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Why Are My Utility Bills So High?

High utility bills

Check this out! Here’s 7 of the top reasons why your utility bills are higher then normal. 

Plumbing Leaks

A leak may not seem like much at the time, but over the course of weeks or months, it can really put a draw on your water bill.  

This can include faucet drips, a  toilet continuously running, an old or leaking humidifier.  Your outdoor hose bib is leaking or you left the water on and the garden hose spray nozzel is dripping.  Not to mention leaks from irrigation, pipes, valves or other components.

When you find plumbing leaks, get them fixed right away.


Too often, we don’t realize that weather alone can really increase our utility usage.

Consider these factors:  

The warmer the weather is, we use our air conditioners more often and for longer periods of time.  This boosts our electricity consumption.

Has it been hot and dry?  We use more irrigation with hot, dry weather. 

The colder the weather is, we use our heating systems more and for longer periods of time.  This boosts are gas consumption.  Not to mention, in really cold weather, many of us have electric room fireplaces or heaters that also consume electricity to heat.

Also consider that even if we don’t actually have the a/c or heating running, these appliances still have motors and fans that run and consume electricity.


Because our winters are dark, we use more lighting outdoors and in, not to mention those fantastic holiday lights we all love so much.  But the more lighting we use, the more power we consume, and alot of it.

To reduce your power consumption, convert all your incandecent bulbs and holiday lights to EnergyStar LEDs.  They work!  And over the past couple of years, we can now get LED lights that only consume the energy equivelent of 6 or 8 watts while getting wonderful bright 60 or 100 watt outputs.

LED lighting is far less expensive now then ever before.  Start converting your most used lighting, and continue from there.

Seasonal Equipment

Seasonal equipment such as air conditioners, pools, hot tubs, yard equipment, heaters, and furnaces can really draw the power.  

To help reduce the impact, keep seasonal equipment clean and operating at top efficiency.  Old or dirty equipment, or equipment not working, uses more energy to operate to meet it’s requirement.

Use programmable thermostats and timers, and use equipment during off-peak hours when possible.

Household Appliances

Household appliances can be the largest utility guzzler in the home.

When we think of household appliances, we tend to think of only the large appliances such as the laundry room, fridge, stove, and freezer.  But sometimes, it’s those small appliances that can consume the most power.  These include the microwave, the toaster, the coffee machine and electric kettle.  

Have you ever experienced the issue when you turn on the microwave and make a piece of toast at the same time, and the breaker blows?  Or how about someone wants a cup of coffee and someone else wants a cup of tea from the electric kettle?  then, boom, the breaker goes.  Perhaps you never experienced such an issue.

But this just prooves how much power draw there is in small appliances.  Small appliances can draw a huge amount of power.

We tested a 10 year old microwave once… For one month, we used it as normal.  The second month, we unplugged the microwave and found our monthly power consumption was reduced.  We replaced the microwave.

When appliances get close to their expected life span, they still may work as expected, but they will start to draw more power the older the appliance gets.

And don’t forget the dishwasher.  The dishwasher consumes both power and water to operate.  Look for high energy efficient dishwashers with energystar rating.  These maximize cleaning while using minimal water consumption and power to run.  Cheap and inexpensive dishwashers can go through the power and water and really show on your utility bills.

Replace appliances when they get get close to their life expectancy.  Unplug small appliances when not in use, or use a power bar so you can physically power off many small appliances at the same location.

Whenever possible, always choose the energystar rated appliances.  These are higher efficient appliances that consume less energy then standard appliances.


Don’t forget electronics when you look at your power consumption.  The more electronics in the home, or the bigger the screen tv, the more power you will consume.  On average we have far more electronics in our homes now then ever before.  TVs, modems, computers, power bars, and so much more.

Try unplugging electronics when not in use, or use timers or power bars.  Moniter when electronics are in use, and see if they can be used during off peak times.

The Number of People in the Home

Consider if there are more people in the home.  House guests, babies, childern are older, the return of adult children.  Additional people will add to the utility consumption, including lights, dishes, showers, laundry. 

In Conclusion

– Repair plumbing leaks right away

  • Consider what the weather is, is there anything you can do to lower the needs?
  • Replace lighting with LED bulbs and lights
  • Keep seasonal equipment clean and running at top efficiency
  • Use programmable thermostats and timers when possible
  • Unplug household appliances or use power bars
  • Replace old household appliances with good energystar options
  • Unplug electronics when not in use, or use timers or power bars
  • Consider the number of people in the home and what is being used

** When purchasing a power bar for electronics or small appliances, always choose the ones with the surge protector.  For lighting, you can use the standard power bar with switch.

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