When you need an electrician in the Ashburn area, look no further than Kolb Electric! Our electrical contractors are highly trained and certified and can provide the best solution for the job, whether it’s new wiring installation, ceiling fan installation, or electrical inspections using infrared thermography. Contact us for any electrical services you need—call us today or fill out our online form!
With a product like TP-Link's smart plugs, you can easily turn anything that's plugged into them on or off with your smartphone, or better still, your voice. So the next time you're left wondering if you remembered to turn off the hallways light when you went to work or realized that you meant to unplug the coffee maker to save just a bit of energy (and money), you can both check and take action with the touch of a button.

During the summer, electric bills can skyrocket. There are some simple energy saving techniques that can help you lower electricity bills in the summertime. For best results, implement more than one method. If you are trying to cut down costs at home or work, talk to your family members, roommates, or coworkers so they know how to save energy, too.
The electric power industry covers the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electric power to the general public and industry. The commercial distribution of electric power started in 1882 when electricity was produced for electric lighting. In the 1880s and 1890s, growing economic and safety concerns lead to the regulation of the industry. Once an expensive novelty limited to the most densely populated areas, reliable and economical electric power has become an essential aspect for normal operation of all elements of developed economies.
Don’t worry about losing the settings on new computers and TVs. They have a memory chip that resets everything when you power back up. If you have an old VCR or other devices that flash when the power goes out, keep it plugged in. Some power strips have a few outlets that always have power even when you flip off the switch. This type of strip has a main outlet for the computer. When you turn off the computer, the strip also shuts down other devices, such as your scanner, printer or modem.
In order for an air conditioning unit to function efficiently, its filters, coils, and fins must be maintained regularly. Simply put: a clean air conditioner is an effective one. The most crucial piece of maintenance that will ensure the maximization of your air conditioner is routinely replacing or cleaning its filters. Clogged and dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. Dirt and debris in the unit will obstruct airflow and possibly impair the evaporator. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

In the Northern Hemisphere, while south-facing roofs are typically where solar panels will generate the highest amount of electricity, panels on western-facing roofs will generate the most during peak hours. Because of this, it’s a good idea to talk to your solar installer about the best design for your system so that you maximize your solar savings under your TOU plan.
Net metering is another billing mechanism that supports the development of renewable power generation, specifically, solar power. The mechanism credits solar energy system owners for the electricity their system adds to the grid. Residential customers with rooftop PV system will typically generate more electricity than their home consumes during daylight hours, so net metering is particularly advantageous. During this time where generation is greater than consumption, the home’s electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit on the homeowner’s electricity bill.[3]
The majority of the rates advertised by electricity providers are for new customers only. These rates aren’t necessarily teaser rates but it is something to be aware of. When it comes time to renew your electricity contract, your provider will notify you at least 30 days before your plan expires and include a new offer. Chances are the new rate won’t be as good as what you’ve been paying. Even though your provider may say this is the ‘best offer available’ and ‘act now’ before it expires, you should still shop around just to make sure. But whatever you do, don’t ignore the contract expiration notification.
Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money—and a place everyone can start. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This can save you up to $35 in electric costs over the lifetime of each bulb. Switching to CFLs in the five most frequently used fixtures in your house will save about $60 per year, according to Energy Star.
No outdoor space would truly be complete without a large patio umbrella, and the Hampton Bay Solar Offset umbrella is perfect for serving a wide range of purposes. With its 11-foot diameter, this handy piece of furniture will provide a much needed break from the hot sun, and will keep you safe from overexposure, while still allowing you to lounge outside.
Air leakage occurs when air from the outside enters and conditioned air leaves your house through cracks and openings. Although you may not notice it, this makes it harder and more expensive for you to ventilate your home. Reducing the flow of air leaking in and out of your home is a cost-effective way to cut the price of cooling and maximize the functionality of your air conditioning system. Caulking and weather-stripping are the two most simple and effective air-sealing techniques that offer quick returns after investing. Caulk is used to fill cracks and openings between stationary and foundational house components, such as around door and window frames, and weather-stripping is used to seal operational components, such as doors and operable windows.
Dishwashers require some heat to do a good job. Part of the cleaning process requires quite a bit of hot water. That said, drying your dishes doesn't. Most machines employ a heated dry method that you can disable. Heated drying helps prevent water spots on your dishes, but so do rinsing agents like Jet Dry. If you already use a rinsing agent, you can forego the heated dry method. This is because rinsing agents coat your dishes and make it difficult for water to stick to them for a limited time. Your dishwasher releases the agent later in the cycle so it can clean effectively first, too, so you don't have to worry about water being repelled at the wrong time. If you've never used a rinsing agent before, it's very easy. You simply look for a small, often circular cap on your dishwasher's door, unscrew it, and load it up with your rinsing agent until full. Then just stop the dishwasher once it enters the heated dry stage and let everything dry on its own.
When you compare energy suppliers near you, you can switch to choose a new company that will bill and manage your account. This doesn’t mean that meters, wires, poles, or the quality of electricity supply to your home will change in any way. The only change that will be made is in selecting a cheaper electricity retailer with lower rates to manage your electricity account.

