How to Tell if Your Utility Bills Are Higher Than Average

Sienna Mitchell

Competition is a natural part of life; you always want to be sure you’re getting the best of everything. That includes the best deals on everything from the Paris opera to your energy bills and the lowest prices on all the products you buy. Everyone has expenses and everyone is constantly searching for how to get discounts and great rates on those expenses. One area where this is prevalent is with your electric bills.

Everyone budgets a set amount for your utility bills each month. Depending on the season or your behavior at home, you may experience unexpected increases every once in a while that can be confusing and frustrating. Dealing with a sudden increase can throw off your budgeting for the whole month. It can be especially annoying to realize that you are paying far more than your neighbors and friends. You all need to keep the lights on and the appliances running, so why do you have a high electric bill while they’re paying so little? Don’t immediately jump to conclusions. The truth is, there are so many factors that go into your energy costs, so there are plenty of reasons for a discrepancy. But knowing what someone else is paying can potentially give you a let up to try and negotiate down your own price. It’s all about doing the research and finding the best utility company for you. But if you feel you’re being overcharged, here are a few ways to examine if your utility bills are more than the average costs.

Analyze the quality of your appliances.

Your appliances can be a major factor in why you’re getting a high electric bill. An older dishwasher, air conditioning unit, or washing machine can take a tremendous amount of energy and water to run. With the industry trending to more energy-efficient appliances, the average energy costs are going down. Make sure you’re systems are in the best condition in order to keep your costs low. Call experts or an electrician in to take a look at your HVAC system and other appliances to help you avoid an unexpected increase in utility bills. A contractor can repair units to help you lower your electricity costs.

Simply do the research.

One of the simplest ways to tell if your bills are higher than average is to simply do the research. There are plenty of sites out there that will help you directly compare your utility company to others. Even in one central city, you can understand what homeowners around you are spending, and if you have a high electric bill or something closer to average. You can always consult electric companies to get free estimates as well. Overall, the best way to get answers is to simply ask for them.

Understand your lifestyle factors.

You may find that you have a high electric bill compared to the average, but there may be a reason for that. You don’t have to be a lifestyle guru like Sam Ramey to understand that your behavior affects your energy consumption. If you always keep the thermostat high, you’re going to pay for more heat. Or if you leave a bunch of high-tech items constantly plugged into the outlets, you’re going to pay more. And if you’re running the dishwasher every night when it’s only half full, you’re going to have higher electric bills. So, if you’re looking for an answer to why your energy costs are so high, examine your own electricity use. To bring the utility bills closer to average, you may want to think of ways you can use less energy.

Ask around for advice.

While it typically isn’t polite to talk about money, this is an area where your friends and neighbors may be able to help you. Ask other homeowners what they spend on electricity costs and see if they have any tips you could utilize for a lower bill. Don’t just pout and complain about having a higher cost, instead take steps to lower your own.