12 Surprising Things That Are Making Your Electricity Bill Higher (And How To Stop Them)

Written By Jim Peck

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Things that are making your Electricity Bill Higher

Summer is the time of year when homeowners start to see their electricity bills climb. While air conditioning can be the biggest culprit, there are a number of other factors that can drive up your energy usage and send your bill soaring.

From running the dishwasher to charging your phone, here are 12 surprising things that are making your electricity bill higher.

12 Surprising Things That Are Making Your Electricity Bill Higher:

  1. Heating Or Cooling Your Home Unnecessarily
  2. Leaving Appliances On Standby
  3. Not Turning Off Lights When You Leave A Room
  4. Having A Faulty Or Inefficient Appliance
  5. Using An Electric Oven Instead Of A Gas Oven
  6. Hidden Fees On Your Bill
  7. Not Having A Programmable Thermostat
  8. Leaving Chargers Plugged In When Not In Use
  9. Not Using LED Light Bulbs
  10. Living In A State With Higher Electricity Costs
  11. Using A Lot Of Hot Water
  12. Running The Dishwasher Half Full

Heating Or Cooling Your Home Unnecessarily

There are a lot of things people do every day that unnecessarily waste energy and money. Heating or cooling your home when you don’t need to is likely the #1 cause of a high electricity bill.

Heating and cooling your home accounts for about half of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. So, turning off your heating or cooling when you don’t need it can save you a lot of money on your energy bill – as much as 30%!

Leaving Appliances On Standby

Leaving appliances on standby is a common way of wasting energy in households. This is because when an appliance is switched off but left on standby, it still consumes energy.

For example, a TV that’s left on standby can use up to 3 watts of electricity, while a computer can use up to 10 watts.

If everyone in the US switched off their appliances when they weren’t being used, it would save enough energy to power more than 2.5 million homes. So, if you want to stop making your electricity bill higher, make sure you switch off your appliances when you’re not using them.

Not Turning Off Lights When You Leave A Room

Leaving a room without turning off the lights wastes energy and costs money. It’s an easy habit to break, and it only takes a few seconds. Turning off lights when you leave a room is a simple habit that can help you save energy and money.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if everyone in the United States turned off their lights when they left a room, we could save up to $11 billion each year. That’s a lot of money!

There are a few simple ways to remember to turn off your lights when you leave a room:

  • Put a post-it note on your door or mirror
  • Get motion sensor lights that turn off when no one is in a room
  • Periodically check around the house for lights that were left on

Having A Faulty Or Inefficient Appliance

Appliances are a necessary evil in every home. We all need them, but they often suck up more energy than they should. Inefficient appliances are one of the biggest contributors to climate change.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to make our appliances more efficient. One easy way is to make sure that our appliances are properly sized for our needs.

Another way is to use a smart power strip. This little device can save you a lot of energy by shutting off power to devices that aren’t in use.

Using An Electric Oven Instead Of A Gas Oven

This one is tricky because while a gas oven will obviously use less electricity than an electric oven, an electric oven is more efficient overall.

There are many benefits of using an electric oven instead of a gas oven. Firstly, electric ovens are more efficient because they use less energy. This is because the heat is distributed more evenly than in a gas oven, so there is no need to preheat the oven or to turn it up higher than necessary.

Electric ovens are also safer than gas ovens, as they don’t produce any flames or fumes. Another benefit of electric ovens is that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly.

Hidden Fees On Your Electricity Bill

It’s no secret that electricity rates in the United States are high. But what you may not know is that your bill might be even higher than it needs to be. Many utility companies include hidden fees in their bills, which can drive your total cost up by hundreds of dollars each year.

Fortunately, there are things you can do if you do find hidden fees. First, always read your bill carefully and compare it to the rate you were quoted when you signed up for service.

If you see any unexpected charges, contact your utility company and ask them to explain what the charge is for. If it was an unnecessary charge or a mistake, the utility company will take it off.

Not Having A Programmable Thermostat

Living without a programmable thermostat can be costly. Many people think that they don’t need one because their work schedule or lifestyle doesn’t require much programming.

But, even if you only use your thermostat manually a few times a week, you can still save money by using a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home’s temperature to match your schedule. You can save energy and money by programming the thermostat to turn down when you’re not home and turn back up before you arrive.

Leaving Chargers Plugged In When Not In Use

It is estimated that the average American household has about 10 electronic devices, and most of them use some type of battery. With all of these devices running, it’s no wonder that our energy bills are through the roof.

What’s even more concerning is that we’re often wasting energy without even realizing it.

Chargers are a big culprit when it comes to wasted energy. In fact, leaving your charger plugged in when your device isn’t charging can waste up to $100 worth of electricity each year.

Not Using LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs are often touted as one of the best ways to save money on your energy bill, and with good reason. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 25 times longer.

In addition, they don’t contain any harmful chemicals like mercury, so they’re a great choice for people who are environmentally conscious.

Despite all of these benefits, many people are still not using LED light bulbs. One of the main reasons is that people are unaware of how much money they can save by switching to LEDs.

LED bulbs are also available in a variety of colors and sizes, making them a versatile option for any room in your home.

Living In A State With Higher Electricity Costs

In 2017, the average American spent $1,419 on electricity. While this number varied depending on the state, it’s important to understand how your state’s electricity rates compare to the rest of the country.

According to recent studies, the states with the highest electricity costs are: Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.

The states with the lowest electricity rates are: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Using A Lot Of Hot Water

It’s no secret that Americans use more water than any other country in the world. In fact, the average American uses 176 gallons of water per day. That’s a lot of water!

So what can we do to conserve water and help the environment? There are many ways to reduce your water usage, but one of the simplest is to turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth.

You can also take shorter showers and only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load. These are just a few easy ways to conserve water and help lower the cost of your electricity bill!

Running The Dishwasher Half Full

The average dishwasher uses about 5 gallons of water per load. If you run your dishwasher only half full, you can save up to 2,500 gallons of water each year! That’s enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.

Here are a few tips for minimizing the amount of energy your dishwasher uses:

  • Only run the dishwasher when it’s full
  • Use the shortest cycle possible
  • Don’t use the heated dry cycle


This article explored 12 things that may be driving up your electricity bill.

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About Jim Peck

Jim is a retired engineer, lifelong hunter, and avid outdoorsman. He lives in Southern Montana and loves to fish, farm, and hunt. He is a contributing writer to Thermogears on topics such as the outdoors and technical engineering.