There is a day for everything, and January 10, 2021, is “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day”. But you live in the desert, so what are the best ways to reduce energy costs here? Follow these energy-efficiency tips to not only reduce costs but also lessen your impact on the environment and grid while keeping your home comfortable all year long. And be sure to take advantage of rebates offered by SRP, our local electrical service provider.
REDUCE PEAK TIME ENERGY USAGE
Start right away by signing up for SRP’s Time-of-Use Plan. You can see an average annual savings of nearly 5% off your electric bill on this plan. The idea is to use less energy during peak hours. All weekends and six observed holidays are off-peak for the entire day. These are peak hours throughout the year:
- WINTER (November-April): 5AM-9AM and 5PM-9PM
- SUMMER (May-October): 2PM-8PM
PROPERLY SET YOUR THERMOSTAT
You could be wasting up to $180 a year by not setting your thermostat seasonally. Start by setting the fan to “Auto” instead of “On” to save $15-25 each month on energy costs. In winter, set the thermostat for 68-70 degrees when you are home and 65 degrees or lower when you are away. For the summer, set it between 78-80 degrees while at home and up to 85 degrees while you are away. Go a step further and install a Smart thermometer that you can control from your smartphone 24 hours a day.
MAINTAIN YOUR A/C REGULARLY
Start by scheduling annual maintenance by a professional to keep your system in tip-top shape. Be sure to change the filters monthly to keep air ducts clean and to keep your unit running smoothly. If you need to upgrade your system, SRP offers up to $1,125 in rebates when you buy a new energy-efficient AC, heat pump, or mini-split system.
CHECK YOUR AIR DUCTS
If your home is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, you might have leaky air ducts. This can cost you $200 or more in wasted energy. SRP offers a rebate program that covers 75% of repair costs or up to $400 of duct testing and qualified repairs.
INSTALL ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHTING
LED bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 35-50 times longer. If you replaced the five most frequently used lightbulbs in your home, you could save as much as $75 per year. They keep rooms cooler, use less energy, and make your indoor plants happier.
Shade trees can lower the temperature of your home by up to 20 degrees in the summer. Check out SRP’s free shade tree program here:
They also offer a rebate of $0.80 per square foot on professionally installed shade screens to keep your home cooler during the summer months.
UPGRADE YOUR POOL PUMP
Install a variable speed pool pump and have a pool professional calibrate it to maximize efficiency. This can save you around 70% a year on pool-related costs. Install a timer and run 8-12 hours a day in the summer and 6-8 hours a day in the winter.
Cutting energy costs should be a multi-pronged approach. By combining all these ideas, you could make a considerable dent in your energy bill. And that would be a very happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day to you!