Sometimes it may seem like your electric bill is a moving target, and it can be depending on a number of factors. The good news is - with a little know-how and the right action - you have control to help manage most of them.
No, you can't control Mother Nature, which is the most common cause of bill fluctuations because about half of our home energy costs come from heating and cooling. And yes, we do recommend that you set your thermostat to 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer. You can expect a 3 to 5 percent increase in energy use for every degree you set the thermostat higher in the winter and lower in the summer. Raise or lower your thermostat only by 1 to 2 degrees at a time to help a comfortable setting you can live in without spiking your electric bill. Remember, even at 68 degrees if it's 48 degrees outside your unit will work harder to keep the inside warm - and even more so if it is in the 30s.
Staying comfortable - In the extremely cold winter months and fierce summer heat, it takes more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. To help manage that, try these recommendations:
Like on a calendar, not all billing months are the same amount of days. Some will have more billing days than average in the billing period. Refer to the 'Service Period' on your bill for the length of the billing cycle to know when this occurs. Log in to your account to view your most recent bill.
On special times like holidays and school vacations, more people and activity at home can take more energy for everything from heating or cooling to powering ovens, game consoles and more. Log in to review your usage and compare to last year.
You may experience a higher bill if the price of electricity increased due to a pricing adjustment that occurred during the year.
Seasonal pricing - The cost for electricity for residential customers is based on a seasonal rate schedule, where prices vary with the time of year. The seasonal months are grouped as following:
Summer pricing is higher than both Shoulder and Winter pricing because it costs more to produce electricity in the summer when demand for electricity is higher than it is other times of the year. Likewise, Shoulder pricing is slightly higher than Winter pricing due to higher costs of production during those times.
If you had a bill that was higher and the usage was about the same on the previous month, this likely occurred because of seasonal rate changes. Since comparing bills between different seasons is like comparing apples and oranges, it is better to compare your usage and bill to months in the same season - July to August, for example. Learn more about pricing and rates.
Fuel cost adjustments - Each year, the company files a report with the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding costs of fuel necessary to generate electricity.
We use a disciplined strategy to project the exact amount of fuel necessary to generate electricity for our customers and file this annually with the PSC. However, fuel costs can vary from projections. So when prices are lower than expected, the benefit is passed on to customers and when fuel cost is higher than expected, the PSC allows the company to recover the difference. Mississippi Power does not earn a profit on fuel consumed. Learn more about pricing and rates.
Environmental costs - Like fuel costs, we set detailed plans to comply with state and federal environmental rules and regulations. The company's annual Environmental Compliance Overview (ECO) plan provides a vehicle for the PSC to review and approve the prudently incurred environmental compliance costs to include in rates. Learn more about recent projects.