Understanding Your Bill
Electric bills rendered by MEA are due monthly on the due date listed on the bill. Contact us to request a change of due date if the one currently assigned to you does not meet your needs.
MEA’s Budget Billing program allows you to “even out” your electric bills, paying the same amount each month. This makes budgeting money for your electric bill easier. Any residential member in good standing whose home has had continuous electrical service for 12 months is eligible to participate.
Your meter will continue to be read on a monthly basis, and you’ll continue to receive a monthly bill as you have in the past. The bill will indicate your current kilowatt-hour consumption and your current budget billing amount.
Each June, your budget billing amount will be recalculated to ensure accuracy. Any credit or debit accrued by this time will automatically be applied to future bills.
You can sign up for budget billing April 1 through May 31 by contacting us. Participation is not mandatory and may be discontinued by either the member or MEA at any time.
Get more info on our Budget Billing page.
Why has my electric bill suddenly changed?
Whether your electric bill has spiked suddenly or simply gotten higher over time, there are a variety of things to review. Establish what is “normal” for your household by looking at kilowatt hours (KWH) used over time. A typical three-person Alaskan household uses about 800 KWH per month. Your “normal” might be higher or lower.
Spikes in KWH can be attributed to additional use of appliances such as clothes dryers, portable electric heaters, kitchen ranges, water heaters, etc.
Longer-term increases in KWH can come from older appliances becoming less efficient, weather extremes, additional people using electricity in the household, increased rates, etc. Check out our Energy-Saving Tips page for more information.
Review your bill to make sure it is accurate; contact MEA if you see a mistake.
You can also check your system for electrical shorts or leaks. Shut off all the breakers and see if the meter is still spinning.
- If it is there is an electrical short in something plugged into one of your breakers. Doing a breaker test will identify what breaker the suspect item is plugged into: Make sure the meter doesn’t run when everything is turned off. That way when you start turning appliances back on to measure their use, you can be sure you’re measuring only that appliance and not some other appliance as well. To do this turn off every light in the house and physically unplug every appliance from the wall, (simply turning it off isn’t good enough for some appliances). Once everything that can be unplugged is unplugged, and the rest is turned off, flip the breakers back on one at a time and verify that the meter does or does not still spin. If it does not still spin you have unplugged the item with the short. Plugging each item in one at a time will determine the bad item. Once the bad item has been identified, discard it.
- If your meter stopped cold when you turned off all the breakers it means you do not have a short in your system. Turn the main breaker(s) back on again, but keep the inside breakers turned off. Next check each individual inside breaker. Do this by turning one on, and then turning on one item on the breaker, like a light, and then look at the meter to see how fast the meter is moving. If the light appears to measure correctly, then turn it off, and start turning on other items and measuring them. At this point your assumption is that one of your devices is drawing more power than it should, such as your hot water heater or your refrigerator. Use an appliance energy guide to figure what your total use should be.