Keeping Other Electricity Expenses Under Control
Air conditioning will represent the lion’s share of your power bill during summer. However, other appliances can also use plenty of energy if left unwatched.
Every property is unique, but the following devices tend to have a high consumption:
- Any heating device that consumes electricity will likely have a high energy footprint. Two examples are electric water heaters and coffee machines.
- Lighting systems consume a lot of energy when they have a long operating schedule. For example, lighting has a high cost in offices with a 9 to 5 schedule. Energy consultants often recommend upgrading to LED lighting.
- Appliances with motors typically consume a lot of power. For example, pool pumping systems should be programmed for minimal use when electricity prices are high.
In general, you should use electrical appliances as little as possible on hot summer days, since kilowatt-hour prices can get very high. However, you will achieve the best results if your energy conservation measures focus on the appliances described above: air conditioning in the first place, but also heating devices, lighting fixtures and motor appliances.
Another viable strategy is locking a fixed-rate electricity plan since this ensures a constant kWh price. However, using the air conditioner efficiently is still important in this case. While you are spared from peaks in the electricity price, the kWh amount can still be high if the air conditioner is used without care.
Quick Electricity Usage Checklist
Know which appliances use the most energy and what you can do to conserve.
|Appliance||Electricity Consumption Patterns|
|Air conditioner||The power consumption is high, and the operating schedule can be very long during summer. Air conditioning will likely be the largest electrical expense in your home.|
|Electric space heater||Gas heaters are more common due to their lower operating cost. However, you can expect high power bills during winter if you use electric resistance heating. An electric heat pump will normally cut consumption by 50% or more.|
|Electric water heater||Gas heating is more common, for the same reason as above. Heat pumps are recommended if you plan to use electricity.|
|Electric clothes dryers||It can consume as much electricity as four room air conditioners operating at the same time. The clothes dryer should be used as little as possible.|
|Clothes iron||Avoid leaving it on for long periods, since it uses an electric resistance to produce heat.|
|Coffeemaker||This appliance also uses electric resistance, and should not be left on for extended periods.|
|Ceiling and pedestal fans||Their wattage is moderate, but they are often left operating when not needed. This can accumulate many kilowatt-hours of consumption in the long run.|
|Pumping systems||If your property needs a pump, it should have a control to minimize its runtime. Consider a NEMA Premium Efficiency motor to save even more electricity.|
|Lighting fixtures with long schedules||An individual lighting fixture does not use much energy, but the total consumption counts. Upgrade the lighting fixtures you use the most to LED.|
|Desktop and laptop computers||Desktop computers use more power than laptops, and both tend to be left on for long hours when not in use. If you will not return to the computer soon, turn it off.|
Note: If you have an old refrigerator, it will probably represent a large fraction of your electricity consumption. Since you cannot reduce its operating schedule, the best recommendation is upgrading to a newer unit with an ENERGY STAR certification.
Avoid Price Spikes with a Fixed Rate Electricity Contract
As temps warm up, it’s a good time to switch to fixed rate energy. Unless you have a fixed price contract, you can expect to pay more for every kWh on hot summer days.
When you choose a fixed energy plan, your rate does not change for the life of your contract. 12, 24 and 36 month terms are favorable for homeowners who want to avoid rate hikes.
As a bonus, many long term energy plans include freebies such as Nest Learning Thermostats and Google smart home devices.
Quick Electricity features the best fixed rate deals in Texas from the top energy providers in the state. Take a look and switch in minutes!