Managing Holiday Energy Bills

Having company can really run up your utility bill, unless you find ways to conserve electricity use.

But there are some straight-forward energy saving tips that will keep your guests happy and your purse full.

Turn down your water heating system temperature, be aware of peak electricity prices, and use a programmable temperature control. More people in your home means more water usage, which means more work for your water heating system, and higher energy bills. The easiest way to head off this problem is by lowering the temperature on your water heater, then lowering the temperature control 10 degrees on your water heating system. This can reduce the amount of electricity used by three to five percent. Your electric provider charges more during peak hours – periods of high demand for electricity. To save money, try dialing back on your electricity usage during peak hours, reverting to off-peak hours when possible. On-peak hours are usually 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also, avoid running energy-guzzling appliances such as washing machines and clothes dryers, dishwashers, space heaters, electric ovens, and water heaters. You can also save 10% on your annual energy bills by turning your temperature control and back 7 to ten degrees for eight hours every day. During the afternoon, keep your temperature control at 70 degrees while you are away and 77 degrees when you are home and you need cooling. At night, switch to heat but keep your temperature control to a cool 62 degrees or lower. That means the heat will only come on when your home dips below that temperature. That’s where a programmable temperature control is useful. With programmable temperature controls, you can set a schedule to automatically switch to different temperatures whenever you want.

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