Why is my electric bill higher in the summertime?

In Wisconsin, temperatures in June and July 2021 were 27% warmer than normal.

In Iowa, temperatures in June and July 2021 were 23% warmer than normal.

The amount you use is affected by both your regular habits and the weather outside. If your habits stay the same, but the weather changes a lot, your bill will also change.

The bill reflects the amount you use as well as the rate. In Iowa, summer rates, which are 20% higher, are in effect from May 16 – September 16, reflecting the high demand for electricity.

Take control of your electricity usage

Review your usage history

Log in to My Account and review your electricity bill from this time last year. Does your monthly usage (kWh) look similar? If it appears drastically higher than last year, consider what has changed that may be driving up your usage.

Sign up for Budget Billing to even out your costs from month to month.

Customers use more electricity in the summer
  • Hotter temperatures mean air conditioners are working harder to keep our homes cool – the larger the gap between the outside temp and your desired in-home temp, the harder your AC needs to work.
  • School’s out! More time may be spent at home during the summer months with appliances, electronics and lights being used throughout the day.
  • Pool pumps and heaters can use a lot of energy depending on how frequently they run.
  • When major appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers are not functioning well, they can use substantial amounts of electricity.

Iowa summer rates are significantly higher than winter rates

  • In Iowa, Alliant Energy charges higher rates in summer (May 16 – Sept. 16) than in winter
  • On average each kwh costs 20% more in summer than all other months
  • This is similar to many services that charge more during times of high demand

    • Movies…cheaper matinee, more expensive in evening
    • Restaurants…cheaper lunch, more expensive dinner
    • Airfare and hotel…high during peak season, low during off season; high during holidays
    • Uber…surge pricing
  • The higher rate also recognizes the cost of building our system to handle times of high use

Ways to save

  • Turn up your thermostat –Talk with your family about setting it to 78 degrees when you are home, as high as possible so you can comfortably sleep, and off while you are away . Consider a smart thermostat to take the guess work out.
  • Close the shades – Keep unused rooms cooler by keeping the shades closed.
  • Clean or change your AC air filters – Your air handler will not have to work so hard to push air through a clogged filter, and that saves energy. Your air quality will also improve.
  • Clear space around your air vents – Move any furniture that may be blocking vents so air can circulate more efficiently.
  • LED lighting – Upgrade any incandescent bulbs to LEDs. They don’t emit heat, which keeps your home cooler, and use 75% less energy.
  • Seal windows and doors – Hot air enters and cool air escapes through leaks in doors and windows. Consider weather stripping or caulking to close the leaks. Talk to a contractor if you need help.
  • Get an AC tune-up – Have a professional contractor tune up your AC unit to keep it performing at its best.
  • Unplug unused electronics – Electronics and small appliances that are off but plugged in are still using power. Unplug things you don’t use frequently and consider using Smart Power Strips to manage your entertainment center and gaming devices.
  • Use your oven less – Your oven can make your whole home hotter, causing your AC to work overtime. Slow cookers, microwaves, pressure cookers and toaster ovens create less heat.
  • Use cold water – Take colder showers, wash clothes in cold water and check to make sure your water heater is set at 120 degrees.