Why is my Utility Bill so High?
There can be many reasons for a high utility bill ranging from weather, to higher occupancy and activity, to faulty appliances or a water leak. If you are noticing a higher than normal bill this month, you’re not alone. Springville City is noticing power bills up about 30 percent over last year and water bills up about 10 percent.
A quick look at the weather charts explains much of the increase. The bills Springville residents are receiving this week include metered usage for much of July and the first part of August. The average daily temperature (the average of the high and low temperature for each day) this year was about 4 degrees higher than last year. That may not sound like much, but if we look a little closer at another weather indicator called cooling degree days (CDD), which is the number of degrees that a day’s average temperature is above 60 degrees F, we see that this year had about 30 percent higher degree days than last year — the same increase as most power bills in the city. Because most of us don’t adjust our thermostats higher when the temperature climbs, air conditioning units were working overtime for much of the billing period.
It is important to note that the City is working hard to keep your power rates stable. Power rates have not increased, so higher bills mean higher consumption of electricity and most of that consumption is related to weather. Water rates did increase slightly ($1 per residential connection per month), so there is a slight rate-related increase in this year’s bill. But again, weather is the primary driver in water consumption. Water consumption did not rise as much as power likely due to the fact that many people don’t re-program their sprinkler timers when the weather is hotter, so consumption is a little flatter than with power.
Ways to Save
What can you do to mitigate higher bills in the future? Here are a couple of tips for a more predictable bill:
- If you haven’t already, sign up for Equal Pay, which is a tool we use to help smooth out your bills from month to month throughout the year.
- Check for faulty appliances such as a leaky water heater, pool pump that’s running constantly, faulty thermostat or refrigerator or freezer door with a poor seal.
- Set your thermostat to 78-degrees or higher with the fan on “auto.” Also, be sure to replace your air conditioner’s filter regularly (usually once per month) to help it run more efficiently.
To sign up for budget billing or if you have other questions regarding your bill, feel free to contact the utility billing department at (801) 491-7860 or (801) 489-2710.