Black Homeowners Top 21 Ways To Reduce Your Summer Energy Bill}

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Submitted by: Roy Primm

In the past I always looked forward to the summer months. The family barbecues, the hanging out at the local beach, the outdoor excitement means summer fun. But one of the biggest thrills? The reduction in my energy bill. So, you could imagine the mild shock I received when I opened this months July bill and read it. Ouch.

You may have had this same feeling when you opened yours. Before diving at my phone to call my gas company, informing them of the mistake, I saw a tiny note tucked behind the bill.

This note explained how normally the gas bill goes down in the summer months. But ( I always get nervous when they say but), due to the sudden rise in natural gas, they’ve had to pass the cost to the consumers. With everything else going up I was looking forward to my gas bill going down, considering I use much less gas in the summer, silly me.

So, I’ve decided to share these cost saving tips with you. You’re no doubt experiencing or will experience same gas bill sticker shock I experienced. Heres 21 Ways to help make up for your extra this year.

1. Try air-conditioning certain rooms you occupy instead of the whole house by closing off rooms you’re not in for long.

2. Use a fan with your air conditioner to spread the cool air around faster.

3. Use a fan instead of your air conditioner when possible.

4. Do most or all of your cooking in the early morning hours.

5. Use the microwave oven instead of the stove or oven during the day and evening hours.

6. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of ice water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and too much sugary drinks.

7. Get one those miniature spray bottles fill it with cold water and lightly spray you face, the back of your neck and legs if you’re wearing shorts.

8. Remember hot air rises, so you’ll get the coolest air laying or lounging on the floor than sitting up in a chair or on the couch. If you live in a two-story house, the coolest air is on the first floor.

9. Most utility companies offer a flex plan, or reduced payment plan for people who may have trouble paying their summer utility bill. Contact your local utility company for details.

10. For your sun facing rooms make sure you keep your blinds closed during the day. If you have to open your blinds, open them in the up position it will keep your room cooler than the down position. Try it.

11. Install white or light colored shades to reflect the heat away from the house.

12. Close window shades on the south and west side of your house during the day where the sun is hottest.

13. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. Compact fluorescents provide the same amount of light but they use one-fifth the energy and heat.

14. Lowering your hot water heater to 120 F is comfortable for most uses during the summer and will help drastically reduce your energy bill.

15. Shower in the evening instead of the morning. You’ll find it more refreshing after a h hot day and you’ll use less hot water, a cold shower may sound like a good idea after a hot steamy day.

16. Arrange your refrigerator so you can find items easily, this will avoid holding the door open too long. For every five seconds you hold the door open during hot weather reduces the refrigerator temperature 2 to 3 degrees, making it work harder and burn energy.

17. Avoid taking baths, take showers instead and save water.

18. Planting a tree on the west and south side of your house can save you up to $100 to $150 in energy cost. A deciduous tree will help cool you home in the summer while allowing sunlight in the cold winter months. Be careful of planting it too close to the house, where the roots can be a problem, consult your local nursery for details.

19. Insultating your attic can reduce your energy cost 10 to 12 percent.

20. Check your hot water tank. A hot water tank that’s warm to the touch needs additional insulation. Insulating your storage water heater tank is simple and inexpensive, and it will pay for itself in about a year. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available for $10$20. Buy one with an insulating value of at least R-8. In addition, some city utilities companies sell them at discount prices, offer rebates, and even install them at a low or no cost.

21. A home energy audit is the first step in knowing how much energy and money your home uses wastes. Its the best way to know what you must do to make your home more energy efficient. You can perform a simple energy. audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.

About the Author: Roy Primm is publisher of Black Homeowner News, the largest source of information for Black Homeowners on the internet. For information go to


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