Joanna, one of the 180 or so Energy Boomer Update newsletter readers, has done a great job getting her air conditioning cost under control. She uses space blankets to keep the solar heat out of the windows and set her thermostat up high.
Recently she asked me what else she could do to cut her summer time electric bill. I started writing her a long e-mail answer then thought I would make it a blog post instead.
My answer to her looked like this:
I don’t know what appliances you use or how you are billed so my advice is in the Socratic method of asking questions to steer you toward answers that match your situation.
Do you have an electric water heater?
Do you do the laundry in cold or warm water, never hot? Link
Do you have a demand charge on your electric bill? Call your electric company and ask them. If you do have a demand charge, you should run just one electric appliance at a time. Well maybe two at a time is more realistic.
Do you have time of day billing?
Do you know the exact hours of the day that you are charged the highest rate (called peak hours.) Do you have a time of day when the electric rate is lowest (valley hours)? They are usually early morning. Call your electric company and ask them if you have time of day billing.
Here is a Link to an article on SAVE MONEY BY READING YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
If you have time of day billing, do you do your chores during low price hours? Ironing, vacuuming, laundry, dish washing, bathing,…? Everything that uses power or hot water.
Do you do your cooking in the microwave not on the range?
Do you use a hair dryer?
Do you use CFL light bulbs?
Go around your home and look at everything that has a power cord. Check your basement and garage too.
- Do I really need to use this?
- When do I use it?
- Do I use it only when the electric rate is low?
- Do I use it when something else is using power?
- Can I unplug it when I am not using it?
Do you air dry dishes in the washing machine?
There is a debate as to whether washing dishes by hand is better than machine-washing them. Hand washing uses more hot water; machine washing uses more electrical power. Everything that I have read claims that machine washing and air-drying in the machine, is the best on the budget.
At our house, we hand wash pots and pans and anything that is not dish washer safe. The rest goes into the machine. We share the hand dish washing job. My wife washes I dry, she talks I listen.
If it were up to me, I would wash the dishes with the kitchen lights off. When I try doing that, I get evicted from the kitchen. Take a lesson you helpful husbands out there.
I enjoy answering reader’s questions. They help me focus on a topic of common interest.
Click this link for a SPECIAL REPORT: HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON AIR CONDITIONING
If you enjoyed this post, then click here to subscribe to the Energy Boomer Newsletter.