Understanding your electric bill

understanding your electric bill
Understanding your electric bill

How much do you actually pay for electricity?  Clever marketing and creative writing on your electric bills have created a myth of electric rates such as 9 or 10 cents per unit of electricity. “I pay just 9 cents per kWh for electricity.” Are you a happy camper thinking you have a great deal from your electric company?  You might actually be paying far more than that. Get the low down on “Understanding your electric bill”.

Your electric bill has two elements; Delivery and Supply. Some companies show them as Supply and Generation.  The 9 cents price of electricity usually refers to the amount you pay for Supply or Generation. The electric utility companies conveniently forget to mention that you also have to pay for Delivery of electricity. The delivery charge adds another 5 to 12 cents to the bill.  Different markets have different pricing structures. New Jersey home owners pay between 15 and 22 cents per KWH of electricity and not 9 cents as many would have you believe. The average rates of electricity in different states in the US are shown in the map below. The only consistent way to reduce your electric bill is to go solar. Read how much do solar panels save on electricity? to find out how much you can save. The solar panel output calculator will also be a useful tool.

Understanding my electric bill - rates

Another industry secret – your electric utility prices change from month to month. You will notice that you get your highest bills during summer when you use your Air Conditioning a lot. Similarly all electric homes which heat using electricity get very high bills in the peak of winter.  Customers have become used to these high bills as they co-relate high usage to high bills. However, what you don’t know is that utility companies tend to charge you higher rates during those peak months of summer and winter. Not only are you using more power, but you are also paying more.

How to read your electric bill kWh?

Lets look at the electric bill in a little more detail. This bill below shows a usage of 718KWH for the month at a cost of $139.45 ( look at the two items in blue circles).  The actual electric rate charged for this month was 139.45 / 718 =  19.4 cents.  This is quite normal in New Jersey. The items circled in red show you the two components of your electric bill: Delivery and Generation. The charges for delivery and generation added up to $139.45.

how to read electric bill kWh
Understanding your electric bill : Supply Delivery

Understanding your electric bill 1

understanding my electric bill
Understanding your electric bill : Third Party

Some electric companies show the same thing as Delivery and Supply. Lets look at the bill below. The blue circles show the utility billed the customer for 489 kWh of electricity for the month. The total amount payable was $88.74.  Hence the effective electric rate was $88.74 / 489 kWh = 18.4 cents per kwh.

 

Understanding your electric bill 2

Third Party Electric Suppliers add another layer of complexity to your electric bill. Look at the green arrows in the two bills shown above. Utility companies allow you to choose a third party for your Supply/Generation service.  You can either have your utility company provide both Delivery and Supply/Generation or you could choose a third party like Viridian Energy or BGS Energy as you can see in the two bills shown above.

BUYER BEWARE : Third party suppliers gives you short term savings but they usually tend to charge more after the initial honeymoon period.  Keep a close watch on what the third party is charging you.  If you are not careful, you might end up paying more than what the utility charges for supply. In my opinion it is best to stay away from third party suppliers of electricity.

Another term you might see in a bill is called Demand. Demand chargers are normally associated with commercial accounts. They don’t normally show up in a residential bill. They are fixed charges which the utility determines based on peak usage of power by the commercial user. These charges are notoriously difficult to reduce.

understanding your electric bill 2
understanding your electric bill – switch to solar

If you are looking to reduce your electric bill ; the best option is switching to solar power. You can read more about it on the “How much do solar panels save on electricity bills?” article as well as the sdffd article.

Switching to solar eliminates both the Delivery and the Supply/Generation charges from your utility company. A properly designed solar system will reduce your electric bill to an average of $5 or less per month in total. See the example on the left. A caveat, demand charges are not affected by solar and will continue to appear on your electric bill even after switching to solar power.

Understanding my electric bill

Now that you have a good understanding your electric bill, you might like to check out this “solar panel savings calculator” as well. If you are tired of understanding your electric bill, and of kWh and demand and supply and generation perhaps you would like to be entertained by these great looking portable solar chargers.

