When summer approaches people do you pay more attention to your energy costs?
It’s natural since it costs more to stay cool during this hot (often sweltering) period.
You probably notice that media outlets do the exact same thing.
There really isn’t very much different across the different articles, blog posts, and news reports.
The old standards always take center stage:
- Turning off lights and accessories when not in use
- Using digital thermostats to automatically regulate indoor temperatures
- Using ceiling fans to reduce the reliance on air conditioners among various other tips
- Unplugging items not in use
Believe me, I have no problem with several different sources reporting the same information in similar ways.
There are, after all, only so many topics for an entire niche group to speak on, and there are bound to be some topics that get repeated.
However, it surprises me that I’ve never read about this one simple way to save significantly during those hot-weather months.
Power Cycling & Appliance Shut-Off Programs
Everyone can attest to the fact that the summer months are the most draining on their finances, with so much energy being needed to bring the indoor temperature down during this time.
Stopping just short of walking around the house naked, there is only so much you can do without an air conditioner to escape the heat.
Sure, you can sit in a tub of ice water or take a cold shower, but continually doing so will increase your water bill, and you really can’t get very much else done while doing so.
Did you know that your residential power supplier can help you reduce the costs of your summer cooling bills?
It shouldn’t cost you a single penny to do, while taking a minimal amount of time to set up.
Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of such a deal?
Really, all you have to do is sign up with your power company for their energy reduction program.
Each company calls it something different, and the savings also differ across the companies, but the premise is relatively the same.
You call the power company and tell them you want to be part of the energy savings program.
They schedule a technician to visit your home and install a remote switch inline with one of several types of high energy usage appliances.
The technician leaves, and you’re all set.
What happens once the switch is installed?
For the most part, nothing.
Many times, you won’t even notice that the attached appliance isn’t being run.
Most of the time this is just a convenience fee that you get paid to make yourself available for these programs.
The only time you will be effected is in times of energy emergencies, which don’t occur very often, if at all.
I have my home set up with Florida Power and Light.
The installation took all of 10 minutes, and on my bill each month, I can clearly see the credit being given to me.
Some companies give a flat amount, while others give a percentage paid monthly; some have high dollar value incentives, while other pay less.
It all varies depending on who services your home and the program they offer.
New: Peak Time Alerts
There’s even a new way to save during high-load times like the summer.
The rules vary widely, from free to monthly subscription service, but the concept is relatively similar.
For some, companies, ahead of predicted times, you will get some sort of alert: text, email, phone call.
This will tell you when the peak times are during which you reduce your electric consumption and earn credits.
For others, you will receive steep discounts to use electricity at off-peak times.
It’s not as widely available as the power-cycling programs are, but if you can stack these two types of programs, you can be in for some serious savings!
These are just a sampling of some of the companies in the bigger markets in the United States.
You would need to call or go the website of your own provider to see if you are eligible for anything like this.
If you are, you may be in for some sweet summertime bonuses:
Entergy Summer Advantage Program (Arkansas)
PG&E SmartAC program (California)
SDG&E Reduce Your Use Rewards (California)
Xcel Energy Saver’s Switch (Colorado)
Delmarva Power & Light Energy Wise Rewards (Delaware)
FP&L OnCall program (Florida)
Duke Energy Florida EnergyWise Home (Florida)
Georgia Power Power Credit (Georgia)
MidAmerican Energy Summer Saver (Illinois)
Duke Energy Indiana Power Manager (Indiana)
Indiana Michigan Power Peak Reduction (Indiana – South Bend)
Indianapolis Power & Light CoolCents (Indiana)
Vectren Summer Cycler (Indiana/Western-Ohio)
Duke Energy Power Manager (Kentucky)
LG&E/KU Demand Conservation (Kentucky)
Delmarva Energy Wise Rewards (Maryland)
Xcel Energy Time Of Day Plan (Michigan)
PSE&G Cool Customer Program (New Jersey)
PNM Power Saver (New Mexico)
ConEd Smart AC (New York – NYC)
PSE&G Long Island Smart Savers Program (New York – Long Island)
Dominion Smart Cooling Rewards (North Carolina)
Duke Energy Power Manager (North Carolina)
Xcel Energy Saver’s Switch (North Dakota)
Duke Energy Power Manager (Ohio)
Idaho Power A/C Cool Credit Program (Oregon)
PECO Central A/C Cycling program (Pennsylvania)
Duke Energy Power Manager (South Carolina)
MidAmerican Energy Summer Saver (South Dakota)
Xcel Energy Saver’s Switch (South Dakota)
Reliant Degrees Of Difference (Texas)
Dominion Smart Cooling Rewards (Virginia)
LG&E/KU Demand Conservation (Virginia)
Appalachian Power Residential Peak Reduction Program (West Virginia)
Alliant Energy Appliance Cycling (Wisconsin)
Xcel Energy Saver’s Switch (Wisconsin)
Additional Assistance Paying Energy Bills
You may need even more help than a few dollars of statement credits to make your energy bills affordable.
Well, you may be in luck in that department as well.
A large number of power companies have plans for making it easier to anticipate and budget for energy costs.
One such example is FPL Budget Billing, where the company does a 12-month look-back to get a base then adjusts it based on actual activity.
The plan is to make bills more similar month-to-month rather than varying wildly.
Another program most energy companies implemented payment assistance plans.
It varies from company-to-company and region-to-region.
In general, there are programs in place to help based either on foundation grants, community outreach, or governmental intervention.
Do yourself a favor and find out about what plans you may be eligible for..
What is the worst that can happen?
Your company may not have an energy saving program?
The alternative is being able to save a few (or few hundred) bucks by doing nothing other than allowing your energy company regulate some of your power consumption in order to keep full power to your area.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
And if you’ve already done all of this, let everyone know of your experience in the comments!