There are two types of high bills: those that are consistently high and those that have unusual “peaks”. The type can determine where members should start looking. A temporary “peak” more often indicates a change in weather patterns (colder or hotter than usual), a malfunction with an electric appliance (such as a failed water heater element or a well pump that continues running), using heat or cold making appliances such as a space heater or air conditioner, or leaving baseboard heaters turned on inadvertently. A consistently high bill implies the need for the homeowner to examine what appliances are in use and how long they’re in use, the age of appliances, unusual events or changed circumstances (additional people staying in the home, new or additional appliances in use) to determine individual patterns or changes in usage.

Basic residential use includes: refrigeration, lighting, electric heating or cooling, television and other electronic equipment. If you use electricity to heat water or dry clothes, your usage will be higher. If you heat or cool your living space with electricity, it is common to see higher bills over the coldest winter months and hottest summer months.