Customers want to know why electric bills are higher this August, ways to lower it

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
(AP Photo/John Antczak, File)

Take a look at your electric bill. If it’s higher than usual, you’re not alone. Hundreds of people have told us they paying more in August and don’t know why. We spoke to several people who said they haven’t done anything differently.

Crystal Baxter in Arcadia doesn’t understand why she has a bill that says she owes $300 to Florida Power & Light.

“We’re not working from home,” Baxter said. “My kids went to day care for the summer, so they weren’t even home this summer. So if anything, I was expecting it to go down.”

Instead, her bill is up more than a $100 compared to this time last year.

“We haven’t been home,” Baxter said. “We haven’t done anything different.”

Baxter has a lot of company in this particular situation.

We asked people on Facebook about their energy bills. Nearly 1,000 Facebook users commented on the post.

Joey Amico in Cape Coral was among commenters. He is a customer of Lee County Electric Cooperative.

“I looked at my bill around this time last year for August and I paid $175,” Amico said. “This year, I just got a bill two days ago for $330.”

Both LCEC and FPL told us their rates are the same.

As for the higher bills, that could be explained a number of ways.

“The main factor being that temperatures are so high right now, and anytime it’s hot outside, it’s going to cause your air conditioner to run a lot more,” said Karen Ryan with LCEC. “People are spending more time at home, and people are cooking meals at home.”

Ways to lower your bill

You can track your energy use online for starters.

“The number one thing is not to put your air conditioner below 78 degrees,” Ryan said. “For each degree below 78, it adds 8% to your cooling costs.”

That’s not exactly what Baxter wanted to hear.

“That’s too hot,” Baxter said. “With two little toddlers, they’re going to be hot and cranky.” And Baxter said she sets her thermostats to 76 degrees normally.

More tips from electric companies


There are several tips that FPL recommend customers can take advantage of to manage their energy usage:

  • Change the filter on the air conditioner each month
  • Keep interior doors open so the air circulates and the AC works efficiently
  • Raise the temperature on the AC thermometer (each degree you raise the thermometer can save up to 5% on your energy bill)
  • Use ceiling fans to keep cool, but remember to turn them off when you leave the room

Customers can activate the FPL “Energy Analyzer” and find more tools to manage their energy usage. This data-driven tool breaks down customer’s actual energy usage and offers personalized energy saving tools.



LCEC offers customers its free SmartHub app, so they can manage electric accounts safely and securely online or from a mobile device.


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