PECO rates for residential electric raise are going up on July 1st (and than again on October 1st) but you can combat these increase with a two-step plan:
- Switch your electric generation supplier to a different company – like Stream Energy.
- Make a few small changes in your electric consumption to lower your electric use.
The most beneficial way for you to save money on your monthly electric bill is to reduce the amount of electric your household uses each month. The average home use 875 kWh per month, at PECO’s new rate ($0.1042 / kWh) that equals a monthly generation bill of $91.75. If you include taxes and fees most homes will pay about $105.00 each month.
Switching to CFL Bulbs - Compact Florescent Light (CFL) Bulbs use less energy (kWh) than a standard incandescent light bulbs to provide the same level of illumination. Not only do CFLs use about 70% less electricity, they produce less heat which can help lower your cooling costs during the summer months. CFLs do cost a little more than a standard light bulb but they last up to 10 times longer!
Clean your Air Filters – A dirty air filter in your central air conditioner unit or window unit can reduce the flow of air making your air conditioner unit work harder (use more electricity) to cool the space. You should check your filters for dirt ever month and change them an average of every three months to get the best results.
Change to “SMART” Power Strips – Your electronic devices (computers, televisions, DVD players, etc.) continuously use electricity even when not being used, this is called “phantom energy.” A smart power strip shuts down energy to the device not being used which can save up to 10% of your electric usage! Smart power strips have different features and set ups, check them out to find the one best suites your needs.
Use your Ceiling Fans (correctly) – When used properly a ceiling fan can saving on cooling costs between 25% – 40%! Ceiling fans are designed to cool people, not rooms – so they should only be used when someone is in the room. During the summer months your ceiling fans should rotate COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, this drives the air downward and creates a light breeze keeping room occupants cooler. In the colder months, reverse your ceiling fans to create a down-draft and circulate the warmer air that accumulates by the ceiling.
Install Programmable Thermostats - A programmable thermostat can save about $200 a year on your heating / cooling costs. The thermostats can create different temperature periods for when your home is not occupied, like while you’re at work. Programmable thermostats are easier to install for the DIYer with few basic tools.
Remember the other important part to save money on your monthly electric bills is to get the best Electrical Generation rate possible. Electric choice has been in Pennsylvania for more than 10 years, most of Southeastern Pennsylvania was “left in the dark” about electric choice because PECO was under a legislative rate caps. Those rate caps expired the end of last year (2010) and I’m sure you have noticed that your PECO Electric rates have gone up. The price you pay for electricity is going up (see my blog about PECO rates for more information). You can expect PECO rates to increase every quarter (yep, 4 times a year)! Be an informed consumer, shop now for a better rate / service. Contact me for more information about switching your electrical supplier – not only can you get a lower rate and save money but you will be able to choose from a green/renewable energy sources.