If you’re wondering why it is that your energy budget will suddenly go up one month, then back down another, you would do well to seek out the answer. There are a few factors that might affect the cost of energy and gas, and some of them are actually within your power to control. Some things are just part of life and living in a certain area of the country, while other things are areas that you can work in to change your habits and make your costs more affordable. The following are four factors that affect the price of your electricity, and how you can learn to take them into account when budgeting.

1. How Much You Use

The amount of energy your home uses affects your monthly energy bill in a very direct and obvious way. Each kilowatt hour you use is an hour you have to pay for. But besides that, many energy companies also charge higher rates for those who use over a certain amount of energy, in an attempt to help them to reserve energy and not waste power. Keeping your power usage to a minimum can help you dually, in other words.

2. How Much Generation Costs

A factor affecting energy costs that is beyond your control is the cost incurred by the energy companies in producing the energy. This varies from company to company, depending on what power source they use, how effectively they run their plants, and how big of an area they cover. You could change the cost by switching to a more efficient and reliable company, if you want to save a bit extra.

3. How Much Getting the Power to You Costs

It also costs the company money to get the power all the way out to you, which might mean that using a local energy supplier is a better deal. This isn’t always true, but it’s worth looking into.

4. How Clean the Energy Is

The government charges extra fees to those who don’t use clean, eco-friendly power sources, and offer those that do more tax breaks and easier prices. Upgrading to a better power provider can help you to reduce costs, not to mention aid you in decreasing your carbon footprint.

You can see what other options are out there for you to be able to get more affordable energy, and to help you pay only what’s absolutely necessary every month. Compare energy prices with an online service, and take time to find plans and providers that will work for you.