Electric Bills And The Power You Have To Control Them
We all know that summer time is the time of year we dread opening our electric bills. I know it might not feel like it right now in parts of the country, but summer is right around the corner! When I moved to the south along the Gulf Coast 6 years ago, I learned to become very electric bill savvy. Meaning I looked for every way I could to lower that bill in the summer!
The first thing I would suggest is to call your electric company and ask them if they have a level pay plan. What they do is average out your electric bills for the last 12 months. That average is what you will pay each month for the next 12 months. At the end of the next 12 months, they average it again and give you a monthly bill amount for next months. This would happen each year.
We got on the level pay plan with our electric provider a year ago. It was easy, and only took a few minutes. By doing this, we are also saving about $400 each year on our bills! The BEST part of these programs is you can budget your bill for each month knowing it will never change month to month. This part was a lifesaver for us since we could have $80 bills in winter months, then jump to close to $300 bills for the summer months.
Some companies will also come to your house and do a power savings analysis for you. The best way to find out if your electric companies offers this service is to call and just ask them.
Another program I just found out about and this is one you WILL want to call your electric company to inquire about. If your electric provider offers this, you can receive discounts on your bill just by letting them “cycle” when it is EXTREMELY hot and the power grids are working to the max. See the image below for a few more details.
The are many other ways of cutting those high summer electric costs…
- Solar screens
A Solar Screen is a special window screen mesh that is specially designed for Sun Control. It is the most effective way to Control the Sun’s Heat and Glare by stopping it before it enters your window. It is an initial investment up front, but the savings on your electric bills more than pay for that initial up front expense. Call your local screen company, and they will come out, measure your windows, give an estimate. Super easy and well worth it!
- Change the filters
Change the filters in your AC monthly. This keep it clean and running more efficiently.
- Invest in sun blocking curtains
During those hot summer months, especially if you are in the south like me invest in a set of dark, sun blocking curtain panels. These will help keep the direct sun out and the cool AC in.
- Turn the thermostat up a little when you are not home
Whether you are at work all day or if you go on a vacation, there is no need to cool the house when nobody is home. If you have done any of the other tips like sun blocking curtains, or solar screens,you will be keeping the sun’s heat out of the house even if the thermostat is turned up a little.
- Dim those lights
If you are home during the day, there is no need to have all the lights on all day and at their brightest. Dim the lights some.
- Unplug any appliances not in use
I know it is habit to just leave things plugged all the time, but in the summer months when your AC is sometimes running at full strength, save money in other places. Unplug the appliances you are not using. All appliances use electricity even when plugged in.
- Only use oven in early morning or late evening
Don’t use the oven during the middle part of the day. All the oven does is create heat and will make your AC run more. Bake that casserole in the morning and heat up for dinner that night. Bake that cake at night when the sun goes down.
These are just a few of the things I do each summer to combat those outrageous electric bills. How do you keep your bills down in the summer time?