Does your electricity bill seem unusually high this month? Often homeowners and business owners are surrised by sudden fluctuations. They begin to search for energy cost savings. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to find clues to savings on your electricity bill. And if you are paying electricity bills in Texas, you may have some extra opportunities to save. Read on to learn more.

(1) Begin by looking at your previous bills for the past year.

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Now go through your old electric bills, starting 12 months ago. On the left, write “KWH (kilowatt hours) consumed.” On the right, write, “Dollar amount of electric bill.”

(2) After you have written down the numbers for all 12 months, begin to look for patterns.

If your usage has increased, then you may need to plug the leaks in your energy consumption. Look for tips to buy energy efficient appliances, conserve energy through window treatments, insulate your home and more.

If your usage increased for a particular month or for certain months, dig deeper. If you had an especially hot or cold month, your bill will reflect increased usage. You may have purchased new appliances that use large amounts of electricity.

If your usage remains constant but your costs are higher, your electric company may have raised your rates. This increase may apply to all companies in your area you may be paying a higher rate than necessary. Depending on where you live you may be able to find a lower rate with a competing electric company. used in kWh. Don’t look at the cost, because the cost could have gone up for other reasons, such as an increase in the price of electricity itself.

(2) Check your meter readings. If you see a huge spike in one month, or an inconsistent set of readings, your electric company may have made a mistake. Usually they will give you an immediate refund if you point this out.

On very rare occasions, a meter will actually be broken. That means it continues to record usage even when you turn off all circuit breakers. When you document a broken meter (sometimes with help from an electrician), you can ask for a refund.

(3) If your bills and usage are constant, but you wonder if you are paying too much, you need to make some comparisons.

Find out what typical families and business pay monthly in your part of the country. Maybe your bill hasn’t gone up but you just think it’s always been too high? In that case the first thing you can do is to compare your usage to what’s average for your family size and geographical area.

“Average” doesn’t mean “ideal.” Many families and business owners often find ways to reduce their usage, sometimes simply by unplugging appliances and chargers that are not in use.

Do you live in Texas? Then you can compare electricity rates from all utility companies. Texas has deregulated electricity and you can make the best choice.

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