How to Keep Your Summer Energy Bills Down

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Most people love soaking up the summer sun, but this season could mean heftier electric bills. While A/C use is a must as temperatures soar, try some money-saving strategies to keep energy bills from breaking the bank over the next few months.

Thermostats 101

  • Get a smart thermostat so you can regulate cooling when you’re not home. You can save as much as 10% on your energy bill if you raise your thermostat between 7 and 10 degrees when you are not home during the summer.
  • Think about the location of the thermostat. Place it on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, drafts, and windows.
  • Set thermostats at the highest temperature you can stand while remaining comfortable. The U.S. Department of energy recommends an indoor temperature of 78 degrees in summer.


Add window coverings to improve energy efficiency. About 76% of sunlight that enters through a window in summer turns to heat in your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Whether it’s shades, drapes, plastic film on the glass, storm windows, outdoor shutters, or awnings, these options can reduce glare, block sunlight, and save energy.

Fan yourself 

Whether it’s a stand, box, or ceiling, fans reduce energy costs and let you raise temperatures as much as 4 degrees while keeping you comfortable. Keep ceiling fans running counterclockwise and turn them off when you leave the room (the goal is to keep you cool, not the room). Shower with bathroom fans on to remove heat and humidity.


Longer days mean more natural light. Leave the lights off and when you need them, remember not all lightbulbs are alike. Turn off incandescent lights whenever you leave the room. They’re inefficient and give off heat. While halogen lights are more efficient, turn those off, too.

When it comes to LED lights and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, leave them on. Both are very energy efficient.

Cold water

When it’s hot out, it’s the perfect time for a cold shower. Save money by using less hot water. Wash clothes in cold water and set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. Heating water requires more energy.

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