The cost of electricity in homes varies with seasonal use. In most homes,
more electricity is used during summer and winter months than in fall and spring
months, for heating, cooling and related purposes.
Summer weather will bring about an increased use of electricity for air conditioners,
fans, and dehumidifiers. Refrigerators and freezers have to work harder, since even
air-conditioned homes are generally warmer in summer than in winter.
In the winter, heating your home will often bring higher bills. Even when gas, oil,
or propane is used as a fuel source, electricity is needed to operate pumps and
fan motors on the furnace.
Hot water heating costs may also increase. The water coming into the water heater
in the winter is typically colder than in the summer, so it requires more electricity
to bring the water temperature up to the desired level.
Lighting, cooking, and home entertainment also use more electricity in winter. Nights
are longer in the winter months, so lights are typically on about twice as long
as in the summer months. Also, most families spend longer hours watching television
in the winter.
All of these factors combine together to help explain why customers may find that
their electric bills are higher in the summer and winter months than in spring and
Many customers do not realize the impact that changes in a household may
have on an electric bill. Adding new electric appliances, adding a heat pump, turning
on a pump on a swimming pool, adding an attic fan, changing lighting, hot tub, water
bed, or even leaving a computer on all the time, are all common reasons for increases
People also make a difference. A new baby or roommate, a child who moves back home,
or house guests who stay awhile will all mean increased electricity use.
Bills are sometimes estimated if weather or inaccessibility prevents our
meter readers from reading your meter on the scheduled reading date. On rare occasions,
bills may have to be estimated if the metering equipment malfunctions or has been
damaged. If a bill has been estimated, a read code of “E” will show in the usage
section of your bill.
We do our best to make estimates as accurate as possible, taking into account your
past usage patterns and other factors. However, if your previous month’s bill was
underestimated and the current month’s bill is from an actual reading, it may look
like the current bill is too high. What’s really happening is the current bill is
making up for the previous bill that was too low.