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Changes in Habits and Consumption Can Affect Your JEA Bill
If you noticed a higher than average bill in the last month, check the list below to determine if your increased bill could be related to one of these.
Extreme weather can have a direct impact on your bill. For example, a very low thermostat setting in the summer or a very high thermostat setting in the winter can cause your electricity usage to increase. Each degree above or below our recommended settings will impact your electricity usage.
In accordance with the U.S. Department of Energy, JEA recommends setting your thermostat on 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. Large deviations from these set points will increase usage. If you continue seeing increased usage as a result of your HVAC system and are following the recommended temperature settings, you may need to contact a licensed HVAC contractor to inspect your system to ensure it is working properly.
Longer Billing Period
Our bill cycles can range from 28-32 days. If your bill is a little higher this month, compare the number of billing days in your billing cycle last month vs. this month. If your billing cycle consisted of 28 days last month and 32 this month, the four extra days of consumption can result in a higher than expected bill.
Check out your billing history now.
Previous Balance Added to Current Billing Period
When you notice your bill is higher than usual, check for a previous balance. If you did not pay your last bill in full, the remaining balance will be added to your current amount due making it higher than normal.
Get more tips about how to read your bill
A Full House
Many people do not realize it, but house guests can have a major impact on your utility bill. When you have a house guest, even if it’s just a child home from school, you tend to use more energy. By adding one extra person for any period of time, you will be adding more showers, loads of laundry, cooking, dishes, and electric usage. All of these things can add up, especially if your guest stays for an extended period of time.
Holidays and Summer Break
Having a bill spike during the holidays or summer break is pretty normal. House guests, holiday décor, and you and your children being off work and out of school can increase energy consumption. Hours of holiday cooking and baking can add a few extra dollars to your bill as well as holiday decorations that require electricity.
Summer break is another cause of some utility bill spikes. If your children are home during the day, they tend to consume additional water and electricity you are not used to during the school year.
Some equipment can add a substantial amount to your electric bill each month. You typically would not see a bill spike from these items if they run on an ongoing or frequent basis.
On average, each additional refrigerator can add up to $100 per year to your utility bill. If you must have additional refrigeration, consider buying an Energy Star Certified model or a mini refrigerator.
Pool Operating Costs
Operating your pool pump longer or at a higher speed than needed will increase your electricity consumption. Setting the pump’s run times and speeds to match the season, size of the pool, use of cleaning accessories, solar heating systems, or other water features is important to minimize the impact of a pool pump on your bill each month. The water volume of the pool only needs to be turned over one time per day. There are online calculators that can be used to estimate the volume of your pool and pump specifications to help determine how long the pump should be operated.
Hot Tubs and Spas
Electric heated hot tubs and spas can increase consumption on your monthly bill. Make sure your hot tub or spa is insulated as much as possible to lower the heating requirements and that you only heat it when you intend to use it.
“Always On” Equipment
Look closely at items you may leave turned on around the clock: outdoor lights, TVs, computers, and fans, etc. Each one individually requires some energy to keep running or to keep in standby mode. However, in combination and around the clock, these items can make a noticeable difference on your electric bill.
Learn more about Phantom Load
Don't let seasonal bill fluctuations catch you by surprise. JEA MyBudget makes your payments about the same amount each month.
Learn more about JEA MyBudget
My JEA Utility Tracker
If you determined your higher usage was not caused by a lifestyle or habit change, you first need to determine if your increase was from the electric or the water portion of your bill. With My JEA Utility Tracker, you'll find lots of information about how you and your home use energy and water and possibly see when your usage became abnormal.
Learn more about JEA's Utility Tracker