Last summer I contacted my local energy company to find ways to cut back on energy costs, they immediately scheduled a free home energy audit and sent a pack of 8 CFL bulbs absolutely free. The following week the auditor came by and did a comprehensive review of all the energy hogs in our home, much to our surprise he said that we were already doing a lot of stuff he was going to suggest. The things we were not yet aware of, my husband corrected within a few days (i.e. weather stripping the gaps in the doorways & windows, caulking small holes etc.) He also gave us a listing of the rates that are charged to us per day which also broke down the peak & off peak rates.
We made the necessary adjustments to our usage to help control the skyrocketing cost of our electric bill by doing the following.
- Changing the time we start laundry to after 7pm or before 10am
- Running ceiling fans throughout the day
- Maintaining the thermostat temperature
- Using a dry rack rather than the dryer
- Lowering the coldness setting in the fridge/freezer
- Lowering the temperature of the hot water heater to 110-120 degrees
- Using smaller kitchen appliances (i.e. skillet) rather than stove/oven
- Unplugging appliances/electronics that are not in use
These small changes made a significant impact on our monthly bill, but the most important lesson he taught us during our audit was how to read and understand our meter. Recently I found an article that explains just that in detail, it taught us what all the gadgets on a meter mean and what they do. Go to http://compareelectricityrates.com/blog/2011/10-steps-to-learn-how-to-read-your-electricity-meter/
Consider contacting your local energy company and ask if they offer complimentary home energy audits. I believe that you will find the information to be beneficial, and the changes you make now before summer will make your pocketbook happy.