As we endure another summer of triple-digit temps,excessive-heat warnings are making headlines. We live in one of the warmest climates from June through September, but when it comes to paying your utility bill, there’s no need to sweat it. Air conditioners have kicked into high gear, and Salt River Project offers five reminders to help you stay comfortable and save a little extra on your energy bill:
• Windows can account for nearly 50 percent of the heat that enters your home. Close drapes and draw blinds to keep out heat and preserve furniture and carpets.
• If you prefer to look outside during the day, it’s best to install shade screens to keep your home cool and comfortable and the AC from working toohard. Shade screens are one of the most effective and least expensive ways to boost a home’s energy efficiency. SRP offers customer rebates of $0.80 per square foot on qualifying shade screens. Find out more atsavewithsrp.com.
• Bump up the thermostat a bit. For every degree the thermostat is set above 80 degrees, you can save up to 3 percent on cooling costs.
• Unplug small kitchen appliances and unused electronics around the house. Why pay for energy you are not using? “Vampire” appliances use electricity even when they are turned off, because they go into a standby mode rather than fully powering down. According to the Department of Energy, vampire appliances and electronics account for up to 5 percent of the energy used in an average home.
• Plant a free shade tree. Although it may not save you money on this summer’s bill, a shade tree can reduce your energy billby up to $50 a year once fully grown. Shade trees also improve air quality and reducethe urban heat island effect. To learn more or sign up for SRP’s Shade Tree Program, visit savewithsrp.com.
Another great way to make sure your home is prepared this summer is to have an SRP Home Performance with ENERGY STAR assessment done. For $99 (a $500 value), a home performance contractor will do a thorough energy assessment on your home. In some cases, the contractor will identify no-cost/low-cost ways to make it more energy efficient.
As the thermometer remains high and the heat lingers on, remember to keep your cool as you save some cash with these easy tips.
Kathleen Mascareñas is a media relations specialist with SRP.