A Potpourri of Topics
By Marla Marshall
Why Did My Bill Go Up?
The average DSO residential account uses just under 1,100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, but we all have those months when our usage goes up substantially. Since most of us use the energy one month and pay for it the next, it is easy to forget how it was used. We tend to forget what the weather was like or forget that we ran space heaters for a day or two. DSO personnel handle multiple calls each month from members that experienced a higher-than-normal bill but often can’t recall doing anything differently. And in truth, they may not have done anything differently; it may be simply because it was hotter or colder than “normal” and the AC or furnace ran more often.
Just be aware that, if you add a hot tub, your electric bill will go up. If you run space heaters for additional warmth, your electric bill will go (way) up. Below is a list of the top five most common appliances, listed in order of typical monthly energy consumption:
- Central Air Conditioner (1,450 kWh)
- Water Heater (310 kWh)
- Refrigerator (205 kWh)
- Dryer (75 kWh)
- Oven Range (58 kWh)
Have You Considered Prepay?
In case you didn’t already know, DSO offers a unique payment option you might want to consider. Rather than waiting for your bill to arrive AFTER you used electricity, you can pay for the electricity BEFORE you use it; we call this our Prepay service! With Prepay, you “fill up” your electricity account with the amount of electricity you want. This can work well, especially if you have a tight budget.
Whether you pay for your electricity the traditional way or switch to Prepay, you can always monitor your usage daily (by using the Smarthub app*) to see the effect a space heater (or whatever) has on your electric bill. DSO strongly encourages its members to think about how you use energy and conserve where you can.
* Smarthub is available to all DSO members. Go to dsoelectric.com to sign up. It is under My Home> Smarthub Signup Instructions.
- Cover drafty windows
- Adjust the temperature when no one is home (get a programmable thermostat)
- Insulate properly and seal any leaks
- Schedule regular service for your heating and cooling systems
- Use less hot water
- Use ceiling fans
- Unplug appliances when not in use (or shut off with the use of a power strip)
- Buy energy-efficient appliances
If you have questions on anything in this article, please give us a call or send us an email.