Tariffs refer to both supply and usage charges. A supply charge is the fixed price per day4 to provide electricity to your home. On the other hand, a usage charge is a variable price that changes4 depending on how much electricity you use. When looking at costs from a provider, take note of how both charges stack up against the competition. If you use less electricity then you may prefer a competitive supply rate, while a household using a lot of power might do better with a competitive usage rate.
I would say running a dehumidifier in a hot climate is counterproductive, unless you are running it in an non-airconditioned space like a basement. Dehumidifiers produce A LOT of heat that remains in your house. It makes much more sense to run your AC which is located outside your house (or conversely a window unit that also vents outside). They both dehumidify your space, only the AC does it much more efficiently. Dehumidifiers use a lot of energy. You would be better to run your AC.
One of the things that consumes a lot of power is a freezer running in an uncooled garage, storage room, etc. I used to beg my mom to disconnect hers (she lived alone and really didn’t need the extra freezer space) but she was a tough cookie when it came to changing her ways. Also, make sure your cooling system’s duct work is intact and not leaking cooled air into your attic. Consider turning off your electric water heater when you leave home for a week or more.
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.
Solar panels can lead to thousands of dollars in electricity savings over the course of 30 years, because you’re generating your own power instead of buying it all from your utility. If you have time-of-use rates, the credits you get for sending excess solar electricity back to the grid will depend on the time of day. If your solar panels are producing lots of electricity at peak hours, you’ll receive credits at the peak hour rate, which you can use later on. However, that also means that you’ll be credited at the lower rate for electricity you send back during off peak hours.
At the very least, the programmable thermostat could be set to ease back the throttle at night when no one is awake. That’s what we do at our house, since my wife is home with the kids all day. The thermostat is set to kick up to 80 or so overnight in the summer, then drop back down to a more normal temperature shortly before everyone is up for the day. Gives 6-8 hours a day at the more energy-saving temperature, without much of a sacrifice in comfort. And in the winter, everyone has more than enough blankets to keep warm without the furnace blasting constantly, so it’s even less of an inconvenience.
Here’s what I did: 1. add insulation to the attic (I live in Houston). Cost $300 after federal subsidy for a 2200 square foot house (I added R-30 for a total of R-50, really thick and fluffy in the attic!). 2. add ridge vent on the attic to increase air flow in the attic and lower the attic temperature. 3. add soffit vents (in my case I quadrupled them). Increases air flow in attic (my attic temperature on a summer afternoon went from 130 degrees to 114 degrees, lowering the heat transfer into the house and lowering the time the AC had to run, equalling big money. 4. the above changes lowered my electricity bill 40% in summer, which lasts five full months in Houston. 5. shop electricity rates if you live in a deregulated electricity market. Prices range over a 40% swing, so it’s easy to save. 6. Don’t overly sweat the small stuff; try a Kill-a-Watt meter and find out how much your electronics really use. I was shocked at how little my refrigerator really used (and the advice to keep the freezer full? I tried it and over a week there was zero difference in the Kill-a-Watt reading). 7. Get an efficient AC unit. I installed a unit with a 15 SEER rating. It runs a lot but is very efficient based on my electricity bill.
Putting your water heater on a timer can also lower your electric bill dramatically. Many experts recommend setting the temperature to 120°F (49°C) to save money and prevent the water from scalding; this temperature may not be hot enough for dishwashers, however, so you may want to consider a dishwasher with a booster heater. In addition, make sure that your water heater is the right size; you're wasting money if you're heating a lot of water that you won't use.
We save money — we’re in the mid-Atlantic– by only airconditioning one or two rooms and using fans in the rest. A side effect is that when you’ve spent most of your time outside air conditioning, you can tolerate higher AC-less temps (assuming you’re reasonably healthy). The more AC you give yourself, the more you need. That also encourages us to use outdoor line drying and run heat-producing appliances at night. :)
This is a myth — your A/C is not stressed. It is a machine. You are throwing money away keeping your home cool while you are gone. Get a programmable thermostat and set it to turn on the A/C an hour before you get home and to leave it totally off during the day while you are gone unless you are leaving pets home and feel like they need some cooling.
If you're lucky enough to have a ceiling fan, running it in the correct direction makes this easy. When it's hot, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to push the hot air up and out. When the weather turns cold, instead spin the fans clockwise to trap heat inside. You'll often find a switch on your ceiling fan to choose a direction, so consult your fan's manual to find out where it is.
