Summer is coming and the months of hot temperatures and increasing electricity use are nearly here. The day of writing this, it was almost 90 degrees. It was remarkably early in the season to be in the high 80′s and it has left me wondering just how hot it will get this summer. As a result, I have wondered how much more electricity I will use in the coming months. While I do care about saving the environment, the place where we often see this is the power bill. Finding creative ways to save money on your electricity bill can help you stay in the black on your budget.
- Delay Any Use of A/C Units: If you have window A/C units, delay as long as possible to install and/or use them. While it may be painful for the first days of 80 degree weather, it will reduce your energy use. More importantly, it will allow you to truly enjoy the weeks of warmer weather.
- Keep A/C Unit at Higher Temperature: After you have started to utilize the cherished A/C unit, force yourself to keep it at a degree or two warmer than usual. The only noticeable difference will be in your energy bill.
- Keep Blinds Closed: Make sure to keep your blinds closed during the hottest part of the day. While you may enjoy the view, failing to properly shut out the sun can allow extra heat to permeate your windows.
- Enjoy the Outdoors: While it may not be possible everyday, getting outside can help keep your mind off the heat and perhaps expose you to a cooling breeze. The summer activities like taking a walk or hike, going for a bike ride, playing Frisbee are great alternatives to watching TV, a huge energy usage during the winter months.
- Unplug Unused Appliances: Another popular tip these days is to unplug appliances that are not being used. The phantom charge can account for up to 10% of your energy bill.
- Turn off Computer(s): I am one of the first people to be guilty of this. It is much easier to keep my computer on over night (in sleep mode though) because of the convenience factor. It is much easier to open up the computer and login rather than wait for the computer to boot up. Computers are a big source of energy usage in homes today.
- Ensure Windows/Doors are Properly Insulated: Insulation is not just for the winter months. Making sure that seals are functional and windows/doors are up-to-date can go a long ways to preventing cool air to escape.
- Eat Cold Food: While I enjoy grilling in the summer, I also make a point to eat some cold food. This serves two purposes. It keeps my body temperature lower and prevents any unnecessary cooking.
Lowering your energy bill in general is all about being aware of the cause of increased energy use and finding creative ways to overcome it. These will help you get started and I am sure you will think of many other tips to help you save money so that you can enjoy the things you really care about.