Breakdown of our Electricity Bill

This month’s usage was high, as expected, but still less than last year. I would rather see lower than last year by even a few dollars, than higher as has been the trend for the past six years. As you can see in the graphic, we have consistently used less electricity every month of this year so far. As I look over the bill, I am always amazed at all the taxes, usage fees and other miscellaneous items added to our monthly bill (see below).

For comparison, here is this month and last year’s July usage:

Usage for this July 2008:

This month we were billed for 31 days. We used a total of 3732 kWhs. 1514 were on-peak, 2218 were off-peak. And our bill for this month is $433.46.

Usage for July 2007:

Last year for 33 days we used a total of 4237 kWhs. 1838 were on-peak, 2399 were off-peak. And our bill for the month in July 2007 was $472.63.

That is a savings of $39.17. Since we pay on the same amount all year long, I can’t snowflake this savings, but I am hoping to see the monthly bill decrease when the year begins again (instead of increasing!)

More comparison information:

Note that last year at this same time it was two degrees hotter than this month.

This month
Billing days 31
Average outdoor temperature 90°
Your total use in kWh 3732
Percentage of on-peak use 41%
Your average daily cost $13.98

Last month
Billing days 30
Average outdoor temperature 79°
Your total use in kWh 2775
Percentage of on-peak use 44%
Your average daily cost $11.37

This month last year
Billing days 33
Average outdoor temperature 92°
Your total use in kWh 4237
Percentage of on-peak use 43%
Your average daily cost $14.32

Amount of electricity you used
Meter reading on Jul 21 83593
Meter reading on Jun 20 79861
Total electricity you used, in kWh 3732

On-peak meter reading on Jul 21 77450
On-peak meter reading on Jun 20 75936
On-peak electricity you used, in kWh 1514
(9 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday)

Off-peak electricity you used, in kWh 2218
(9 pm to 9 am weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday)

Cost of electricity you used
Basic service charge $6.54
Delivery service charge $92.33
Environmental benefits surcharge $1.32
Federal environmental improvement surcharge $0.60
Competition rules compliance charge $1.26
System benefits charge $6.90
Power supply adjustment* $29.81
Metering* $5.12
Meter reading* $1.71
Billing* $1.92
Generation of electricity on-peak* $191.23 ($0.12845 per kWh)
Generation of electricity off-peak* $42.83 ($0.04925 per kWh)
Transmission and ancillary services* $19.41
Transmission cost adjustment* $4.52
Cost of electricity you used $405.50

Taxes and fees
Regulatory assessment $0.74
State sales tax $22.75
County sales tax $4.47
City sales tax $0.00
Franchise fee $0.00
Cost of electricity with taxes and fees $433.46

Total charges for electricity services $433.46

* These services are currently provided by *Electricity Company* but may be provided by a competitive supplier.

The on-peak usage is what kills us. If only we could live without air conditioning during the day!

But we still save money because of the plan we are on. Let’s look and see what we would pay if we were on the standard rate plan.This is the way it works:

  • You’re billed the lowest kWh price for the 1st 400 kWhs used per month ($0.086/kWh)
  • The next 400 kWhs are billed at a higher price ($0.122/kWh)
  • and all additional kWhs after that an even higher price ($0.144/kWh)

On the standard plan, the service charge is $0.25 per day. $7.50 for 30 days.

On the On-Off Peak plan, the service charge is $0.49 per day. $14.70 for 30 days. (I just noticed we were not charged the On-Off Peak plan service charge rate above, we were charged a lower cost, maybe the “basic rate” plan? Or maybe that is standard, then one of the other charges is the cost for using the On-Off Peak plan.)

This last month we used a total of 3732 kWh.

On the standard plan we would have paid:

  • 1st 400 kWhs $0.086 per kWh: $34.40
  • Next 400 kWhs $0.122: $48.80
  • All add’l kWhs $0.144 $422.20

So our total electricity usage for the standard plan would have come to: $505.40 + service charge $7.50 = $512.90.

With all the extra taxes and fees listed above, we used $405.50 by using the on-off peak service. We saved at least $100 dollars this month by using this plan.

Do you use the savings plan for your electricity in your area?


