Incoming Energy Rate Hikes - How to Reduce your Electric Bill
Has your electricity bill been higher than expected recently? Most of us anticipate hikes in our electricity bills when the fall and winter months roll around. This year is different – you can expect to see even higher prices every month. People are reporting increases in their electricity bills across the nation, but not for the reason you think! You may be paying more to heat your home, but the global demand for natural gas is the real culprit behind your high electricity bills this year.
Why is my Electric Bill so High?
You’re not alone if you’ve been asking yourself “why is my electric bill so high?” Tyson Slocum, the energy program director at Public Citizen told Essential Energy and Environment News that:
“Gas is the largest source of electric power in the U.S., and gas prices help set the cost of electricity around the country.”
This year, the cost of natural gas has risen faster than diesel, crude oil, and gasoline. The effects are felt not just by the country, but across the globe. Ongoing political crises and record-breaking temperatures this summer have both contributed to the increased demand for natural gas. Energy companies are paying higher prices to source natural gas and are then hiking up their rates to offset costs. The Essential Energy and Environment News also reports in an article about high natural gas prices:
“The price of natural gas affects other parts of the economy, as well. Lots of manufacturing plants — including oil refineries — run on gas, and it’s a key ingredient in fertilizer. Those costs will ultimately get passed to consumers, too.”
High electricity bills aren’t the only price hikes Americans are seeing this year. Natural gas is a resource so many industries depend on and they’re feeling the price hikes as well. To offset these increases, companies will mark up the cost of what they’re selling to customers. Besides electricity, other necessities like food and gasoline have also significantly increased in price. A couple dollars here and there can add up quickly. Luckily, there are easy changes you can make to reduce monthly expenses – including using less electricity.
Energy Rate Hikes - State by State
Energy rate hikes are expected across the nation and many rate increases have already been implemented. There have been endless reports of high electricity bills tracing back to the beginning of the year. Rates vary from state to state depending on the energy company. Below, you’ll find either the most recent rate hikes or hike rate predictions (as of October 2022) for each state.
Alabama: 5% (Gulf Coast Media)
Alaska: 17% (Regulatory Commission of Alaska)
Arizona: 5% (KTAR)
Arkansas: 6% (Arkansas Online)
California: 22% (California Globe)
Colorado: 6% (CBS Colorado)
Connecticut: 5% (Patch)
Delaware: 18% (Delaware Electric Co-op)
Florida: 13% (WESH)
Georgia: 12% (GPB)
Hawaii: 7% (Utility Dive)
Idaho: 3% (KIVI)
Illinois: 8% (WGLT)
Indiana: 12% (Indystar)
Iowa: 15% (Energy District)
Kansas: 8% (WIBW)
Kentucky: 10% (WEKU)
Louisiana: Roughly $25 a month (The Center Square)
Maine: 50% (CBS News Center Maine)
Maryland: 25% (Delmarva)
Massachusetts: 64% (Boston)
Michigan: 8% (Citizens Utility Board of Michigan)
Minnesota: 7% (Business North)
Mississippi: Roughly $8 a month (WAPT)
Missouri: 7% (Liberty Utilities)
Montana: 10% (PSC Montana)
Nebraska: 2.5% (OPPD)
Nevada: 8% (News 4)
New Hampshire: 77% (WMUR)
New Jersey: 24% (NJ Spotlight News)
New Mexico: 7% (New Energy Economy)
New York: 22% (NY1)
North Carolina: 8% (Duke Energy)
North Dakota: 6% (KFYR)
Ohio: Roughly $18 (AEP Ohio)
Oklahoma: 2% (Oklahoman)
Oregon: 4% (Portland General)
Pennsylvania: 11% (NBC Philadelphia)
Rhode Island: 47% (WPRI)
South Carolina: 5% (Count on 2)
South Dakota: 20% (Keloland)
Tennessee: 3% (News Channel 5)
Texas: 20% (Ecowatch)
Utah: 2% (KUTV)
Vermont: 4% (Seven Days VT)
Virginia: Roughly $15 (Virginia Mercury)
Washington: 12% (Pacific Power)
West Virginia: 12% (WSAZ)
Wisconsin: 4% (WE Energies)
Wyoming: 2% (Cowboy State Daily)
With these projected numbers, you’ll notice that there’s a large range in price hike rates. Some states like Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming project electricity bills to increase by just 2%. Other states like New Hampshire and Massachusetts project electricity rate hikes of up to 77% and 64%, respectively.
