Summer is here and, as expected, most households are using more electricity than they were a couple of months ago.
As we have discussed in previous columns, there are a variety of problems that can occur with household appliances and equipment. So, how do you know if higher electric bills are normal or symptomatic of a problem? South River EMC has resources available to help you determine just that.
Your Monthly Bill
The information on your monthly billing statement is one way to determine if your electricity use is normal. On the back of your bill, take a look at the graph marked “Energy Usage History.” Around 50 percent of the energy used in a home is by the heating and/or air conditioning system, which makes energy use predictable, based on the season. For this reason, it’s best to compare the current month’s energy use to the same month last year, since weather patterns are typically similar.
This section of the bill displays the past 13-month billing history in a bar graph and offers a comparison between the current month, previous month, and same billing period last year. Using this data and the comparisons it offers, you can make a fairly accurate determination on whether your bill is normal for the season.
Since temperatures vary wildly, detailed daily energy use data is valuable when determining if your energy use is normal or elevated due to a problem. Through our website, sremc.com, members can view their daily energy use and temperature information using a tool called SmartView. This tool shows energy use for each day with an overlay of the daily high and low temperature.
Using the SmartView bar graph, look for days when the temperature was relatively low, followed by days when the temperature increased significantly (or vice versa). You should see a drastic difference in electricity use, showing much lower usage on cool days verses higher usage on warmer days. If the differences in usage between the cool days and hot days isn’t drastic, that could indicate an issue with equipment or behavior that could be increasing your bill.
Smart Energy Profile
Members receive an email report designed to help better manage your monthly energy use. The report helps to answer typical questions about how energy is used in your home, identify the major drivers of energy use, show how your use compares to the previous month and the previous year, and provides meaningful recommendations for energy savings.
The Advise Guys
If you still have concerns with your electricity use after reviewing the information available through any of the sources mentioned, the Advise Guys are here to help. Just reach out to us by phone at 910.892.8071 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to review your account.