As we emerge from the Old New Normal (COVID) to the New New Normal (inflation),we’re looking at cost increases the likes of which we haven’t seen in 40 years. We see it every day at places like the gas pump and grocery store, but what about your home energy costs?
Last fall, the government warned that heating bills could run from 5% to 50% higher this past winter, due to rising costs of natural gas and other fuels. And they weren’t wrong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US energy costs have risen an average of 27%. Bad as that is, many Coloradans would be willing to take it.
Quoted by Denver TV station 9News, Xcel Energy spokesperson Michelle Aguayo said the company’s average residential energy bill increased by roughly 37% this winter. She blames it on lower natural gas production and higher demand as we move out of the pandemic.
While these figures focus on winter and high heating demand, much of our electricity also comes from gas-fired generators and those costs will show up in your summer bills, too.
Here are some ways to cut down your energy costs as we move into summer:
- Avoid peak demand times. Move things like laundry and cooking to mornings and evenings if you can. Rates are 40% higher between 1pm and 7pm, when demand is at its highest. Use the tips below to help keep your peak-time usage lower.
- Consider alternatives to central air conditioning. Evaporative (swamp) coolers are very efficient in many parts of our state and mini-split air conditioners can save by cooling only the areas you’ll be in.
- Take advantage of our cool Colorado evenings by lowering your air conditioning use. Use ceiling, attic, and whole house fans that use less electricity than air conditioning.
- Trap the cool air in. Keep the hot air out by closing windows, closing drapes and blinds, and closing doors to rooms you don’t use during the day.
- Use fans. Ceiling fans give a gentle cooling breeze and floor and table fans can keep air circulating in individual rooms. And don’t forget the kitchen exhaust fan. It removes hot cooking air and draws cool evening air in through open windows.
- Move your cooking outdoors. Homeowners are finding that outdoor kitchens add enjoyment to summer cooking while keeping the heat outdoors.
- Dress for the weather. Lightweight, loose clothing lets air circulate near your skin turning you into your own evaporative cooler.
- Switch to LED lighting. Incandescent bulbs waste over half their energy generating heat. That not only adds to cooling costs, it also shows up in your electric bill. LED bulbs are cool, energy efficient, and long-lasting.
Allstar Electrical Services is committed to helping you enjoy your summer at the lowest possible cost. Our extensive residential services are there to help you reach that goal. Visit our website to learn more. Then email us or give us a call at 303.399.7420 to schedule an appointment.