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High Bills?

A Guide to the most common reasons for increased electricity bills

 

Sometimes a higher than usual electricity bill may cause you to question its accuracy. However, the vast majority of occurrences can be easily explained. Below are the most common reasons for spikes in your invoice totals:

 

Previous Balance

  • If your last payment was not received before your bill invoiced, a balance will carry forward from your previous bill. You can verify if your payment has posted at My Account and then choose "View My Payments" after you log in.
  • If you mail your payment, remember to allow approximately 5-7 days for it to reach us and be posted to your account.
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Increased Usage

  • Longer billing cycle — Your meter is read on approximately the same day each month, but events like holidays, storms, or staffing issues can cause your meter to be read earlier or later than usual. Check your bill for the number of days in the meter read cycle to see if it was longer than usual.
  • Weather changes — Has it been extremely hot or cold? Heating and cooling systems that operate longer and harder also use more energy.
  • Recent changes to the household — Has there been an addition of a adult or child to your home? Has your house’s structure changed due to a renovation or recent damage from storms? If so, your household may be using or losing more energy.
  • New or additional appliances — In some cases new appliances can increase your electricity bill, such as a larger washing machine or dryer, more powerful air conditioner, larger capacity electric water heater, bigger refrigerator, additional freezer, more television sets, a home computer and space heaters.
  • Winter Holidays — Many households see increased electricity bills during the winter months due to decorative lights, celebrations in the home, heaters running more than usual, additional house guests and college-age children back in the house for the winter break.
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Efficiency

Inefficiency in your home may be another reason why your bill may be high. Get quick tips to improve your home’s efficiency today on our Energy Saving Tips page.

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Seasonal

  • Operating your heating and cooling system to maintain optimal seasonal comfort may constitute over half of a household’s energy usage. In addition, depending on which of our products you purchase, your bill may fluctuate based on what time of year it is. Some of our products may feature pricing that varies based on the season (e.g. winter [Off-Peak] rates, and summer [On-Peak] rates. Information about your pricing can be found on the second page of your bill.
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Rate Change

  • Your bill may be higher because rates have changed, either due to seasonal changes (e.g. from winter [Off-Peak] rates to summer [On-Peak] rates), or due to a change in the pricing for your product. You can confirm the pricing for your product by looking at your bill or through the My Account web resource page.
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Meter Reading Error

  • On rare occasions, the technician who reads your meter may make a mistake. If you suspect your meter has been misread, you can request a meter re-read from your transmission and distribution service provider (TDSP). Be aware that the TDSP may charge a special meter read fee if it finds that the meter was read correctly. Because of the way electricity meter reads are performed, any error in reading the meter will self-correct with the next scheduled meter reading. For example, charges for excess usage incorrectly reported for the previous month would be offset by lower charges for under-reported usage for the current month.
  • If the TDSP finds that the reading was incorrect, it will send Green Mountain Energy Company a cancellation on the incorrect reading along with a corrected version.
  • Any refunds on re-billed usage will be automatically credited to your account.
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