Of course, the dead of winter and the height of summer can put extra strain on our utility bills anyway, but sometimes an unruly electric bill is the sign of another problem all together. Here are a few causes of a high electric bill:
Leaking hot water pipe
If you have a hot water pipe that’s leaking, then your water heater is probably kicked into overdrive heating up water. Keep your eye out for leaks. If you don’t find any, insulate your hot water heater with a jacket and see if it cuts down on your energy usage.
Air leakage is also a large cause for a high electric bill. If you live in a drafty house, the outside elements are making it that much harder for your HVAC system to maintain your interior temperature. You can identify drafts by cobwebs and by extreme temperatures. Use weather stripping on doors and windows, and consider double-paned windows if you don’t already have them.
The sun is beating down on your roof all day, or alternately, heat rises so in the winter, it’s floating out of your house through the roof. Either way, your house can lose a lot of its hard-won energy through the roof. Make sure you’ve got enough insulation in your roof or attic to protect it.
If you have older appliances, they might have a fault. For example, some older refrigerators and freezers have damaged heating elements that suffer excess usage. Check up on your old appliances and see if it needs maintenance or if you should replace it for a more modern, energy-efficient model.
Overuse of electronics and appliances
Are you leaving lights and fans on when you’re not in the room? Do you have your AC set to a very cool temperature or your heat cranked way up? Do you leave lots of chargers and appliances plugged in when not in use? This could easily be the cause of a high electric bill.
Circuit breaker short
If you weren’t able to identify any other causes of your high electric bill, there could be trouble with your home’s wiring. Sometimes shorts occur in the circuit breaker that can drain power and jack up your bill. Turn off all the individual circuits in your breaker and turn on one at a time and watch the disc spin. Do this one by one. If you see one particular circuit that has a very fast spinning disc, it needs to be addressed.