Energy Saving Tips for a Hot Carolina Summer

With summer’s official arrival to Winston-Salem on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, we are now solidly in its grip. With the sunny weather, comes hot temperatures, sure to cause any electric bill to rise.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, for homeowners, the electric bill is the highest bill during summer months. “The electric bill is a large share of a homeowner’s expenditure on housing and the most expensive utility,” the association says in the article “Average Monthly Electrical Bill by State – Updated Data.” Climate can play a significant role in consumption. For instance, the states in the Pacific Northwest had dramatically lower energy prices than those states located in the South (including our own state of North Carolina).  With energy prices on the rise across North Carolina, and summer temperatures on a record high, it is not surprising that Winston-Salem homeowners would love to cut their energy bill down.

However, it is not necessary that you own a home to want to cut down on energy costs. Renters as well should be watching their energy intake and developing strategies to cut down on cost. Are these strategies difficult to employ? Do they require an expensive installation of a new energy saving product to work? The answers to both of these questions are, luckily, “No!” These tips and tricks are easy to implement and will not require you to take out a new loan to use. Read on for six easy-to-use energy saving actions that are sure to put more money back in your pocket.

Energy Saving Tip #1: Consume power during non-peak hours first! This one is a no-brainer. It is vital to avoid cranking up your electrical appliances during the daytime as it puts a severe strain on the utility system. Since everyone in the area will likely be using their electricity during daytime hours, avoid running the dishwasher, clothes washer, and other appliances. Instead, try running these systems during the evening and/or overnight to save on cost.

Energy Saving Tip #2: Turn OFF those electronics when not in use! This tip most notably applies to the cable systems we often use. At one time cable boxes cost Americans $3 billion per year, and $2 billion of that was when televisions were not on! An easy way to avoid this cost is to turn off the power strip the television is attached to during the daytime. Additionally, do not forget to turn off laptops, computers, tablets, etc. If you do not want to turn these items officially off, you can use “sleep mode” and other power management features to cut down on energy costs.

Energy Saving Tip #3: Keep cool with blinds. While it is vital to keep your home cool in the summer, as no one wants to sweat in their own homes, by simply keeping blinds closed, you can easily slash energy costs. When heading out to work, simply lower the blinds and open them back up upon returning. You will not only enjoy a lower energy bill, but also a cooler home during the night hours.

Energy Saving Tip #4: Lower or turn off AC when out of town. When heading out of town for a weekend/week, you can easily lower bills by simply turning off AC. If you are hesitant to do this, try simply raising the temperature. You are sure to be pleased with the lower bill at the end of the month.

Energy Saving Tip #5: Light up your corners.Here is a surprising fact, by placing a lamp or similar light fixture in a corner with a lower-wattage bulb, your home will enjoy the same illumination as if a lamp was in the middle of a room with a more powerful bulb. This is simply because light reflects off the adjoining walls to brighten the room.

Energy Saving Tip #6: Try motion sensors to avoid high electric costs.While you are more than likely very astute at turning off lights when you leave a room, are your kids? Probably they are a work in progress. Easily handle this dilemma through buying a few motion sensors programmed to turn off lights when everyone leaves a room. Problem solved.


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