I had an energy management computer installed on my house in Arizona. Company who installed it is called Advanced Home Systems (www.cheaperutilitybill.com). Some friends told my wife and I about this and it has literally changed our life. Conventional thought process on lowering your utility bills is to use electricity. An energy management computer lets you use the same or more energy but at a lower cost. I know, sounds too good to be true or a gimmick. Former CEO of APS (largest electric co. in AZ) has it on his home. My summer bills used to be around $450 (2600 sf with a pool). My new bills this summer were under $300. And, I used to keep my house around 81 degrees during the day. I now keep my house at 72 degrees 24/7 and still saved that much money. Again, sounds too good to be true. Check out the website and read about this. Energy computers are not a new concept, they are just traditionally used by larger businesses and not residential customers.
We carefully screen Texas electricity providers in your area. Then, we list electricity rates and plans from top providers in a user-friendly format on our website, so you can compare the information. We handle the complex concerns and considerations, so you don’t have to. With our assistance, you no longer need to track down different electricity companies, rates, and plans, because we provide all the information you need to choose the best provider.
Install ceiling fans. Yes, lowering your temperature in the winter and increasing it in the summer helps reduce your energy use via temperature change. However, ceiling fans can help distribute the air that may have risen to the ceilings of your home. The popular belief is that fans actually make the home cooler. However, fans simply help move the hot or cold air towards you.
I can’t speak for anyone else, since I haven’t been in the body of anyone else. But I personally am more bothered by humidity than I am by heat. That means that when it is 100 degrees outside (and it has reached that many days this summer), I can be comfortable at 80 degrees in the house, because the AC is constantly running and therefore getting rid of the humidity. But, for instance, today was a high of 80 in my area. Because of this, I was sweating profusely even when the indoor temperature was 76 degrees, mainly because the AC wasn’t running as often. But perhaps other people are less disturbed by humidity. But I think my point (and others’) still stands that with extreme air conditioning, we condition ourselves to want it to be cooler and cooler. Go to another culture where they don’t use it so often, and you will be surprised by how comfortable people look hanging outside in the summer. They are just used to “real” air and not processed air like we have. Having said that, I love my processed air in moderation :).
Bill credits are helpful if your electricity usage stays within a very predictable range every month. That’s a tall order with the brutally hot Texas summers. Electricity providers offer bill credits on some of their plans and strategically place these bill credits in order to create an unusually low rate per kWh so that they rank higher on comparison shopping websites. Even though Power to Choose gives you the ability to filter out plans with bill credits, they still exist.
How does that work? Texas Energy buys electricity and competes in the market for the best price -- a competition that ultimately drives prices down and allows us to deliver more value for your money. In Texas, switching to a different electricity provider is kind of like changing to a different long distance company. When you switch to Spark Energy, the utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home but Spark Energy will handle all the billing, including the utility’s delivery fees and the electricity you actually use.
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.
Raising your refrigerator temperature by a few degrees can save you hundreds of dollars a year. The fresh food section of your fridge only needs to be at 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit, and many times fridges are programmed at two to five degrees lower than necessary. As for your freezer compartment, you only need to set it to between zero and negative five degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
Besides being the number one electrical contractor in St. Louis, we offer our customers a wide array of Value Added Services that are in addition to the services Sachs is best known for. Through partnerships with the trades, construction managers/consulting engineers and owners, we assist in the development of budgets, scope of work, and specification reviews to assure project constructability on time and within budget.
These are all good (if not novel) tips, but I was disappointed the article immediately dismisses setting the thermostat at 80ÂºF as unreasonable. If you’re especially active, it might be a bit warm, but a big part of why a/c makes it more comfortable is simply that it’s drying out the air – which it’s doing if you have it set at 80 or 68. We keep ours at 80 all summer long, and with a ceiling fan on, it’s perfectly comfortable. We only dip down to a luxurious 76 when we’re doing a lot of heavy duty work in the house or we have guests.
There are a variety of different types of gas and electricity plan that are currently out there for prospective customers to consider. Some plans offer fixed rate deals , these allow you to be sheltered from price rises over an agreed period of time. Other plans allow you to manage your entire account online, making it easier and more efficient for you to handle your energy supply.