Saving Money and Energy Around the Home Over Summer

Background
Off Peak Electricity Use
Refrigerators
Energy Saving Tips

Background

Hot summer days mean increased electricity usage but, fortunately, there are dozens of ways to cool down and save on electricity bills.

Off Peak Electricity Use

Electricity consumers can do their part to help ensure grid reliability by shifting their major energy use to off-peak hours when the demand on the electricity grid is low. Some examples of this could be doing laundry, running the dishwasher or power tools in the early morning and evening hours. Other ways to save include signing up to special programs like SCE's "Summer Discount Plan", which allows SCE to turn off participating customers' central air conditioner compressors remotely during a summer power emergency. In exchange, the customers get a credit on their account.

Refrigerators

Dramatic savings can be found in the garage or in the basement where many people keep old, energy-guzzling refrigerators that can add up to $330 a year in electricity costs. Some electricity companies like SCE will pick up the unit at no charge, recycle it in an environmentally responsible manner, and may even pay you for upgrading your appliance. The purchase of an ENERGY STAR-qualified model may also earn a cash rebate rebate.

Energy Saving Tips

Some other easy ways to save are:

  • Line it up: When you line-dry your laundry, clothing will last longer and you can save about $120 a year in electricity costs. Customers can also save on laundry products: The sun is a natural whitener, so there is no need to buy bleach. If you hang clothing out to dry, there is no static cling so there is no need to buy dryer sheets.
  • Push-button cooking: Using a microwave or toaster oven to reheat or cook small portions can save about 80 percent of the energy that customers would use doing the same on an electric stove. Also, it will reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer.
  • Set and forget: Set the thermostat to 85 degrees when you are out for the day and to 78 degrees when at home to save up to $120 per year. If it is still too warm, run a fan to make it five degrees cooler, and still save energy.
  • Get some shuteye: Set computers and other electronic devices to "sleep" mode when they are idle. Make sure they are all plugged into a power strip that is shut off when not in use – that will save up to $86 a year in energy costs. Household electronics account for about 15 percent of the average electricity bill.
  • Light up your life: Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use only a quarter of the energy as a regular bulb, and last up to 10 times longer. If every household in California switched out five bulbs and replaced them with CFLs, the state would avoid the equivalent of producing greenhouse gases from 400,000 cars. In addition, CFLs create hardly any heat, reducing the need for air-conditioning.

Source: SCE and AZoCleantech

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit