there are those that provide you complete advice on how you can efficiently save electricity.
Even if you decide to opt for a simple tracking device, you will know what size bill to expect and will not be as horrified shocked at your electricity usage.