This year's hot summer is sending eletric bills higher.
We found some tips in this Smart Money article about how you can work to lower your bills.
1. Arrange an HVAC inspection. Anyone can hire a certified technician for an annual check that their homes heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system is operating at peak efficiency.Inspections usually cost 50 to 100-dollars, but that could easily be offset by the energy savings over time.
2. Keep it clean. Changing your air filters will help ensure your heat and air units are kept running efficiently. If you don't, it will make unit to work harder and longer and lead to high energy bills.
3. Change light bulbs. Swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents can save $35 in energy costs over the projected life of the bulb. And not only do CFL's use less energy than conventional bulbs, but they also generate less heat.
4. Fix the bill. Ask the utility company about fixed-bill plans, which charge the same amount every month for a set period, regardless of electricity use. Users pay a premium rate per kilowatt hour to hedge against price increases and seasonal spikes, so make sure to crunch the numbers to confirm the savings.
5. Unplug. Gadgets like cell-phone chargers or microwaves drain energy as long as they're attached to a power source. Plug those devices into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
6. Avoid chores. The hotter the space, the harder an air conditioner must work to keep things cool. Limit the use of heat-generating appliances like ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers during the daytime hours when temperatures are hottest.