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Three Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill

Article was added on Tuesday, July 07, 2009

About half of your electric bill is a direct reflection of the weather. With spring, comes milder temperatures, which typically means lower electric bills. But this doesn't mean it is time to relax and stop worrying about how much electricity we are using.

Wholesale electric costs are expected to rise the same amount in 2009 that they did in 2008 and the best way we can combat this rising costs is through conservation.

The first thing we suggest to help you lower your electric bill is setting your thermostat as close to the outside temperature as possible. During the summer in South Carolina, it isn't uncommon for temperatures to rise to 95 degrees. If your cooling system is trying to cool your home to 72 degrees, it will be working to change the temperature 23 degrees, which consumes a great deal of electricity. The manufacturer's recommended setting is 68 degrees or lower in the winter and 78 degrees or higher in the summer. You can save about five percent on your cooling costs for every two degrees higher you set the temperature.

The second suggestion is to invest in home weatherization measures now that will save you money by reducing your electric consumption when temperatures rise this summer. Weatherizing your home will also keep a great deal of the strain off of a home's heating and cooling system. A standard exterior door is 36 inches wide. A quarter of an inch gap at the bottom of that door is equivalent to having a nine inch hole in an exterior wall of your home. These gaps around doors and windows where air can leak out of your home need to be sealed.  Most area hardware stores and even discount stores have some type home weatherization products. Look around and see what small changes you can make now that will help when the temperatures rise this summer.

Having your heating and cooling system checked annually to be sure it is in good working order is also a good idea, and changing the air filter every month is one of the most inexpensive things you do to insure proper operation.

The third thing we suggest is using compact florescent light bulbs. We are getting ready to send out our second round of these bulbs in May, so look for yours to be delivered in the mail.

There are many other ways, simple and inexpensive ways to save on your electric bill, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, unplugging unnecessary electronics when not in use and turning down the temperature on your hot water heater. Let's act now so we will be prepared when outdoor temperatures change again.


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