Understand Your Usage

Electric usage varies from day to day and month to month, depending upon a variety of factors including your daily habits, the weather, and the time of year. An increase in your electric usage could be caused by a variety of factors:

Cold Weather

Electricity bills may be higher during the winter months to keep your home warm and comfortable. It's simple math:

To figure out how much a specific appliance will impact your overall bill, use the following formula: Watts divided by 1,000, times hours used times cost per kWh = operating costs


For example: How much energy does my water heater use?

A water heater = 4,500 watts
Divide that wattage by 1,000 to get the # of kilowatts = 4.5 kilowatts
Multiply the kilowatts (4.5) by the number of hours used (3) = 13.5 kWh (number of kilowatt hours used to heat your hot water during the day)
Multiply the kWh (13.5) by the cost (14.5 cents per kWh*) = $1.96 (cost per day to heat your water)

*The total cost per kWh for customers taking standard offer service is 14.5 cents
(CMP delivery is 7.2 cents and Standard Offer Supply is 7.3 cents) Your supply rate may vary - check your bill.


Wonder how much electricity all the different items in your home use?

Use our FREE Energy Calculator to find out what each costs to run.
Use the miscellaneous section of the calculator to complete the calculation above for a single appliance!



  • To estimate the hours used, think about how your appliances operate – does the appliance cycle on and off all day? Is it on steady for 8 to 10 hours?
  • Think about how you use your appliance. For example: using a water heater while enjoying a shower = 1/2 hour, times 30 days a month = 15 hours of use in a month.
  • Look at your bill to understand your billing cycle – it may run mid-December to mid-January, for example, so what you call your January bill may be half December!
  • Look at your bill to find the cost of your delivery charges (page 2) and your electricity supply (page 3).

Now you have an idea of the impact of colder weather and warm comfort on your bill!


We offer the following FREE resources:

Usage Alerts

Receive alerts and updates about your electricity usage and estimated cost - all made possible by your smart meter! You can choose to receive any of the following alerts:

  • Usage Update: Receive weekly updates with your usage, estimated cost, and daily averages for the current billing period.
  • Usage Amount Exceeded: Set a monthly electricity usage or dollar amount, and we'll notify you if/when you exceed that amount.
  • Usage Change: We'll notify you of big changes to your daily usage. Specifically, if your daily usage is 50% higher or 75% lower than your past 30-day average usage for three days in a row.

Enroll in Usage Alerts


Energy Manager

Track your energy usage online, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. With Energy Manager, you can create a checklist of ways to save and get helpful tips for managing your electricity use.

Enroll in Energy Manager


Home Energy Calculator

Enter your appliance information to get an understanding of how different appliances in your home affect your overall costs.

Try our Home Energy Calculator


Malfunctioning Appliances

A sudden increase in energy usage may indicate a problem with an appliance, heating or cooling system, or water heater. A spike can also be caused by a period of very hot, muggy weather in the summer. Don't forget that since billing cycles are about a month long, sometimes it can be a few weeks before the effect of a heat wave will be seen on your bill.


Fun and educational activities for your family – join the Power Adventure Team

Explore the Electric Universe! With information for everyone, you can find a section tailored to many ages and interests. Learn about electricity and safety at home or in school, gain wise energy use tips that are good for the environment and play games!