This spring was the warmest in the recorded history of the United States, and it looks like Northwest Florida could be in for a long, hot summer. But, Gulf Power Company customers can still save on their electricity bill this summer by following these helpful tips:
Set your thermostat and leave it.
During the summer, your air conditioner is the biggest consumer of electricity. For many homes, it accounts for more than half of the summer electricity bill.
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. For every degree below that setting, you’ll use 10 percent more electricity.
Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher.
Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
Use your ceiling fan for more comfort. Only turn it on when you’re in the room. Ceiling fans only cool people, not rooms.
Clear outside AC units of plants or brush so they can run more efficiently.
-Energy Select is an advanced energy management and pricing program offered by Gulf Power that can help you save money and energy.
-A thermostat you program for comfort and savings
-Online Programming - You can now program your Energy Select thermostat from any computer with internet access.
-A special rate that features four different prices based upon the time of day, day of week and season. And, because the price you pay is lower than the normal rate 87 percent of the time, you can choose to buy electricity during lower priced periods which saves you money and energy.
-Increase attic insulation, which can save up to 30 percent on cooling and heating costs.
-Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. So the higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
-Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-38 in ceiling areas.
-Check your windows and doors for air leaks. Install weather stripping or caulking if needed.
-Whenever possible, cook a lot of meals at the same time. This uses less energy than when you cook each meal separately.
-If you’re baking, avoid opening the oven door. This lets out 20 percent of the heat. Use a cooking timer instead.
-Use pots and pans that match the size of the burners on your stove. -This allows more heat to the pan and less heat will be lost to surrounding air.
-Try to use the range instead of the oven. Better yet, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker. Both use less power than a standard electric range.
-Choose the right size refrigerator for your needs. Larger models use more energy. Open and close the refrigerator door quickly. Know what you want before opening the door.
-Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check it by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal.
-Keep your food covered. Moisture buildup in the refrigerator makes the air inside harder to cool.
-Run the dishwasher, dryer and the stove after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house.
-When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don’t need dishes right away.
-Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Partial loads can use just as much water and power as a full load.
-Scrape dishes before loading them into the dishwasher so you don’t have to rinse them. If they need rinsing, use cold water.
-One of the best ways to save energy is to turn off lights that aren’t in use.
-Use fluorescent lighting or CFLs when possible. They last about 10 times longer than incandescent lamps. And, they can produce four times more light than standard incandescent lamps, for the same amount of energy.
-Use one large bulb instead of several small ones in areas where bright light is needed.
-Use smaller lamps in work areas, like sewing areas and computer desks, so you don’t light the entire room.
-Lighter-colored walls, drapes, blinds and upholstery reflect light. Dark colors absorb heat and require more artificial light.
-Customers can get a free Energy Checkup online or at your home with an appointment. Gulf Power energy experts will analyze your house and electricity use, and look for ways to make the house more energy efficient. Just go to www.gulfpower.com or call 1-877-655-4001.
For even more ways to save money and energy, learn about our EarthCents programs at www.gulfpower.com/earthcents or call 1-877-655-4001.
Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 430,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible electric service to our customers while working to improve the communities we serve. Visit online at GulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page, “Gulf Power Company.”