As winter is ending, we are seeing some beautiful days and milder temperatures. This is to be expected; the official first day of spring is this month, after all. However, this warmer weather may have some members wondering: If the weather is nicer, why isn’t my bill?
While it seems natural to receive your electric bill this time of year and expect to see dropping costs corresponding to rising temperatures, you must first consider your billing cycle. GVEC electric bills are based on a 30- or 31-day period. The dates for your current statement’s billing period are shown beside the “Service Dates” label on your bill. If you compare those Service Dates to the date you received your bill, you’ll notice the weather, your heating routine and activities in your home from up to six weeks ago are still being reflected in that bill. It can be challenging to remember what the weather was like that many weeks ago—but don’t worry—GVEC has you covered. Read on to understand how.
Because weather is one of the biggest factors driving your energy consumption, it’s important to consider what the temperatures outside were during the date-range of your billing cycle. Luckily, the SmartHub® customer portal (both the app and desktop version) makes it easy to view this information and make the direct connection between the daily temperature and your daily usage. This also allows you to see your usage and consider other things that may have been going on, like if you were home more often or had company, which could result in using more energy.
Heating and Cooling Your Home
Heating and cooling your home makes up roughly 50% of the average home’s electricity bill. The colder the weather, the more energy your AC/heating system uses to warm your home to the temperature you set inside. This means, even setting your thermostat to the recommended 68 degrees in winter, your unit may have to run constantly if the temperature outside is much less than your setting inside. The colder the temperature outside, the harder it must work to heat up to your thermostat’s setting.
Keeping a close eye on your home comfort behaviors can help make a difference. For example, for every 1 degree you set your thermostat down in winter or up in summer, you can save up to 4% on your energy bill! Not only that, it could help reduce wear-and-tear on your system.
Installing a programmable or learning thermostat in your home, as well as enrolling in Peak-Time Payback, GVEC’s demand response program, could also positively impact your energy use and electric bill.
For more information on home energy conservation or to learn about Peak-Time Payback, visit gvec.org, or call 800.223.4832.