When you’re budgeting, or if you haven’t before, you’ll realize that utilities could take up a large chunk out every month. If you’re looking into electricity costs per se, you’ll notice that the average bills change depending on the states and areas you live in.
So if you’re confused about what electricity bills look like around the country, we’ve compiled a list of average costs for you. At the same time, we’ve also answered some questions that you might have had regarding how these bills are calculated and what helps save energy.
We’ve got you covered, keep reading so that you have a basic idea of how money and electricity function!
What Contributes To The Electricity Bill?
Your electricity bill is a direct reflection of how much energy you’re consuming, but that’s not all. It can also depend on other factors, and if you understand them, you’ll have a better idea of the bill that you get delivered to you every month. Let’s take a look at these factors.
1. Your Appliances
The appliances in your house are one of the biggest factors that affect the number on your electricity bill because the more energy they consume, the higher the bill. If your appliances don’t have the latest upgrades that are more energy efficient, it can largely contribute to increasing your electricity bill. At the same time, if you live in a bigger house with many rooms that require large appliances to run all day, you can’t really expect to have a small amount as your electricity bill.
2. Where You Live
The state you live in largely determines your electricity bill because all states in the country don’t have the same rates when it comes to energy usage. Even taxes on utilities are not the same, which is why you can’t expect to pay the same cost per kilowatt in New Mexico as you pay in Florida. At the same time, costs also vary depending on zip codes so don’t forget to look into that.
Also Read: Cost Of Utilities By State
3. How Much Electricity You Use
An obvious factor that we mentioned before that determines how much your electricity bill comes to is how much electricity you end up using. This is also dependent on where you live because if you live in regions with extreme winters and summers, you’re going to use much more energy than if you didn’t live in such areas. Your energy consumption habits also play a huge role here, like do you leave devices or appliances plugged in? Do you need the air conditioner to be switched on even if it’s not too hot? Do you leave devices like the television or stereo running all day even if you’re not really watching? Habits like these can hike up that electricity bill by a fair bit.
Also Read: Average Cost of Utilities, Tips and Fees
How The Electricity Bill Is Calculated
Now that you know what influences your monthly electricity bill, you might also want to know how it gets calculated if you don’t already. This isn’t as complex as you expect and just requires some simple math. Let’s start with the unit that’s to measure electricity, which is the kilowatt (kWh) made up of 1000 watts.
While calculating how much you should be charged every month for electricity usage, a simple formula can be used – your electric bill is the cost per kilowatt multiplied by kilowatts consumed by you, and this total is divided by 100. As we mentioned before, different states have a different cost per kilowatt, which is why the total electricity bill you have to pay at the end differs.
What Electricity Bills Look Like In Different States
We’ll now take a look at what electricity bills look like across the 50 different states so that you have an idea of how much you can expect in your bill if you’re planning to move to any of them. These numbers are based on a recent report by Save On Energy, who publish an annual report on average electricity costs around the country. The data is calculated based on an average monthly usage, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).
|State||Bill per month||Avg. monthly usage ( kWh)||State||Bill per month||Avg. monthly usage ( kWh)|
How You Can Lower Your Electricity Bill
There are various methods you can use to actually get your electricity bill down, way lower than what the average of the state and the area is too. While you can’t change some things like the size of your house or how much your state’s energy department charges, there are other little things you can do which we’ve stated below:
1. Try Using ENERGY STAR rated appliances
One of the most obvious and easy ways to lower your energy bill is to upgrade to ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. These appliances are built in a way that maximizes their efficiency while not using as much energy as other appliances that don’t have this feature. You’ll be surprised to know that upgrading to such appliances throughout your house will help you get your electricity bill down by a margin of at least 10%. While this isn’t feasible for renters who have to deal with the appliances that rental spaces come with, if you’re a homeowner, you can make the switch!
2. Keep Appliance Usage To A Minimum During Peak Hours
It’s common knowledge that peak hours are when electricity costs are the highest, and this is because providers experience the most load at such times. As a result, when you run large appliances like your washer or dishwasher during peak hours, you’re contributing to the electricity bill going up. Instead, try using these are times when the load might not be too much like after-dinner hours. It might disrupt your routine at first, but load your dishwasher or dryers at night and watch that bill get lower!
3. Choose Your Electricity Provider Wisely
A large majority of you in some states might not have the choice to choose your electricity provider. But if you do have the choice, then choose one carefully because that can affect your monthly electricity bill. Most electricity providers will have competitive rates so you’ll have a wide variety of packages and options to choose from. So do your research, look at what you need, and go for someone who also has good user ratings.
4. Try Smart Power Strips
Ever heard of them? Smart power strips are a new way to cut down your electricity costs by cutting off electricity to those appliances that suck energy when they are switched on but aren’t being used. Clever, isn’t it?
Many times, we forget to switch off the power to many appliances leaving them to add an additional 5% to 10% to your electricity bill. This may not seem like much but it can sure add up to a lot in the long run. These strips, available for $15 per piece, are what you should plug your appliances into to reduce your monthly electricity bill.
5. Use A Smart Thermostat
Did you know that if the difference in temperatures between the inside of your house and the outside is great, your electricity bill also tends to get higher? While thermostats are a blessing, your electricity bill definitely goes up in the summer and winter months, and one way to work your way around this is by upgrading to a smart thermostat.
You can control it using your smartphone and set temperature zones across your house. At the same time, you can set schedules and get the temperature to somewhat match the outside at night time when you’re asleep!
6. Think Of Sealing And Insulation
One reason why the inside of your home might get hotter or colder causing your thermostat to use more energy is that your windows don’t have the right insulation or have become old. What you can do is have the drafts sealed with spray foam or weather stripping to insulate your house as best as possible.
While these are fixes that you will have to ask your landlord to do if you’re renting, if they don’t agree, you can always try temporary fixes like covering the sides of your windows with bubble wrap or plastic wrap in the winters.
7. Switch To LED Lighting
You might know this by now – LED bulbs help reduce your monthly electricity bill by a significant amount. They’re much more energy-efficient as compared to incandescent lighting and even energy-efficient CFL bulbs, so they’ll save you a pretty penny. Even though LED bulbs are more expensive than the other options, they’re well worth it.
8. Pay Attention To Your Air Filters
Clogged up air filters that have dust accumulated in them are just an open invitation for your electricity bill to go up. This is because your heaters and coolers have to work harder to get the job done and thus end up using more energy than required. A very simple fix here is to replace your air filters periodically.
What Costs The Most On Your Electric Bill?
Appliances like central air conditioners and heat pumps will always end up contributing the most to your electric bill. On an average, these appliances use close to 15,000 watts per hour, so if you live in states where the cost per kWh is high, it can end up taking a significant chunk out of your pockets.
Is Turning Off A Power Strip The Same As Unplugging It?
Yes, if you switch off your power strip, then all the appliances plugged into it and are not being used will be truly switched off.
Does Turning Off A Surge Protector Save Electricity?
Yes, turning off a surge protector will help you save a small amount of electricity because it’s the same as unplugging it from the power socket.
No matter how big your house or the area you live in, if you try small things to regulate how you go about consuming energy then it can have an impact on your electric bill. Leave what you can’t control aside and start small by switching off appliances and lights when not being used, not using the air conditioning unless absolutely necessary, and other such steps.
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