Long summer days bring many welcome changes to everyday life. Well, there’s one notable exception: higher energy bills.
There are several reasons why our electricity rates are higher during the summer. First, the warmer weather leads to a greater reliance on our air conditioners. Also, we tend to spend more time staying at home and using our electronics.
Still, there are a few ways you can conserve electricity without making major lifestyle changes. Here they are, in no particular order:
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Tired of adjusting your thermostat several times a day? By using a programmable thermostat, you can schedule your home’s temperature ahead of time. If you already have one, set it up so that your air conditioner doesn’t need to run all the time.
These days, you can get a programmable thermostat for as little as $30. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, many smart thermostats come with bonus features. For instance, they can learn your preferences and adjust the temperature automatically.
Many people assume that turning the TV off stops it from drawing power. This is not the case — most large electronics consume power at all times. The only way to stop them is to unplug them from the wall whenever you’re not using them.
If this seems like too much of a hassle, consider getting a smart power strip. They can reduce your electricity usage by cutting off power when it’s not needed.
Choose Your Electricity Company Wisely
Depending on which state you reside in, you may have the power to choose which electricity company you want to make use of. Some states are deregulated in electricity, which means that competitors can enter the electricity generation – and wholesale market and then sell to retail suppliers. Deregulated electricity is not controlled by government restrictions, which means that fortunately, the electric company you choose to make use of can offer you plans and rates that best fit your lifestyle and budget.
As we mentioned above, air conditioners get a lot of use during the summer. One way to offset their impact is to start using floor and ceiling fans. As a rule of thumb, these devices require far less energy than manipulating a thermostat.
See, fans cool us down by circulating air around instead of supplying cold air. They don’t decrease a room’s temperature, so don’t put them in rooms you’re not using.
Keep the Lights Off
One of the great things about summer is that it provides plenty of natural light. Take advantage of that and keep the lights off during the daytime. This reduces our reliance on bulbs and stops them from releasing more heat.
Of course, natural light warms up the interior by itself. If this heat gets too intense, open your windows to let the breeze inside instead of turning on the AC.
Consider the Laundry
Doing laundry once or twice a week is another major source of energy consumption. To cut down your electric bill, wash your clothes with cold water. Also, hang your clothes on a line outside instead of using a machine to dry them.
Among all the tips on our list, this one should result in the biggest savings. If your bills still seem a bit high, consider switching your energy supplier. Third-party sites such as Electricity Scout can help you get the most bang for your buck.
More on How to Conserve Electricity
By following a few of these tips, you should see a change in your energy bills. The degree to which they’ll help depends on your ability to stick with them. The more you’re willing to adjust, the more consistent your savings will get.
Want to know more about how to conserve electricity? Looking for other ways to improve your home’s efficiency? Check out other finance-related articles on our site!