How to lower electric bills efficiently

We’re living in a time of severe financial drought—and let’s be honest—nobody’s dealing with it well. Recent researches are defeating—stating that 40% of Americans are struggling to provide for some of the most basic human needs, such as food or rent.

With this in mind, we at DoNotPay have established a platform through which we can help you when you need it the most. Our goal is to make these harsh times as smooth as possible for you. If you need help reducing electric bills, we are here to assist you.


How can DoNotPay help me lower my electric bills?

To receive help with reducing your electric bill, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the DoNotPay app either through your web browser 
  2. Choose the ‘Corona Relief’ option
  3. Tell us what you need help with and what kind of help you’d like to receive
  4. Give us some basic information about yourself and the circumstances you’re currently in

If you’re wondering what kind of information we need from you, these are the most important pieces:

  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • The reason as to why you’re unable to pay your electric bills

The whole process is simple and straightforward, as you can see. We wanted our app to be user-friendly more than anything else.

How can I understand my electric bills better?

Many Americans out there are unable to understand what all the items on their bills are supposed to mean. It almost feels like they’re spending their hard-earned money on things they know nothing about. To make matters worse, there are hundreds of different items in the bill.

To tackle this issue, we’ve listed some of the most important items you will find on your electric bills and explain what they mean:

Item

What it stands for

Billing Summary

In this section of your bill, you will be able to see how much you paid for the previous bill and how much you owe for the current month. In case you get your electricity and gas from the same utility, both will show up in this overview.

Details

Under this section, you will see what your rate per kWh is and how much electricity you consumed over the billing period. Some additional, smaller charges will also be listed here.

Usage Profile

Most electricity bills come with the ‘Usage Profile’ section. It gives you an overview of your energy consumption over the past month, sometimes even over the year.

Wholesale costs

This part of your bill shows how much your supplier pays for the electric energy you’re using.

Bill Details

Three of the most common charges found in Bill Details are:

  • Distribution charge
  • Generation charge
  • Transmission charge

The cost of electricity has been on a constant rise over the years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to come to a halt any time soon. That’s why it isn’t surprising to see how many people struggle to pay their electric bills. 

You only get to hear about it through different statistics and research, though. If you wonder why, the answer is quite simple—people are too embarrassed to talk about it. DoNotPay is here to break that silence for you. We believe there shouldn’t be any shame in being unable to pay your bills on time.

Can my provider make a mistake?

We all know that every penny counts—and sometimes, you need to make an effort to lower your electric bill. What kind of effort? You need to start looking for errors.

Once you start analyzing your bills a bit more carefully, you will realize that they’re packed with all sorts of different mistakes. Whether they’re there purposefully or not matters little. You should not allow anyone to overcharge you.

If you want to know what kind of errors can appear on your electricity bill, these are some of the most common ones:

  • Duplicate items
  • Services you’ve canceled, but still got charged for
  • Services you’re unfamiliar with
  • Services you’ve never received

Duplicate items

Duplicate items are the easiest to spot. They are way more common than any company would like to admit, and they’re the most common type of error. For that reason, you should always make sure to look for duplicate items on your bill.

Services you’ve canceled

Lots of different companies continue to charge you for services you’d previously canceled. Don’t let them take advantage of your lack of interest—look for these services. If you find them, call the company’s customer support and don’t feel ashamed to complain about it.

Services you’re unfamiliar with

It is also common that you will find some services you’ve never even heard of listed on your bill. If it ever happens to you, don’t stay silent. Demand an explanation from the company and ask them to remove these items.

Services you’ve never received

If you find any services that you haven’t received listed on your electric bill, complain about it immediately. Keeping quiet will do you much more harm than good, so don’t let companies get away with it.

In case you don’t feel competent enough to find all these errors in your electric bill, you can always reach out to a friend and ask them for help. Taking one step further, you can get in touch with a consumer rights advisor. These advisors are experts in their field—they can spot mistakes on bills in the blink of an eye.

Am I allowed to negotiate my electric bill?

Yes, if you come from a low-income household, you probably can negotiate your electric bill. The only thing that may stand in your way is you—do not feel ashamed to ask for help. There are so many people like you out there who are managing just fine because they know how to fight for their rights.

DoNotPay can also help assist you in this matter. Access our app either through your web browser to reach out to us and tell us what kind of help you would like to receive. This option is the most fuss-free one, and we will explain why in a second.

If you’re looking to lower your electric bills, there are multiple different ways to go about it:

Financial aid options

How to go about it

Consumer rights advisor

  • Ask how you can negotiate your electric bill
  • Ask if there are any alternative options to reduce your electric bill
  • Ask who else you can discuss this matter with if they’re unable to help you

Price negotiation

  • Be polite and friendly
  • Ask if there’s a possibility to negotiate the price of your electric bill
  • Tell them all about the circumstances you’re currently in and why you’re unable to pay your bill

Organizations that help with electric bills

  • Do some research on these organizations and get in touch with them
  • Ask what kind of help they can provide
  • See if there are any conditions you need to meet to receive their help

Organizations that help with electric bills

There are plenty of organizations that help people with all kinds of different bills. If you want to turn to an organization that can help you pay your electric bills, these are some of the most popular ones we’ve found:

  1. Weatherization Assistance Program
  2. The 2-1-1 Program
  3. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  4. The Salvation Army
  5. Modest Needs
  6. Citizens Energy Corporation

The easiest way to get help for your electric bills is to use DoNotPay because the rest of the options are time-consuming. Our app is going to do all the hard work in your stead and will make the process as smooth as possible.

