What are some strategies for shaving my summer electricity bill?

Summer has arrived and for many households that means the shock of an oversized electricity bill will soon become a painful reality. Unfortunately, surging energy bills are often unavoidable as temperatures hit 30°C and well beyond in January and February. However, by following a few simple strategies, it is possible to keep your family cool without breaking the budget this summer.

While it is tempting – and at times necessary – to blast the air conditioner to combat sweltering temperatures, the cost of keeping your home chilled while also running other household appliances soon adds up.

Consider installing ceiling fans as a more cost-effective way to keep the temperature down in the coming months. If placed strategically throughout the home, ceiling fans offer a viable cooling alternative that is also more environmentally friendly than air conditioning. An added benefit of ceiling fans may also be the reduction of heat build-up throughout the home.

Blockout blinds or curtains are also worth considering as part of your overall cooling strategy. Shutters or blinds are an effective way to stop heat from entering your home through windows and glass doors. Heavy-backed curtains can also help keep oppressive outside temperatures out when kept closed during the hottest part of the day and are a cheaper alternative to blinds. External window coverings such as awnings or shade sails may also make temperatures more bearable.

Just as insulation is key to keeping the heat in during winter, it can also improve your home’s energy efficiency in summer. Merely adding insulation strips around windows and doors to trap cold air inside can significantly reduce your overall energy bill. Installing insulation batts or upgrading existing ones could also help keep both the mercury and cost down.

Additionally, try to avoid keeping appliances such as your television or computer turned on when they are not in use. Not only will they add to your electricity bill but may also act as another source of heat.

And if you are fortunate enough to live near a waterway or on the coast take advantage of that welcome afternoon sea breeze. Open windows or screen doors to let the cooler air in whenever possible.