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Why does my bill go up in the summer?

Florida’s summer heat and humidity put a huge strain on air conditioners (A/C). To keep your home or business comfortable, your A/C must run longer. This means more electricity use and, thus, higher bills.

Did you know that when it’s hot outside, your A/C is your home’s biggest energy user and has the greatest impact on your bill? Your air conditioner works to remove heat from the indoor air and transfers it outside. The hotter the temperature is, the harder the system has to work. Your A/C alone can account for more than 50 percent of your utility bill during the summer months.

A Hot Summer Day & Your Energy Use

High Summer Bill Infographic

Your Energy Use Throughout the Year

High Summer Bill Graph

The Hot Summer Day infographic helps tell the story of an average home on a hot summer day. Notice how much longer your A/C must run during the hottest time of day (typically in the early afternoon). Even with the recommended thermostat setting of 78 degrees, your A/C has to run almost nonstop because of the 20-degree difference between the outside temperature and the desired indoor temperature. It’s important to understand that once the outside temperature and desired indoor temperature exceed 20 degrees, the A/C in an inefficient home with low insulation or an undersized A/C may not cycle off and reach the desired indoor temperature.

The Higher Temps = Higher Bills infographic depicts an entire year of energy use. Summer’s high temperatures, especially July through September, strain your A/C, leading to higher energy usage and higher bills than other times of the year.

Get energy insights with your interactive bill

With your interactive bill, you can view and compare daily, monthly and yearly usage reports to help you better manage your energy usage.

View this short video to learn how to access your interactive bill and take advantage of the many benefits it provides.

What can I do to lower my bill?

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees. If you go away for more than four hours, increase your thermostat to 82 degrees or higher.
  • Run ceiling fans in occupied rooms and raise your thermostat. Small changes can make a big difference—for every degree higher you set your thermostat, you can lower your energy use by about seven percent.
  • Inspect and/or change air-conditioning filters monthly and ensure they are installed in the correct direction (look for directional arrows on the side of the filter). Get more hot weather energy-saving tips.

Savings Programs

Our energy experts recommend you start out by completing an Online Energy Audit that provides insights and recommendations on your energy usage. If you’re a business customer, check out our free in-facility Energy Audit.

Tampa Electric offers more than 30 energy-saving programs, more than any utility in the state. Our free Energy Planner and Prime Time Plus programs include a free smart thermostat that you can program for additional savings. Check out these programs and select the one that’s right for you. In addition, we also offer rebates on smart thermostats, ceiling insulation, and more.

Learn about these programs

Other resources that can help

  • In 2023, our Share program donated more than $1.3 million to help more than 3,600 neighbors in need pay their utility bills. If you or someone you care for needs help to make a utility bill payment, we encourage you to call 211.
  • Tampa Electric’s free Budget Billing program averages your electric bills over 12 months, making your monthly payments consistent and manageable.
  • Some customers may qualify for assistance from government and nonprofit programs for household expenses and utility bills. Residential customers can call 211 to speak to a representative. Learn more about additional resources on financial assistance available to business customers.

Lower bills in 2024

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Tampa Electric’s request for a fuel cost reduction starting in June 2024 due to lower natural gas prices. This is the second reduction in 2024. With the PSC’s approval of the fuel cost reduction, beginning in June 2024, the typical residential customer’s monthly energy bill decreased by about 5 percent, or $7, to $136.44 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of use from the $143.48 customers paid prior to June. The average commercial and industrial customer’s monthly energy bill decreased between 4 percent and 11 percent, depending on usage.


Higher Temps Mean Higher Energy Bills