Take the Surprise Out of a High Bill

The last couple of months have brought some of the coldest weather we’ve experienced on the Oregon Coast in quite a while. Extremely cold weather may result in a higher electric bill—which can be surprising. And often, by the time you receive that bill, the weather has warmed up, leaving the extreme cold a distant memory.

Holidays can increase electricity usage in a home due to extra cooking, extra people, and extra decoration and lighting, but the main culprit behind an increased electric bill in our region is the dip in temperature outside.

As temperatures go down, your heating system will run longer and work harder to heat your home—using more electricity. In just a few days, colder outdoor temperatures can cause a noticeable difference in your electric usage and therefore, your bill.

Here is a reminder of the biggest energy users in a typical home:

  • As your main source of comfort from extreme outdoor temperatures, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system typically uses the most energy—about 46 percent.
  • Your water heater comes in second at about 14 percent.
  • Home appliances—refrigerator, washer, dryer, oven, stove and dishwasher—are in third place and account for about 13 percent.
  • Lighting is fourth, making up about 9 percent.
  • Television and media equipment come in last place at about 4 percent.

One way to help take the surprise out of a high bill is to monitor your electric use and track changes that affect your energy consumption in SmartHub, Central Lincoln’s secure web and mobile account management system.

The My Usage section of SmartHub provides several tools to help you analyze your past and current usage.

  • Usage Explorer gives you a detailed look at your past and current usage. View your usage in conjunction with weather trends by month, by day or even by hour.
  • Usage Comparison lets you compare two bills’ worth of usage history side by side. View the differences between this month and the same month last year, or other combinations to see how your bill varies each month.
  • Average Usage shows you what your typical or average usage is for your selected time period. For example, see your average use on each day of the week (such as Tuesdays), over the course of a year. Or see your typical use in each hour of the day over the course of two weeks. Discover when you can save the most on your utility bill.

If you don’t have a SmartHub account yet, signing up is easy. All you need is your billing account number and a valid email address. Register as a new SmartHub user today!