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Ask the Energy Expert
Monika Strickland

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Monika Strickland works in our Customer Care Center, making sure that when you call about a billing question we provide you with accurate information and excellent service.

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

Why are electric bills higher during the summer?

 

Why are my electric bills higher in the summer months?

Customers ask us this question every year. The simple answer is that we all tend to use more energy during the hotter months of the year. Here are some of the main reasons why you may see higher bills in July, August and September.

Weather
The most likely cause of higher summer bills is the hot weather. Even if you never change your thermostat setting, your air conditioner will run longer and more often to keep your home cool when it is hot outside.

Think of it this way: if you set your air conditioner to 78 degrees year-round, during the mild spring and winter months when the average temperature is 80 degrees, your air conditioner has to cool your home two degrees. However, when the average temperature outside is averaging 90 degrees, that’s a difference of 12 degrees cooler that your air conditioner has to maintain! For energy saving tips, visit www.FPL.com/toolkit.

Water Heating
Another appliance that impacts energy bills during the summer months is the water heater. Children are out of school and that often means summer sleepovers or family cook outs, which can mean extra hand washing, dishwasher loads, showers or baths and laundry. Here are some ideas on how to control water heating costs:

• Make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees
• Wash laundry in cold water
• Run the dishwasher only when it is full.

Billing cycle
One final tip: The number of days included in your monthly bill can vary between 25 and 35, so that even if you use the same amount of electricity per day, your bill may be higher or lower from one month to the next.

Visit www.FPL.com/keepingbillslow to learn more about the common causes of higher bills. For help with keeping your bills low in the summer go to www.FPL.com/ohes to take an Online Home Energy Survey.

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Comments [34]

Alice Ramos // August 19, 2011

I can’t believe you posted this question….
Is part 2 of this question “Why does it get dark when the sun sets?”

anonymous // September 25, 2011

Alice, that’s very rude! I can’t believe you sent an unproductive message that’s just a negative and hurtful comment and I can’t believe they posted your rude comment. That question about hot summers was reasonable and was answered very well. You should learn not to strike out at others.

Barbara Schoessler // August 20, 2011

My bill is much, much higher in winter!!!
I like it around 82 – 84 degrees, and I am freezing to death in most homes.
Last winter was horrible, my bill was three times higher than in summer.
I love summers in Florida,

Barbara

Emiliano Vengoechea // August 21, 2011

Do you encourage the use of tankless water heaters, do they save on electricity anf if so, do you offer any incentives?

Sharon // August 21, 2011

Okay — my electric bill is higher in the summer and I already to the following: my water heater is turned off; my thermostat is turned to 85 degrees; no one is living in my house during the summer so dw/washer, showers, etc. are not being used; both circuits for the dryer/washer and dw are turned off. So why is my bill so high?

annamrie waite // August 21, 2011

so i guess in essence a thermostat is a useless item

Stephanie // August 21, 2011

I believe the anwer to the question on why bills are higher in the summer was true. Is it also true that the rates go up and the fuel for the utility company fees have gone up?

steve // August 21, 2011

please i need advise and also i need to check the equipment in the house

Darryl // August 21, 2011

OK, I can understand the cost difference when running central AC, but what about “in-the-wall” air conditioners that only run at one temperture anyway?

Hanford Codd fch // August 21, 2011

Your tip on billing cycle is NOT a tip.. The billing cycle is not a control by the consumer…
It is your just your companys’ way of doing business…
Billing cycles are easier for the consumer to understand that are consistant in days… That is why I think each month has its own amount of days.
hc fch

Peter Harris // August 21, 2011

I found the e-mail “Why are my electric bills higher in the summer months” very helpful. I wondered why my bills were so different when I am not there during the summer months. Your article stated that the bills could range fron 25-35 days which answers my question.
Keep the good articles coming!!

Thank you,
Peter

Dick // August 21, 2011

While you addressed the main cause of higher electric bills, you left out one big item-rates go up in the summer. Am I correct?

