You're Paying Based on Estimated Meter Readings
There are some instances when your service provider doesn't take the actual readings of your energy expenditures. Instead, they can use an estimated meter reading. In this case, they will simply use your historical averages to come up with an approximate bill for that month. This might not be a problem if it only happens once. However, if you keep paying based on estimated readings, it might be a problem. Historical averages are not always accurate especially if you have improved the way you use energy in your home.
There are several reasons why supplies can use estimates instead of actual readings. For instance, it might be because they didn't want to send someone out to do the readings because of movement restrictions. In some instances, it might also be because there is a dog on your premises. Apart from your changing your energy-using habits, estimates can be full of errors. Unfortunately, it you don't pay close attention to your bill, you might miss the tiny details indicating that your bill is estimated. Usually, it's marked with a small 'e' near the reading.
Your Current Bill Is Higher Than Historical Utility Bills
Another sign that you might be paying more than you should for your energy bill is if there's a huge jump from your previous bills but you didn't change your spending habits. This is usually the result of data entry mistakes. These errors are quite common and they result in the wrong rates, fees, and taxes being applied to your bill. If you raise the issue with your service provider, they might be able to refund once they figure out the error.
You're Currently Struggling to Pay the Bill
This is the most obvious sign that you are overspending on your energy bill. Several things could cause ridiculously high energy bills. For instance, you could be using lighting that consumes a lot of energy. You should keep in mind that incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, and compact fluorescent bulbs consume different amounts of energy. As such, your goal should be to use the lighting option that consumes the least amount of energy.
According to the Department of Energy, the average home in the United States spends about 5% to 10% of its energy costs on lighting. You will find that incandescent lightbulbs and CFLs do not only produce light but heat as well. This is a huge waste of energy since this heat is not used for anything. This is why you must switch to LED bulbs which are much more efficient. Research shows that they use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. So if you are interested in frugal living, it might be time to switch to better bulbs.
Find Out What the Neighborhood Norm Is
Another good way to find out if you are paying too much for your energy is to talk to your neighbors. Sharing your information with others who have homes with similar square footage can help you pick out that you are spending more than you should.
If your bills seem higher than every other homeowner, find out what they are doing that's helping them keep their bill low. For instance, they might have invested in energy-saving windows or replaced their HVAC system with a new one recently.
Approximately half of all homes in the U.S. were built before 1980 and 84% have air conditioning. It might be that your air conditioning is old and needs replacement. Old air conditioners will consume significantly more energy than the newer more energy-efficient models. Replacing your HVAC would be a good move in a country that uses more air conditioning than all other nations combined.
Cutting back on your energy expenditures is a good move towards more frugal living. In most instances, the excess energy you spend will be going to waste and not improving your life in any way. Therefore, if you are interested in saving more money and moving more towards frugal living, use the tips to find out if you are spending too much on energy.