Here’s another interesting article from our friends at MainStreet:
It’s summertime, and the living isn’t exactly easy for consumers struggling with rising utility bills.
According to a sixth annual spring survey of 500 utility industry executives by the construction firm Black & Veatch, consumers could be in for quite a case of sticker shock when they open their electric bills this summer:
“Regulation (economic and environmental) will remain the primary motivator for utility leaders concerning investment decisions. Additionally, electric customers will be the ones who pay for changes through increased rates. More than 65% of utility leaders stated that customer rates had risen in the past year. More than half believe that rates will rise ‘significantly’ because of environmental compliance programs.”
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says American consumers spend, on average, $110 per month on electric bills.
Americans can keep a lid on such bills, and maybe even lower them if they follow a few simple tips supplied by the Center for Urban Energy at Toronto-based Ryerson University.
Let’s take a look at five of their best tips:
Up Your Thermostat
If nobody is home for the day, set your thermostat five degrees higher. When you get home from work or a weekend at the beach, drop the thermostat by five degrees. The higher the thermostats, the more the savings, the center says.
Hold a Draft Day
Drafts in your home can rally hit you in the pocketbook. To fight back, take a tissue paper, walk through your home, and check doorways, windows and baseboards for drafts. When the tissue rises, you’ve got a draft. Seal the draft with caulk and weatherstripping and save over the long haul. The center says you can save 10% on your electric bill by sealing the deal.
Live Like a Vampire
During the day, close blinds and curtains and create a natural cooling for your home. Heats thrives in daylight–the more you close out the sun, the more you’ll save (another good tip when you’re away from the home all day).
Find Your ‘Phantom Load Rate’
If you’re leaving gadgets and electronics plugged in–even if they’re not turned on–you’re tossing $20 bills out the window. Best bet: Plug them all in to a power strip you unplug when you hit the sack at night and the road in the morning.
Don’t Be a ‘Washout’
The center says 90% of your energy use when running the washing machine comes from hot water. That’s why it’s best to use cold water to clean your clothes. Also, load up on loads–one large load is much cheaper to run than two smaller ones back to back.
Cutting back on your electric bill is largely an issue of diligence and creativity. Display those attributes and watch your electric bill melt away this summer.