4 Causes of High Electric Bills

“Why is my electric bill so high?” This is a question we get a lot, so know that if your bill is sky-high, you aren’t alone. You also have the ability to make changes around your home to reduce your bill.

Here are the top four causes of a high electric bill and what you can do to help reduce your bill over time.

1. The Type of Lighting You’re Using

The type of lightbulbs you use can directly affect your monthly electric bill. From initial purchase cost to energy efficiency, there is a lot to consider when choosing LED vs traditional incandescent bulbs. In the end though, LED bulbs are the superior choice for efficiency and cost over time.

Why LED Bulbs?

Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are a newer generation of bulbs that use electroluminescence to produce light while using less energy than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. LED lighting also lasts up to 40 times longer, which in most cases, makes up for the higher initial price tag. 

By switching to LED lighting, your high electric bill should decrease, and you’ll be making far fewer trips to the hardware store to replace old bulbs.

2.  Extreme Temperatures

According to a 2021 study, the state of Florida ranks #5 for the highest monthly electric bills. This is no real surprise, as Floridians face high temperatures throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, your HVAC system is working hard, and using up huge amounts of electricity, to lower the temperature in your home nearly 24/7.

To lower your electric bill, check that your home is properly insulated. Areas such as door and window frames could have air leaks that are allowing the cool air inside your home to escape. If the cool air is kept inside your home where it belongs, that could translate to less run-time for your HVAC system and a lower monthly electricity bill.

3.  Vampire Devices

Energy use by your electronics is a large component of your utility bill, and vampire devices are the main culprits. A vampire device is any device that may be plugged in all the time, even when not in use. Vampire devices continuously absorb energy and could be what causes a high electric bill for your home. 

Vampire devices may include:

  • Computers, printers, and related equipment.
  • Phone chargers.
  • Surround sound systems and large-screen TVs.
  • Any other device that is in “standby” mode and ready to be turned on.

Since most homes have several vampire devices, the energy consumption can add up and cost you unnecessary money. Thankfully, this one is an easy fix: to reduce your vampire devices’ energy consumption, simply unplug them when not in use.

4. The Use of Appliances

We all know appliances such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers are lifesavers. However, if you’re running a nearly-empty dishwasher or washing multiple half-loads of laundry, that could be part of why your electric bill is so high. To remedy this, make sure you’re only using your appliances when they’re at full capacity.

Additionally, outdated appliances typically have higher energy consumption than newer models. Consider going eco-friendly and using smart appliances to lower your monthly bill. 

Many smart appliances, such as a smart thermostat, allow you to adjust or turn them off through a connected app on your mobile device even if you have already left your home. This means not coming home after a full day of work to find that you or a family member had accidentally left your thermostat set to frigid for the entire day. Updated appliances with advanced controls means you can reduce your high electric bill while being smart when it comes to electrical safety at the same time.

High Utility Bills Are Frustrating, but Not Impossible To Reduce

Although high utility bills are a headache, you can take it one step at a time by identifying the reasons that apply to your own home. If you know the root causes, you can take the steps to bring your high electric bill back down to manageable levels and ease the frustration for everyone involved. 

Got more questions on proper lighting installation at your home? Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about areas we serve in Southwest Florida and neighboring communities

5 Quick Adjustments to Lower Your Business’ Electric Bill

Another statement waiting to be paid… and that electricity bill sure is high.

But when it comes to powering your business, sometimes you just have to fork up the money, right? Wrong.

There’s been a steady trend over the last decade pushing towards more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly business practices, all of which could significantly improve your bottom line.

Let’s take a look at a few quick adjustments you can make to lower your business’ electricity bill, all without breaking the bank with costly improvements:

1. Invest in a programmable thermostat.

At one point or another, we’ve all experienced the person at work who thinks the thermostat is too low or too high. But when your staff starts cranking the air or turning it off completely (and you need to cool the whole place down again), it can really dip into your wallet.

To save on energy bills, business management should take control of the thermostat. The fewer people who can change the setting, the better chance it will stay on a steady temperature— saving energy costs.

Because of this, a programmable thermostat is a great purchase for businesses. You can automatically set it to choose a more energy-efficient temperature during the evenings and weekends when no one is in the office and a completely separate temperature throughout the week when employees are present.

As a general rule, try to keep the AC at 78 degrees during the summer months when employees are in the building. This may sound high, but coming in from Florida’s humidity and mid-80’s to mid-90’s temperatures, 78 degrees will seem sufficiently cool and refreshing.

2. Power down or “hibernate” equipment when not in use.

Ahh, the exhaustible debate of whether it’s more energy-efficient to shut down devices or to keep them on! What about a middle ground? Many computers and laptops offer hibernation modes for when they are not in use during the day. While you might not agree that it’s efficient to power computers off frequently, hibernation mode will allow for less energy to be consumed.

Another great best practice is to make sure that all employees are responsible for powering down equipment for the weekend. And don’t forget about the communal devices. Though printers and computers may not be used during the weekend, they will still draw power if they are turned on. The same goes for microwaves, coffee makers, and vending machines. If these can be turned off at night, on weekends, and during holidays, you can expect to see a big drop in your energy bills.

3. If you have the budget for it, swap out inefficient equipment for ENERGY STAR-approved products.

If you have a break room in your business with refrigerators or microwaves, consider switching to ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. Older appliances can draw a much greater amount of power than newer energy-efficient models and are worth the replacement costs in energy savings.

4. Reassess your corporate landscaping.

A great deal of money can be saved by strategically planting trees outside of your business. That’s because trees planted to shade windows can have a cooling effect in the summer. These same trees will help cut back on wind hitting your building in the winter, helping to keep your building warm during the cooler months. Check with local ordinances (and your landlord if you rent your building) before planting trees. 

In addition to tree coverage, look for ways to make your property more energy-efficient. For instance, you may choose to install motion-activated lighting to save energy lighting your walkways after dark or invest in dimmable features instead of full floodlights. Read more about how to enhance your commercial landscape lighting here.

5. Swap out your light bulbs with LEDs.  

We know that this suggestion is one many have heard time and time again, but have you actually made the switch to better bulbs? Consider using CFL and LED light bulbs instead of halogen for those bright, energy-sucking overhead lights. These energy-efficient bulbs use significantly less energy and last for much longer than other types of bulbs, saving you the cost of buying new light bulbs as well.

Don’t forget to look for efficient bulbs for lamps as well. The smallest changes can make the biggest difference when it comes to lowering your business’ energy bill.

Quick Commercial Electrical Help

These five quick fixes are low-lift, high-impact methods for reducing your electricity spending. Check out a few more ways to lower your energy bills here.

How can we help? Our team is here for assistance with parking lot lighting improvements, energy-efficient lighting controls, and more.

Explore our Commercial Electrical Services, today.