With summer sunshine comes higher electric bills. Those higher electric bills are actually created by two different factors that combine with one another to give consumers a double hit in the pocket book during these months. The two factors are: Increased consumption of electricity and higher rates per unit for that electricity. The higher rates are actually caused by the increased consumption. Lets look at what is causing this increased consumption, why it increases our rates.
- Air conditioning – The number one reason for energy consumption in summer months is cooling. Homes and businesses turn on the air conditioning.The hotter and more humid it is, the more people use their air conditioning. This creates a high demand for electrical power during daytime hours.
- Pools – Municipal and private outdoor swimming pools are in operation during summer months. Pools require circulation and filtration pumps to running, all of which operate on electricity.
- Irrigation – Lawn irrigation systems require electricity for their pumps. Agricultural irrigation requires many times the amount of power to operate their acres of irrigation systems.
- Amusement parks- Many amusement parks are only in operation during summer months. Even those that are open year round have an increase in traffic during summer months. All those rides and lights add to the increase in electric demand from the power stations.
- Resorts – These are another type of business that has its peak season during the summer months. As their facilities fill up, their electrical bills sky rocket, as well.
- Tourist shops – Summer is tourist season. Many tourist shops close down or have minimal operation during winter months. In the summer time, they are back in full operation and drawing a higher amount of energy.
- Fans – Even those who don’t have air conditioning in their home or workplace manage to use additional electricity by plugging in fans to circulate the air. Ceiling fans are also used more often in the summer. Their energy usage is much lower than air conditioning, but it does still have an impact.
- Dehumidifiers – In many places, summer heat also means high humidity. Humidity can make you more uncomfortable than the heat itself. Dehumidifiers get turned on in the summer to try and remove some of the moisture from the air. Of course, electricity is their power source.
- Limits on local energy – So, why does this increase in demand increase costs instead of decreasing it? The answer is the limit to local affordable electricity. When the amount electric energy needed during the peak hours of the day increase beyond what local power stations can provide, they need to buy additional energy from other sources. This energy costs more to produce and causes your increase in rates.
- Coal costs – The additional electrical energy that power companies purchase during peak summer months generally come from coal fired electrical plants. The price of producing energy with coal is more than is required by natural gas and nuclear fuel sources. These higher fuel costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher summer electrical rates.
Perhaps now you will understand why your power company encourages its users to try and consume less energy during the peak hours of the day. This additional usage of energy also costs them and the consumer more money.