Summertime is here, and for many of us, that means BBQs, beach days, pool parties and sunny skies. It also means scorching temperatures, running the air conditioning, and higher energy bills. You can help reduce energy use and the costs of cooling by making a few simple changes, from washing with cold water to subscribing to solar (with no panels to purchase or install). We’ve compiled a short list of tips to help optimize your energy efficiency this summer. Check out the tips below to have the coolest house on the block!
1. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
Since the sun rises early and sets late in the summer, you can give your indoor lights a rest during the day. For windows that do not have the sun streaming directly into them all day, leave your blinds up, shutters open, and bulbs off as long as daylight allows to save energy. Bonus: Natural light can also enhance your happiness and health.
2. NIGHT SCHOOL
Run your major appliances in the evening at “off-peak” hours and save big on your bill. Many energy providers have significantly higher rates during peak summer hours – rates can jump anywhere from 2x to 10x higher during peak hours, for example, from 11 am to 7 pm. Take advantage of that lower “off-peak” rate to reduce your bill. Bonus: You’re also helping to alleviate pressure on the energy grid in your community. Nice going!
3. OLD SCHOOL
Let nature do the hard work. Hanging your wet clothes out to dry on a line uses the sun’s energy to do the drying instead of gas or electricity. Try washing the dinner dishes by hand with cold water instead of running the machine. Pro tip: Wash and dry dishes with a partner by candle light and make it a romantic moment, or at least bask together in the glow of energy efficiency!
4. ANYBODY HOME?
If people and pets aren’t at home, shut down your air conditioning. These days, there are a lot of nifty thermostat options that you can easily program to help with saving energy, and some smart thermostats will “learn” when you’re home, or away, and automatically adjust temperatures for efficiency. If high-tech solutions or programming gizmos are not for you, simply turn the whole system off before you walk out the door.
5. COMPARISON SHOP
If you live somewhere with supplier options, you might be able to get a better energy rate. Shop around and see what’s available. Even shaving a few cents off will add up over time, especially in the summer season, when your energy bill can cause sticker shock.
6. BE COOL
Use the cold-water settings on your major appliances, like your dishwasher, or clothes washer. Studies have shown that washing clothes in cold water can be just as effective as washing in warm water. And you’ll feel as cool as a cucumber when you see the savings on your bill: up to $40.00 per year. Way to go!
7. SOLAR SIMPLE
Think solar is out of reach? Too expensive? Live in an apartment? In some areas, you can actually “subscribe” to a solar farm to help decarbonize your home, and even save on your energy bill. It’s called community solar, and it’s a new option if you can’t (or don’t want to) install your own rooftop system. Bonus: You’ll save while you support renewable energy in your community.
At NRG Energy, solar energy solutions are our specialty, so we’ve got a particular passion for this last tip. If you’re sustainably inclined, we invite you to learn more about some of our exciting community solar projects: we’re leading in states like Massachusetts. Another great reason to sign up is to support your own community by participating in a new industry that creates jobs, makes renewable energy more accessible, and is a long-term investment in your community’s future energy stability. Find out if you can sign up now—community solar may already be available where you live and work.
We hope you enjoyed these energy-saving tips…have a great summer!
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