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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2011

Why is my electric bill so high?

I live in Chicago;my electric bill this month is 5 times what it was last month,even though my actual usage did not change. Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening and how I can get this corrected?

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7 Answers


I'm experiencing the same thing in MD. What happened?

Answered 9 years ago by Westwind


I heard that the rate was frozen for 10 years so consider yourself to be lucky for a number of years. I think starting from last year, utility companies can split the increase over the span of 3 years until the current market rate is achieved. Politicians are trying to get the rate rolled back but it's in the hands of court. I don't think the rate will decrease given that it had been usually low for the last few years and utility companies can't keep losing money. No one will want to continue providing electricity if they're in the red. I think you're stuck with the higher rate. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Answered 9 years ago by Lee


I'm in the Chicago suburbs. The ten-year electric rate freeze has ended. We've been hearing that it was coming for a number of months. But five times the previous month's bill?! That seems out of line. I'm in a one bedroom condo with electric heat. January and February were exceptionally cold months. Still my February bill was only double January's and the March bill was lower again.

There still is the possibility the increase will be reversed. Hopefully . . . .

Answered 9 years ago by Sundog


"my electric bill this month is 5 times what it was last month,even though my actual usage did not change"

Even with the increased utility costs due to production, that jump seems unreasonable. Have you called your electric company to request an evaluation of your home & appliances, and to check your electrical meter? Maybe something has malfunctioned, or someone has tapped into your electrical source

Answered 9 years ago by tessa89


Another thought . . . are you a member of CUB (Citizens Utility Board)? They can probably help. (312) 263-4282

Answered 9 years ago by Sundog


There could be many reasons - one would be: The air conditioner's air filter is clogged and causing restricted air flow. This will make your system run less efficiently. Clogged filters can increase cooling coasts and can lead to equipment failure. Worse case scenario – lack of airflow can create ice on the air conditioner's evaporator coils. This could result in a very expensive repair bill. Air filters should be replaced monthly during summer and winter periods of heavy use.


Answered 9 years ago by Sean


When an energy bill spikes suddenly, and there is not a logical explanation for it, then this is something that you need to get adressed right away! (If your ac unit is old and running constantly that is a logical explanation - that something is wrong with it.)

Here is why to do something if it is illogical:

Whereever the energy is going, it is being wasted as heat. When electricity has to jump across space to make a connection, it takes a lot of energy and puts off a lot of heat.

I have found this in electrical panels, disconnects, appliances, etc. When there is a loose connection in the circuit then the wires in that circuit will heat up and start melting and damaging equipment in that circuit. That heat is your energy cost.

Here is why it needs to be handled: it is a fire risk! That kind of fire can be ...

A specially trained energy auditor with an infrared camera, and special meteers can inspect the electrical panel and navigate in on the problem. You have to make sure they can do this particular type of work - not just the measure the house and duct leakage type of energy auditor. They have to be able to measure the circuits and find the problem. An electrician that knows how to do this would work as well.

I have encountered this from time to time and repaired it.

Chris Cadwell
Efficient Air Conditioning
Las Vegas Nevada

Answered 9 years ago by chris

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