You get a message from your electricity provider that your electricity bill is due please check it, you check your electricity bill and it’s 2 times more than your previous month electricity bill and 3 times more than the bill you got the same month last year, you are confused why there is this sudden spike in electricity bill.
In this article we will see why your electricity bill is high and also look into ways that can help you fix your high electricity bill.
The primary reason why your electricity bill is high is because of extra usage of any high power consuming appliance like AC, washing machine, water heater. The other reasons can be the malfunction of your electric meter, any current leakage, incorrect capture of meter reading, increase in electricity tariff and switch to Time of Use (TOU) plan for billing.
Why My Electricity Bill Is High:
Getting sudden spike in electricity bill is painful to the pocket and leaves you in dilemma whether your house power consumption has gone up or is there some fault in your billing.
The sudden spike in your electricity bill can be because of one of the following reasons:
1. Incorrect meter reading: In India even today at some places meter reading is taken manually, so there is a chance that the person who visits your house to note down the meter reading might have written down wrong meter reading. Let me make it clear that if your region has electric meters and meter reading is taken through a power measuring device, then this might not happen to you.
How To Check Incorrect Meter Reading: You can check your previous month meter reading and present month meter reading in your electricity bill, just verify your present month meter reading with actual meter reading from the electric meter. If the present month meter reading printed in your electricity bill is different from your actual meter reading taken from your meter then report this to the electricity provider they will surely sort out your electricity bill then and there.
2. Faulty Meter: This happens rarely but there is a possibility that your electric meter might has malfunctioned, faulty meters capture wrong reading which can increase your electricity bill. Once you find your electric meter is faulty report this to your electricity provider they will replace it.
How To Check For Faulty Meter: To check whether your electric meter is faulty or not you should take the following steps.
- Note down your current meter reading from the electric meter.
- Turn off your main power supply for half an hour to one hour and note down the meter reading again.
If both the meter reading differs then your electric meter is faulty and you should get it replaced. Your electricity provider will change your electric meter once you show him that the meter is faulty.
3. Current Leakage: If your house wiring is old then there are chances that there is some faulty wiring which pulls current all the time and grounds it. This will increase your power consumption and thus your electricity bill. If there is any kind of current leakage in your house then it should be rectified as soon as possible.
How to check current leakage: To check whether there is any current leakage in your house due to faulty wiring follow the steps below.
- Turn off your main power supply and then turn off all your house appliances even the smallest one and note down your electric meter reading.
- Then turn on your main power supply and let your house appliance be off for half an hour to one hour and note down your meter reading.
If both the meter readings differ then there can be current leakage since all your appliances are off and the meter is running.
If you are not comfortable with these types of things, call an electrician to check for any current leakage and faulty meter, he will guide you properly.
5. Your electricity tariff has gone up: There is no current leakage in your house wiring, your electric meter is working fine still you a spike in your electricity bill then there might be a chances that your electricity provider has increase the electricity tariff.
Electricity tariff is the amount your electricity provider charges you for per unit of electricity.
For example: If you are consuming 500 units of electricity every month and your electricity tariff is Rs 10 / unit, then your electricity bill will be 500 X 10 = Rs 5,000.
But if your electricity provider has increased the tariff to Rs 13 / unit, then you will get an electricity bill of 500 X 13 = Rs 6,500.
As you can see an increase in electricity tariff by just Rs 3 /unit can increase your electricity bill by almost 30%.
Note: If your electricity provider is going to increase the tariff then they will surely let you know.
6. Your power consumption has gone up: This is the most common reason why most people get high electricity bill. If you have used your electric appliances more than usual then you will get high electricity bill .
Even if you increase your daily usage of heavy power consuming appliances like AC, washing machine, geyser by an hour, then this will drastically increase your electricity bill.
For example: If you have a 1,000 watt electric geyser to heat water, and as it’s winter time you and your family are using it every day for 1 hour (cumulative) to heat the water then,
The monthly power consumption of your electric geyser would be 1 kW X 30 hours = 30 kWh.
Assuming a standard tariff of Rs 10 / unit.
Your electricity bill just for using the electric geyser will be Rs 300.
This shows that even if you start using some of your appliances for an extra hour daily, then this will add up to increase your electricity bill by 30% – 40%.
6. Billing changes to TOU plan: This is most unlikely reason why you see a sudden spike in your electricity bill because every electricity provider informs at least 2 – 3 months prior before making this change.
Time of Use (TOU) plan is one of the way electricity provider does billing. In TOU you are charged different electricity tariff for different time of the day, so at night when all of us are consuming most of our electricity, the electricity tariff rates will be high and during the day time when consumption is less electricity tariff rates will be low.
This change in electricity tariff can shoot up your electricity bill.
If your meter reading is fine, there is fault in your electric meter, there is no current leakage anywhere in your house and there is no change in your electricity tariff and tariff plan, then the only reason why your electricity bill is high is because your power consumption has gone up.
Then in that case follow these tips to save your electricity bill by reducing your power consumption.
Tips To Reduce Your High Electricity Bill From Day 1:
These power saving tips will cost you some money or no money at all, just a change in your attitude of using your appliances can save you lot of electricity bill.
- Use regular water in washing machine: Do not use the water heating feature in the washing machine, just use regular cold water in washing machine this will reduce more than 50 % power consumption of your washing machine. More than 50 % power consumed by washing machine is for heating water, use regular water to save this 50% power.
- Use washing machine at full load: If you have a 7 kg washing machine then wait till you have enough clothes to wash (5 kg – 6 kg). There is no point in cleaning 2 kg clothes on daily basis, instead wait for 2 – 3 days to collect 5 kg – 6 kg of clothes then wash it all at once. Switch from daily washing to alternate day washing to reduce your washing machine power consumption.
- No standby mode: Appliances like TV, setup box, AC, fridge, computers all have standby mode to quickly start them again. This standby load a.k.a ‘Vampire Load’ adds lots of units of electricity. Just turn off the device from the switch board the moment you are done using it.
- Don’t open the door: If you are using appliances that cool or heat the air inside a closed enclosure like AC, refrigerator and microwave oven then make sure you don’t open the room door or the appliance door again and again. Every time you open the door it puts more pressure on the machine to cool or heat the space as new unconditioned air enters the space which changing the temperature and volume of air.
- Switch to LED’s: If you are still using incandescent or CFL’s then switch to LED’s, they are much more efficient than any other light bulbs / tube light. A 60 watt incandescent bulb and a 10 watt LED give the same amount of light.
- Install Solar Panels: If you are willing to do a small investment and reduce your electricity bill for the next 25 years then install a solar on grid system in your house. Solar panels have 25 years warranty and last well over 30 years and with solar net metering in place your can save almost 90% of your electricity bill for the next 25 years.
The most common reason why you are getting high electricity bill is because you are using your appliances more than usual, your house power consumption has increased. Other factors that might increase your electricity bill are incorrect meter reading, faulty meter, leakage in current, increase in electricity tariff, and change in your tariff structure.
You can save your electricity bill by adopting simple lifestyle changes in the way your use your appliance. For example don’t keep any device on standby mode always completely turn it off once you are done using it, switch to energy efficient appliances and more.
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