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How to Tell Why Your Electric Bill is so High

Have you ever gotten your electric bill to be shocked at the amount due? I lowered my bill from $175 a month to just $50 a month. You can lower your electric bill and find out what's making it so high by doing these simple tasks.

Why Your Electric Bill is so High

Things You Will Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Calculator

Have you ever gotten your electric bill to be shocked at the amount due? I lowered my bill from $175 a month to just $50 a month.  You can lower your electric bill and find out what's making it so high by doing these simple tasks.

  1. Being the nerd that I am, I was floored when I got a $175 electric bill in my first home. So what do nerds do? They find out why. Here's what I did and you can too.
  2. Unplug everything to check your electric meter
  3. Unplug everything elctrical. I mean everything! The only things that will have power are those items that require a circuit breaker to power off like you heat, air, and water heater. Turn the heat or air off at the thermostat. I would recommend checking your electric meter in the summer or spring.
  4. Make sure your water heater isn't running, remember it still has power to it, but you should be able to hear if it's running or not. Go outside to your meter and see if it's running. It should be a dead stop. If it isn't go back inside and find out what is drawing power. Once you find it write it down and write how fast the meter was turning, just use words like slow, medium, or fast.
  5. Electric Meter
  6. Now go back inside and plug something up like your television and cable. Turn them on like you would be watching them and go look at the meter. Write down how fast it's turning. Now unplug the tv and cable and pick something else to plug in. Keep doing this until you've investigated everything in the house. Check your computers, each room's light, your can opener, everything.
  7. Here's an example of what I found and fixed to save money on my electric bill. Notice how the radio is using more electricity than the TV! And the porch light is using more than the bathroom light. Now that just doesn't seem logical to me.
  8. TV slow Cable slow Radio fast
    bath light slow porch light fast
  9. Next at the items you find strange, look at the electricity usage on the label and compare it to other items in your home. If it doesn't make sense then you might have a short in the item.
  10. I bought a new radio and replace the light housing on my porch light and re-checked the usage on the meter and guess what? It went down. There are tiny items in your home that can be causing you a huge electric bill each month.
  11. If you don't find any shorted item, then use your list and look at the items that caused the meter to move fast. Try to use them less. Also, keep in mind that several of the items that moved the meter medium with used at the same time can really add up to a huge bill.
  12. Items that stay plugged in all the time - put them on power strips and turn the strip OFF. They will pull a small amount of electricity even if the item if turned off and plugged into the wall. That's why I asked you to unplug everything in step 2.
  13. Warning

    Never try to repair an electrical item. Some can hold a charge even after unplugged and can electrocute you.

Things You Will Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Calculator

Tip

  • It's best to check the electric meter in the summer or spring.

Warning

  • Never try to repair an electrical item. Some can hold a charge even after unplugged and can harm you.

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.