Extreme temperatures such as heat waves and cold snaps can often deliver an unpleasant surprise in the form of an increased utility bill.
Understanding what causes those high electric bills can help lower your cost and benefit your wallet.
1. What Costs the Most on Your Utility Bill?
The answer is pretty straightforward. What consumes most energy in your household costs you the most. However, your Duke Energy utility bill depends on two factors: your energy consumption and the electricity rates in your area.
High-energy use appliances
Usually, the HVAC system tops the list, specifically ACs as they account for almost half of the average U.S. home’s energy consumption. They are followed by water heaters so you may want to think twice before indulging in a very long hot shower to warm yourself up. Lights and household appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers are next.
Certain factors can exacerbate the energy usage of appliances as a not well-insulated home equate to lost indoor air, so your HVAC has to work even harder to maintain the desired temperature. Insulation is what helps keep indoor air in and outside stressors out.
Modern devices such as Energy-Star ones are designed in a way to use less energy while providing the same level of performance. For example, a washing machine will use much less water and electricity. A modern double-pained window will do a much better job at insulating your home than the traditional single-pained window.
Leaving devices plugged in when not in use means you are paying a higher energy bill than you should. Unplug them and notice the difference in your bill.
How To Lower Your Utility Bill
You can take many steps, both big and small, to address the factors that affect your electric bill and lower your monthly electric costs. If you aren’t keen on investing in making a significant energy-efficient upgrade such as swapping conventional appliances, light bulbs and shower heads for energy-efficient models, simply by tweaking your usage, you can lower your bill up to 25%.
– Fix seals and drafts on windows, doors and even your appliances such as the oven
– Take shorter showers. If you cannot live without hot water, try switching between hot and cold as a compromise- your body will thank you as this is very beneficial health-wise. Warm water might relax you and warm you up but the brutally cold part is what gets your circulation going and ensures you will stay warm afterwards.
– Wash clothes and dished in eco-mode as they won’t mind that the water is not hot. A good cleaning agent has all it takes to get the job done.
– Fix leaky faucets as lost drops can also add up to gallons of water waste that can be easily avoided.
– Shop around for utility providers. The internet makes it so easy to compare prices and deals as you can even find already made comparison websites that did all the work. All you have to do is compare and find the most affordable rate that suits your usage.
The principle is pretty simple: in order to reduce your utility bill, you need to lower your energy consumption. As the above examples show, it can hardly be considered as a sacrifice. The whole concept of energy-efficiency is to do the same or even better, by using less energy. The key is in being creative and innovative in finding new ways to reduce our energy consumption. Energy-efficient investments, whether in less costly appliances or in renewable energy like solar panels, pretty much pay for themselves through utility bill reductions, longer life spans and just overall comfort, functionality and freedom they provide. However, small changes can also help lower your electricity costs. Just remember that every step counts as long as it is in the right direction. All you need is a strategy and before you know it, energy efficiency will become a new habit and lower utility bills will become your reality.