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

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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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