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Monday, 27 May 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Understanding Your Utility Bill is Essential for Minimizing Monthly Costs

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:29

Keeping utility costs from getting out of hand is a major concern for countless households. Property owners who lack a basic understanding of utility costs, bills and statements or who may have questions about even the most basic aspects of their services or billing practices may find themselves at a real disadvantage. Finding answers to some of the most pressing questions homeowners are likely to have and possessing a more detailed understanding of their monthly bill makes it much easier to create and maintain a more sustainable and cost-efficient household.

 

Understanding Utility Costs

 

Two key feature of any electric bill are the volume of electricity consumed and the billing period. The kilowatt hour is the typical standard of measurement that will be used to determine the total overall cost of a utility bill. This unit represents the electricity needed to provide 1,000 watts of power for one hour, and the average household can expect to use something like 11,000 kilowatt hours each year. The cost of this usage will then be divided into individual billing cycles, which are typically one month in length but may vary by provider.

 

Peak Demand and Off-hours Usage

 

The cost of a kilowatt hour can vary due to any number of factors. Electricity that is consumed during peak hours, when demand is at its greatest, is often more expensive that it would be during other times of the day. Making a few small changes to household habits and patterns of behavior may be all that is required in order to begin lowering monthly bills and is often a great way to get started in the creation of a more energy-efficient home. Electric rates can also differ for any number of other reasons and homeowners would do well to revisit the terms of their service or to contact their utility provider in order to obtain the most accurate and up to date information.

 

Curbing Consumption

 

From windows that are too exposed to the sun and elements to older-model home appliances that may be far from efficient, there are a wide range of issues that must be addressed in order to trim the number of kilowatt hours a home will use throughout the month or year. A few simple installations, equipment upgrades or replacement items can be all it takes to trim utility costs without forcing households to sacrificing their convenience. Property owners who are familiar with the terms of their bill and who make it a habit to examine the fine print should have an easier time reducing both electric usage and overall costs.

 

Taking Stock and Assessing the Impact of Past Changes

 

For property owners who find themselves asking what is a kilowatt hour, taking steps to learn more about their electric usage can be of paramount importance. Issues like automatic lighting or irrigation systems that may be consuming power during peak hours could be costing property owners much more than they might realize. When undertaking household renovations or upgrades that are aimed at minimizing utility costs, checking the bill in order to assess the impact that any and all changes may be having is often an important step in the process.

 

Planning for the Future

 

Finding new ways to reduce electric bills and utility costs should be looked upon as an ongoing effort rather than a one-time project. New technology, new equipment options and other resources that may be just over the horizon could end up making quite an impact and homeowners who make every effort to keep an eye on their usage are far more likely to find success with their efforts. From learning how to properly break down a monthly utility bill to details about the latest new appliances, equipment options and any other products or services that might help to reduce electric consumption can often go a long way towards minimizing household expenses while helping to optimize levels of energy-efficiency.

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