With the first day of summer upon us, energy software leader Uplight has unveiled a comprehensive list of tips to save consumers high-energy costs.
For the average person, your energy bill can go up as much as 25% in the summer. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is no need to sacrifice comfort for savings. Many of the conservation methods we’ve heard time and time again are outdated. Turning off a light or television when leaving a room, while never a bad thing, doesn’t significantly bring down energy usage or costs. With modern tools, software and appliances, all it takes is some small adjustments to reduce usage during peak hours.
Using data compiled from user habits, Uplight has compiled a list relatively unknown or underutilized methods to keep energy bills down during even the warmest months.
Get a smart thermostat ASAP: Check with your utility provider. Many offer significant rebates – even as much as 100% – on brands like Nest and Ecobee.
Uplight’s research shows smart thermostats save 5%-22% on HVAC energy usage. Uplight’s customers run frequent promotional programs, giving away smart thermostats just for signing up to run the free energy management software in your home. Remember, programmable or smart thermostats pay for themselves, but only if you take the time to set them up. Most smart thermostats can be completely programmed on your phone.
Be climate-conscious by being cash-conscious.
If you want to save money on your utility bill, simply ask yourself, is this saving energy? The great part about being a cash conscious energy consumer is you’ll likely be protecting the climate at the same time. During peak hours (2-6 pm in the summer) utilities are sometimes forced to turn on extra plants to provide for demand. That means more harmful emissions into the atmosphere. That’s where programs like Uplight can help. Software orchestrates your electricity usage, learning your preferences, and coordinating your home and devices to keep you comfortable and save you money. In the summer, that might mean precooling a room before peak hours, an 8-12% reduction in energy usage and the chance to save more than $100 per year on your bill. Check with your utility provider about demand management programs, usually available as a sign-up option on your bill or the website. Demand response programs like this often receive rebates and credits. Many Uplight programs offer incentives through prepaid gift cards.
“Summerize” your home.
Close those windows, blinds and doors. While checking doors and windows for proper sealing is usually thought of as “winterizing,” the same tactics can save you big during summer. Air conditioning is not meant to be wasted, so make sure windows and doors remain closed. For particularly hot or stuffy areas of the home, close blinds during peak sunshine hours.
Skip the oven and dryer and go outside.
Ovens and clothes dryers are still big energy suckers, and the emit a significant amount of heat. Instead, opt for line drying or grilling outside during the summer months. To set the mood, add some LED lighting to your porch or patio, bonus points for motion sensors. For baking and oven-required recipes, consider preheating halfway through the recipe, rather than at the start. Most ovens don’t need as much time to preheat as you might imagine.
Remember, fans cool people, not rooms.
Fans are great, but they aren’t substitutes for air conditioning. Keep fans on when you’re in a room and immediately shut them off when you leave. They aren’t designed to pre-cool an area and won’t provide relief that way.
Check with your utility for options.
Most utilities have special savings programs, but you often have to seek them out yourself. Discounts could be available based on income, solar installation, or electric vehicle ownership. The best place to start is your utility provider’s website. Search for words like “energy efficiency”, “rate advisor tool” or “consumer energy rate”. Utilities might also incentivize consumers to cool homes during non-peak hours, so try to pre-cool ahead of the afternoon. And go shopping – most utility websites offer a marketplace with the latest energy saving tech – often at substantial discounts.