Using electricity providers to keep your Electric Bill Low
Just Cool It
Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days. If you don’t want to obstruct the view, consider applying window film to the glass. Both the do-it-yourself cut-and-stick type and the professionally applied films will reduce radiant heat while allowing you to see through them. Similarly, the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests using outdoor awnings and, if you live in an area that is warm all year round, even painting your house a light color to reflect heat away.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that window air conditioners be placed toward the center of the room on the shady side of the house.
Your house’s biggest electricity guzzler is the air conditioner (and heating in the winter), accounting for as much as half of your energy bill. Make sure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by having annual professional cleanings and checkups. To help you remember, schedule a service call either when you set your clocks forward in the spring or back in the fall.
Change the filters of your air conditioner and furnace monthly. Keeping the air flowing and clean is good for your lungs and will help maintain peak efficiency. Don’t know how? Ask the pro who does your annual cleaning to show you.
Be sure your air conditioner is the right size for the room. Obviously, if it’s too small, it won’t do the job. But, according to the DOE, a unit that’s too big will result in reduced efficiency, higher electric bills, uncomfortable temperature fluctuations and excessive wear and tear, which means you’ll probably have to buy a replacement unit much sooner.
Don’t keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. When you’re away at work or asleep, turn it up so your air conditioner doesn’t click on as often. Better yet, get a programmable house thermostat or a timer on your window units. That way you can come home to a cool house without running your air conditioner all day. Do the same in winter with your heat. Raising or lowering the temperature can save as much as £100 a year. Heat pumps are one exception to this rule. “A heat pump is more electrically efficient if it is kept at a constant setting,” according to George Lewis of the energy company PPL Corporation.
Keep the greenery trimmed around your air conditioners for more efficient air flow. Similarly, if you have a central air conditioner, sweep away any leaves or other debris that accumulated near it over the winter.
Unexpected £ Drains
Even when you think an appliance or device is turned off, the power may still be on if it is plugged in. This is especially true with equipment that has a transformer (that small black cube on the end of the cord). If your outlets aren’t easily accessible, plug small appliances, such as your radio, electric razor, battery charger, etc., into a power strip. Then all you have to do is flick a switch when you aren’t using them. Of course, if you are dealing with devices that you program, such as VCRs or radios with clocks, unplugging them may require more work than the savings is worth.
Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the investment. A single standard incandescent light bulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs—and the fluorescents last about 10 times longer. There are lots of new shapes and types, including attractive compact units that give off a pleasing, soft illumination like traditional bulbs.
For security and safety reasons, timers are a great way to make sure the lights switch on and off like clockwork when you’re not around. For better security, get timers that allow you to randomly vary when lights go on, which makes it harder for burglars to tell when you’re away from home.
All the above energy saving tips are fantastic for reducing your global footprint and for reducing your bills, but make sure you have the best electricity rates so the energy you are using is at the best price, meaning you will save even more money. The best way to make sure you have the best rates is with a business electricity prices comparison website service.