May 09, 2017
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PUD 3 can help visit your home or business and help you determine how you're using energy- and offer suggestions on how to use it more efficiently.
PUD 3’s highly trained conservation technicians can visit your home (or business), help to determine the largest consumers of electricity, and make recommendations for improving energy efficiency and eliminating energy waste. They can also recommend residential weatherization programs that you may qualify for. Schedule a FREE home energy audit by calling the PUD 3 conservation department at (360) 426-0777.
Helpful tips on free or inexpensive upgrades to increase a home’s energy efficiency can be found here.
Sometimes you can determine why your PUD bill is high by investigating these areas:
Space heating is the largest consumer of electricity in electrically heated homes. When it's cold outside- it's cold inside, and a home’s heating system is staying on longer and consuming more electricity to keep up with the colder temperatures. Most thermostats will only set the heat back to 55 degrees even though they may appear to be OFF. This means the heat will come on when the temperature is lower than 55°F. Colder than normal weather will cause the heat to be on more. If you want to ensure the heat is OFF, turn it off at the breaker. Consider enrolling in PUD 3's Budget Billing program to even out high seasonal bills.
Even if you have a super-efficient heat pump, you may notice an increase in your electricity bill. During colder-than-normal weather, your heat pump, which is usually really good at pulling heat from the outside air, needs a little help from its backup heat unit to keep your home warm. Unfortunately, this isn’t very efficient and costs more to operate.
Learn more here: "What's up with my Heat Pump?"
You've been away, but the electricity bill didn't go down. To determine how to fix this for next time, please visit PUD 3's Energy Usage in an Empty Home web page.
No two homes are alike and no two households have exactly the same energy-using patterns. A home's energy use depends on things like the type of heating system installed, the amount of insulation, and how the home was constructed. Even with two identically built houses, the occupants will have different lifestyles, appliances, and energy-using and energy-saving habits.
It may be that the home's energy consumption isn't actually higher than usual, but that your bill covers a longer period of time. Compare the number of days in the billing period to that of previous bills. Remember to include the costs for the daily system charge AND the additional energy used during those extra days. In most cases, your previous, or following, bills will be lower than expected.
Also, look to see if the bill was "estimated". This means weather or unforeseen circumstances forced PUD 3 to estimate the bill based on historical usage. The following month's meter read will ensure the bill will get back on track. For billing questions, please contact customer service at (360) 426-8255.
An electric water heater can account for up to 25% of a home’s energy bill. The United States Department of Energy recommends setting a residential water heater to 120°F to reduce energy usage and to help prevent scalding. Each 10°F reduction in water temperature can save 3% - 5% on an energy bill. Save energy and help make the home safer by reducing the water heater's thermostat.
Each 1500-watt portable space heater, including those that are oil filled, cost up to $75 to run each month. Learn more about portable space heaters here.
Has a new appliance such as a larger TV, a computer, or a DVR been added to the home? Are appliances being used more often? Has there been a lifestyle adjustment to keep the house warmer? Perhaps a hot tub or spa? Maybe teenagers are taking longer showers? Maybe you've had visitors staying in your home? All of these changes can contribute to higher energy use.
Make sure the filter and return air grill are clean. The ductwork may need insulation and sealing. In a manufactured home, the crossover ducts may be disconnected or damaged. PUD 3's duct sealing program may be able to help. Call (360) 426-0777.
Scheduling a FREE in-home energy audit with a PUD 3 Conservation Technician is a great way to determine the highest consumers of electricity in a home, and to see if the household qualifies for incentives on increasing a home's insulation or an energy efficient heating system. Call the PUD 3 conservation department to schedule an energy audit today at (360) 426-0777.