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4 thoughts on “Breakdown of our Electricity Bill

  1. WOW – that is unreal!! I’m in Colorado, so it’s not surprising that our electricity use would be less, but yours is incredible. Have you had an audit done to see if that is expected in your area? If you have posted about this before, I apologize. I’m a fairly new reader. Even in Oklahoma our electricity usage never approached that much except when we had a problem with our a/c unit. I am thankful for the $78.79 bill from last month. 🙂 I think that our house is pretty energy efficient, though, because even in winter our gas bills aren’t that high. Our year round average for electricity plus gas usage is $112 a month.


  2. OMG! Where do you set the thermostat?

    With mine at 78 degrees (80 when I’m not in the house), my bill for 1860 square feet with a pool was $201. Now it’s true, I’m in Salt River Project…but APS is not THAT much more outrageous.

    In the wintertime, my bills can drop to less than $90. I don’t use the cost averaging plan, because if I did, the monthly bill would be about $130 or $150 all year round. I can afford a couple hundred in the summer, though it’s a stretch (I could absolutely not afford $430!), so that I can enjoy four or five months of very low bills in the cooler seasons.

    I avoid the time-of-day bargain because a) my schedule sometimes requires me to do the laundry and run the vacuum during the peak hours, and b) I don’t want the pool pump operating when I can’t see what it’s doing. The pump pot lid is given to working open, which if it goes unnoticed will burn out the pump. Also, because algae grows only in sunlight, your pool chemicals work a lot more efficiently when you run the pump during the daytime hours.

    Might want to think about having your power company check your home for energy efficiency. I think both APS and SRP will send someone around (at least they used to) and identify places where air leaks or otherwise make suggestions. Have you blown insulation into the attic? If you have a flat roof, I think there’s a foam-type roofing that’s supposed to help with the R-factor to some degree. Or, if the roof is flat and the surface is a dark color, get somebody to paint it white.

    Also, do you have a programmable thermostat? These are inexpensive and easy to install–a reasonably handy homeowner can install it, or a handyman can do it for a fair price. These allow you to automatically jack up the thermostat to, say, 80 or 85 degrees while you’re at work and then drop it down to the comfortable zone a little before you get home. The dogs, cats, and plants will do fine at 85 or so, and if the house is cooled down before you get home, you’ll never notice. Saves a lot on the AC. And you can get little gasket things at Home Depot that fit behind the switch covers and plug outlet covers on your outside walls–these are supposed to lose a significant amount of cool air (and seep in a significant amount of hot air) in many homes.

    Wow. If I had power bills like that, I’d have moved to Colorado a long time ago. Wonder how much Sheila’s winter heating bills are….


  3. I came back, because I’m really curious about this and I saw Funny about Money’s comment. My highest gas (heating) bill ever has been $162. Our monthly average for BOTH electricity and gas is $112. 🙂 Part of the energy efficiency comes from having a basement, but our house is about 4000 square feet, so it’s not small. I work from home, so the thermostat is kept at 76 degrees day and night during the summer, and 68 day/62 night during the winter.


  4. @Sheila, we’re in Arizona. Our temps out here get hotter than they did when we lived in the city. Our bills weren’t always this high but they have risen each year that we’ve lived here. Over the past weekend in our area it was over 120°F – that’s as far as our outdoor thermometer will go and never got under 95°F during the night.

    @Funny – Click on the “electricity” label to learn more. But to answer your question, we keep the thermostat at 81°F from 9am to 9pm, and 78°F from 9pm to 9am, using an automatic thermostat. Someone is home 24 hours a day and my son with Down Syndrome can’t tolerate temperatures higher than 81°F.

    We do live in a manufactured home, which appears to be well insulated as it gets down to 8°F in the winter and we’ve never yet used the heater. It’s never gotten below 50°F in the house.

    We do have all electric, which runs our water pump, water heater, stove/oven. We make an attempt to wash clothes on the weekend. We also have two freezers and two refrigerators which are older models. All of our windows are tinted and we put up a carport on the west side of the home to block the afternoon sun.

    We have asked other folks in the area how much they pay and find we are paying less what others are putting out. One lady’s husband is a welder and they regularly pay $550 and more a month. Mr. A also runs power tools to build things that he needs for his business so I’m sure that adds to the cost.

    It just about kills me to have to pay the electric company this much money. I will look into those other things suggested. Thanks for posting, Funny and Sheila.


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