Why does my power bill rise with the summer heat?


You sometimes probably wonder why your electricity bill is higher at certain times of the year. If you’re paying close attention, you may have noticed that the spikes generally occur during the warm summer months and cold winter months. That’s because your heating and cooling system is working harder during these months to keep the inside of your home comfortable. When there is a larger difference between the outside air temperature and the temperature you have the inside of your home set at, you use more energy to maintain the comfortable setting you like.

During the summer, on top of it already being warmer outside, you may have kids at home during the day while they are out of school for the summer. They are likely seeking refuge from the warm temperatures outside and using more electronic devices, like TV’s, gaming systems and other electronics.

Warmer temps means more energy use

During the summer, the warm weather means our air conditioning systems are running, sometimes constantly, to give us relief from the hot temperatures. If you are closely tracking your energy use through our online member services portal, you will notice that when the temperatures rise, your energy use rises.

In the chart above, you can see two sets of data. This same data is also available for your specific account in the online member services portal. The red line represents the high temperature and the blue bar represents daily energy usage for a typical member. You will notice that as it gets warmer and the high temperature goes up (rise in the red line), energy use goes up (blue bars). The same goes for when temperatures drop (drop in the red line), energy use goes down (blue bars).

As you can see, there is a direct relationship between the temperature and the amount of energy our home uses to keep it cool inside. When is it warmer outside, your cooling system must work harder and consumes more electricity in order to compensate for the difference in the temperatures outside and inside your home.

So what can you do to help save energy?

Use our online tools.

We have some tools at your disposal that you can put to use to track your energy use:

  • Online Energy Advisor: the Energy Advisor tool gives a personalized energy use analysis with intuitive, interactive bar charts showing at a glance the relative amounts of energy required by the home’s heating and air conditioning, water heating, cooking, refrigeration, appliances, lighting, and even pools and spas. You can explore use and cost comparisons to see how changing weather, usage patterns, and home occupancy affects your wallet.
  • Online Portal: As a member of Central Electric, you have the ability to manage and track your account anytime, anywhere. Whether you need to pay your bill or monitor your energy use, the Member Service Portal has everything you need to stay in touch with your account. If you haven’t done so already, visit the “My Account” tab in the upper left-hand corner to enroll and get started today! Or you can download our FREE mobile app.
  • Alerts & Reminders: Once you login to the online portal, be sure to take a look at the Alerts & Reminders tab. Here you can setup a vareity of different alerts, including a high energy use alert. The alert will send you a notification when your energy use reaches a certain point, that way you can be sure to take a look at what might be impacting your energy use.

Raise your thermostat.

We recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer months and 68 degrees during the winter months. When you are away from home, you can bump the thermostat up during summer and down during the winter by 7 to 10 degrees if you have a programmable or smart thermostat. You can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs by adjusting your thermostat while you are away.

Use your drapes.

If the sun shines directly on a particular side of your home, keep the drapes closed in the summer and open during the winter. During the summer this will help keep the sun from raising the temperature in your home and during the winter it lets the sun help keep your home warm.

Adjust your water heater temperature.

The recommended temperature for your water heater is 120 degrees, but you can bump it down to 115 degrees if you are comfortable with that setting. This will help save on water heating costs and standby energy loss if you have a tank unit.

Make the upgrade to LED bulbs.

They use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they emit less heat, which means less work for your A/C. Don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

These are just a few ways you can help save money during the warm summer months, and also when the temperatures turn cold in just a few short months from now.

Postpone running appliances that produce heat.

Appliances like ovens and clothes dryers emit heat into your home. This can increase the indoor temperature and cause your cooling system to work harder to maintain the thermostat setting — especially on days when outdoor temperatures are already high. When possible, wait to use these appliances during cooler evening and nighttime hours.

Use the microwave or grill outdoors.

You’ll save energy and time when cooking in the microwave rather than using your stove or oven. You’ll reduce the amount of heat released into your home, too. Grilling outside is also a fun energy-saving option.

Plug into savings with power strips.

TVs, computers, gaming systems and other electronics quietly drain electricity when plugged in, even when they’re not in use. Those energy dollars can add up quickly. Switch on savings by plugging these items into power strips that you can switch OFF.

These are just a few ways you can help save money during the warm summer months, and also when the temperatures turn cold in just a few short months from now.


for more tips and tools on how to save.