Winter weather means more energy consumption

Because weather has the single largest impact on energy bills, electric bills for December and January can be expected to jump this year. We hope this helps answer some questions you may have regarding your electric bill.

Why is my bill so high?

High bills are the direct result of high usage. Kenergy Member Service Reps are always happy to assist you with your billing questions, but you may consider gathering the following information prior to calling. It may answer your questions or provide valuable information when you call.

Accurate history

Review how much power you’ve used for the last 12 months. We call this the kilowatt hour (kWh) history. This history is provided for you on every bill.

Weather fluctuations may be a factor in any major differences, but this is a good place to start your search.

The kilowatt hours you use are the main driver of costs on your electric bill.

True electric bill

Check to be sure this is a true high electric bill. Are there other charges beyond electric service? Any additional service fees?

Have any past-due amounts from a previous bill been added to the total?

Were there additional charges added to the bill such as security lights or a deposit?

Days of use

Kenergy has 12 billing cycles. Your particular billing cycle is noted on your bill.

Check the number of days that are billed for your electric use. A billing cycle may be a bit shorter or a bit longer due to the number of days in the month.

Is the number of days greater than other months in question? Is the daily average of kWh consumption significantly different from other months in question?


The additional heating or cooling load will cause an increase in electric use. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home accounts for about 56 percent of total energy use in a home. Using space heaters, fireplaces, and livestock heaters in the winter can dramatically increase your energy consumption. Aside from air conditioning, running things such as a dehumidifier in the summer months will increase your energy use.

Compare winter to summer

Check the kilowatt hour total by month. Are the winter months higher? If so, your source for heating is most likely an electric furnace, or you may have an air source heat pump that uses emergency strip heating when the outdoor temperature falls below a certain degree. Is your water heater electric? Do you use space heaters in the home? They can cost you an additional $100 or more a month.

Do the summer months most likely indicate your air conditioner was running? Were temperatures higher or lower than normal during that period?

Kenergy offers a budget billing program to help Members with seasonal fluctuations, where monthly payments are the same amount each month, with an annual true-up in September.

Leaving your home for vacation

If leaving your home for an extended period of time for business or vacation, any appliance you leave plugged in or connected will continue to use electricity even while you are gone, especially your water heater, freezer, refrigerator, heating and cooling system, etc.

Most of us note that the television and lights were not on, but we forget about these other items.

For your heating and cooling unit, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat so you can control your usage even when you are away. Consider keeping your water heater at 120 degrees.


No two households use energy the same way, so comparing your energy bill to your neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges. It is best to compare your current usage to your past usage.

Determine if the size of your household has increased, or did someone stay at home more?

Have you added anything new to your house that may use more electricity?

Have you had guests stay for an extended period?

Do you have hobbies that include the use of electric power tools, ovens and other appliances?

Lighting, refrigeration, cooking and appliances

Never place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in spaces such as a breezeway or garage. The refrigerator or freezer will have to work harder to overcome excessive heat during warmer months.

Make sure that your refrigerators and freezers have adequate ventilation.

Go to to easily calculate what each appliance is costing you each month.

Equipment maintenance

If an appliance is more than 15 years old, the efficiency of that appliance is most likely decreasing significantly and requiring more energy to do its job.

It is important to clean or replace the condenser, coils or filters on some appliances regularly.

You may need to replace the appliance itself. Many times, old electrical wiring will have loose connections resulting in increased electrical use and could create potential safety hazards.

Consider taking advantage of the Kenergy rebate program and replace your old appliances. For more information go to


Please review these recommendations to find the cause for higher energy consumption. If you still need clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Member Service Reps at 1.800.844.4832.