We moved from an apartment (approx 1000 sq ft) in NH to one in MA (approx 1200 sq ft) to be closer to work (Boston). Our old apartment electric bill used to hover between $70 and $110 monthly. Our provider is the same in NH and MA (Eversource). The new place is new-ish, the building having been constructed in 2006.

Today I received the electric bill for the new place and to my horror, it came up to $278.93. Here's the bill: enter image description here

Important factors that I can think of:

  • The old apartment had individual room air conditioners while the new place has central air. We keep the temp at 72 degrees all the time.

  • The old apartment had a common laundry room for the whole building while the new one has a W/D within the unit but we don't do laundry more than once a week anyway

  • The new place has a lot more lighting, but we're pretty good about keeping lights off when we don't use them
  • Most (if not all) electric appliances in the new place are newer. Flooring is hardwood throughout

Now, my questions:

  • Is it advisable to keep the central air off or at a higher temperature when we're at work for the day?
  • Is such a high delivery charge normal for the Boston area?
  • Are there any other tips to help bring this insane cost down?

EDIT: Adding more details based on comments...

  • Most (if not all) lights in the new place are fluorescent/LED
  • The older apartment was on the first floor, corner unit. The current one is on the second floor, corner unit
  • Air conditioning at the older place was used on an as-needed basis, so during the day the ACs would be off while we were at work and when we were home we would turn them on. But usually since both of us were always in the same room most of the time while we were home, only one AC was on at any given moment. Also, the ACs were ancient and had no temperature settings, only dials on a 1-10 scale for cooling. We always set them to 6-7.
  • I'm not able to access our prior bills to view the billing rates. I had signed up for e-billing and whenever I click on the 'view bill details' link in the email, it takes me to my new apartment's billing. Eversource has different sub-websites for different states and it looks like my account is now MA only, and the NH part has been deactivated.
  • 1
    Is the lighting efficient (LED or fluorescent)? Incandescent lighting gets you two ways: the cost of burning it and the cost of the air conditioner removing all the heat it makes. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '17 at 20:15
  • 1
    In the old apartment did you run the individual room air conditioners to keep the entire house at 72 degrees all the time? Or did you turn them on when you occupied the room? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '17 at 21:00
  • 1
    ...aaaaand what was your effective Cents/KWH rate in New Hampster? Building construction/insulation/windows can also make a big impact on cooling and heating costs. Your landlord may have little reason to care about the building being efficient if you and your co-tenants are paying the utilities. Finally, any chance of a hot-water leak and an electric hot water heater? Those run to money quickly. – Ecnerwal Oct 8 '17 at 21:19
  • One other issue: where are the two units located within their respective buildings? A top-floor outside corner unit in a courtyard building has a lot less insulation provided by surrounding apartments than an apartment with other units on five out of six sides. – 1006a Oct 9 '17 at 6:09

In answer to your first question: Yes. If there is no one occupying an area you should set you T'stat lower while you are out.

In answer to your second question: I have no idea anymore as to what is a fair rate, but I will say your bill makes no sense. We all get the $145.79, but according to the breakdown of your Delivery Services, it only adds up to $110.82 not $133.04. So where does the extra $22.22 come from? Look over your bill and see if it mentions that charge and if it doesn't, I would spend some time on the phone having someone explain it to me.

On you third question: The first thing I would do is go online, make phone calls, and find any social sites that are discussing this problem. When I say go online and make phone calls, I am talking about directing them to the service provider. I would not try and be rude or mad, but be firm and ask detailed questions about your billing. Also expect and be firm about getting detailed answers.

On matters of saving energy, first as you originally proposed. Set your T'stat to prevent you AC/Heat from coming on as often if you are not in the residence. I use a programmable T'stat and have mine set for 58F in the winter and 80F in the summer. Also I would suggest you don't need it so high if you are sleeping in a bed under covers. I would suggest an electric pad or blanket to keep you warmer in the winter and set the AC for say 60F and come back up to 72 an hour or so before you get up.

Also orientation is everything as brought up by @1006a. Windows and their exposures are key, you might look and make sure you have heavy insulated curtains to keep conditioned air in especially on extra cold and hot days.

Hope this helps, good luck.


I expect it is because of "green" energy. Those charges are hidden in "distribution", etc. charges . You can tell by comparing the kilowatts used at your old residence. If total kilowatts used are roughly similar you are paying a green tax. ( It costs no more to move electricity in NH that MA .)


The biggest users of electric power are the HVAC system, the water heater and believe it or not, your cable box. Yes, those boxes can use up to 600 watts weather or not they are on or off! The cable box alone, if you do not unplug it or have it on a power strip can end up costing you $50 to $60 a month! If I were you, I'd check out all your own electric-powered devices with this gizmo called "Kill a Watt." Its really cool and tells you exactly how much power each device uses and how much per month it will cost you. In addition, I have an electric water heater, and I keep it turned to the lowest setting (it also prevents accidental burns as I use the hot water on full hot all the time). And for your HVAC system, for 100 bucks, you can get a programable wi-fi thermostat. Set it up to match your schedule, and the cool thing is that you got the app on your phone, so you can adjust the temperature anytime you want from anywhere on the planet. When I am at work, my heat is set at 63 degrees; when I am home it is automatically set for 68 degrees. When I travel, my heat is set for 45 degrees, and the cool thing about the app is that I can turn up the heat a few hours before I come home and my house is all warmed up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.