How to Read Your Utility Bill

Woman reading utility bill

Your bill from Fort Collins Utilities contains all kinds of detail that may make it difficult to understand. Here are a few pro-tips for making your utility bill work for you:

  1. Residential energy rates can vary based on the season (summer vs non-summer) and on a customer’s electric use. Electricity costs per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and usage are calculated based on tiers. There is always a fixed charge or a ‘base charge' per month.   If your bill seems higher than normal, check with your utility provider.
  2. Monitor My Use: Check out the electric costs details view. Once you login, you can click on the ‘details’ button under Electric. The screen will show you a bar graph with your daily use, and you can toggle this view to show you one day, one bill period, or one whole year. You can also toggle on the weather temperature to see if your cooling and heating costs might be contributing to spikes in your energy usage. I noticed when I looked at my bill that the spikes (when I hovered my mouse over them) all occurred on Sundays.  Sunday is laundry day and the day we tend to run the dryer a lot. A sudden temperature spike also revealed the day I plugged in the window air conditioning unit.
  3. Pay less for wastewater (WQA – winter quarter average) year-round. Did you know residential wastewater charges are based on the average water billed during January, February, and March? These months represent true indoor use and indicate the amount of water that ends up in the wastewater system. By conserving water during these months, you can reduce your WQA and pay less for wastewater year-round.

Don’t know how to read your energy bill right now? No problem! Follow these tips and tricks when you get your next energy bill to see if you can better understand your bill. And, you may even be able to figure out how to cut your energy use!

Do you have any other tips for reading your energy bill? Let us know in the comments!

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