All Blog Articles

Hidden Holiday Charges: Expect High Electric Bills Because of This

The holidays require some extra spending. From buying presents to hosting holiday dinner parties, there’s no getting around it.

And, unfortunately, your utility bills aren’t going to cut you a break either. In fact, over these next few months, your utility bills are likely going to skyrocket, even if the amount of electricity used doesn’t change.

Why’s that?

Well, it really comes down to one thing: using electricity during peak demand times.

So, how can you prevent astronomically high utility bills over the holidays? We’ll show you.

But first, let’s take a closer look at what peak demand times are and how they affect your energy bills.

Using electricity during “peak demand” hours

Peak demand hours, or on-peak hours, are the hours during which demand for electricity threatens to outpace the amount of electricity available.

Think of it as an extra “tax” for using electricity during high energy-consumption hours. Unfortunately, the extra rate charged for “on-peak” hours can account for up to 30% of your utility bill.

Now, don’t get us wrong, peak demand hours don’t just pop up during the holidays. But, over the holidays we’re more likely to accrue more “on-peak” hours due to more people and more activity in our homes.

So, how can you manage your utility bills over the holidays? We’re glad you asked, check out our tips below.

How to save money on holiday utility bills

Find your peak hours and avoid heavy electrical use during those hours. If you live in the Sarasota area and use Florida Power and Light, on-demand hours from November 1st to March 31st are: Mon-Fri, 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm (excluding Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).

Keep a list of energy-hogging devices and do not use them during peak demand hours. This list of appliances is a good start: 

  • Air conditioners/heating appliances
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes washers/dryers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Convection ovens

Commit to turning off lights that aren’t being used. Challenge yourself to walk the house every hour and turn off lights that aren’t being used. This can help a lot since bedroom and bathroom lights often stay on for hours at a time without actually being used. And don’t forget to turn off outdoor holiday lights during the day!

Slay “energy vampires.” Several appliances suck energy from your home even when you’re not using them. These appliances include: 

  • TVs 
  • Computers
  • Video consoles
  • DVD players
  • Chargers 

Slay them by unplugging them while not in use, or plugging them into smart power strips.

Learn more about how to cut back on vampire energy use in your home.

Invest in a programmable thermostat. You can program these thermostats to not run your HVAC system as much during on-peak hours. According to EnergyStar, a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 a year.

Want more energy-saving advice, ask your FL electrician

If you have more questions about saving electricity or about installing a programmable thermostat, we’re here to help you.

Just contact us today and we’ll give you the service you need to keep your utility bills under control this holiday season!