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Saving Money on Your Utility Expenses

Saving Money on Your Utility Expenses

As utility expenses continue to rise, one of the easiest ways you can reduce your monthly bills is to become more energy conscious. We’ve got some good tips on how to reduce your monthly power bill.

Your air conditioning and heating system uses the most energy of any one appliance in your home! If you are suffering from a high utility bill, adjusting the temperature of your thermostat will have the most impact on your utility budget.

Most people in Florida do not realize that the ideal temperature for your HVAC to be set on is 78 in summer. We’ve been told that for each degree you lower the thermostat below that, you should expect an 8% increase in your energy bill. If that statistic is not enough to get you to bump up the thermostat, start by setting the temperature higher when you go to work or leave the house. Keep in mind, the ideal thermostat setting for winter is 68 and these tips work inversely in winter.

Here’s a few other ways you can make the temperature more comfortable in your home.

  • Use ceiling fans.
  • Replace your HVAC filter monthly.
  • Be sure no furniture is blocking your HVAC vent inside and nothing is growing into the outside unit as this decreases efficiency and increases energy consumption.
  • Keep curtains closed during the day to keep heat or cold out.
  • Dress for the occasion.
  • Keep doors shut or utilize windows when sensible.

Most people also don’t realize that your energy usage through a day is not a fixed amount per Kilowatt used. The amount you are charged varies depending on the time of day you use the electricity and the demand for energy at that time of the day.  Most companies base this off peak and off-peak hours. As a rule of thumb it is always best to try and do any power draining activities during off hours to save money. In Florida, the off-peak hours, and the best time to use electric appliances, is between 10am and 6pm in the winter and between 9pm and 11 am in the summer. During the summer when the days are hot and you are working it can be extremely costly to cool your home while you’re at work, since most people work during peak hours and your HVAC is going to have to work much harder with the sun out. If you wait until after you get off work to turn your AC on low, you can get the same cooling affect for a fraction of doing it during those peak hours, or all day long. Likewise, in the summer it will benefit you to do things like laundry and dishes in the mornings or at night instead of the middle of the day. Inversely, in the winter, it is ideal to get your power draining activities done when the sun is out and avoid the times the sun is down. By just changing the timing of your power usage you can use the same amount of electricity you were, but your bill will be much cheaper. 

There are many different energy efficient considerations you can make at your home to help reduce your costs. One of the best tips from the power companies is to consider putting certain things like your HVAC, sprinkler system, water heater, or pool pump on timers, so they only turn on during the time frames that energy is the cheapest.

Here are some small changes you can make that will make a big difference over time.

  • Lighting makes up about 8% of your energy bill. Use energy efficient LED light bulbs. Keep lights off in rooms you are not in, and turn lights off when you leave your home.
  • Use natural light when possible.
  • Make sure your fridge and freezer are not iced over, and that the door remains closed, and that the fridge is not overpacked.

With energy costs on the rise, we recommend evaluating your energy usage to see how much energy you are using daily. Florida Power and Light does have an app that allows you to track your daily energy usage. We recommend creating a username and password to track your daily energy consumption for a month. Their website will also give you an estimated monthly bill, and it can be gratifying to see how small changes in your household routine can affect your monthly bill. They also offer a budget billing service you can sign up for.

Every dollar counts, and as you are preparing to budget and save for your future, we think improving your energy efficiency habits will make a big difference over time.