You’ll also notice that there are some trends in the electricity rate hikes. Numerous states in the Northeast are expecting their electricity bills to increase by over 20%. These states include New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Maine. This is due to the geography of these states. States are dependent on natural gas sources to meet electricity demands and there are limited sources of natural gas in the Northeastern states. Outsourcing natural gas from other states and Canada is costly already, but with high demand inflating the cost of electricity, these states are forced to pay high electricity bills compared to the rest of the country. The opposite is true for states that have abundant natural gas sources, including Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Utah. This is why their electricity price hikes are projected to be as low as 2%.
How to Lower Electric Bill
If you want to lower your high electric bill, you need to be aware of your energy usage. Electricity is used to power so many items and various utilities. It’s easy to overlook some of the ways your home uses electricity. Read on to learn how you can save electricity by changing your HVAC, water, and appliance habits. Be sure to share these tips and tricks with your family to maximize your energy conservation efforts and reduce your high electric bill.
Quick Tips to Lower Electric Bill
- Get your air ducts cleaned. Debris slows down air flow and makes your HVAC system work harder and longer than it has to.
- Get your air ducts sealed. Leaky air ducts allow air that you paid to cool/heat to escape.
- Change your air filters. Clean air filters optimize airflow in your home, making your HVAC system efficient.
- Adjust your thermostat. Turning off heating/cooling when no one is home or when everyone is asleep can dramatically reduce your high electricity bill.
- Look into energy-efficient appliances. These appliances, especially Energy Star rated ones, spend less energy on heating water.
- Cut down shower time. The money you save from shorter showers adds up over time, especially if you live with multiple people.
- Adjust your water heater. You likely don’t need your water heater on the highest setting, especially when you go on vacation.
- Unplug your devices. Many devices use electricity even when they’re not in use.
- Change your lightbulbs. Most brands offer energy-efficient light bulbs now.
- Get your dryer vent cleaned. A clean dryer vent allows your dryer to run more efficiently and helps you avoid running multiple cycles.
- Request an audit. Your electricity provider can tell you exactly what ways you are using electricity inefficiently.
- Adjust your fridge and freezer. You may not need your fridge and freezer on the highest settings.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. You will use less energy to heat water.
How can Air Duct Cleaning Reduce Electric Bills?
If you have a central heating and cooling system, you have a ductwork transporting air to different parts of your home. Over time, air ducts collect dirt, dust, and other debris. This debris disrupts airflow and slows down the air you paid to cool or heat. Buildup within your air vents makes your HVAC system run less efficiently, increasing the time and energy it takes to cool or heat your home to your preferred temperature. You end up paying for this extra time and energy through your electric bill. Making sure your air ducts are properly cleaned by a trusted service will save you money, reduce allergens, eliminate odors, manage pests, and improve airflow.
For some common questions and answers about air duct cleaning, click through to this article.
How can Dryer Vent Cleanings Reduce Electric Bills?
Even if you’re not looking to reduce your electric bill, getting your dryer vents cleaned is a crucial part of home maintenance. Over time, lint will pass by your lint screen and collect in the dryer vent. The dryer vent will eventually clog, making your dryer less efficient. Clothes can take multiple cycles to dry when you have too much build-up. This can be very costly, especially because dryers use so much heat and time. Presque Isle Electric and Gas Company estimates that getting your dryer vent cleaned is a cleaning tip that can save you up to $288 a year in utility fees. However, the cost is the least of your worries. Because dryers use high temperatures, dirty dryer vents are a major source of home fires. Dryer vent cleaning is a matter of safety, it’s important to find a reliable service you can trust.
For more information on dryer vents and how often to get them cleaned, click through to this article.
How can Air Filters Reduce Electric Bills?
Regularly changing your air filters will ensure your HVAC system will run as efficiently as possible. An air filter that hasn’t been replaced in over 3 months will become clogged with dust, pet hair, and other debris. Clogged filters will naturally restrict airflow, causing the blower motor to work harder to circulate air through your home. In this case, system efficiency drops, your electric bill climbs, and your blower motor is at risk of "burn out" due to being overworked. Always have a fresh filter on hand because it's proven that clogged air filters are the #1 cause of equipment failure. There are lots of reasons to change your air filters regularly, but reducing your electric bill is a major one.
Maintaining a proper air filter routine will ensure that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. Air filters that are overdue for a replacement disrupt airflow in your home, making your system inefficient. Your blower fan blows air through your air filter, but a dirty air filter puts strain on the fan by making it work harder and longer. Dirty air filters can also push dust back into your home, release odors, and even produce mold and bacteria. There are lots of reasons to change your air filters regularly, but reducing your electric bill is a major one.
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If you’re all stocked up on filters, you can keep on saving and reducing your electricity bills by scheduling routine HVAC maintenance services with Filterbuy LOCAL. Filterbuy LOCAL offers both air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning services provided by EPA-certified professionals. We can get the job done quickly and thoroughly with guaranteed pricing. Call to get a quote today!