Improving your energy efficiency not only lowers your energy bills, it goes a long way to helping the environment. With simple lifestyle changes, you can start saving today.
Set the water heater thermostat to low. Wash clothes in cold water.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs like LEDs, they last longer and use less power.
Turn off lights, A/C, ceiling fans and electronics when not in use.
Clean the coils under the refrigerator to increase its lifetime.
Install a programmable thermostat.
Have your A/C and furnace serviced by a professional yearly.
Improve attic insulation. (R-38 is a good insulation amount. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulation’s thermal performance.)
Improve/replace weather stripping around doors and windows.
Add solar screens or window tinting.
Replace old appliances with Energy Star-rated appliances.
If your A/C unit is older than 10 years, consider replacing it with an Energy Star-rated unit with a SEER rating of 14 or higher.
Replace single pane windows with low-E Energy Star-rated windows.
Use motion detectors or timers to cut down on outdoor lighting times.
The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat no lower than 78⚬ F when you are home and need cooling. Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be since the unit will not need to run as frequently.
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in higher electric bills. Assuming that your air conditioner is properly sized and operates on a 20-degree differential (the difference between the temperature inside and outside the home), an AC system would be operating continually if the thermostat was set at 78⚬ F when the outside temperature is at 98⚬ F or more.
During summer months in Arizona, we often experience multiple days with temperatures at 100⚬ F or higher. If you’re not at home during the day, set your thermostat higher to stay within the 20-degree differential. Consider a programmable thermostat so that you control how often and when the air conditioner operates.
The more frequently your AC cycles on and off, the more energy you use. The goal is to keep the thermostat set at a temperature that is comfortable for you, but high enough that the system doesn’t cycle on and off too frequently.
If the temperatures outside continue to increase, but you are not also increasing your thermostat, and the temperature differential between the outside and inside temperatures become larger, the AC unit will cycle on more frequently and result in higher energy usage and larger electric bills.
Also note that if you have a second refrigerator or freezer that is in unconditioned air (porch, garage, etc.), those units will also work harder to maintain the internal temperature while the outside temperatures continue to rise, resulting in more consumption and higher energy costs. While you might not do anything different from day-to-day or week-to-week, the outside temperatures do play a big part in your energy consumption.
Sign up for SmartHub. This application provides convenient account access to Usage Explorer, giving you a detailed look at your past and current usage, all in one place. You can view your usage and weather trends by month, or if available, by day. Along with daily consumption, you can see the high, low and average temperatures with an option to view the daily cost. Many Trico Members are utilizing this tool in an effort to reduce their power bills.
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