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Why Is My Electricity Bill So High? And How To Solve The Problem

With many homeowners seeing higher electricity bills in the wake of the pandemic, the case for smart home energy systems is stronger than ever.
Why Is My Electricity Bill So High? And How To Solve The Problem

Many homeowners have endured a significant increase in their utility bills in the wake of the pandemic. The most obvious reason for this is that they’re using more water and electricity, simply because they’ve been spending more time at home.

However, there’s a little more to it than that. Most energy companies in the US charge higher rates for extra consumption, which means you end up paying more per unit of electricity than you would if you were staying within your typical base rate.

While most of us are already familiar with the common ways to save energy, such as upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances, the real challenge starts with identifying hidden sources of waste. These include always-on devices that you might not even be aware of, or appliances that continue to drain energy even when they’re not in use.

The question is, how do you identify these appliances in the first place?

How to identify vampire appliances

Vampire appliances are those that are plugged in whether you’re using them or not, such as washing machines, televisions, and computers. Most appliances still draw a small amount of power even when they aren’t in use. For more modern appliances, the power consumption on standby is negligible, but that’s rarely the case with older appliances or faulty ones. Others you might have overlooked entirely.

Before smart technology came along, the only way to monitor the electricity consumption of a particular appliance was to connect it to the mains via a plug-in power meter. The power meter would display the energy consumption on a built-in LCD screen. However, this is both costly and impractical when it comes to identifying specific power hogs, since you’ll need to connect a power meter to every individual device in your home. Moreover, you also need to physically inspect the readings on each device to keep track of energy consumption. 

Fortunately, there’s an easier way. Smart home electricity monitoring solutions are connected directly to your main circuit breaker. You can also use a single monitor to monitor individual rooms or appliances by connecting clamps to their specific breakers. Modern solutions also use technology to monitor things like changes in voltage and currents so they can differentiate between each appliance based on their energy-consumption characteristics.

This monitor, in turn, connects wirelessly to the main smart energy hub, which transmits real-time information over the internet to a mobile or web app.

Once you have a smart home electricity monitoring solution installed, you can monitor, in real-time, the precise energy consumption of your home. That way, you can quickly identify so-called vampire appliances and turn them off or, if they’re not as energy-efficient as you’d like, replace them. For example, you might find that your basement is drawing more energy than you expected, or that an old or faulty appliance is using too much power even when you’re not using it.

Receive custom alerts to prevent problems

In almost every household in the US, a significant portion of energy is wasted. Some studies put the amount of money wasted on unnecessary energy consumption at 35% of the total bill.

The reality is that the average household is full of surprises. Appliances get left on by mistake, others drain more power than you might expect, and fridges end up working overtime if the door isn’t closed properly. All these factors, among others, lead to higher electricity bills, which is something many people are especially aware of after spending far more time at home during the pandemic.

Smart home electricity monitoring solutions go much further than simply recording and relaying energy consumption information. Sophisticated systems also use machine learning algorithms to establish a baseline for normal energy consumption. That way, if something is a miss, you’ll instantly receive an alert to help you pinpoint the source of the problem. This approach is the basis for making informed decisions for reducing your electricity bills.

PowerX provides fully automated smart home monitoring solutions using the energy-efficient LoRa connectivity standard. Our system helps you monitor and optimize energy consumption and proactively avoid disasters like frozen pipes. Get in touch today to find out more.

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