Electricity bill is skyrocketing to $450!
I'm not sure if anyone else is going through this in Los Angeles/Moreno Valley so I'm reaching out if this is normal. I have a 2000 sqft home with 5 rooms that's currently being rented out by tenants. Utilities are included in the rent price. My gas, water, and waste service come out to a steady/normal amount, but only my electricity bill skyrocketed to $312 in January for 3 tenants and is estimated to be $450 in February for 5 tenants. Previously, it was $100 for December when there was only two tenants in the house. Is this the amount of electricity bill that I should be exacting for a 5 people household during this cold weather?
I know that one of my tenant uses an oil filled radiant space heater for 24/7 because it helps her fall asleep and keeps her warm. It didn't realize that this would make the electricity bill come out to $300-450. I have to admit that the house does get really cold, but I'm able to endure it if I wear a jacket and fleece pants, but I know that my comfort level is different from others. I was thinking of a few ways to approach this situation, but it would help me greatly if you guys can give me some advice on this and how you guys would approach this situation.
In the lease agreement, it states that a tenant must get a written permission if "changing the amount of heat or power normally used on the property as well as installing additional electrical wiring or heating unit." so I have rights to ask the tenant to pause her space heater. I was thinking about first asking her if she's open to contributing to only the electricity bill. Her contract ends on June 10th this year so it's only a few months away, but I'm okay with terminating the contract early if she must have her space heater on 24/7. No one turns on the central heater at home so should I install a smart thermostat to keep the house at a consistent temperature? What if I install the smart thermostat and the electric bill goes even higher? Or should I no longer include utilities for my next tenants? What would you guys do in my situation?