High Bills - What to Check
If you feel that your electric bills are higher than they should be, here are a couple of things that you can check:
PLEASE NOTE: There are many factors that can cause your bill to vary, including the meter reading not being taken at the same time of the month, estimated readings, weather or a faulty appliance.
1. Download and print the kWh Usage Estimate Worksheet.
2. Enter the number of appliances you have in the NBR column.
3. Multiply the NBR column times the kWh column to get the amount in the TOT-kWh column.
4. To find the operating cost of your appliance, multiply the TOT-kWh column times the kWh cost on your Rate Schedule for amount in the COST column.
5. Total both the TOT-kWh and COST columns. These should compare to your average monthly bill.
1. Pull your main breaker.
2. Check your electric meter disk for movement.
3. The circular disk in the electric meter disk should stop.
If you have a new electronic electric meter, the dashed lines on the bottom of the display should stop moving.
4. If the meter disk is still turning call the Cooperative.
1. Leave the main breaker in.
2. Turn off all individual circuits.
3. The electric meter disk or dashes should stop. If not there could be short in fuse/breaker panel box or an appliance connected without fuse/breaker protection.
4. Turn on one individual circuit.
5. Watch to see if the electric meter disk is turning. You are looking for a circuit that causes the disk or dashes to move very fast, compared to the other circuits. There could be a problem with an appliance or a connection on that circuit.
6. Turn off that individual circuit and turn on another one.
7. Watch to see if the electric meter disk is turning.
8. Continue with steps 6 and 7 until all individual circuits have been checked.
Electric hot water tank: Members find that heating element in the process of burning out causing excessive electric usage. Usually common in older hot water tanks. Sometimes you will notice a shortage of hot water.
Underground wiring problems: Members are continually having problems with improperly installed underground wiring to their barn, pump or garage. Within our area, the freeze and thaw cycles can move rocks with enough force to puncture underground wiring and cause a short.
Water pumps: Members have found bare wire shorting out against the well pipe casing or shorting out when the water in the well rises to the level of the bare wire.
Frost free refrigerators and freezers: Frost free appliances have a heating element to automatically defrost the ice. Sometimes these heating elements go bad and cause excess usage. Also, the door gasket may have become cracked causing cold air to escape.
Appliances with heating elements: Such appliances sometimes experience a partial short causing excess usage only when turned on.
Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers may use as much electricity as air conditioners. Sometimes members do not realize how much electricity appliances use.