Tips for Saving Money on Summer Electricity

Tips for Saving Money on Summer Electricity

Summer is here and making its presence known with these high temps. Summer utility bills are typically the highest bills of the year. However, small changes can lead to big savings on your next electric bill. Give your wallet a rest with these summer electric savings tips:

  • Watch the Temps – Being hot and sweaty is no fun, I think we can all agree on that. However, your air conditioning accounts for 50-70% of your electric bill, so you can’t afford to ignore it. If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider having one installed. Here’s why: for every degree you raise the thermostat during a 24-hour period, you will save 2-4% on your cooling costs. That can add up quickly over a 30-day period! Is there a period every day when no one is home? If so, you could save 7-10% per month just by programming your thermostat at 78 degrees (or higher) for those hours the house is empty. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get in the habit of raising the temperature before you leave for the day. You don’t have to sweat it out to save money, but there’s no need to freeze out an empty house!
  • Insulation Pays! – Adding insulation will deliver instant savings on your next electric bill. Whether you hire a professional or DIY, consider this short term cost for long term monthly savings. Insulation will often pay for itself in terms of savings in a matter of months and raise the comfort level in your house.
  • Peep Your Plan – When is the last time you checked up on your electricity plan?Choosing the right plan for your lifestyle can offer significant savings. For example, some plans have off-peak hours or even free hours of usage. If you have an electricity plan that has free electricity from 7-10pm, run your dishwasher and laundry during the free hours. It will add up over time! If you don’t know which plan you are on or haven’t updated recently, log on to your electric provider’s website (or call them) to availability in your area.
  • Say NO to energy suckers! – Do you have vampire electronics? Seriously, sounds crazy, but it’s a thing. A “vampire electronic” is a gadget that still sucks power anytime it is plugged in, even when turned off. TVs and computers are some of the biggest offenders, but take a look around at how many devices you have plugged in—the number of devices may surprise you. According to the US Department of Energy, a cable TV box with DVR capabilities left plugged in and “off” will cost $43.46 a year (it doubles if you actually use it). If your house has 25 appliances that are always plugged in, you can see how the vampire euphemism comes in to play—your money is literally being sucked away by energy that you never really use. Two relatively easy solutions for the problem are to either unplug appliances/devices when not in use (best for sporadically used electronics) or use a power strip that you can shut off when not in use (like a TV or computer). I know it sounds ridiculous, but the money they are sucking through the plugs is very real.

Saving energy and the hurt from a summer electric bill can be accomplished without making drastic changes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to ditch the electric bill altogether; but with a few smart moves, your wallet can certainly get a little greener.

Lisa Priest loves the summer except for that light bill and is a Palestine, Texas Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com