August 2018 data, the latest available, show that the average U.S. price – 13.30 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) – increased 0.7% compared with a year ago. If you live in Louisiana, you paid the lowest average residential electricity rates of any state in the country – 9.65 cents per kWh. The next lowest rate is in Washington, where residents pay an average of 9.80 cents per kWh.
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%.
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.
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.
Many utility companies offering TOU rates allow residential customers to opt into it, but this isn’t always the case. California is the first state to require that everyone who installs a solar panel system has to switch to a TOU rate plan under their net metering 2.0 program. Time-of-use electricity pricing is a common option for commercial buildings as well, especially if tenants have flexibility in when they can use the most electricity.