Richard Stremmell // August 21, 2011

Have you ever interviewed any of these people who have $200 to $300 monthly bills to find out why? Our bills have rarely exceeded $110 even though we have 2012 sq feet of living space under air. We also have a separated upright freezer and I do a lot of baking. What is it that people are doing to run up such high bills unless they have ten people living in that space all taking two showers a day and running the d/w ten times a week.

sandy // December 3, 2011

i think us older folks should have a choice in weather we can splits our bills during the year

Ann-Jean Paci // August 21, 2011

I’m a “snowbird” and used the FL apartment this year from Jan. 3 to May 3. When I closed the apartment in May, I turned off the lights, the hot water heater and the refrigerator. I set the A/C at 78 degrees to prevent mold and mildew. Are you telling me that the use of only the A/C in the summer uses more electricity than when three adults are in residence in the winter?

Dennis Sykora // August 21, 2011

If I turn off our water heater during the day, after our morning showers, etc., or overnite, will I harm the water heater in any way?

Kathleen McDonough // August 21, 2011

I have asked this before. Certain appliances have been geared to turn off at certain times in order to save money.

How do I find out which appliances? What tells me they are in the turn-off cycle? Is there something hidden in my home somewhere that monitors this?

I am truly curious!

joan longinotti // August 23, 2011

I was wondering why refrigerator was not listed in the energy calculator. We leave our refrigerator on for about 6 months when we are away and want to know how much we would save if we disconnected it. It is a sub zero with the freezer on a bottom pull out draw. thank you.

david.e.prouty // August 25, 2011

anyone that asks a question like there bill being higher at this time of yr — they should spend a winter in Mass and pay close to %4 for a gal of oil or pay close to $800 every 3 wks to fill up!

Dave

Rosita Peters // August 26, 2011

I leave my air conditioner around 76 or 77 all the time ocassionally I leave it off. I use my oven all of twice a month as I live alone and do not make big meals. I wash about twice a month, usually it is once a month. There are no other people in my household. Tell me why my bill creeps up more each month??????

Patricia Levy // September 26, 2011

What you do if you leave for the season in the winter? how can you control mold?

sjlfirst // March 22, 2012

The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any air leaks, and one that is often overlooked is the bathroom ventilation fan and exhaust vent. The back-draft flap these units come with do a very poor job of stopping leaks. To address this issue, I use a replacement insert fan from the Larson Fan Company (online). Their fans has a true damper built in, that does a great job in keeping warm air in during the winter and hot, humid air out in the summer. This product has reduced my annual energy bills by over ten percent. It saves the most when air conditioning is being used.

Davone // April 2, 2012

wow whu did i never 5think about thee thing …thanks this was very help full

Tmiller // July 31, 2012

Thanks for sharing this article. I just read a blog on WordPress which stated that consumers can save 14% on their electric bills during the summer by bumping up the temperature by 2 degrees and using ceiling fans.

Thanks again,
warrenair.net

tips to reduce electric bills // February 28, 2013

What a great post for using less electricity. Thanks for sharing this .

how to save on electric bill // May 17, 2013

Post is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post. Now it become easy for me to understand and implement the concept.

compare electricity // June 26, 2013

You have done really a superb job with your web site. Marvelous stuff is here to read.

shelia // June 30, 2013

I have 3 wall units how can I save money if I run all 3 units and what temperature should they be set I also have 3 fans no central air

how to save on electric bill // July 3, 2013

Fantastic, seriously. Awesome. Great post. Thanks for sharing. It is very good.

Electricians Perth // July 28, 2013

very useful information thank you!

how to save on electric bill // September 12, 2013

I enjoyed reading your energy saving tips!.I have been searching for all the info I can find about on how to save electricity bill. Thanks again for all the info!

GastonGary // November 11, 2013

Fantastic, seriously. Awesome. Great post. Thanks for sharing. It is very good.

Mabel Margaret // December 10, 2013

After reading this post, now i dont have to struggle with utility bills especially during summer season.

Mabel Margaret // January 2, 2014

Good opinion by energy experts!
tips to reduce electric bills

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FPL reserves the right to edit any user submissions to "Ask the Energy Expert" for brevity or clarity. Publication of readers' questions or comments is at the sole discretion of FPL.

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