Beat Heat and Cut AC Costs
It’s no secret that this year’s summer is unusually hot and humid. As a result, the AC is going on sooner and longer than ever before.. Which leads to high electricity bills. But Pepco customers might be able to cut down their ACs and stay cool with a few easy steps. So, let’s take a look at why and how Pepco customers can cut AC use this year.
Why Cut AC Use?
First, consider how much of your bill comes from AC usage. According to this EIA 2020 report, Maryland customers use an average of 957 kilowatts-per hour (kWh) of energy per month. And Pepco’s price to compare (PTC) is currently 6.92 cents per kWh from now through September 30. That means MD customers spend an average of about $804 per year on energy supply.
In MD, AC accounts for about 12% of energy use per year. This means about $96 of the average annual supply charge pays for your AC needs. Which is usually only used 3 or 4 months out of the year.
Keep in mind that this is based on 2020 figures. According to STEO numbers, prices have increased by about 15% between 2020 to 2022. In other words, that average rises to $110 per year for AC supply charges. In short, Pepco customers are looking at a difficult and expensive summer.
How to Cut AC Use
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to cut AC costs.
- Turn down thermostat
Did you know your thermostat settings can dramatically change your heating and cooling costs? You could save up to 10% a year by setting back your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day. Your AC works less when you set conditions closer to outdoor temperatures. This means less energy used and lower costs.
Bonus Tip: Programmable thermostats make this even easier.
- Replace/Seal your windows
Did you know that heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25%-30% of heating and cooling usage? Old, inefficient windows that don’t have low-emissivity coatings on their glass that reflects heat. As a result, you’ll crank up your ACs sooner and run it longer. For that reason, you should consider replacing or sealing your windows to keep the heat out. Energy Star-approved windows can save up to 12% on cooling costs.
- Replace HVAC Filters
AC system burn a lot of power when they must run longer due to clogged air filters. The Department of Energy calculates that clean air filters make AC units use 5% to 15% less energy. For that reason, its a good idea to check and replace air filters every 2-3 months.
- Consider attic insulation
Poorly insulated attics also contribute a LOT to heating/cooling costs. In fact, during the summer, they can get heat up to about 150 degrees. And this high heat trickles into your home and makes your AC run longer and use more energy.
It may seem odd, but better attic insulation can help keep your house cooler. A well-insulated attic can block enough heat so that most homes can save up to 15% on cooling costs. Additionally, proper insulation can also keep your home warmer during the winter.
Reducing AC Means Lower Bills
Pepco customers are looking at a hot and pricey summer this year. But you can cut costs and lower energy spending with simple fixes around your home. Long-term improvements and short-term measures can dramatically cut your cooling costs this year.
You can learn more about other ways of saving money and energy by comparing rates and plans at https://www.mdenergyratings.com.