How to check if your Electricity Consumption increased this Summer

Bill Shock? How to check if your Electricity Consumption increased this Summer of 2020 (Covid-19)

The summer heat has just been unbearable these days. And while the rainy season has started with outpours, we have not totally gotten off the effects of summer. Such as the case of our upcoming electricity bill. For the last few days, we’ve been waiting anxiously to receive our bill to see the heavy truth of our increased electricity consumption. Since we are very mindful of what appliances we use and for how long we use these, it’s easy to assume that our bill will blow up than the usual. So how will you know and check if your electricity consumption has increased?

As an engineer, I tend to focus more on the numbers especially the ones in our Electricity Meter. See the step-by-step instructions on how to check if your electricity consumption increased this summer of 2020.

How to check if your Electricity Consumption really increased?

We need to get 2 meter readings, preferably 7 days apart but 3 days apart might also be good enough.

1. Get the 1st Meter Reading

If you have received your May 2020 bill, we can use this as your first meter reading.

Get the Pres Rdg at the back of your bill. We will refer to this as 1st Meter Reading Value.

Note also the Meter Reading Date in the front of your bill. We will refer to this as 1st Meter Reading Date.

If you have not yet received your May 2020 bill (like me), go to your meter and note the kWh value, this is your 1st Meter Reading Value.

Note also the date, this is your 1st Meter Reading Date.

If you followed the steps in our post about checking if Meralco made an error in your bill, you may use the value and date when you read your meter.

Meter Reading Date: May 19, 2020

My values are

1st Meter Reading Value1,627 kWh
1st Meter Reading DateMay 19, 2020

2. Get the 2nd Meter Reading

After 3 or more days, go back to your meter and read the value and note the date again. Preferably, this should be 7 days apart so that you can check your weekly consumption.

We will refer to this as 2nd Meter Reading Value and 2nd Meter Reading Date, respectively.

Meter Reading Date: May 25, 2020

My readings are seen on the table below

2nd Meter Reading Value1,690 kWh
2nd Meter Reading DateMay 25, 2020

3. Get the Number of Days between the Reading Dates

1st Meter Reading DateMay 19, 2020
2nd Meter Reading DateMay 25, 2020
Number of Days6 days

4. Get the consumption between the Meter Readings

Formula

2nd Meter Reading Value1st Meter Reading Value = Electricity Consumption

1st Meter Reading Value1,627 kWh
2nd Meter Reading Value1,690 kWh
Electricity Consumption63 kWh

Now we know that we consumed 63 kWh in 6 days.


5. Get the Average Daily Consumption

Electricity Consumption / Number of days = Average Daily Consumption

63 kWh / 6 days = 10.5 kWh per day

Average Daily Consumption = 10.5 kWh per day


6. Compute the Forecasted Consumption for the whole Month of May

If you continue on consuming the Average Daily Consumption for the whole Month of May, then we can compute for the Forecasted Consumption for your June 2020 Bill.

Number of days in the month of May is 31 days.

Average Daily Consumption * 31 days = Monthly Forecast Consumption for May 2020

10.5 kWh per day * 31 days = 325.5 kWh

Monthly Forecast Consumption for May 2020 = 325.5 kWh


7. Compare this to your Historical Consumption

Now we need to check the historical consumption based on your previous bills.

In our case these are our historical consumption.

DescriptionConsumption (kWh)
Dec 2019 Bill92
Jan 2020 Bill98
Feb 2020 Bill167
Mar 2020 Bill*111
Apr 2020 Bill*128
May 2020 Forecast Consumption325.5
* Average of the previous 3 months consumption

As you can see if I continue consuming 10.5 kWh per day, I will have a monthly consumption of 325.5 kWh. That is a 94.91% increase from my highest consumption month (Feb 2020).

This is proof (on our personal experience) that we have increased electricity consumption this Summer of 2020.

If you have received your May 2020 Bill already then the Monthly Forecast Consumption will be for June 2020 Bill.


Disclaimer on the above computation

The computation for the Average Daily Consumption and Forecast Consumption does not prove historical or future electricity consumption.

Some of you might have lower Average Daily Consumption or Forecast Consumption compared to historical consumption because you may have cut down on your electricity consumption after seeing the May 2020 Bill Shock.

When we computed for my parent’s Forecast Consumption it went way down compared to their historical consumption. This is because my brother decided to stay at a boarding house in Makati near his workplace. My brother’s boarding house electricity consumption went really high.


I do not believe you and these numbers. We did not change anything. Our routines are the same and we are working from home even before Covid-19 arrived!

The usual knee jerk reaction of people when they could not believe something is Denial.

Maybe you did change something, maybe you did not?

Most of us have a change in our daily behaviors and patterns due to the heat brought by summer months.

Add to that that we mostly are now stay at home due to the pandemic. That is an additional factor to consider.


Why is the consumption so high this Summer of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic?

There are a lot of factors why and these are different from household to household.

Here are some situations that made us increase our electricity consumption.

Hotter environmental temperatures due to summer makes our aircon and refrigerator work harder compared to colder months.

Stocking of food due to the stay-at-home order. The more food and drinks you store in your refrigerator the more energy it needs consume to cool down.

Same with air conditioners, the more people and things they need to cool down the more electricity it consumes.

Did you drink more cold water or use more ice this summer? The more you open your refrigerator the more coldness goes out, the more your refrigerator has to work to reach its target temperature.

Did you come from your air conditioned room when you went to drink cold water from the fridge? Same logic as above. The more you get out of your air conditioned room, the more coldness goes out, the more your aircon needs to work. This is also the basis of the joke “Isara mo ang pinto, baka lumabas ang aircon.”

Did you stop ordering your distilled water and decided to boil water instead using an electric kettle? Electric kettles consumes electricity, if that is not obvious enough.

Due to the unreliability of the supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) did you purchase an electric cookware such as induction stove, electric stove, convection oven, turbo broiler, air fryer, etc.?

Did you, out of boredom or business venture, decide to try cooking or baking more different meals and pastries using the electric cookware above?

Did you increase your electric fan setting from number 1 to number 3?

Is your aircon running longer? Or if the aircon timer runs out you simply switch it on again for another 3 hours because it became hot?

There are a lot more other factors on why your electricity consumption increase this Summery of 2020. The above are just the things that I can think of.

I hope you now understand more on why electricity consumption increases during summer months and during this Covid-19 pandemic.


Did your household’s behavior change this summer of 2020 which resulted to an increase in electricity consumption? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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