Weather & Your Bill
Weather affects our lives in many ways.
Farmers need to know if it is going to be dry enough to mow hay.
Will the kids need a jacket for the morning bus ride? The list is endless. Weather also affects your electric bill in many ways. Let’s delve in to it.
Members can use SmartHub to view their usage and average daily temperatures for their area to see how the weather is affecting their bill.
To learn more about SmartHub click here.
Up to 50 percent of a home’s energy bill is attributable to heating and cooling. Homes that heat with electricity are affected the most by weather. But even fossil fuel heating systems will experience higher electric consumption during colder weather conditions because of longer air handler run times.
Energy consumption can be reduced despite the weather by a number of ways. Increase attic insulation to R-38. Caulk and seal around windows, doors and any outside plumbing and electrical penetrations. Don’t forget to seal and insulate around attic door hatches. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically turn down or up heating and cooling when away from home for eight hours or more, and overnight while sleeping. CEC recommends winter settings at 68 degrees, and summer cooling at 78 degrees. Energy consumption is affected 3 to 4 percent for every degree change above or below these benchmarks. Use ceiling fans to help distribute heating and cooling and lower thermostat run time.
High humidity and dew point levels affect energy consumption when utilizing a dehumidifier. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in air reflected as a percentage. Dew point is the temperature at which dew forms. Humidity above 60 percent, and dew point temperatures at 70 degrees or higher, increases unit run time. Dehumidification can add as much as $20 to $40 a month to an electric bill. CEC recommends closing basement windows and door under such weather conditions. Clean the unit’s filter monthly. Do not locate the unit near open water sources such as sump pump floor pit.
Summer time moisture removal from kitchens and bathrooms also helps lessen energy consumption for air conditioning and dehumidifiers. Operate kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans for up to 15 minutes after cooking and shower use.
Melt cables are an effective means to eliminate ice dams near rain gutters. Unfortunately, electric cables consume as much as $20 to $40 per month. Remember to turn them off when ice formation has been removed.
Farm animals and horses require plenty of fresh, available water sources in winter. Providing them can be challenging and expensive. Livestock trough heaters can range as high as 1,500-watts, similar to an electric space heater. Please be aware they can consume over $4 per day of electricity per unit. A suggestion maybe using smaller 200-watt bucket heaters.
There is not much we can do about the weather. But it is always smart to be aware of how it can affect your electric bill. Follow the ideas listed above to help reduce how your energy consumption and enjoy whatever Mother Nature sends us.