Electricity Costs are on the Rise

Electricity costs have risen to shocking heights over that past decade. Depending on the state, costs have risen between 22% and up to 33% in some parts of Illinois. If that is not enough, The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting this summer season to be a hot one.

Why is the cost of electricity rising? Rising fuel prices are a big factor – fuel is used at a number of plants to produce electricity. Try some of these tips to improve your electricity costs this summer season;

  • Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Unplug! Unplug power strips and chargers (cell phones, ipod, video game, camera, camcorder, laptop etc.) when not in use. Although they may be turned off, the “standby” energy used is equal to that of a 75 watt light bulb running continuously.
  • Cut down on your air conditioning, keep your house closed tight in the daytime. This will keep unwanted heat and humidity out. Don’t keep your windows open during the day. Close the blinds, curtains and shutters to block out those intense summer rays.
  • Use landscaping as a natural way to shade your home and block the sun. A well-placed tree, bush, or vine can deliver effective shade. Think about planting trees that lose their leaves in the fall, like the deciduous tree. This way you’ll get the shade of the leaves during the summer and direct sunlight during the winter when all the leaves have fallen off.
  • Take advantage of local utility offers to peg your energy costs to the time you use energy by doing your laundry mid-day.
  • Use your utility company budget plan. Most companies average your utility bill for the last 12 months and give you a plan in which your payments are the same each month. For example; Total electric bills for 2007 = $1,400, that amount averaged over 12 months is $116.67 a month.
  • Use low-flow shower heads and sink aerators to reduce the use of hot water and, in turn, reduce your electrical consumption. These items can be purchased for a reasonable cost at most hardware stores.
  • Dripping faucets can add $2 to $3 to your monthly electric bill. Fixes are usually very inexpensive.
  • Change your laundry habits. Whenever possible, use cold water to wash your clothing. Dry your clothes outside on a clothesline or inside on a rack instead of putting them in the dryer.
  • Fluorescent bulbs can last up to 10,000 hours and use 70% less electricity than the conventional incandescent bulbs that only last 1,000 hours. Fluorescent bulbs are ideal for installing in those hard to reach areas and areas where the lights are left on for extended periods of time.

What are some of your electricity saving practices at home?