I want to understand my energy use
Confused by your energy bill? Want to have a better idea of what uses the most energy in your home, how much you are using, and what you’re paying?
Understand Your Energy Bill
We can help you understand every line of your bill. Once you understand your bill, you will be able to find out how to pay less each month by making simple changes in your home.
Learn to Read Your Bill
Select your energy provider to better understand your bill:
Selling Your Home?
If you are selling your home, Montgomery County requires home sellers to provide an Energy Disclosure Form. This document will inform the buyers of the energy cost and consumption history.
This requirement is intended to ensure that the home buyer is informed of the home’s energy performance before the sale, and provides options to finance energy efficiency improvements.
Learn more about the requirements with this document.Back to Top
Find Out What Uses the Most Energy in Your Home
Heating your home still uses the most energy. Even though energy use for air conditioning has doubled since 1980, appliances and electronics now officially account for nearly one-third of all the energy used in American households.
Take a look at the breakdown of energy use at Energy Use In Homes at EIA.gov.
The Department of Energy also has an appliance and electronic energy use calculator that allows you to estimate your annual energy use and cost to operate specific products.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey
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What is Conservation and Efficiency?
When talking about reducing our energy bills, we tend to hear two terms used often and sometimes interchangeably. Here are some ways to define these terms and some examples:
- Energy conservation – not using energy or using less energy
- Turning off the lights when you leave a room
- Adjusting your hot water heater to 120 degrees
- Keeping the thermostat set at 68 in the winter, 78 in the summer
- Energy efficiency – not wasting energy by doing more with the same amount of energy or switching technologies
- Choosing LED light bulbs instead of mercury-containing compact fluorescent (CFL) or incandescent bulbs
- Purchasing ENERGY STAR® appliances
- Installing a programmable thermostat
If you are looking for more concrete ways to lower your utility bills, visit our Lower My Bill tab and you will also find ways to pay for projects there as well.
If you are looking for specific energy projects, visit My Green Montgomery’s Projects & Incentives page.Back to Top
Choose Your Energy Supplier
As a Maryland resident, you have the option to choose who supplies your electricity.
Maryland is an energy choice state where customers can choose their electricity and natural gas providers. Some suppliers regularly offer rates and service that are 10% or more cheaper than the utility company.
If you choose your own supplier, there will be no change in the way your electricity or natural gas will come to your house – it will still be delivered to your home by your local utility company, but you can choose a less-expensive supplier to generate the energy and keep more money in your pocket.
- Find an energy supplier that meets your needs – visit The Maryland Public Service Commission
- Interested in switching to green energy – visit My Green Montgomery
- Have questions about the legitimacy of an energy supplier – visit the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection
How electricity gets to your home
Electricity is carried to your home along a network of power equipment and power lines. Electricity leaves the power plant through high power transmission lines to substations. The substations transmit the electricity through power lines into your neighborhood and through the meter on the side of your home.
Visit BGE’s Energy Basics page to learn more about how electricity and natural gas are delivered to your home.Back to Top
Background of Energy in Maryland
There are different sources of energy in Maryland
Did you know that there are many different sources that supply the state with our electricity? Power plants can generate electricity from fuel resources like nuclear, coal, and natural gas or renewable energy sources such as water, heat, wind, and the sun. You can find a statewide profile overview by visiting Energy Information Administration (EIA)
See how your home is powered by selecting your electricity provider:
Maryland Public Service Commission also created a video that provides a closer look at specific elements of energy choice: “How are electricity and gas delivered to our homes and businesses? And how do the energy choices we make affect how this happens?”
Your energy choices help Montgomery County reach its goal.
It might not seem like much, but every little step you take to conserve energy and become more energy efficient helps Montgomery County get closer to reaching its Greenhouse Gas Emissions goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions – 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. Track our goals and progress.
What is EmPOWER Maryland?
EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your energy bill. EmPOWER programs can help you lower your energy consumption and save you money. To learn more about EmPOWER and how you can participate, click here.
Because there are so many choices in Maryland, we want to make sure that you are not scammed!
The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection has identified the most common ways that residents experience energy scams, here are some warning signs and ways to protect yourself!
Utility Cutoff Phone Scams
- At a Glance: Someone posing as a utility or a water company representative calls you to tell you that your utility or water will be turned off immediately.
- Warning Signs: Threatens to cut off your power immediately, demands immediate payment (gift card, wire transfer or app), and asks for your account # or SSN#.
- Protect Yourself: Do not provide them with your information, hang up and call your utility/water provider at a number from your bill, report the incident to the Office of Consumer Protection.
Home Energy Audit Scams
- At a Glance: Someone posing as utility representative asks to come into your house to provide you with a free energy audit.
- Warning Signs: Pretends to be the energy company or reputable business, Has no proof of employment or ID, tries to convince you to buy their product or service.
- Protect Yourself: Close your door, contact your utility supplier and ask if they had contractors in your area, report the incident to the Office of Consumer Protection, if interested in an audit, schedule an audit through your utility supplier.
Switching Utility Companies Scams
- At a Glance: Someone posing as a representative from the utility.
- Warning Signs: Claims to be from your utility company or government, Has no proof of employment or ID, demands to see your bill or they won’t leave.
- Protect Yourself: Close the door, research suppliers to decide which is the best fit for you, report the incident to the Office of Consumer Protection.
Water Filter Scams
- At a Glance: Someone posing as a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency or WSSC comes to your home to let you know that your water is
contaminated and that you may need to purchase a new product.
- Warning Signs: Has no proof of employment or ID, conducts “tests” to show your water is contaminated, tries to sell expensive water purification equipment.
- Protect Yourself: Close the door, research products to decide which is the best fit for you, report the incident to the Office of Consumer Protection.
The Maryland Public Service Commission also have videos to help you address scams. Here are the top energy scams, we know about. If you have others to share, please email them to email@example.com.
- Energy choice: How to handle a telemarketer sales call
Energy choice: How to handle a door-to-door sales pitch
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If your utility costs are included in your housing bill, click here