Ways Winter Electric Usage Can Affect Your Bill

Members sometimes call us with concerns about their electric bills – especially in January and February. Keep in mind, the bill you open in January reflects your December holiday usage and perhaps even Thanksgiving usage, depending on your usage. Your February bill is impacted by any below zero cold spells in December and January.

Winter conditions
Shorter days and longer nights mean lights are on twice as long as in summer months. More time is spent indoors, families watch more hours of television, water takes longer to heat and so on. Even if your heating system is gas, it still needs electricity for operating the fan and the air exchanger.

The holidays
The holidays are fun, but a month later when you open your electric bill, the warm and fuzzy memories fade away. Consider the extra baking and cooking, entertaining guests, your Christmas lights and other holiday activities that are reflected on your January bill. If you have kids, they were home for winter break – and how many X-Boxes do you have?

Dirty furnace filter
A clogged filter makes it difficult for your furnace to run efficiently, which causes higher costs and can lead to other problems. Change your furnace filter on a regular basis.

Space heaters
Electric heaters are a big culprit of very high electricity use. A small heater can cost you $100 or more per month if used continuously. Though it requires investment, electric in-wall, cove and baseboard heaters are more efficient, and they qualify for an electric rebate.

Vehicle block heaters
Many electric block heaters are up to 1,500 watts and use as much electricity as fifteen 100-watt light bulbs. Use a timer to schedule specific running time.

Days in the billing cycle
Your bill may reflect 28 days of electricity usage or 31. Four days’ difference can be as much as $25 or more. Be sure to look at the usage period listed on your electric bill. Any of these culprits aren’t dramatic on their own, but together they add up and can contribute to a higher winter bill.

Avoid surprises before your bill arrives. Monitor your usage with SmartHub.