Understanding electricity usage

Wondering what caused a difference in your bill?

Understanding some of the most common causes of usage is one of the best things to help control the amount of energy you use.


About half of our home energy costs comes from heating and cooling our homes. LES recommends keeping your thermostat set to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter. Keep in mind, in the extreme summer heat and cold winter months, it takes more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

You can’t control the weather, but you can control your thermostat which has a big effect on your bill. You can expect a 3%-5% increase in energy use for every degree you set the thermostat lower in the summer and higher in the winter.

Longer billing cycle

There were more days than average in the billing period. Refer to the Billing Period on your LES bill for the length of the billing cycle. Also, compare average kilowatt-hours per day.

Unpaid balance

Your bill included an unpaid balance due from a previous month or another related account within LES.


LES’ summer rates take effect during a four-month period from June 1 through Sept. 30. Electric rates are higher in the summer because customer electricity use increases significantly across the region to power air conditioners.

To ensure customers continue to have an adequate and reliable source of electricity, power plants that are infrequently run during the rest of the year are used to meet this added demand. Higher-cost fuel and maintenance expenses are required to run these power plants.

As the additional costs are only accrued in the summer, they are not included in the winter rates.

An increase also may be due to a recent LES rate increase. Review our Residential Service rate schedule.

A full house

Times with more people in the house and higher activity, like holidays and school vacations, can cause your energy usage to be higher than normal.

How to lower your energy usage

LES recommends having a licensed contractor perform a preseason checkup of your cooling system in the spring and heating system in the fall to ensure all parts are working properly and you’re getting the most out of your equipment. See some of the most popular appliances with typical wattages and operating costs.

Find more ways to save energy