Jacksonville is known for many things – beautiful beaches, great weather, vibrant culture, and entertaining sports to name a few. Yet another widely enjoyed benefit of many Jacksonvillians – lower-than-average gas bills.
However, if you are noticing a spike in the amount of your gas bill, then it may be time to examine some of the few common culprits of this increase.
Examine your bill
When many people look at a bill, their eyes immediately search for the amount owed. But not so fast! Your bill breakdown may have details that can help explain why your gas bill is so high.
First things first: Is it yours? This may seem like a silly question, but the error is more common than you’d think. Check the name, address, and account number to make sure the bill is truly yours.
Next, does your listed consumption roughly match your probable consumption? For example, if your consumption is high but you were away on vacation, then there could be an issue with the meter reading. Also ask yourself if you purchased any new appliances, or if existing appliances are working improperly. These, too, can cause an increase in your bill.
Third, have gas prices changed dramatically? We all know that gas prices fluctuate. If they have significantly increased in price since your last billing cycle, it may affect your bill. Compare base gas prices as well as taxes, usage fees, and overage fees with previous months’ bills. The increase could be due to changes in gas prices or changes in your utility provider’s policies.
How's the weather?
Jacksonville enjoys its fair share of gorgeous weather. But that doesn't mean it doesn’t get a bit chilly. Keep in mind that cooler weather will generally cause a slight increase in your gas bill, but if you want to take evasive action to prevent large increases, a few small changes is all it takes.
First, set your thermostat a degree or two lower than normal and bundle up. This small adjustment can help you save a ton on utilities.
Next, check to see if your weather stripping needs to be replaced. If your home’s ability to hold in heat is compromised, it will put a strain on your whole heating system, driving up energy costs. Your home’s insulation also plays a large role in energy conservation, so make sure that’s squared away as well.
Lastly, check to see if your water heater is set to the highest temperature possible. If it is, adjust it to be set a bit below the highest temperature setting. If they are set higher than necessary, water heaters will continue to burn energy as they try to maintain their high temps, even if no one is using hot water.
Check your habits
Sometimes, the reason for a higher than expected gas bill is you! Everyday tasks and chores, that we give little thought to, can be the reason for higher costs. Extra long showers? Running the dishwasher even though it isn't full? Doing laundry constantly even if the clothes aren't really dirty? Wasteful habits like these will quickly drive up costs.
Check for leaks
In some cases, high gas bills can be attributed to a leak. If you smell gas, call your utility provider immediately, as a leak can pose a major threat to you and your family. Some leaks, however, may not be noticeable by smell; unusually high gas bills may be the only indicator.
Call the professionals
What happens if you have addressed all of the above and still can't figure out why your gas bill is high? Then it's time to call in the professionals.
Bill Fenwick Plumbing has the experience and know-how to address high gas costs associated with gas piping or plumbing. Contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing today, and say goodbye to those high gas bills.