Why is my bill higher than expected?

There are many reasons for why your bill may be higher than planned for. We’re here to provide information that can pinpoint what could cause a higher bill.

What has changed since your last bill?



Seasonal change not only brings a difference in temperature, but a difference in energy usage. High bills typically occur when the weather changes and the temperature outside varies greatly from the thermostat setting inside your home.

Appliance and equipment 

Appliances & equipment

Depending on the season, different appliances or equipment may be used. Things like space heaters in the garage, hot tub heating, electric saunas, extra fridges, pool pumps or AC units all can increase energy usage.

Holidays and vacations 

Holidays & vacations

With more people at home, changes in usage can be a result of more outlets being used to power electronics, heating or cooling throughout the day versus it being off during work or earlier days and longer nights of energy usage.

How do I know what is impacting my bill?

  • Seasonal usage
  • Billing & payment
  • Appliances & equipment
  • Rates & schedules

How do seasons impact my bill monthly?

In winter, your heating system is the largest energy user in your home. As the weather gets cooler, the heating system operates longer, increasing your bill. The cooler the weather, the larger difference in your thermostat setting. Your home will be working harder to maintain the setting on your thermostat.


Tip: Set your thermostat as low as comfort permits. Set it even lower when you are away or asleep. The lower the setting, the more savings.

Use space heaters wisely. Operating a space heater can increase your bill. Limit your usage to help reduce your energy bill.


Tip: Get rid of drafts. If you feel cold air coming in, warm air is escaping. Keep windows and doors closed, and use caulk or weather tripping to seal potential leaks.

Winter Break & Holidays may also mean there are more people in the home for longer hours. Increase of outlets and electronics used can increase your bill.

An example energy usage graph showing high or low temperatures increases energy cost 

Why has my bill amount suddenly changed?

If you are on a Budget Payment Plan, your usage will be reviewed periodically and your monthly payment may be adjusted based on changes in your usage or energy prices. If you consistently use more energy than planned, your budget billing amount will go up. An outstanding balance or payment arrangement can also affect the amount of your bill each month.

Bill and payment

How can I make sure my usage is efficient?

Changes such as upgrading your older appliances or unplugging equipment that may be using unnecessary energy can be a quick adjustment to reducing your bill. Our energy usage guide can help you identify how your appliances, electronics, and lighting compare. If you want to go a step further, you can schedule a free Home Energy Assessment to see what in your home can be improved.

Adding new items to your day to day life can also increase your usage. A new electric car, furnace, or hot tub could make a substantial difference from your previous energy bills.

Energy Efficiency 

How do rates change my bill?

Rate filings can decrease or increase your bill throughout the year. For an outline of our most recent filings and how it may change your bill, please visit our rates changes page below.

An image of a PSE bill 

Tools to help manage your bill

Bill Alert

Bill notifications

Want to be notified when you're using more than you think? Setting up your bill alerts will let you know when your energy usage is trending higher than you're expecting, making sure your bill won't come as a surprise.

Set up your bill notifications
Ask an Energy Advisor

Ask an Energy Advisor

The more energy-efficient your home becomes, the lower your bills can be. Talking to one of our Energy Advisors can help you find rebates and savings on energy efficiency upgrades to your living space.

Ask an Energy Advisor
Usage graphs

Keep an eye on your usage

Your usage graphs can help you pinpoint why you're using more energy. Compare your energy costs and usage or take an online home energy analysis to get a personalized annual energy usage breakdown.

View your usage

Need payment assistance?


Bill payment assistance

We offer two programs that can provide funds to help you pay your bill or can help you with free home upgrades and repairs.

Appliance and equipment 

Payment arrangements

We understand there are times when it's more convenient to pay a bill in small payments. We're happy to make that arrangement with you.

Holidays and vacations 

Budget Payment Plan

Want more predictable energy bills? Our Budget Payment Plan evens out your energy costs throughout the year.