Do you think your monthly bill is too high? We want to make sure that our customer-members have the facts and some helpful information on how to keep their home energy costs down.
Does your bill include charges from the previous month?
If you didn’t pay last month’s bill on time, the amount due will be included in your current bill.
Are you using more electricity?
Bills are based on the amount of electricity you use. When you use more energy, your bill goes up. Extreme temperatures in the winter and the summer will make your bill go up. A broken heat pump may make your bill go up. You can see how much energy you use every hour of every day when you log in to Account Manager.
What is your thermostat set on?
Energy use changes seasonally. When it’s cold in the winter and your heating system runs, or when it’s hot in the summer and your air conditioning runs, your bill will be higher. Your bill is at its lowest in May and October, because you typically use less energy in those months.
We recommend setting your thermostat on 68 degrees (or lower) in winter and 78 degrees in summer.
Are you purchasing energy through an alternate energy supplier?
Check your monthly bill to see if you are paying more than you would if you were purchasing energy from SMECO. The cost comparison is on the “alternate supplier charges” page of your bill.
Does SMECO mark up the cost of energy?
SMECO does not mark up energy costs. SMECO’s Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate for energy is made up of an energy charge and a Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). The total is the SOS rate customer-members pay on their monthly bill. The SOS rate reflects the price that SMECO pays on the wholesale market.
Can you budget your bills?
Sign up for SMECO’s Budget Plan to make it easier for you to pay your monthly bills, or log into Account Manager to enroll. The Budget Plan is a fixed amount that levels out the effect weather has on your electric bills.
Can you make weekly payments?
Making a $50 payment every week may be more manageable for you than making a $200 payment every month. It’s easy to pay your bill online or by text, so if it helps to make smaller, more frequent payments, consider paying weekly.
What do you know about your heat pump?
Your heat pump has different heating modes. The normal mode is the most efficient. The auxiliary or emergency mode is less efficient (more expensive to run). If it is very cold and your heat pump runs continuously, it may still be more efficient than running it in the auxiliary or emergency heating mode.
What kind of heating system do you have?
Control your heating costs:
- Have your heating system serviced annually.
- Clean or replace filters monthly.
- Find the coolest comfortable setting. (We recommend 68°F in winter.)
- Install a programmable thermostat, such as the CoolSentry thermostat.
- Take advantage of sunlight to help heat your home.
- Weatherize doors and windows.
- Ensure duct work is sealed and insulated.
- Insulate your attic, walls, and crawlspace.
Control your water heating costs:
- Set your water heater thermostat between 120° to 125°.
- Use cold water whenever possible, such as when washing clothes, and only run full loads.
- Insulate your water heater (check manufacturer recommendations).
- Take shorter showers. If taking a bath, don’t fill the tub all the way.