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CHANGING THE CURRENT

CHANGING THE CURRENT

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Craig Muccio

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

What causes higher summer bills?

By Craig Muccio

Asked on: June 24, 2014 by Peter L. from North Miami Beach

My bill was much higher compared to last month, and I haven’t done anything differently. What caused this?

No one likes surprises, particularly when it comes to your expenses. When you haven’t changed your habits, it's understandable how a higher than normal bill might not seem to makes sense. But, while you haven’t changed anything, the weather has changed.

High temperatures = higher bills
Even if you never change the settings on your A/C, as the days get longer and hotter, your air conditioner needs to run longer to keep you comfortable.

For example, in hotter months, your A/C can run up to twice as long as it does in cooler months to keep your home at the same temperature. Think of it this way: if the outside temperature is 80 degrees and you have your thermostat set to 78 degrees, then your A/C has to cool your home just 2 degrees. However, when it’s 90 degrees outside, your A/C has to cool your home 12 degrees, running longer to keep the indoor temperature at 78 degrees. Your A/C is one of the largest energy users in your home. So, when it’s running longer, your bill will be higher.

Other factors
With children out of school and guests in town you may be busy entertaining with slumber parties and family cookouts, which means more hand-washing, dishwasher loads, showers and laundry. To help control water heating costs, keep your water heater at 120 degrees, try to wash clothes in cold water and run the dishwasher only when it’s full.

Another reason your bill may seem higher than normal is the variation in billing cycle days. The number of days included in your monthly bill can vary between 28 and 35 days due to holidays and other factors. So even if you use the same amount of electricity per day, your bill may be higher, or lower, from one month to the next depending on the number of days of service included in your bill.

Make your bill lower
We’re here to help you find new ways to save and make your bill even lower. Here are a few things that can help you get started:

View our Summer Tips to learn how to control the cost of cooling your home. Some easy tips include:

  • Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or warmer with the fan on "auto" and raise the thermostat setting to 82 degrees while you're away
  • Turn off fans when you leave a room
  • Close shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun’s heat out

Take an Online Home Energy Survey to learn other ways to save within your home.

View your personalized Energy Dashboard to see how the outside temperature and other factors impact your bill by month, day and hour.

Sign up for FPL Budget Billing® to say goodbye to summer bill fluctuations. While not a savings plan, this program evens out your annual energy costs so you pay approximately the same amount each month.

As an FPL customer, you have the lowest electric bill in the state, and we’re committed to always helping you find ways to make it even lower.

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Comments [4]

  1. Deanna Vondrak

    Very good!

  2. Barbara Ellin

    Seasonal living. Using timed AC! Why is condo temperature set lower than a home? A condo has air conditioned living above and below my apartment. Using Dehumidifiers for each 1000 sq. ft. I assume the AC is off. Is that correct? Thanks a million.

  3. Rudi Schubert

    The free energy is the internal energy of a system minus the amount of energy that cannot be used to perform work. I really like this post and Rudi Schubert also explain this topic in his blog.

  4. John

    My wife and I left Florida on the 16th of May for Costa Rica. We have been gone for over 1.5 months. The only appliance left in the on position was the refrigerator. The AC was turned off, the TV's, lamps, internet, etc., were unplugged. Our current bill is higher than the bill of our last full month in Florida. I believe something is wrong. Please evaluate the possibility of an incorrect reading. How is it possible that our bill could be higher than when we were there with no use of appliances and other items. We are currently still in Costa Rica and will be here until the 1st of November. Please check this out for us.