Every year without fail, as summer approaches so many media outlets turn their attention to the energy costs associated with staying cool during these hot (sometimes sweltering) months. 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. 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.
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 multitask very much 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 air conditioner 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.
Power company cycling programs
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 a summertime bonus.
Do yourself a favor: give them a call. 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!
Have you ever heard of thees types of programs before? If you have, are you on one right now? If not, do you think you’ll be calling to find out if you can get on a program like these? What kind of incentive would it take for you to sign up if you have no plans to so (and are eligible)?
This article was featured in Carnival of Personal Finance- Miami Edition