10 Ways to Lower Your Summer Electric Bill
Sunrun Team· 6
Now’s the time to take control over rising energy costs and get the clean power you deserve.
It looks like the country might be in for another sweltering summer, and there’s no question that the pandemic will force millions of Americans to try and stay cool as they work from home.1,2
If you experienced a spike in your electricity bill last year, you’re far from alone. Last summer, one-third of U.S. households saw electricity bills increase by 10% to 15%.3 It’s no surprise: the more time we spend working from home, the more power we’ll use to stay cool during the hottest months of the year, which amounts to a higher electricity bill.4,5
If you’re one of the many Americans adapting to life at home,2 this handy guide can help you beat the heat without taking a hit on your summer electric bill. From small updates to affordable, renewable energy solutions, Sunrun has you covered all summer and beyond.
Sunrun’s Summer Power Savings Guide
- Program your thermostat. It takes a lot of energy to keep your home cool. In fact, this accounts for one-sixth of residential electricity use in the U.S., and spikes to a whopping 40% of residential electricity use in the summer.6
If you own your home, we recommend that you invest in a programmable thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature throughout the day.7 Raising your thermostat by just two degrees could save up to 10% on your electricity bill.6
Not sure how high you should go? The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting AC units at 78° if your health permits.4
- Clean your AC filter. If your home has central air, make sure to regularly clean the air filter in your AC unit. Not only does the filter collect dust, grime, and mold, but a dirty filter requires more energy to run and can lead to a higher electric bill.8
- Cool down with a fan. Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than air conditioning.9
When you raise your thermostat a few degrees while circulating the air with a ceiling fan, you’ll be sure to save on energy costs. Just make sure you turn the fan off when you leave the room.6
- Keep your windows covered. When you let the sunshine in during the summer, it can force your AC system to work extra hard to keep cool. Make sure to keep your windows covered to reduce the amount of heat that gets trapped in your home.3 As much as 76% of sunlight that falls on a standard window becomes heat.4 Keep your blinds drawn between 2 PM to 7 PM, which are typically the hottest hours of the day.4 When the sun goes down and the outdoor temperature drops below the inside temperature, open your windows and your blinds to let the cooler air in.6
- Work around the oven. Firing up the oven can cost you, especially in the summer. When you use your oven to cook, it can increase the room’s temperature by up to 10 degrees, causing your AC to kick into overdrive. Opt for an outdoor grill or microwave instead, as you could save 2% to 5% on cooling costs.4
- Run water on cold settings. Water heaters use about 17% of a household’s energy.4 To save on water heating, start with the washing machine: adjust your machine to cold water settings to help save on your electricity bill. About 80% of the electricity your washing machine consumes is used for heating water.
- Invest in energy saving appliances. In addition to the AC, large appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer and dryer are some of the biggest consumers of electricity in your home.10 If you’re ready to replace one or more of these appliances, make sure to look for the Energy Star label.11 Energy Star products typically use 10% to 40% less energy than other models, so you’ll be sure to see even more savings on your electric bill.7
- Avoid “vampire power.” You may not realize it, but you spend a couple of dollars a month on any device that’s plugged into your home, even if you aren’t actively using it.3 Also known as “vampire power,” the amount of power that plug-in electronics use can really add up over the course of a year.
Unplug devices and chargers around your home that aren’t being used. That includes things like laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, and phone chargers. Connecting them all to a power strip makes it easy to switch the power on and off and could save you up to $200 a year on your energy bills.4
- Go solar to combat summer heat waves. The fact of the matter is that electricity rates continue to rise as summers get hotter and longer, but we can use summer sun to our advantage with solar power.12,13
It may be obvious, but solar systems generate the most power in the summer when the sun is out for longer and its rays are the strongest.14 Solar energy systems also provide clean energy and don’t emit harmful greenhouse gases like fossil fuels.15 On top of that, you’ll likely be able to see savings on your utility bill when you go solar.
For as little as $0 down, Sunrun’s flexible solar plans let you lock in a low rate for 25 years. You’ll protect yourself from surprise utility bills as utility rates, and even off-peak rates, continue to rise.12 Our monthly solar plan is also backed by our industry-leading Solar Guarantee, which includes 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, as well as full insurance coverage. That way, you can worry less about staying cool during the summer and enjoy 100% peace of mind. See Sunrun’s comprehensive Solar Guarantee.
- Offset peak electric rates with a solar battery. Some utilities offer Time-of-Use plans that raise electricity rates when energy use is at its peak.16 With Sunrun’s solar and battery storage, you can buffer the cost of peak Time-of-Use rates by storing up the sun’s energy to use when you need it most. Solar battery storage will give you the freedom to use clean, renewable energy whenever you need it, without the anticipation of a sky-high utility bill at the end of the month.
Learn more about solar battery storage with Sunrun.
The World Is Getting Warmer
If last year was any indication, summers will continue to get hotter and hotter across the country.1 While COVID has forced millions to shelter in place, many have relied on vital air conditioning to protect themselves from scorching heat. In 2020, Tucson’s household electricity usage broke a record for peak demand on July 31.17 And in Salt Lake City, residents endured the city’s sixth warmest year ever recorded.1 As temperatures continue to trend upwards, we need a clean energy solution that both mitigates climate change while giving us the protection we need.
Stay Cool with Solar Power
Sunrun is here to help you and your family stay safe from dangerous summer heat waves and the increasingly damaging effects of climate change. Now’s the time to take control over rising energy costs and get the clean power you deserve.
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