Winter’s around the corner and temperatures will soon start to fall. However, the numbers aren’t the same for your utility bill due to underlying costs…
Why is My Utility Bill So High in the Winter?
- You use more electricity to stay warm: Ironically, the best part of the colder months is when you’re warm and cozy You take hotter showers for longer. But being warm in winter comes with a price. And that price is your utility bill.
- Increased transmission grid costs: When more people rely on electricity to warm their houses in the winter, this demand also increases transmission grid fees for line companies. Eventually these costs are reflected in your utility bill if your retailer offers a spot price contract and rates will change depending on the overall usage.
- Changing generation costs: Generators have to supply more energy to keep up with the demand. But electricity consumption isn’t the only source of heating. Other thermal generation sources, like gas and coal, are common alternatives when electricity demand is excessive. However, these alternatives are more expensive to buy and run. These extra costs are usually passed on to consumers by increasing utility bills.
Appliances That Use the Most Energy
It’s easy to leave your laptop charging without a second thought, or you might leave TV on while you go to the kitchen and make a snack. But, standby use accounts for about 9% to 16% of the average electricity bill. Beware of home appliances that use the most energy:
- Central heating systems: In most homes, you can find heaters in almost every room and in the hallways. It’s no wonder why heating systems can exponentially increase your utility bill in the winter.
- Water heaters: There’s nothing better than a warm shower or relaxing bath on a cold winter’s day. However, it may be less relaxing to know how much energy water heaters use. Assuming you use hot water everyday, this can add up to almost $800 on your annual electricity bill.
- Dishwashers: Dishwashers may cut time on cleaning dishes but will ultimately add up costs to your utility bill. If you can’t fully say goodbye to this helpful appliance, why not use the energy-efficient washing button.
- Vacuum: Having a clean house is just as important as having a warm house. But vacuum cleaners cost an average of 1400 watts to operate. Try limiting the use of your vacuum to only carpeted areas of the house and opt for the dustpan and brush for wooden or tile floors.
How to Cut Your Winter Utility Bill
- Use window insulation kits: Made of either strips of foam or fitted plastic that fit into the window frame, these insulation kits minimize cold air leakage. By covering these tiny cracks, you can stop cold air coming through and stop your heating from escaping.
- Be responsible with your hot water: It’s important to not get carried away with excess hot water usage. Be mindful of how long you’re having hot showers for or what temperature you’re washing your clothes. Opt for keeping a thick bathroom at your side or wash loads with a cooler water setting.
- Save on other expenditure: Utility bills are essential costs. If you’re already incorporating these energy efficient habits, try limiting leisure costs by getting rid of unused subscription services or limiting weekly takeaways.
- Practice energy efficiency: If you’ve tried to control your utility usage as much as possible and it’s still too expensive, try moving to a more energy efficient utility provider. Being a smart shopper and comparing natural gas companies in your area to find the most competitive rate will save you more money in the long run.
Household appliances can help cut down time on chores but they can simultaneously increase your household expenditure. Being more mindful with how we use these products or using less expensive alternatives will help you enjoy the winter warmer and smarter.