Saving Energy and Lowering Your Electric Bill This Summer
It’s officially summer in Texas. That’s according to the calendar, of course. If you’re judging by the heat, summer’s been here at least a month, and it’s already getting hotter.
We haven’t seen multiple 100-degree days yet, but we’ve seen plenty of 90-something degree days with the “real feel” as high as 121 degrees. And, energy companies are already asking us to conserve energy during certain hours of the day to avoid rolling blackouts.
Here are some tips for conserving energy which will also lower your monthly bill.
- Unplug all appliances and electronics not in use
Sure…it’s easier to keep them all plugged in 24/7, but only plugging in the ones you are using will actually save you up to several hundred dollars a year. It will also make your electronics less susceptible to damage if there’s a power surge…i.e. rolling blackouts.
- Upgrade to a smart thermostat
Different studies claim different savings, but on average, you can save about 15% on the cost of cooling your home when you have a smart thermostat. This is because smart thermostats use a combination of scheduling, geofencing and motion sensing to know when to turn the heat up or down. You can also save money with a simple programmable thermostat by setting it and forgetting it.
- Turn up the temperature when nobody is home
The U.S. Energy Department suggests setting your thermostat to somewhere in the 80s. If that is too warm for you (we are in Texas, after all), a good rule of thumb is raising the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. That will save you up to 10% a year on your energy bill.
- Limit your hot water usage
This may not be too challenging during the summer. Your water heater accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Take shorter showers or cooler showers, and wash clothing in cold water as often as possible.
- Turn your lights/fans off and switch to LED bulbs
Keep the lights and fans off in rooms nobody is occupying and switch all of the lightbulbs in your home to LED bulbs for optimal energy conservation.
And remember, the more people who conserve energy during peak times, the lower the chances of rolling blackouts in Texas this summer.