There are several reasons why a bill might be high, but the first place to start is to examine the bill itself.
First, verify your meter reading. You can find instructions for reading your meter in the co-op's brochure "How Much Electricity Did You Buy Today?" (PDF). Your meter reading should be a little higher than the reading on your electric bill. Also, bear in mind that when a meter reader is unable to access the property, a bill may be estimated. If estimated, the designation "EST" will show near the top of your bill statement under the column labeled "Previous". Any difference between estimated and actual use will be taken into account the next month when a good reading is obtained and your bill adjusted accordingly. If there are still questions about the reading, please call Clay Electric for further clarification.
Second, check the number of days in the billing cycle. In cases of severe weather or holidays, there may be more days in the billing cycle than normal. Typically the electric bill will cover 30 or 31 days, but at times the billing cycle may include up to 36 days.
Third, consider weather conditions that might have caused an increase. You might like to read our summer and winter tips that will guide you through ways to keep seasonal energy usage down.
Fourth, examine possible equipment problems. Culprits that can cause an extreme jump in energy usage are a well pump that has malfunctioned and runs continuously; hot water leaking from faucets, pipes or the water heater; and heating and cooling system problems such as leaking ductwork, compressor malfunctions, a system low in coolant, or a system that is heating and cooling simultaneously.