Credit Revelation

Woman Shocked by Monthly Power Bill Gets It Under Control

From the dog days of summer to the frigid cold of a Virginia winter, Pamela’s power bill was always high.

Pamela Mason had been living in the same two-story home on the family farm for years, but for some reason her monthly power bill had gotten completely out of hand over the last several months.

She tried all of the obvious tricks, like setting her thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter before moving it toward 78 degrees as the summer months approached, but it didn’t matter; her power bill was still pushing almost $400 per month.

Pamela even started watching her light use closely, making sure that she only had the lights on in the room that she was using. Still, the months rolled on and the bills kept coming.

$340 for June. $365 for July. How could she afford to keep paying these astronomical bills?

Pamela’s Power Solution

Sometimes the answers to our money-saving questions are not always the obvious ones.

Pamela’s problem, for example, went on for months on end, until a seemingly unrelated issue sprang up – the water pump on her well water system went out.

One visit from her local plumber and Pamela soon realized that her exorbitant power usage had little to do with her thermostat, and more to do with her water pump kicking on every few seconds because of a faulty pipe.

That single issue with Pamela’s water pump running 24/7 cost her dearly – and she went for months without diagnosing the problem. So what can we all learn from Pamela’s power predicament?

Getting Your Power Bill Under Control

You may be completely baffled by the triple-digit bills that are coming from your power company every month, just as Pamela was. Let’s go over some steps you can take to ensure that when it’s time to pay your power bill, you’re not dishing out a penny more than you have to.

  • Step One: Identify the power hogs. Unlike the usual suspects like air conditioners and incandescent light bulbs, Pamela’s power consumption was skyrocketing each month because of her well water pump running around the clock. If you’re experiencing an unexplainably high power bill each month, you may want to consider purchasing an electricity usage meter. An electricity usage meter – like those available from Belkin – can deliver detailed information about the power consumption of individual devices.

  • Break down your family’s usage. If you’re reluctant to monitor each and every gadget and appliance in your home, then you may consider a circuit-based electricity monitor, like the one seen here. These monitors attach directly to your home’s circuit board, allowing you to single out individual spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens – even the circuit powering, say, a well water pump. Home energy monitors are perfect for locating the circuits that are keeping your meter spinning.

  • Set power usage goals. Setting energy consumption goals is key to keeping your power bill in check. Average out your three lowest energy consumption months by kilowatt hours, then set the new value as your monthly consumption limit. Challenging your family to reduce power usage levels helps raise consumption awareness, and is sure to make a dent in your monthly bill.

The month after Pamela Mason’s faulty water pump was replaced, her power bill plummeted by $100. Now Pamela has both the tools and awareness that are necessary for keeping her power bill as low as possible. Pamela may live on a farm, but she’s certainly made it clear that in her home, power hogs are not welcome.


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