Can I ask for an extension date for my electric bills?

If you feel like asking for an extension date for your electric bills is the best option for you, then yes, you can do that. Extension dates are helpful in case you know you will have enough money to pay for your bills at a certain point. If you’re unsure of this, then you should probably seek some other option.

You should know that there are a few ways for you to ask for an extension date:

  • In-person
  • Sending a letter
  • Calling customer support

The most fuss-free to go about this issue is to send a letter, which DoNotPay can help you out with. This what the process looks like:

  1. Access the DoNotPay app either through your web browser 
  2. Select the ‘Corona Relief’ option
  3. Tell us what kind of help you need
  4. Let us generate the extension date request letter
  5. Tell us whether you want us to send the letter in your stead

The whole process is going to take up to 48 hours, but we usually get it done with much sooner. We understand what it’s like to be in an emergency, and that’s why it’s important for us to get things moving as soon as possible.

If you’re worried about how our generated letter will come off, fret not—we’ve gained some valuable experience in writing letters, and we’ve become experts at it by this point. We’re aware of how necessary it is that the letter comes off as sensible to the receiving end.

Can I pay my electric bill with my credit card?

Of course, if you want to pay your electric bill with your credit card, you can do that. The only thing you should keep in mind is that it could damage your credit scores. This only applies to you if your bill has become enormous by this point. If not, you can feel free to go for this option.

Can I ask for a waiver on late fees for my electric bill?

If you feel like asking for a waiver on late fees for your electric bill is the most suitable option for you, then you should go for it. There are a few ways you can do it:

  • In-person
  • Consulting a lawyer
  • Consulting a consumer rights advisor
  • Sending a letter
  • Getting in touch with customer service

If you don’t want to fuss around too much, then sending a letter is your best bet. Reaching out to a lawyer might hurt the pocket, whereas calling and doing it in-person is time-consuming.

DoNotPay can generate an efficient letter and send it in your stead. We just need you to provide some basic information about yourself and tell us why you need a waiver on late fees for your electric bill.

Being in your shoes isn’t easy, and we understand that. That’s why we set a goal for ourselves to make this whole process as easy on you as humanly possible. You can always rely on us for help.

Can I apply for a loan to pay off my electric bill?

If your credit scores aren’t severely damaged and your account isn’t marked as a delinquent one, then yes, you can apply for a loan to pay off your electric bill. Is it a good idea, though? We would argue that.

Getting yourself even further into debt is probably the worst thing you could do in this situation. Still, this option can’t be avoided sometimes, and in that case, you should make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you commit. Do your diligent research and see what options you have.

How to lower electric bills efficiently

Electricity bills are costly, and it’s no wonder you want to know how to lower them efficiently, as we’ve previously mentioned. Luckily, there are many different ways in which you can tackle this issue and reduce your electric bills in no time:

  • Invest in energy-efficient machines. Living in the 21st century comes with a wide array of setbacks but also benefits. There are plenty of energy-efficient fridges, dishwashers, freezers, washing machines, etc. on the market. If you can invest in them, you should consider this option.
  • Keep your windows and doors shut. You have no idea how much money this advice can save you. During some of the coldest months, you should always make sure that all your doors and windows are closed. Having them open will cool your house, which will result in a significantly higher electric bill.
  • Turn off the light whenever you leave the room. We know it sounds bothersome, but if you do it on a regular basis, it will eventually become a habit. Lights drain more electricity than you can imagine.
  • Buy energy-efficient light bulbs. These light bulbs aren’t as expensive as you may think, so if you’re able to invest in them, you will see a significant decrease in your electric bill. Energy-efficient light bulbs also last ten times longer than regular ones, so making this choice shouldn’t be too hard.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. You should already know that wearing a tank top around the house in the middle of January isn’t the best idea. You’re going to feel cold, and consequently turn up the heating. Sweaters are back in fashion, so it shouldn’t be a bother to wear one.
  • Stop using tumble-dryers. They probably drain more energy than any other machine in your home. If you could start drying your clothes outside or on a clothes horse, that would contribute to reducing your electric bill greatly. It’s going to take a lot longer for your clothes to dry that way, but it will be worth it at the end of the month.
  • Insulate your home better. Good insulation is going to prevent cold air from coming into your house during the coldest months of the year. It also works the other way around—hot air won’t make its way into your home on hellish mid-July days. Your house will be able to maintain its temperature much better if your insulation is on point.

If you manage to incorporate at least one of these suggestions into your life, we promise you that your next electric bill will be shockingly lower. Most of these promote environmentally-friendly behavior, which is only a plus.

Are there any other things DoNotPay can help me with?

Yes, DoNotPay can help you in many different ways. Our app is constantly evolving, and it is unstoppable! You can get access to all of our features by entering DoNotPay through your web browser. Don’t hesitate to hit us up and see how we can assist you. Our goal is to be there for you through thick and thin—and we’ve already achieved this with thousands of our users.

Among other things, DoNotPay can help you with: