ERMU FAQ: Summer Energy Usage

July 6, 2021
Person on the phone standing next to a room fan.

During the warm summer months, customers often contact our office with questions about their electric bill. With an ongoing mission to educate those we serve, we would like to provide answers to our most frequently asked energy questions.

🌡 What causes my electric usage to go up in the summer?

The biggest reason for higher electric bills in the summer is usually your air conditioner. Running your AC can cost about $0.50 per hour. And since we spend hundreds of hours in our homes every month it’s easy to see that comfort comes at a premium during this warmer season. Don’t forget that the hotter it is outside, the harder your unit has to work to maintain the temperature inside. ERMU does offer AC Tune-Up Rebates to help keep your system running efficiently.

Did ERMU’s electric rates go up?

ERMU reduced electric rates by 5% in 2019 and held that reduced rate with a 0% increase in both 2020 and 2021. If you notice increased electric charges compared to last summer, there can be several causes including higher temperatures, changes in usage, or a longer billing cycle.

📅 How does the billing cycle affect my bill?

Using cycles allows us to distribute bills efficiently and helps keep costs low. This system also creates variability in the number of days your bill represents. Generally, the more days in a cycle, the higher the bill. For context, it can be helpful to divide your total monthly usage by the number of days in that month’s cycle to determine your kWh per day before comparing with previous billings.  

🚙 How does ERMU know how much energy I use each billing period?

ERMU reads your meter before each billing. One of our fleet vehicles has equipment that retrieves your data from the street. This vehicle passes every meter once a month to make sure we are accurately billing customers.

What else should I know?

When you receive your bill, keep in mind that the total amount due incorporates several services and fees beyond electric usage. Recent billing redesigns were intended to make it clearer to customers where different charges originate and where they are applied, so be sure to look closely at the breakdown on the back of your bill. Increased water usage is a common source of higher bills in the summer.

🌿 Does ERMU offer any resources to help me reduce my energy usage?

YES! The Summer Energy Saving Checklist is a great tool to help you start saving energy and money today.

The Connector is our free electronic newsletter that will provide energy saving tips to you every month.

Your Guide to Home Energy Use was created to give customers the tools and information they need to understand, track, and reduce their usage now and in the future.

If you still have questions or would like specific details about your account, we are always glad to take your call at 763.441.2020.