SAN ANTONIO — The summer is coming. It will bring not only the sun, but higher power bills. Plus, we are already seeing bigger bills because of the recent CPS Energy rate hike. We found no-cost ways to reduce your power costs.
Let us start with your parents’ rule: Turn off unused lights and save $35.
Close the curtains to keep out the sun, that saves $20.
Unplug electronics when not in use for another $65 in savings.
Reduce the heat in the kitchen so you do not have to get out of it. Make meals that do not need to be cooked like salads or grill outdoors to shave off $5 off your bill.
Cook with smaller appliances like crockpots, instant pots, microwaves or toaster ovens to save $13.
“Those things are especially good because they’re relatively inexpensive because that will keep you from heating up a larger space when you turn on that oven,” said Christine Patmon of CPS Energy.
Skip the heat dry on your dishwasher for $27 in savings.
Wash laundry in cold water to save $22.
Fill up your dryer with several loads of laundry before running it to keep $15 in your wallet.
Air-dry your laundry outside, if you can, to save $50.
“Why not let the sun do your drying job as opposed to turning on the dryer inside the house?” Patmon said. “Invest in one of those little laundry racks and put the clothes outside.”
Cannot have a close line? Get creative and hang items from your shower rod.
Take a cooler, shorter shower. You will save $10 for every minute you cut.
Here is where you can find big savings: Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. You will save $210. It sounds like it might be too toasty, so turn on a fan when you are in the room. It uses less energy, will cool you down, and saves you a cool $100.
“It will make you feel four to six degrees cooler,” Patmon said. “I promise you. It works all the time for me. I can bump up the thermostat to 80 degrees as long as I’m in a room with a ceiling fan.”
That will fan the savings on your power bill.
Here are a few low-cost options to create more savings:
Change your air filter monthly to save $10. You do not need to use an expensive one.
“If you hold that filter up to your face and you can’t see through it, it needs to be changed,” Patmon said.
Switch light bulbs to LED bulbs as incandescent bulbs burn out.
“If you ever touched a regular incandescent light bulb and it’s been on, you will likely burn your hand,” Patmon said. “An LED bulb, even after it’s been on for hours is still cool to the touch. So that means those lights are not putting out heat into your environment.”
LED bulbs are more expensive but can save you $55 per bulb for the life of the bulb.