Why is my bill higher this month?

Some may be wondering why their electric bill is higher this month. The answer is tied to your electric use and the weather.

Our southeast region had more heating degree days this billing period than the previous month and last year at the same time. Heating degree days measure how cold the temperature was during a period and this data can be used to assess heating needs. Degree day data along with viewing daily and monthly electricity use on the SmartHub app can visually explain a higher bill.

Local degree day data shows an increase from 163 Heating Degree Days (HDD) in November 2020 to 466 in December 2020. This is a significant increase and would explain the rise in electricity bills for our region.

"With electricity, you pay after you use it," says manager of energy services Nick DeAngelo. "Because of this, it can be easy to forget how many cold days or sustained cold days we encountered in the billing period unless you view it with the app. The app can show a line graph of your daily energy use and temperature."

"Singing River Electric posts on social media and has articles in the Today in Mississippi magazine to give advice on how to conserve and monitor energy use, but due to human nature most member's do not notice the impact of the colder weather until it hits the bill," says DeAngelo.

Luckily in the southeast, we do not usually have severe cold or long periods of sustained cold. As you can see in the graphic above, our area has dramatically less heating degree days than other parts of the country. Heat pumps normally offer our region a reliable source for energy savings. They are not as reliable on the few times a year when we experience true cold weather, or if the user raises the temperature to heat the home too quickly.

Here are ways to conserve and save even in colder weather:

  • Set your thermostat to 68° or lower.
  • Dress for the weather, even indoors. Have your family keep their socks and sweaters on to keep from raising the heat.
  • Layer blankets on beds and lower the thermostat while your sleep several degrees. Program it to raise the temperature 10-15 minutes prior to your alarm for added comfort.
  • Lower the temperature while you are away. Every degree difference lower than 68° will save you around 5%.
  • Harness the sun's heat by opening drapes and blinds in sunny windows and closing them at sundown.
  • Close your fireplace flue when not in use.
  • Use space heaters sparingly, if at all, and only while you are in the room.

For more ways to stay comfortable this winter, see our heating and cooling tips at singingriver.com/ways-to-save. Also check out the 101 Ways to Easy Ways to Save Energy and Money brochure online. If you still have questions, call any SRE office to speak to an energy services representative or request a free home energy audit.

Home energy audits are also available online.


Sources: singingriver.com and www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/degree-days.php