Americans look forward to summer vacation all year, but the warmer weather can also bring it’s own set of challenges. The heat is great for a beach vacation, but it also makes the average energy bill go through the roof. Air conditioning represents the largest use of electricity in American homes, and that statistic is unlikely to change with the record high temperatures that the United States has already seen this year. Alternative energy companies encourage consumers to think differently about their power suppliers for environmental reasons, but there are also economic advantages involved.
Here are Three Ways Homeowners can Slim Down Their Summer Electricity Bills.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Update your appliances.
Alternative energy companies often suggest an energy audit, or an appliance-by-appliance look at where your home uses electricity. Out dated TVs and old refrigerators can be significant drains on your energy bank. It may be more cost effective to replace those appliances than to pay for their inefficiency. For instance, modern refrigerators are 60% less expensive than they were in 1975, and they use 75% less energy.
This means you can abandon that weird ice cave in the back of the freezer and save. Heating and cooling systems are especially big drains, so think about your hot water heater, oven, and microwave in addition to your fridge. Updating appliances is a great way to slim your energy bill before you consider alternative energy companies.
- Consider alternative power companies.
The energy market is slowly shifting and becoming more competitive.Previously, regulated markets meant that only one power provider supplied all aspects of a home’s energy and the cost was controlled publicly. Deregulated markets allow companies to become innovative and compete to offer the best services for the best price. The deregulation of electricity markets isn’t about making the power supply less controlled; it’s about letting new technology improve the market. Look into your options and decide what’s best for your energy needs.
Even before alternative electricity suppliers become involved, homeowners can reduce their summer spending by installing and programming a smart thermostat. This appliance can maintain your desired room temperature to keep you comfortable. Heating and cooling systems will kick on and off as needed, rather than working continuously.
Motivated homeowners can even set temperature changes according to time of day, so that their system isn’t burning energy to keep the house cool while everyone is away at work. The result is an efficient heating and cooling system that expends less energy. Programmable thermostats save consumers an average of 10% on their yearly energy bills.
These are just three ways a homeowner can reduce the cost of cooling their home this summer. It’s important to think about environmental impact of power choices, but there are also immediate concerns–like monthly cost–that homeowners need to consider. The average American household, with no alternative energy sources, spends $107 per month on electricity. By making a few, small changes, homeowners can live comfortably this summer, both with their bills and with the summer heat.