What’s ahead for Energy Rates in 2015?

Energy rates in the US are going up fast. Rates have been consistently going up every single year, but next year is expected to see an especially sharp rise. Energy rates in 2015 for Chicago, for example, are expected to increase the average energy bill by $130; energy suppliers in Connecticut and Nevada are seeking government approval for rate hikes in 2015 right now. In total, the US Energy Information Agency expects rates to rise by about 5 percent in 2015.Why is this happening?

Passing the blame around

Before we delve into why energy rates in the US are going way up in 2015, let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t be blaming for the rate hikes:

Playing politics

As it is with any issue related to economics, public safety citizen’s rights (or anything else for that matter), the issue of higher energy rates in 2015 is being heavily politicized.

Democrats and Republicans, for example, have been trading barbs about who holds the most blame for the impending 2015 rate hikes. Both sides, of course, overlook important facts in their arguments as they try to spin this issue into a political win. The truth is that recent actions taken by neither side of the political spectrum holds much blame for the impending rate hikes.

Energy suppliers in the US blaming the sun

Politics aren’t just a politician’s game, as a few energy suppliers in the US seem desperate to prove. Many energy suppliers are actually blaming renewable energy for increases in the rate hikes. They aren’t talking about the cost of installing a renewable infrastructure when they make their arguments either. Energy suppliers are literally blaming solar panel owners for not using their services.

In essence, some energy suppliers are boldly proclaiming that they are going to charge you more because some customers have stopped using their service (not because energy has actually gotten any more expensive). This type of activity, however, is spotty, so it cannot be seen as a major reason for the large jump in overall rates.

Why are energy rates in the US really going up?

Now that you know what to ignore, let’s take a look at the real reasons why energy rates are going up across the United States:

Weather

This year, energy rates have been heavily impacted by the weather. In Connecticut, for example, energy suppliers are increasing rates as a direct result of difficulties caused by unexpected levels of energy use during the surprisingly cold, snowy winter. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, California and Ohio are just a few of the other states that are experiencing the same issues. This winter is projected to produce a similar outcome.

Supply shortages

The 2013-2014 winter also caused energy supply shortages from which the energy industry is still trying to recover. This, along with the heightened demand of the impending winter, will mean that the shortage could possibly get worse, further driving up rates.

Is there anything that I can do to prevent my energy bill from going up in 2015?

The fact that energy rates in the US are going up fast doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to pay more to your energy supplier. Here are a couple of ways to start reducing your energy costs right now:

Use less energy

Believe it or not, using less energy doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice anything. This is due to the fact that you don’t use a large chunk of the energy that you consume. Here is a list of ways that you can cut into your energy use:

  • Turn off lights you aren’t using
  • Close your blinds during the summer to keep your house cooler
  • Use surge protectors for everything and switch them off when you leave the room
  • Upgrade your lighting to CFLs or LED lighting
  • Use an automatic thermostat that turns your HVAC off when you leave

Switch energy suppliers

Many states have given their energy customers the power to choose. This means that energy suppliers in these states offer competitive rates in order to attract your business; switching energy suppliers and locking in a low rate will shield you from the 2015 rate hikes. To learn more about how to switch, visit MakeTheSwitchUSA.com.