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:

Our schedules and habits have changed which means our energy use may change, too.

Your electricity bills may be higher as you and your family are spending more time at home. Electricity keeps you safe, comfortable, productive and engaged.

Here are some important energy saving tips to better manage energy use. These are simple things that each of us can do to be mindful of our daily habits and be energy smart.

  1. Turn lights on and off as you enter and exit rooms, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible.
  2. Turn off set to sleep mode or unplug used electronics or appliances around the house.
  3. Open the refrigerator or freezer only when you need to.
  4. Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
  5. Shorten showers to save on water heating.
  6. Wash clothes in cold or warm water rather than hot, and rinse in cold water.
  7. Use your outdoor grill to save energy when cooking.
  8. Close fireplace dampers when not in use to keep heated or cooled air from escaping up the chimney.
  9. Set the thermostat as comfort permits. Each degree change up when heating of down when cooling can increase energy use by 3%.
  10. Keep insulated drapes or shades closed in summer.


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?
  • Look at your bill to understand your billing cycle – it may run mid-February to mid-March, for example, so what you call your March bill may be half February!
  • 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 spending more time at home!


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 cold weather in the winter. Don't forget that since billing cycles are about a month long, sometimes it can be a few weeks before the effect of a cold snap will be seen on your bill.


Get the kids involved!

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!