The energy we expend in our homes adds up to a significant chunk of our monthly bills and, because inflation has hit us so hard recently, all of us are looking for ways to save.
Since today is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, it’s a great time to review learn about an option for reducing energy costs at home so we can, hopefully, keep a little more money in our pockets.
Adopt Off-Peak Hours
We don’t mean that post-lunch period midday when we tend to feel sluggish and off our game. Off-peak hours are the times when a community pulls the least amount of energy from its electricity provider.
For example, in Aaron’s home state of Georgia, one of our big power companies experiences its heaviest power usage during the hot summer on weekday afternoons when businesses are open, and people are working or going to school. That’s, of course, when all our fans and air conditioners are trying to beat the summer heat! Power plants have to work extra hard to make all the electricity needed at those times which, in turn, makes it more expensive, too.
So, to help out the over-worked power plants, our power company asks households to shift some power usage to off-peak hours when there’s less electricity being used by the community as a whole. The incentive? Off-peak electricity costs less! Running large appliances like dishwashers, electric dryers, and electric water heaters during off-peak hours can mean a savings of 15¢ per kWh here in Georgia! And when a dryer cycle takes 5 kWh or more, and the average household runs 7 loads per week… Well, let’s just say those pennies do add up.
Off-peak hours will vary from place to place, and the amount of savings offered will vary, too. If you’d like to know similar savings are available to your community, just call your electric company and ask if they have off-peak hours and how your household can benefit from using them.
Ask About Discounted Rate Plans
Your power company also may offer other savings opportunities beyond off-peak rates. Check their website or call their customer service number for information about discount programs for senior citizens and customers with income qualifications.
Most utility providers can also connect you with services that provide assistance to households with low incomes or an emergency need for financial assistance. When there’s not enough money coming in, bills can feel pretty scary. It’s important to let them know you need help so they can share the tools they have available to do that.
Shop for ENERGY STAR® Appliances
When it comes time to replace the big appliances in your home, another way to reduce your household energy usage is with ENERGY STAR appliances. These specially marked refrigerators, air conditioners, washers, dryers, and other appliances use less energy than their traditional counterparts.
Renters who aren’t concerned with owning appliances can look for rental communities that furnish ENERGY STAR appliances in their apartments, too.
There are always multiple ways to save. Being armed with knowledge about what savings are available to us can make all the difference to our wallets.