Although LCEC Electric Rates have remained consistent this year, energy costs often go up during the summer months. In more extreme temperatures, home cooling systems must work that much harder to maintain temperatures. Home cooling costs can account for around 50 percent of the residential electric bill. In fact, air conditioning is often the average household’s largest annual power cost. Below are things to consider when looking for ways to cut back energy usage during the summer months:
- · If you have summer visitors or the kids are out of school and home during the day, this will cause increased usage. Find ways to enjoy the outdoors!
- · Extreme temperatures outside will cause your A/C to work harder to cool the inside of your home. Keeping your thermostat set at no lower than 78 degrees while you are home can help. Every degree below 78 raises your cooling costs (which contribute significantly to your bill) 8 percent.
- · Setting your thermostat to 83 degrees when you are away from home for two hours or more and no lower than 78 degrees when you home is a great way to conserve energy. Installing a programmable thermostat makes this job automatic!
- · Close drapes or blinds during the day to keep the sun from heating your home and causing your A/C to work overtime.
- · Have your A/C tuned up annually if you don’t already. Be sure to clean filters monthly!
- · If ceiling fans are running when you are not in the room, this increases your electric bill but does not contribute to cooling the house. The air from the fan only helps to cool your skin when you are in the room.
- · An extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage will work overtime to stay cold during warmer temperatures. If you don’t need it, unplug it!
- · When the oven is on, it is adding heat into the air. Instead of cooking on the oven or stove top, use a microwave whenever possible. Microwaves and toaster ovens are both more energy-efficient options.
- · Traditional incandescent bulbs work by heating a metal filament to the point where it emits light. The more incandescent bulbs you have on in your home, the more heat produced, which your A/C will have to remove from your home in order to maintain the temperature. Consider swapping these bulbs for energy-saving Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) or LED lighting.
- · Every time you open a door or window in your home while the air conditioner is on, the cold inside air escapes outside and warm air rushes in. Your A/C has to work that much harder to cool your home. Weather-striping windows and doors and adding insulation to the attic can also help maintain the temperature of your home and save your A/C the extra work.
For more energy-saving tips, visit www.lcec.net. There is an informational video regarding energy conservation at our online Learning Center and detailed energy tips on our Green page. You can also utilize LCEC online tools such as Billing Insights to show exactly where your energy dollar is going.
Established in 1940, LCEC is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Pine Island, Everglades City, Immokalee, Ave Maria, and parts of Lehigh Acres. LCEC is committed to providing efficient, reliable, cost-competitive electric and emerging energy solutions and excellent service to our customers. LCEC is also a major contributor to the local economy as one of the largest employers in Lee County with nearly 400 employees and by its support of many local agencies through charitable giving and volunteerism programs, including the United Way, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and local school districts.