Top 10 reasons your electric bill is high

Electric Heat

If you heat (or supplement) with electricity things like electric baseboards, plug-in space heaters, an electric furnace, or an electric boiler, colder temps or even a small change to your thermostat can cause higher bills. Even if you don't heat with electric, maybe you have baseboard heating that you don't use? If electric baseboards are not turned off at the breaker, they may be running even when you think they are off because many baseboard thermostats do not have an off position. Heat pumps are a great way to lower your electric bill. Learn more at

Hot Water

Do you have an electric hot water tank? Heating hot water with electricity will cost a typical household about $50 per month. Also, small water leaks can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars on your bill, so be sure to fix leaky faucets as soon as you see them. If you live in an apartment or condo, a running toilet may also cause your electric bill to go up. This is because some apartments and condos add a little hot water to the toilet tank to prevent condensation on the tank.

More days in the billing cycle

Billing cycles (the period of time between electric bills) can run anywhere from 28 to 32 days. Just a few extra days in one billing cycle can add up to a higher bill. Or did you happen to make a change to your account recently? Sometimes when an account change occurs very close to the normal read date for the meter, AELP’s accounting system, named “Solomon,” skips a reading to ensure there are no mistakes when generating a bill. This can lead to getting a bill that includes two months of usage.

Hidden energy consumption

Do you still have heat tape plugged in that you forgot about? Maybe someone in your home is running a space heater in their bedroom. Did you buy new appliances or electronics this year? Maybe you put a dehumidifier in the garage. All these things can add up. Do an audit of your home and check for hidden energy use.


Was your child home from college, or maybe you had guests staying with you for a visit? Extra showers, more lights, and adjusting the thermostat even just a couple degrees can all add up to a higher electric bill.

Space heaters

One small space heater plugged in 8 hours a day can add about $50 to your monthly electric bill. Space heaters are a great way to increase the temperature in one room for a short period of time, but keep in mind that they can be costly to run and will result in a higher bill.

Thermostat tinkering

Adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees can increase your heating bill by more than 10%. Changing to a programmable thermostat can make a huge difference and save you money by allowing you to automatically manage your heating needs so you don’t use energy when you don’t need to.

Seasonal rates

Did you know that it costs more to provide electricity in the winter than it does in the summer here in Juneau? That is why our summer rates are lower than our winter rates. The same amount of electricity in June will cost you about 20% less than it does in December.

Your living spaces

Drafts around door and windows, insufficient insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors, low efficiency windows, older construction homes … these can all add up to big bills in the colder months. Making some simple home improvements throughout the year can make a big difference. Try swapping out any leftover incandescent lights for LEDs, replacing caulking around windows and doors, upgrading to more efficient windows, and adding insulation where you can. These steps will help you take control of your energy bill. And if you heat with electric baseboards, consider upgrading to one of the many heat pump options. Learn more at


We’ve talked about home improvements that can help save you money on your energy bill, but did you know that upgrading your appliances to newer, more energy efficient models can also save you money in the long run? Lights, appliances, water heaters, and heating systems are all energy users that have improved considerably over time by using less energy. Upgrading when it makes sense can add up to significant savings in the long run.