While I truly believe the best thing each homeowner can do is order a Home Performance with Energy Star Check Up for your home (which is the most effective way to identify and make improvements needed to be more energy efficient), there are many ways each homeowner can reduce his/her overall electric bill without spending any money.
Some of these may seem common sense but because we work with thousands of homeowners, we see these issues every day.
1) Ensure you’re on the right utility plan for your usage. Both APS and SRP have great websites that help you identify which plan you would pay the least for. If you’ve lived in the house for at least 12 months, APS/SRP programs analyze your actual usage to determine your lowest cost plan. If you’re new to the house, you’ll great guidance based on your lifestyle. Most popular is a type of time–of-use plan that identifies on-peak and off-peak hours. Naturally, you’ll pay significantly more for on-peak usage which brings up my next way to save money.
2) Take advantage of on-peak and off-peak hours.
3) For APS customers, understand and control the DEMAND charge on your bill.
4) Evaluate your lifestyle and how many “things” are plugged in. Try to avoid extra refrigerators in your garage. Safeway and Fry’s store food for you for free.
5) In the summer, ceiling fans are great when the room is being used.
6) Take advantage of natural lighting, especially in the winter months when you don’t have to worry about the sun glaring in your house and increasing the temperature. This includes removing sunscreens in the winter.
7) Clean the coils on your AC using a hose.
8) Try to keep your house 1-2 degrees warmer during On Peak Hours vs Off Peak temperature levels.
9) Op for a new cable box that controls every TV in your house versus having a separate box for every TV.
10) Open blinds for light if and only if they are not getting hit with direct sunlight.
11) Remember to use your fans in the bathroom and laundry during the summer and winter months when your house is closed up. Your house needs some fresh air and this will force need air into the house.
12) Make sure your sun screens are not directly touching the window. For the screen to work the best, there needs to be air space between the screen and the window. If it does touch, simply remove the screen, turn it over, and reattach. This will create the space needed.