Have you ever noticed how your electricity bills never seem to be consistent month to month? That’s because they’re not. Electricity prices fluctuate minute to minute, literally, and for a number of reasons. Several factors determine the cost of electricity, but the short answer is that overall electricity costs reflect the cost of operating power plants and the electricity grid. Other variables that come into play include fuel costs, demand, Public Service Commission regulations, economic conditions, location, and weather conditions that cause extreme temperatures or damage to power lines, etc. That said, you can see why it’s difficult to get straight answers about what electricity costs and why, as well as why your electricity bill is what it is.
What Can You Do?
Since most of these variables are things that are out of our hands, it can feel like our wallets are at the mercy of factors we have no control over. However, there are a few things home and business owners can do to avoid making the issue worse, most of which revolve around not participating in peak energy-use times. When you join the bandwagon of using high amounts of electricity during high-demand times, you can bet you’ll see it reflected in your bill.
Here are a few ways to avoid getting roped in:
- Don’t overreact to weather. Many people overheat or overcool their home season to season or during extreme temperature changes. How often have you heard snow was coming and jacked up your thermostat or put your air conditioning on high blast out of frustration in the summer? A lot of people also do this preemptively after hearing reports of weather coming but not yet here. This puts a high demand on your system to drastically change your home’s temperature at a time when many others are likely doing the same.
- Don’t leave appliances plugged in when they’re not in use. This is a way people fall victim to using energy during peak times when they didn’t even realize they were doing it. Whether you actively meant to use electricity at a high-demand time or not, your appliances are even when you’re not looking. Unplug as many as you can.
- Do save more electricity-using activities for times of day when less people are using the grid, like at night. Charge your cellphone or run the dishwasher while you sleep.
- Do look for appliances with energy-saver labels so they can work for instead of against your consumption. If you already have these appliances, make sure the energy-saver switch is turned on.
- Don’t leave lights on. Many people leave lights on when they leave a room, a lamp on at night, or floodlights on 24/7. Not only is this a waste of energy, it also makes you part of peak times when you didn’t mean to be.
There are many others ways to avoid making fluctuations worse on your monthly electricity costs that you and your family can get creative with. Spend some time thinking about your electricity usage habits and what you can do to cut back and stay informed about fluctuating prices. Doing so helps you feel more in control and less like a victim when you see that bill. For questions or electrical help, get in touch with us at CMC Electric by contacting one of our three locations.