Huge Electric Bill

By | June 26, 2008

My last electric bill from Con Edison was $97.34, the highest ever for a single month period. Since I have my electric bill payments automatically deducted from my checking account, I usually don’t look at the statements. But this time, I wanted to take a look at why the bill was so high.

There are two sections on the bill, one is the supply charges and one is the delivery charges. My supply charges was for a total of $48.94. Then there’s a delivery charge, for a total of $44.66. Add a sales tax of 4%, for a total of $3.74. The electric bill comes to a total of $97.34.

I wonder why my electric bill was so high. It was more expensive than many bills with a larger household size. For example, my parents electric bill with a household of 4, averages around $60 a month. I also live in a smaller apartment.

I called up Con Edison and question why my electric bill was so high, even compared to larger family sizes. A lady from customer service answered my call. Initially, she told me that what I saw on my bill is what I was charged for. Talk about being helpful, the customer service felt like a robot to me. And then she told me that different families have different electric usage. So, I asked if I can find out what is consuming so much power in my apartment. She told me that it could be because of my air conditioner, refrigerator, TV, etc.

I wasn’t satisfied with the answer. Then she asked me to fill out a questionnaire over the phone to see estimate what my monthly usage is. It didn’t really help at all. Finally, she told me that she would send me a guide to help me save energy at home. I didn’t think that will help me get to the heart of the problem. What I really wanted was that they send someone to my home to analyze the situation. In any case, the lady was not helpful, and she was rather impatient. I thought it would be better if l try to figure out the problem by myself.

In addition to the TV, refrigerator, and the usual appliances, I usually leave my computer on without turning it off. That may be one reason why my electric bill is so high. However, leaving my computer on, was something I have been doing for years, so that should not be the reason to why my bill had spiked up. My second guess was the 300W halogen lamp in my apartment. I was told that the halogen lamps consume a lot of energy, but I have a dimmer on it, so I always try to use the low settings.

Even then, I find it surprising that I consume more electricity than bigger families. I live in a small studio apartment in NYC, about 250 sq feet. I am usually not at home, so I don’t think I use that much electric power.

I can try to change my halogen lamp to a more energy efficient one and see if that will have an impact on my bill. And I will set my computer to sleep mode after there is no activity for some time.

A copy of my bill

Electric Rates
My current supply rate is 12.9020c/kWh.
My current delivery rate is 7.9356c/kWh.

What are your supply and delivery rates?

6 thoughts on “Huge Electric Bill

  1. john

    check and see if they raised rates from befor, graph usage based on past years. maybe your fridge is on the fritz, maybe you need to clean your air filters for your a/c. maybe the a/c is gonna go so its running ALL the time. I also heard its been really hot in nyc lately

  2. Tyler

    Dude, chill out! Don’t go worrying about this unless it happens over 2 months or more. Then you know there is something causing this spike. Otherwise, relax and don’t fret about $30!!!

  3. Dreamybee

    I know our hot water heater sucks up a lot of energy. We have also recently notice a big jump in our electric bill and have started turning off everything that we usually leave on-the computer at night, the printer, the DVD player, etc. We’ve also been unplugging things that we don’t use frequently like our vacuum sealer. This has all helped a little. It could just be escalating electric rates as well. In the last 2 years, our rates have gone from $0.2005/kwh to $0.2836/kwh. If your rates are higher, then a slight increase in usage will be magnified.

    Unrelated: When I move my mouse over certain portions of your blog, the content disappears. Any idea what is causing this?

  4. WiseOwl

    You didn’t provide the electricity consumption (in kilowatts). Compare your usage (in kilowatts) with previous bills. Did you use the air conditioner last month, but not the month before?

    Figure the cost of using your appliances.
    $0.129020 supply rate + $0.079356 delivery rate = $0.208376 per kWh

    A 400-watt computer running 24 hours will use 9.6 kWh per day! And that doesn’t include the monitor.

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