Your electric water heater draws more electricity than almost anything else in your house. Take advantage of most electric companies' off-peak reduced rates by putting your electric heater on a timer that turns off at 6:00 a.m., for example, and clicks back on at 6:00 p.m. Most heaters are big enough and have enough insulation to maintain adequate hot water throughout the day without being switched on. But for those occasions when you want to take a leisurely midday bath, just press a button and it instantly turns the water heater back on.
To save money by making sure you’re only paying for the sewer capacity you’re using, many utilities offer the option to get a separate meter to measure water usage for irrigation, swimming pools and other outdoor uses, says Liskey. Once installed, the meter will be read every month by your utility company and its reading subtracted from your sewage bill.
WRT sealing: We used a temperature gun last winter to determine where we were losing the most heat. Our windows and doors are mostly surprisingly well sealed, and the ones that aren’t have issues in the wall which silicone is not going to fix. However our WORST locations were simply protrusions in the ceiling, specifically around lighting and vents. Mike Holmes (for you DIY junkies) also frequently finds gaps in insulation and so forth. Some of these changes you can make yourself, others you’d want a pro, but there are ways to evaluate the situation so you can be sure your money and energy are spent in such a way to maximize your value.
Many of us here in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is often moderate all year round, don’t even have air conditioning. So tips like “Seal up the house” don’t work for us. If the weather is hot but not scorching, even those in other places may not need air conditioning. What works for that situation is to keep the windows closed during the daytime, then open them wide to get crossdrafts and the cooler air at night. My house is designed so that if we do that, it never gets above 80 degrees indoors even on the rare days that it’s 95 outside.
The growth in wind power and natural gas fueled power will offset the loss in coal over time but for the summer of 2018, expected record demand for electricity will converge with power plant closures to put a squeeze on wholesale electricity rates. This, in turn, will cause the retail electricity prices paid by most Texas consumers to increase. The rise in wholesale rates could be particularly dangerous for consumers who have electricity plans that are tied directly to the wholesale price of electricity.
Utility companies are responsible for transmission and delivery of electricity even in energy deregulated parts of Texas and should be contacted in the event of a power outage. Your retail energy supplier may provide you competitive electric rates or exceptional customer service, but they cannot repair power lines or restore your service. In the case of an emergency, contact:
Many utility companies offer more than one time-of-use policies. These plans may have different hours classified as peak hours, or may even include some “partial-peak” hours that charge less than peak rates, but more than off-peak rates. Many rates will depend not only on the hour that you’re using electricity, but also the season. Summer rates are often higher than winter rates because of energy-intensive air conditioning systems running during hot days. You might also have a plan that has lower peak rates, or fewer peak hours, on the weekends.