The excitement of summer is just around the corner, and with it comes longer days, summer vacations, dips in the pool, and rising temperatures. Keeping cool often means cranking up the air conditioning, but this results in more usage, higher bills, and less money for summer fun.
Understanding how our energy bills are calculated and adopting a few energy-efficient habits can help lower usage and keep you cool this summer without breaking the bank.
Energy bills are calculated based on the amount of household energy consumed. Energy consumption is typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is the amount of energy used by a device that has a power of 1,000 watts for an hour. Your energy provider charges a certain rate per kWh, which can vary depending on your location and the time of day. The more energy you use, the higher your bill will be.
Your electric bill may also include fixed costs, which are charges that are not based on usage and are typically associated with maintaining the power grid and providing service to your location. These fixed costs can include charges such as metering, customer service fees, and other administrative costs.
Now that you know how your bill is calculated, one way to save money on your energy bill is to understand your usage. Many energy providers offer tools and resources to help you track your energy usage and identify areas where you can cut back.
Check out some of the tools and resources Payless Power offers customers to help track energy usage and save money.
- Customers can view their usage history, pay bills, and manage their account settings online.
- A detailed breakdown of their energy usage is provided by day, week, or month.
- Prepaid electricity plans allow customers to pay for their energy usage in advance, so there are no surprises when the bill arrives.
Another essential factor to consider is your Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). This is a measure of how efficiently your air conditioning unit is using energy to cool your home. The US Department of Energy says air conditioning uses approximately 6% of all electricity produced in the United States.
The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is. According to CieloWigle, a company specializing in smart home technology, an EER of 10 or higher is considered good, while an EER of 12 or higher is excellent.
To save money on air conditioning costs, choosing a unit with a high EER and maintaining it properly is important. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing filters and checking for leaks, can help ensure your unit runs efficiently and uses energy effectively.
Cool Off with These Energy-Efficient Summer Saving Ideas
Check out these tips to help lower energy usages and save you money during the hottest months of the year.
- Use Fans: Fans help circulate cool air, but turn them off when you leave the room to keep the savings going.
- Close the blinds: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 76% of sunlight on windows enters your home in the form of heat. Reduce the amount of sun that comes through your windows, especially during the hours of 12 pm and 4 pm, when it’s the hottest time of the day, by closing the blinds. Pro-Tip: Consider black-out blinds
- Solar Screens: Installing solar screens, screens made of special mesh, can help reduce the amount of heat and sunlight that enters your windows.
- Open Your AC Vent: It’s a common misconception that closing vents in the rooms you don’t use redirects airflow to other areas. However, closing the vent makes the unit work harder, increasing energy usage, and overtime can damage the system.
- Dial Up the Thermostat a Notch: Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature. Each degree you raise the temperature can save up to 3% on your cooling costs.
- Go Smart and Save: A smart thermostat is a thermostat that can be controlled remotely. It can also learn a user’s temperature preferences and habits and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Master the Grill: Opt for cooking dinner on the charcoal or gas grill. Ovens can raise the kitchen’s temperature by 10 degrees. Pro-Tip: Heat up dinner in the microwave. It uses a third less energy than the oven.
- Switch Out Your Linens: Store winter blankets for the cold weather and replace your bedding with a lightweight duvet and a set of cool sheets to help you stay comfortable at night without lowering the A/C.
- Clean the Air Filters: Changing your filters improves the efficiency of your HVAC system and lowers your monthly energy bill.
Think Green! Did you know that residential electricity consumption in the US is 11.8 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per person? The US produces 15% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions. This makes it more essential than ever for us to start playing a role in saving energy.
Keep the Savings Going Throughout the Year
Saving money is easy with these year-round energy efficient recommendations.
- Switch to LED: LED bulbs use 75% less energy and last 50 times longer than traditional bulbs.
- Clean the Dryer Vent: Lint can build up and cause your dryer to work longer and harder, which increases energy usage.
- Seal Cracks and Openings: Prevent warm or cold air from leaking into the house and a/c or heat from leaving the house by sealing cracks and weatherproofing your home.
- Adjust the Water Heating: Water heating accounts for 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Set the water heater to 120ºF to save energy and money.
- Purchase Good Energy Rating Appliances: Appliances are tested and given a rating for how much energy they use during typical use. The higher the rating, the more efficient the appliance. When it’s time to buy a new appliance, get the higher-rated product to save money.
Understanding how to read your energy bill, tracking usage, and taking small steps to save energy can reduce energy costs and allow for a more enjoyable and affordable summer.
What our customers are saying
See why our power customers say we're the best electricity provider in Texas!
Affordable and easy to make payments
I was worried about getting electricity for my home through a prepaid company. I was calling around to see different rates then going through all the hassle of credit checks while dropping points each…
I have been with this company for several years and have been very happy since. Even when I moved, they made my usually stressful situation very easy and carefree. I recommend them to everyone that I…
Long term customer
I have enjoyed the service for 2 years now. In the beginning this service was planned to be temporary but with the service being so effective for me i decided to keep it for the long haul. I’m a happy customer.