Top Reasons Why You Should Always Inspect Your Power Bills.Sometimes, when we receive utility bills, our tendency is to blindly pay for them, because we hate the feeling of having outstanding dues. This is true even on months when we notice that our power bills are higher than usual.
While it’s perfectly fine to want to discharge yourself of any unpaid obligations, you should still take the time to inspect the bills your utility providers charge you, if only to know that everything is in order. Keep in mind that you can always contest the breakdown of fees and charges on your bill if you find something irregular.
So what exactly should one look for when inspecting an electricity bill? The answer is apparent if you have the following goals in mind when checking your bill:
- To identify sudden spikes
There are a lot of different factors why your energy bill sometimes sees spikes. In order to find out if these spikes are normal and due to natural factors like season, weather, and relative usage, or if it’s something you should be alarmed about, you need to compare your power bills and check to see if there is a pattern.
For example, you noticed that you got a huge power bill in January. Try to look for your past January bills to know if you traditionally get higher bills during that month. If not, then you’d know you have to investigate further as to what caused the sudden increase in your consumption. Sometimes, the home decor you use to improve your interior aesthetics can increase your energy consumption
- To check if the billing period is correct
Another possible reason for swings in your power bills is the covered period in each billing. It’s very uncommon for utility companies to have a set and uniform cut-off date for billings, so sometimes you will receive a bill covering a full month, while there may be times that you will only get billed for 20 days. Of course, the remainder unbilled days will accrue to your next bill, which means you can expect a bigger amount due for the following month.
If you already have a discerning eye on the billing period covered in your utilities, you will finally understand the seemingly random swings in your bills and find out that they are not, in fact, random.
- To be informed of any rate hikes
This is another thing to watch out for in your bill. Sometimes, utility providers try to sneak a rate hike by you, without a formal announcement. However, they are compelled to divulge their actual rates on the bills they send customers, which means you can always check how much you are being charged for your consumption.
Why is this important?
Well, say for instance you live in Connecticut. Then you noticed that your power provider suddenly hiked rates– and you only knew because they already started billing you higher. You actually don’t have to continue paying for higher rates, since the decentralization of energy will allow you to actually compare electric rates in CT. This means you have the free option to unsubscribe from your current provider if you can find a different power supplier that can give you better, fairer rates. Again, this entire process would begin with you taking the time to sit down and inspect the bills that get sent your way.
- To know if the bill is real or an estimate
Believe it or not, power providers sometimes charge you an amount that is solely based on estimates. This happens when they were not able to get a reading of your meter, or if they are compelled to go with an estimate due to technical issues on their side.
In these cases, your utility provider will simply estimate your consumption for that specific month — based on your previous average consumption. Estimate charges are not final. The power provider will have the responsibility to do an actual reading and adjust any excess charges you may have paid for the estimate. By looking closely at your bill, you’ll find that it is actually indicated there whether your bill is actual or an estimate.
- To see if your power-saving strategies are doing any good
Finally, you can keep a close eye on your bills after you implement certain power-saving strategies at home. This way, you can find out if your efforts are going somewhere, or if you have to find something else to do to keep your consumption down.
All these are very good reasons to inspect every power bill that gets sent your way. If you start doing this, it will become a great habit that you can take wherever you go.