This time of year, we’re gearing up for guests in our home, lights on the tree and lots of good food. But with all that merriment, you might also experience a sense of sticker shock when it comes time to pay the energy bill. To avoid that unhappy surprise, we’re arming you with a few ways to stay on top of your energy use this winter.
Tips to stay on top of your energy use this winter:
- Track your energy use. Log in to your online account to check your daily, weekly or monthly use. If you have a smart meter, you can even track it down to the hour. It’s a great tool to anticipate what days will hit you the hardest when it comes time to pay the bill. It could be the day grandma, grandpa and all of the nieces and nephews are over for a meal. More people means more use.
- Pay attention to the billing cycle. The number of days in your monthly billing cycle can affect how much you pay each month. Take a look at your last energy bill. How many days did it include? How long was the billing cycle before that? Your bill will vary depending on when your meter is read. While meter reading typically happens around the same time each month, it can vary by season.
- Take into account weather conditions. Your house is essentially an insulated box with a heating device working to keep it at a constant temperature. When the temperature outside dips, that heating device works harder to maintain the inside temperature.
Combat higher energy use by keeping your thermostat as low as possible to maintain your comfort when you’re at home. You’ll typically save one to three percent on heating costs for every degree you dial down. If you’re going to be away from home for more than 5 hours, lower the thermostat at least 5-10 degrees until you return home again. It takes less energy to heat a house up then to keep it heated while you’re away.
How are you managing winter energy costs? Share your tips in the comments below. Your ideas could be used in a future #SundaySavers blog.