It’s that time of year, at that time of month… you just got your high summer electric bill… Yikes!
Electric prices have been going up in one form or another over past few years and electric price forecasts continue to forecast higher electric prices..There are many factors that go into your final bill amount. Some of these include the cost of generation, ie the costs to maintain the electric plants, lines, transformers, rights of way, and taxes from state and local governments, fuel costs etc.
Why Are Electric Prices Going Up?
Heck why do grocery prices keep going up?…seams like everything is increasing in price…
About electric costs…. The electric companies have to close or convert old coal plants to gas or close them. This is because coal plants can’t meet the new clean air act regulations. Regulations that I may add that are to protect everyone from dangerous emissions that can have health side effects including cancer and warming our planet.. The nuclear power plants are getting old … towards the end of their service life… as they age the plants need more repairs or need to close. This creates more costs. Now that closed plant needs to be replaced .. again more costs. TECO, Duke Florida, FPL, and others are all adding solar energy plants. That’s a great thing but again costs to add new power plants…
To be fair, Florida electric costs are lower than most of the nation; however unlike most of the nation we Floridians need to run air conditioning about 8 months a year!
What can you do?
You can start by cutting your electric consumption…and go solar! To get to near $0 Bill you need to do both. Buying a solar panel system while having a home that is not energy efficient… that’s like trying to AC a home with the windows open….it’s a waste of money!
1) Light Bulbs:
Replace incandescent bulbs with led lighting –save 80% on electric lighting costs.
2) Air conditioning:
Set it a few degrees higher when your not home. Buy a nest thermostat… after 1 week of manual adjustment it learns your desired temperatures and times…. simple … easier than those complicated programable thermostats! Also if your HVAC unit is very old and a low seer rating … like 9 or 10… consider buying a new AC unit. Today ac units are 13 seer or greater. You would be amazed at the savings… Look at your summer electric bills vs spring this will give you an idea how much AC is costing you. If it’s a large difference get a more efficient HVAC.
A new refrigerator can save you about $18/month Based on local rates in St. Petersburg or Clearwater . This all depends on your electric rate .. how old the fridge is etc. This is according to Energy Star.
Have an old fridge in garage?-get rid of it! If it’s really old–over 20 yrs old+ It’s probably costing you $40+ a month to run!
Buy a toaster oven…about $50-$80. Have you ever just wanted to warm up a slice of pizza or something small? Well if you use a full size oven your wasting 10 min to warm up … plus cooking time on a big oven… lots of electric used for oven and now that heat is making kitchen warm… this means for AC to cool of a room.
4) Attic Insulation and Solar Attic Fan
Have an evaluation done if you don’t have enough add more .. could cut electric costs 20% or more depending on how mach you have and how much you add .. R38 is recommended. Add a solar attic fan actively push hot are outside and bring cooler air in through ridge or eve vents. This makes your AC work less –particularly if air handler is in attic.
5) Pool Pump:
Replace a single speed pump for a variable pump .. a pump running 8 hrs per day could save about $472 /yr!
6) Solar pool heater:
Less expensive to run vs a heat pump pool heater. according to Florida Solar Energy Center you could save $500 or more by using solar.
7) Dry Clothing On a Clothes Line:
Ok…. I know this is old school…some of you may be in an hoa that doesn’t allow this …. but if you can do it! The sun’s heat is free…and so far they have not taxed it.
These can be expensive… however is you have a single pane windows now, a new gas filled double pane will make a huge savings in home cooling costs… Also consider that new windows are hurricane rated for the newer building code and will protect your home. You may qualify for a home insurance discount.
9) Solar Domestic hot water Hot Water (Solar DHW).
Electric water heaters can be about 25-30% of your electric bill if you have 3 or more people in the home. Go Solar! You can also have hot water in case power goes out!
10) Solar Panels
(Solar PV, Solar Electric) Solar electric, the time has come! Falling solar panel prices along with Florida solar incentives and Federal tax has made solar electric a dream come true! We are seeing customers save an average $500/yr starting year 1! and growing contact us for a free solar quote.
Green Planet Solar Systems offers customers solutions to lower their electric bills is a local Tampa Bay Solar Contractor.