Switching electricity supplier could shave pounds off your bills. But it’s not always about how much hard cash you could save. You might be fed up with poor customer service, you might want greater visibility of your usage through an app or you might want to choose your supplier based on their green credentials, or whether they supply a smart meter.


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.

Comprised of a team of Project Managers, Engineers, and Technicians, the Sachs Automation and Industrial Group provides full-service electrical and automation design, procurement, installation, calibration and start-up support for industrial and heavy industrial projects. We can complete projects of virtually any size utilizing the full resources the Sachs Family of Companies has to offer.


*Save Over £390 - Over 10% of the estimated quotations raised by users of the Simply Switch Website to switch their gas and electricity suppliers between 01/02/2015 - 01/06/2015 produced a predicted annual saving of £390 or more. Current combined spend for gas and electricity of between £84 and £6869. Savings may have included Direct Debit and online discounts. Energy prices vary by usage and postcode.

You may be asking yourself: What the heck does “fixed rate electricity” mean and why should I even think about getting it? By choosing a fixed rate electricity plan, you’ll get more price consistency month-to-month and probably even save a little cash over time because your electricity rate stays the same for the duration of your utility contract.1
Studies show that generally demand for electricity is driven largely by temperature. Heating demand in the winter and cooling demand (air conditioners) in the summer are what primarily drive the seasonal peaks in most regions. Heating degree days and cooling degree days help measure energy consumption by referencing the outdoor temperature above and below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, a commonly accepted baseline.[123]
The majority of the rates advertised by electricity providers are for new customers only. These rates aren’t necessarily teaser rates but it is something to be aware of. When it comes time to renew your electricity contract, your provider will notify you at least 30 days before your plan expires and include a new offer. Chances are the new rate won’t be as good as what you’ve been paying. Even though your provider may say this is the ‘best offer available’ and ‘act now’ before it expires, you should still shop around just to make sure. But whatever you do, don’t ignore the contract expiration notification.
I read on this blog last year about making some makeshift curtains from emergency blankets and tension curtain rods. Because I live in a short-term rental, I didn’t want to shell out alot of money for blackout curtains, so I bought the tension curtain rods at a yard sale and some of the space blankets and set them up in the windows where the hottest sun comes in. Even on 90 degree plus days, I haven’t used my air conditioning once. I have used it one day when the outside air temp hit over 100, but even then I could have it set warmer than I usually do. Also moving all cooking outside with electric appliances such as a toaster oven (I have even used it to make pies) and maybe an electric skillet or burner an radically reduce cooling needs if you have an outside outlet. My electric bills are nearly half what they were last year.

There are over 60 different energy suppliers competing for your business on any given day in Texas. Many of these electric companies have websites that are confusing and nearly impossible to navigate, their rates and fees hidden by dense industry jargon and misleading advertising. Who has the spare the time to sort through the choices spread out over all these different sites and companies?

Keep the thermostat as cool as you comfortably can during the winter. You should also acquire a programmable thermostat, if you don't already have one, and set the temperature lower at night. Not only will this lower your electric bill, it will also help you sleep, since cooler temperatures promote healthy sleep. Close off rooms you do not use frequently as well, rather than trying to keep them at the same temperature as the rest of the house.
Electric rates for companies vary greatly by industry and function. Although homes come in all shapes and sizes, businesses have larger variations with diverse needs – from industrial buildings to mom-and-pop businesses. In August, for example, the average business in Indiana paid 10.35 cents per kWh. With this number, we can deduce that on average companies in the state paid about $650 that month for electricity.    
I think the cold cold air in offices makes it harder to adjust when you leave – working from home (with no AC, though when it was 100 degrees out I did find an air-conditioned place to work), I adjust to hot temperatures really fast and my summer nights are very tolerable. When I used to spend 8-9 hours a day in freezing cold offices, it was a lot harder to adjust to the real temperature.
Place your bowls and cups on the top row. Cups should face down and bowls at a slanted downward angle. If you don't face rounded items downward, water will get caught inside them and may not reach the lower dishes as much as it needs to. A similar effect occurs when you place bowls and cups on the lower rack, as they'll catch water when facing upwards and block water from the top rack when facing downwards. Always load them up top. Additionally, tupperware and other thin plastics belong up top as well, regardless of their shape. The heat from the washing machine can warp them, and that's less likely to happen on the top rack.
Use fans instead of air conditioning. Circulation is important to using less air conditioning during the summer. Cool down the house early in the morning by placing a box fan in the window and opening up another window at the opposite end of the house, in addition to turning on ceiling fans. Box fans sit perfectly in most windows and help cool air come inside.
That really depends on a lot more factors than you’re acknowledging here, though. During the heat wave here in the midwest in July, when daily highs were 95-100, many nights it didn’t even get below 80, never mind the dew points in the mid 70s. With those kinds of conditions, a/c is kind of your only option. In places like Texas, shift pretty much everything up about 10º, and really, try to tell them to skip the a/c.
Power to Choose has pages of search results with tiered energy rate electricity plans that follow a similar formula. When the Power to Choose site added a filter to exclude plans with minimum use fees/credits because of the public outcry against misleading electricity plans, providers came up with this new way to manipulate their advertised rates. Tiered rate plans can be incredibly complicated. When you look at an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for a tiered energy use plan, you may see as many as three or four tiers of energy pricing.
In the winter, I keep my thermostat on 62. Often, I don’t even turn the heater on until late November or early December. I figure that between my low temp in the winter and the months without anything at all in the spring and fall, that I can afford to spend a ton on a/c to keep cool in the summer. So I cut back spending on things I don’t care about (heat) so I can spend more on what I do care about (a/c). *grin* I live in KS.
As a result, the cost to cool our house is getting obscene. We could dial the temp up to 80 degrees, put a kiddie pool in the living room, and buy some Misty Mates from HSN, but I’m not willing to go there. I work from home, and I won’t be miserable to save a few bucks. I’m also not going to buy a new refrigerator just to save $72 over the course of a year, install a programmable thermostat when ours works fine, or purchase a new washing machine with energy-efficient motors and pumps. If I needed new appliances, sure, I’d check out energy-efficient models, but ours are all sufficient.
We ordered blackout blinds from a home improvement store and they seem to have helped. We needed them for a third “bedroom” (what a joke) that is 6 feet wide and maybe 10 feet long; this room currently houses 2 laptops and my heat-generating desktop computer. We tried to install a very small ceiling fan in that room, but quickly discovered that the ceiling supports were not designed to hold the weight of a fan. So, the blackout blinds (and keeping my computer off when not in use) seem to help. That room has gotten to 83 degrees in the summer before we put in the blinds.
Go retro with a crock pot. Speaking of ovens, there's nothing that heats up our house faster than a preheating oven and a few pans on the stove top. Slow cookers, on the other hand, use less energy and won't turn your kitchen into, well, an oven. I think the crock pot often gets a bad rap thanks to the old way of slow cooking: bland recipes created from canned and prepackaged ingredients. But the slow cooker is enjoying a quiet revival, and with it we're seeing better recipes, such as this pulled-pork sandwich and these triple chocolate brownies.
Residents of Kentucky paid an average of 10.47 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for their electricity in August, one of the lowest rates in the country and well below the U.S. average of 13.30 cents/kWh. However, they use an average of 1,121 kWh per month, well above the U.S. average of 897. That leaves the state with a Choose Energy Price Index score of 101.4, which places it 25th nationally.
When you need a residential electrician in Ashburn, there’s only one name you need to know: Kolb Electric. Whether you want to upgrade your home to 200 amp service with a heavy up or need to install new outlet wiring, make us your go-to company for all your residential electrical services and find out why we’ve been Ashburn’s most trusted electricians for nearly 90 years!
Kevin, wow where do you buy your air filters?? Buy cheap and change monthly or quarterly depending on how dirty they get. I’m an ac service tech and a 30$ filter is probably much tighter than is necessary for good filtration and more than likely the high duct static created by such a tight filter would cause the blower to suck unfiltered air through any unsealed openings in the duct system (doors, electrical knockouts etc…) buy a cheap pleated 1″ filter ($4) and change it often
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