Usage Concerns

We are always ready to assist you with your usage and billing questions. Before you contact us, please read through the checklist below to help diagnose your inquiry.

Seasonal Changes

The additional heating or cooling load will cause an increase in electric use. Heating and cooling your home can average over 40% of you total energy use. Using space heaters, fireplaces, livestock heaters or vehicle block heaters in the winter can dramatically increase your energy consumption. Running a dehumidifier or watering of lawns, gardens and animals in the summer months will increase your energy use. Hot tubs and pool pumps can also add to your electric bill.

Spoon River offers free Budget Billing to help average out seasonal fluctations.

 

I wasn’t Home…

If leave your home for an extended period of time for business or vacation, any appliance you leave plugged in or connected will continue to use electricity even while you are gone. Your hot water heater, freezer, refrigerator, HVAC system, landscape irrigation, well pump, etc. keep on running when you’re not home. Before you leave, make sure to turn off or unplug appliances that aren’t needed and adjust your thermostat to keep heating/cooling costs down.

 

Lifestyle

No two households use energy the same way, so comparing your energy bill to your neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges. It’s best to compare your current use to your past use. Consider the following:

  • Has the size of your household increased?
  • Have you added a new swimming pool or hot tub in your backyard?
  • Have you had guests stay for an extended period?
  • Do you have hobbies that include the use of power tools, ovens or other high electrical resistance tools or appliances?
  • Do you have an aquarium?

These calculators can help you identify which devices and appliances are using the most energy. Spoon River lends out Kill A Watt usage monitors to help members identify those energy hogs.

 

Lighting and Appliances

Lighting, refrigeration, cooking and appliances can account for over 40% of the total energy use in a typcial household.

The location of refrigerators and freezers is very important: Never place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in unconditioned space such as a breezeway, garage or out-building. The refrigerator or freezer will have to work harder to overcome excessive heat during warmer months.

Make sure that your refrigerators and freezers have adequate ventilation.

Do you have an older fridge in the basement or garage?

If an appliance is more than 15 years old, the efficiency of that appliance may be decreasing significantly and requiring more energy to do its job.

It’s important to clean or replace the condenser, coils or filters on some appliances regularly. You may need to replace the appliance itself. Many times old electrical wiring will have loose connections resulting in increased electrical use and create potential safety hazards.

 

Is My Meter Bad?

Meters are often blamed for a higher bill, but are rarely the cause. In fact, if a meter is malfunctioning, it’s more likely to run slow instead of fast. Fewer than 2 out of 1,000 meters prove to be defective when tested.