Understand Your Electricity Bills

Your utility can tell you a lot about your electricity use and potential savings.

Did you know that many utilities offer you more than just monthly data? You can access and analyze your electric consumption on your utility’s website, using its free bill analyzer tool. The tools can help you to answer questions like: Are you using more or less energy than last year? Was your bill this November higher or lower than last year?

The tools can even help you determine whether your energy use is generally going upward or downward, and maybe help you identify areas that you can improve

Visit the bill pay or energy saving section of your utility’s website:

There are no official incentive programs for this project, but saving money on your utility bill is a pretty good incentive all on its own. Give it a try!

I understand how I can see that I’m using more or less energy year-to-year, but how does my bill show me what I should change to save money?

The new online analyzer tool available through your utility’s website allows you to see how your electricity bill is allocated. For instance, your bill will be broken down into categories showing what household uses drew the most energy – lighting, heating or cooling, or other categories.

The tool will also compare your electricity use to your neighbors. Assuming your home is similar in size and age, this is a good gauge to see if you are using more or less energy compared to the surrounding homes. Knowing this information will give you a good idea of what systems to target as you plan where to reduce your electricity use. To go further, consider getting an energy assessment done on your home.

I live in a rental community and don’t get a separate utility bill. What can I do?

Many multifamily communities are master-metered and the utility costs are factored into the rent. You could approach your management company to discuss the community’s trends and ways to reduce energy usage — they’d surely like to save money, too — and you could work with your neighbors in the community to promote energy efficiency. Visit Pepco’s online portal for Energy Wise Rewards for master metered communities.

I heat with oil. Is there any way to do an analysis of my bill and usage?

Many oil companies have some sort of historical data on their bills, but it varies by company, and there are many, many oil companies — too many to list here! Check your company’s website to see if they offer a similar tool.

(1) Comments

  1. raingarden Jan 14, 2012

    It would be good to get an instantaneous house electric use. There are ones for meters that rotate, but it would not work for me because I have solar electric. There is no mention of not using dryers. Dryers use a huge amount of current.

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