3 Tips To Save Money And Energy This Summer
As the summer months heat up, the power bill tends to increase as well. With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees in some states by the end of June, many people rely heavily on their air conditioners for relief, causing the costs of keeping the power running and the cool air flowing to skyrocket. This can put a strain on even the most carefully planned budget. In our continuous efforts at the Alliance to help you save money, we have compiled a few tips to cut down on expenses when the thermometer rises.
Set the thermostat at 78°F
Most central air conditioners perform optimally at 78 degrees during typical summer temperatures. You can save around 6-7% on your cooling costs for every degree above 78 that you can tolerate. During a heat wave, raising the temperature by one degree at a time to test your tolerance level might be worthwhile. However, this may not be possible if your home is poorly insulated. If you live with children, elderly people or pets, you will need to keep the temperature cooler for their safety. But, a programmable thermostat can help you maintain a consistent temperature and even raise it during the night or when you’re away from home, which will help you conserve power. Using fans in strategic locations and taking advantage of ventilation strategies such as opening windows during cooler times of day can also help you save on energy costs.
Unplug appliances and electronics
It’s surprising how much your utility bill can be affected by keeping power-consuming devices like TVs, computers, and other electronics on standby mode or even turned off but still plugged in. These devices continue to draw power, adding up to your energy costs. To avoid this, plug your electronics into power strips, which can protect them from power surges and sudden outages. Remember to switch off the power strip when the devices are not in use. Power companies suggest that doing this alone can save you 10-20% on your yearly energy bill.
Apply for a cap plan
While this won’t save energy, most power companies have manageable payment plans that you can apply for if you are truly stressed by the rising summer power costs. Often this takes the aggregate of your yearly payment and divides it by 12 so that you pay a consistent payment all year long. Usually your local county assistance office will also have some kind of income-based power assistance if the power company itself turns you down.
Alliance Direct Benefits members have many ways to save money on summer-related items and activities. For more information and to become an Alliance member today, visit the Alliance website or call us at 1-800-733-2242 (M-F, 7am-5:30pm Central Time).