Why is my bill so high?

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Here are the most common reasons for high bills and some easy changes you can make to help you control your electricity use and save money. 

1. Weather 

About half of our home energy costs come from heating and cooling. Set your thermostat set to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter. In the extreme summer heat and cold winter months, it takes more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. You can't control the weather, but you can control your thermostat, which has a big effect on your bill. 

You can expect a 3 to 5% increase in energy use for every degree you set the thermostat lower in the summer and higher in the winter. 

PRO TIP: Install a programmable thermostat to control your home’s temperature and lower your bill. We offer rebates of up to $75 per device to help! 

2. Longer Billing Cycle 

Your bill might be higher if there were more days than average in the billing cycle.  

PRO TIP: Refer to the "Service Period" on your bill for the length of your billing cycle. If it is more than 30 days, you can expect it to be higher than average. 

3. New Electric Loads 

The most common types of electric loads that cause bill increases are as follows. Each one can cause noticeable changes to your electric bill from month to month.  

  • Roof ice melt heat tape 
  • Holiday lights – indoor and outdoor 
  • Heated gutters 
  • Heated floors and walkways  
  • Space heaters 
  • Oxygen condensers and air purifiers 
  • Recirculating instant hot water pump 
  • Sump pumps 
  • Air exchanger fans 
  • RV/camper hookup 
  • Grow lights and greenhouses 
  • Hot tubs 

PRO TIP: Be aware of the cost of these extra loads and put them on programmable timers (if possible) to turn them on and off automatically as needed. We offer rebates of $25 per device to help! 

4. A Full House 

During times of higher occupancy and activity, such as holidays and school vacations, your energy usage can be higher than normal.  

PRO TIP: To review your usage, log in to your SmartHub account, click My Usage, then Usage Explorer. Your electric meter data can help to pinpoint when your electric use changed and help you figure out the culprit. 

5. Peak Time Energy Use 

LPEA charges a Peak Power Charge for the one hour per month when you use the most electricity, between the hours of 4 and 9 p.m. Do what you can to reduce energy use between these hours, like starting your dishwasher and clothes dryer after 9 p.m.  

PRO TIP: Most of LPEA’s residential members would save by switching to LPEA’s Time-of-Use Rate.  

6. Faulty and Old Appliances 

As more time passes, the electronic appliances in your home degrade and lose efficiency. This loss in efficiency can lead to older appliances becoming “energy hogs” in your home. Even in their best condition, older devices will draw more electricity to generate the same amount of power that most comparable appliances can today. Just like with cars, appliances are now becoming more energy efficient. A faulty appliance, such as a leaky water heater, or a water heater with burned-out elements, can also lead to a surprisingly high bill.  

PRO TIP: Upgrade your appliances and take advantage of LPEA’s many rebates to help! 

PRO TIP: Have a licensed contractor perform a preseason checkup of your cooling system in the spring and a heating-system checkup in the fall to avoid system failure and higher-than-normal bills. 

7. Solar PV System Issues 

If you are an LPEA net metered member and your bill is not what you expected, you may have an issue with your PV system.  

PRO TIP: Ask your solar installer to help determine why your solar array stopped generating. Instances like this are why LPEA recommends you use a qualified, local solar installer to ensure quality customer service. 

8. Schedule an Audit 

If you really want to get to the bottom of your energy use and take steps to improve your energy efficiency, the best thing to do is schedule a professional energy audit. We recommend you contact 4CORE to schedule an audit at 970-259-1916.

PRO TIP: LPEA also offers a rebate to make these more affordable.