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How to Read Your Electric Bill

One of the easiest energy saving tips for summer is to budget and keep track of your energy expenses by learning how to read your electric bill. As a homeowner, you may be spending more on electricity than is needed, but you may be left scratching your head in vain trying to make sense of your electric bill.

American Exteriors offers a guide to interpreting your monthly energy expenses and explains why it’s important for you to know how to read your electric bill.

Understanding Energy Use

The main reason you should understand what’s in your power bill each month is so that you can keep tabs on your expenses. Energy translates into dollars and cents leaving your pocket each month, and without knowing how to read your electric bill, you may miss potential discrepancies or errors in your charges.

Another benefit of being able to decipher the bill is so that you can monitor home energy usage and take the necessary steps to tackle problem areas in your home to reduce your energy usage. After all, electricity costs are going up every year, and the demand for energy grows each day. Being energy efficient doesn’t just save money; it helps your home operate more smoothly.

Reading Your Power Bill

Here are some key things to remember when reading your electric bill:

  • There are two readings shown on your bill. Generally, your power bill will show you the current usage for the month and the previous month’s usage. This enables you to compare months and identify areas of your usage that could be reduced.
  • Look out for discrepancies or big jumps in usage. Sudden jumps in usage or a large discrepancy between readings could indicate malfunctioning home appliances, faulty insulation, windows that need repair or replacing, or a reading error from the power company. Power is measured in kilowatts and charged according to the rates shown on the bill.
  • Pay close attention to peak times in your power usage. This is especially important in the summer and winter months when usage can be the highest. Finding out what times during the day your energy consumption is highest can help you determine what energy reduction measures to take around your home. Changing energy habits may be as simple as setting your thermostat on a schedule or turning off your lights during the day when you’re not home.
  • Look for the key. Electric bills will usually have a legend or “key” that indicates what each of the numbers, lines, and readings means.
  • Read everything included in the bill. Many times, the electric company will share important billing updates, increases or decreases in rates, or general information that may be helpful to you.
  • Call the electric company for any questions. If you have questions or comments about how to decipher your bill or how the rates are calculated, don’t hesitate to call your power company’s customer service center.

Saving Money and Energy

American Exteriors understands that learning how to read your electric bill not only can save you money, but it can also help you determine whether changes to your home windows, doors, or appliances may help you reduce energy consumption. For more energy saving tips for summer, visit the American Exteriors Facebook page.