A programmable thermostat is a very energy-efficient tool. It allows you to program what hours your home will be vacant and when you will be asleep. During those times, it will adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This removes the hassle of constantly adjusting your thermostat and the dread of coming home to a scorching house. A great model in the programmable thermostat industry is the Nest. While the retail price for the Nest is $250, the company claims that it can lower electricity bills by 20%.
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.
Energy bills can get extremely high, especially in large houses with multiple residents. There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of your electric bill, ranging from negotiating a lower rate for your energy from your electricity provider to purchasing energy efficient appliances. Depending on how much time and money you invest, you can generate a substantially lower electric bill for yourself, and even a few simple measures can reduce the amount of the bill by up to 30%. A lower bill also represents savings for the environment as well, since it indicates that you are using less energy, as a general rule.
I used a kill-a-watt (energy meter) to check my energy usage. With both my cell phone chargers, they registered less than a penny of electricity use over a 24 hour period when my phone wasn’t plugged in. But I think the watts used depend on the charger. Check to see if your local library has a kill-a-watt you can check out — that’s how I got mine — and check your phone charger and other electronics. It’s a nice way to know exactly how much you’re spending to keep the TV/VCR/microwave etc plugged in. In my case, the microwave was a definite drain. I don’t remember the daily cost, but I do know my electricity bill went down when I unplugged the micro when not in use. I just used a power strip and turned it off unless I wanted to nuke something.
Energy discounts can significantly reduce your overall power costs. However, it’s hugely important that you understand the benefit term of the plan you’re signing up to. The benefit term is the period of time that the discount on your energy plan applies. In most cases, the benefit term will be just 12 months, although some providers offer discounts over two years. Simply Energy is one example in our NSW comparison. After the benefit period ends, your discount could disappear and you’ll be left paying the non-discount price for the electricity you use. Some retailers, including Dodo Power & Gas, Click Energy and Powershop, offer ongoing discounts.
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.
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