Portable solar chargers : value for money and great for the environment

SaleBestseller No. 1
New Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel with Flashlight Brightness LED light Lamp 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cycling Travelling (Orange)
23 Reviews
New Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel with Flashlight Brightness LED light Lamp 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cycling Travelling (Orange)
  • Pls note that don't wait all of the power is empty or run out of the power bank then put in sunshine light ,it will can not charge in sunshine if all the power is run out of , you should keep a little power on power bank , then it can charge well in sunshine. If the power are empty ,you should charge by usb cable at home to active the power bank , then it will can charge well on sunshine .
  • It is a solar power bank with capacity high up to 12000mAh. 2-way design support being powerd by solar power or wall cahrger as normal one does
  • Back with a high brightness LED light, and works perfectly in darkness, it can also be used as a SOS for an emergency
  • Dual USB port allow you share your backup power with your partner. Useful for hiking, climbing, camping and other outdoor sports.
  • 1. 12000mAh high capacity: equipped with a solar panel which can rechage itself under sunlight in case of an emergency
SaleBestseller No. 2
Oenbopo Outdoor Emergency Flashlight LED light Lamp Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for iPhone Samsung iPad Tablet(Green)
23 Reviews
Oenbopo Outdoor Emergency Flashlight LED light Lamp Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for iPhone Samsung iPad Tablet(Green)
  • Pls note that don't wait all of the power is empty or run out of the power bank then put in sunshine light ,it will can not charge in sunshine if all the power is run out of , you should keep a little power on power bank , then it can charge well in sunshine. If the power are empty ,you should charge by usb cable at home to active the power bank , then it will can charge well on sunshine .
  • It is a solar power bank with capacity high up to 12000mAh. 2-way design support being powerd by solar power or wall cahrger as normal one does
  • Back with a high brightness LED light, and works perfectly in darkness, it can also be used as a SOS for an emergency
  • Dual USB port allow you share your backup power with your partner. Useful for hiking, climbing, camping and other outdoor sports.
  • 1. 12000mAh high capacity: equipped with a solar panel which can rechage itself under sunlight in case of an emergency
SaleBestseller No. 3
New Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel with Flashlight Brightness LED light Lamp 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cycling Travelling (Black)
23 Reviews
New Portable Solar Power Bank Charger Panel with Flashlight Brightness LED light Lamp 12000mAh Dual USB Battery Exterrnal Charger for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cycling Travelling (Black)
  • Pls note that don't wait all of the power is empty or run out of the power bank then put in sunshine light ,it will can not charge in sunshine if all the power is run out of , you should keep a little power on power bank , then it can charge well in sunshine. If the power are empty ,you should charge by usb cable at home to active the power bank , then it will can charge well on sunshine .
  • It is a solar power bank with capacity high up to 12000mAh. 2-way design support being powerd by solar power or wall cahrger as normal one does
  • Back with a high brightness LED light, and works perfectly in darkness, it can also be used as a SOS for an emergency
  • Dual USB port allow you share your backup power with your partner. Useful for hiking, climbing, camping and other outdoor sports.
  • 1. 12000mAh high capacity: equipped with a solar panel which can rechage itself under sunlight in case of an emergency
SaleBestseller No. 4
SunLabz 18650 3.7V Rechargeable Batteries - Flat Top - 2600mAh - 2 Pack
269 Reviews
SunLabz 18650 3.7V Rechargeable Batteries - Flat Top - 2600mAh - 2 Pack
  • CHOOSE RECHARGEABLE - Sunlabz 18650 3.7V Rechargeable Batteries can be used and recharged 1000 times over.
  • CHOOSE HIGH QUALITY- Enjoy a long storage life, no memory effect, high energy density, and a portable light weight .
  • IDEAL FOR MANY DEVICES - The two 2600mAh rechargeable batteries are ideal for low-output regulated devices like LED Flashlights, Tactical Lights, Laser Pointers, E-Cigarrettes, Vapers, and More.
  • BEWARE - Do not use chargers that are not certified by internationally recognized institutions (CE, UL, ROHS, etc) We recommend Nitecore for charging our 18650 batteries.
  • SAFETY WARNING: Do not leave rechargeable batteries placed inside chargers for extended periods of time to prevent damage. Remove the batteries and unplug the charger once batteries are charged.


After

Understanding your electric bill

, lets look at what else is possible with solar. Check out these articles. Thank you for visiting mysolarhome.us.

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Last update on 2017-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API