7 Tips for Reducing Summer Energy Bills

Mel Hall-Crawford, CFA’s Special Projects Director and resident energy efficiency expert, was recently interviewed for a U.S. News Money article about, “Smart Ways to Slash You Summer Bills”. With all of us turning up the cold air this summer, it’s important to insulate your wallet to prepare for the heat ahead.

Here are some tips to stay cool:

  • Exchange your current energy-eating light bulbs for efficient, fluorescent bulbs – In CFA’s guide to buying new light bulbs, the CFA attributes the value of fluorescent bulbs to their durability and low energy consumption, and says each bulb will save you up to $50 over the bulb's lifetime.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – When used properly, this device can save users up to $150 per year. "[Programmable thermostats] are one of the most important things to install in the home," says Hall-Crawford, "The system should be programmed to allow the home to use less energy while no one is home. If the home is empty, it can be warmer."
  • Weather stripping your house – Hall-Crawford says weather stripping, when done correctly, can make your home more comfortable and save you money at the same time. "If you're letting hot air in during the summer, you're working against the cooling system, wasting energy and losing money on your energy bills," she says.
  • Upgrading your appliances – "The refrigerator has come a long way," Hall-Crawford says. "Modern models are much better than they were in the 80s and 90s, and the standards are just getting better." Hall-Crawford also suggests looking for the Energy Star logo, which means the product meets or exceeds federal efficiency standards.
  • Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years, usually will save you lots of money in the long-term.
  • Weatherproof your home – Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.
  • Use window coverings to block or let in sunshine – In summer, use these coverings to block sunlight, keeping your house cool. In winter, open the coverings to let sunshine warm the house. You could easily save more than $100 annually while being more comfortable.

For more ways to cut costs around the house this summer, check out our post “54 Ways to Save Money”

 

Take the Pledge

I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 25, 2013

    Tip to #save when shopping: You can #save more than 10% by comparing prices at different stores.

Saver Stories View all »

Another Dream Realized

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | November 7, 2014

Mary Brown was already a disciplined individual when she came to Wisconsin Saves coordinator Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) in last summer. She had successfully completed her bachelor’s degree with the assistance of her husband and son, and was now ready to tackle her next big dream – homeownership.

Read more...

Taking Steps Toward Financial Fitness

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | November 7, 2014

Nicky Vasquez learned about Virginia Saves when she attended her first class with Bank On Virginia Beach. The instructor shared how important it was to have a written savings goal, and the entire class joined Virginia Saves as the first step toward financial fitness.

Read more...

Jump-Starting a Financial Makeover

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Nichelle Johnson, a single mom with two teenage children, knows what it’s like to stretch a dollar. When she moved back to Virginia Beach in 2008, she provided for her family with just a part-time library position.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Sign up for Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Sign Up

Sign up for Emails

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Get Emails

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving