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Ask an Expert: Why is my electric bill so high??

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
March 27, 2012 - 2:14PM

Q.  I live in an 850 sq ft one-bedroom co-op in the West Village.    The building has steam heat and apartments are individually metered for electricity.

My half-size dishwasher, which I don't use every day, is fairly new, as is my smaller than normal 10 cubic ft refrigerator.  Apart from the refrigerator and energy-star rated computer nothing else is on 24/7.  

So why are my Con Ed bills sky-high even in the winter....$174 for February??

A. There are a few possible explanations, according to property manager Michael Wolfe of Midboro Management.

If it's just your February bill that was abnormally high, it's possible that your meter was misread or that an estimated reading was used because the reader could not gain access to your meter.

A chronically over-the-top bill might signal that one of your neighbor's circuits is being wired into your meter.  To check, you or your super can shut off all of your breakers and see if your meter is still showing electric use.

High electric costs could also be an issue with one of your appliances, says Wolfe. Electric ovens, for example, can be electricity gobblers. 

Here are some helpful suggestions for measuring the electricity being consumed by each of your appliances.

You may also want to check out ConEd's Home Energy Calculator and Appliance Calculator.

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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