A report on America’s energy consumption levels revealed that about 90% of US homes have inadequate insulation. If the findings are anything to go by, it means you are likely living in an under-insulated property that is sucking up most of your financial resources.
Energy Bill Keeps Raising
The same applies to your home appliances. Thankfully, there are things you can do to find what other overlooked elements could be responsible for your home’s high energy bills. Hopefully, one of these points is something you are familiar with to help you change.
- Insufficient insulation
As already mentioned in the introduction, insufficient insulation has become the bane of many American homes. At this point, you may have tried several ways to cut back on your home’s high energy consumption, but the one thing you failed to do was probably to seek expert help. A home energy professional has the expertise to conduct a proper assessment of your home to determine whether insulation is the prime culprit or not.
Furthermore, still on insulation, your windows are likely not as closed as you thought they were. The same applies to your doors. The truth is when you have tiny gaps under your windows and doors, warm or cool air escapes through these tiny spaces. This usually means that your heating and cooling appliances have probably been working double-time to maintain desirable indoor temperature levels for you and your household. Considering that these gaps account for 50% of air leaks, you have your answer. The repercussion is a constantly high energy bill which never reduces until you take proactive steps.
- Using more energy during peak hours
Have you ever wondered why air tickets are pretty high during holiday seasons? The primary reason is attributed to the high demand. The same applies to energy usage in homes across America and the world at large. In energy description, peak hours refer to when more people are home and are bound to rely on power. This is usually from 6 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 11 pm on weekdays. Moreover, it is assumed that most people work from 9 am to 5 pm, explaining why power consumption in homes during these hours tends to be lower.
With this information in mind, you can plan your home’s appliance usage during these hours. For example, if you are a stay-at-home dad, you can do the laundry in these low-demand hours to save up on high consumption. The objective here is to be conscious of peak times and be more deliberate about your home’s power utilization all the time. However, if it helps, you can invest in solar panels as your alternative power source.
- Home renovations or extensions
Aside from the space creation and enhanced aesthetics that renovations and home remodelings offer, people fail to focus on the impact on energy consumption. Usually, the focus for many home renovations is to create more room. That automatically comes with increased electricity usage. The fact is new spaces also require lighting, heating, cooling, etc. Without a doubt, that can take a toll on your home’s energy usage.
- Debt from a previous bill
Sometimes, it is not entirely your fault that your energy bills went up in a particular month. What happens is, your home could be owing bills from previous months which were not correctly calculated. Therefore, to make up for that error on the provider’s part, the remaining amount is carried over to subsequent months you are billed for.
Furthermore, if you fail to pay the total amount you are billed, the remainder will still be added to the next bill. So, before you start complaining about your high energy bills, maybe it will help to do these background checks first. After which, you can take proactive steps towards resolving your continually high energy bills.
- More hot water than normal
The winter months are usually when more homes increase their hot water usage. People prefer to take more extended baths and hot showers. For some reason, it is believed that people have more laundry loads during the fall and winter. It is therefore not surprising that energy bills spike during these seasons. Moreover, reports on America’s energy usage revealed that water heating takes up one-third of usage.
As a solution to this, you can reduce your shower times. Better yet, you can invest in a water-efficient showerhead. More importantly, you can make a significant difference by being mindful of your hot water usage in these months. It would help if members of your household did the same. As you practice mindfulness with your household, it would be a great idea to check for hot water leaks in the house.
- The weather’s impact
Available data suggest that Americans recorded a 10% increase in energy consumption during the 2020 summer. As if that was not enough, in summer 2021, it jumped to 13%. Indeed, the pandemic and more people working from home may have accounted for the increase. However, with a bit of digging around, you will discover more about the rise in power usage. According to AccuWeather, summer 2020 and 2021 recorded one of the warmest summers in eight years. For that reason, many households increased the usage of their air conditioners.
Furthermore, winter 2020 turned out to be colder than the values recorded in the last four years. This year, almanac.com reports that winter will be drier and colder than last year. These findings indicate that the weather certainly has an impact on energy usage. Therefore, if you noticed an increase in your winter bills last year, you will likely experience the same or even slightly more this season. With this information in mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry out some essential energy checks in and around your home before winter hits full blast on December 21 (Google weather checks).
- Inefficient appliances sucking up more power than you imagined
First and foremost, how energy-efficient are appliances in your home? Thanks to technology and energy innovations, manufacturers have become more focused on producing appliances that help homes manage their power consumption. It is why many home appliances currently equipped with inverter technology are flowing onto the consumer market.
You will discover that new appliances have most internal components designed to minimize power wastage with some research. It explains why sometimes, when your old home appliance needs repairs, a better option is to invest in a newer product with better technology. Apart from that, it always helps to turn off and unplug home appliances when not in use. The next time you’re out shopping for home appliances, you may want to consider energy-efficient products worth your resources.
- Entertaining more people in your home
With a bit of observation, you will notice that the monthly electricity bill goes up when you entertain more guests in your home. This is usually characteristic of special occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. The truth is, the more people you have in your home, the higher energy consumption you will record. This comes in the form of more hot baths or showers, devices to charge, heating or cooling additional rooms, etc.
Indeed, these are realities you cannot run away from. However, that is not to say you should close your doors to guests. Another reason you may have overlooked is when kids are on vacation. Because they are home a lot more, it is not difficult to detect sudden spikes in your home’s energy usage.
- Being on the wrong user plan
For a good reason, households are encouraged to choose the most suitable user plan for their energy consumption. This way, it is easier to stick within the plan and enjoy the benefits of each plan. Therefore, if you erroneously picked the wrong plan, it could explain why your bills are unusually high when you don’t seem to use much around the home.
Indeed, the cost of energy production is always high, which explains why the burden is distributed among consumers. Fortunately, you can do something about it while you enjoy an energy-efficient home.