Updated: Aug 30
As we make the transition from summer to fall, you might be looking at your summer utility bills with dismay. After Pepco increased their rates in June and with temperatures rising year after year, it wouldn't be surprising if you ended up with with higher utility bills this summer.
The good news is that becoming more conscientious about your electricity consumption can make a significant impact on your utility bill and reduce your overall carbon footprint. Let's look at some practical tips to help figure out how to start saving energy before your next bill cycle.
Pepco Peak Energy Savings Credit
Pepco's Peak Energy Savings Credit allows customers to earn credits on their bill for reducing energy on during designated times of high energy demand. Pepco sends customers a reminder the day before a peak day via phone, text, or email, and the hours are usually between noon and 8pm. There's no sign up required, just simply reduce your energy consumption to below your average amount of energy during the allotted hours and you'll receive a credit on your bill. These could be great days to choose to spend the day outside.
Sign Up for a Free Pepco Inspection
Did you know Pepco offers free home energy audits? With their Quick Home Energy Check-up Program, Pepco will send a certified Energy Analyst to your home to check out your insulation, windows, doors, heating/cooling systems and more. They'll leave you with a full report of recommendations on how to start saving energy in your home immediately. They can also help install new ENERGY STAR appliances for free. You can sign up for an appointment every five years.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances
If you're thinking about upgrading some of your home appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. This is a government backed label that will ensure whatever you're getting is designed to use less electricity. Thanks to the IRA bill, customers can also get a 30% tax credit on most ENERGY STAR® air conditioners, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and more. Heating and cooling systems make up about half of a home's energy bill, so be sure your HVAC system is also up to date. Find out more about the ENERGY STAR® program and browse through everything from appliances to LED lightbulbs on their website.
Make the Most of the Great Outdoors
This might seem like an obvious one, but the more time you spend outside, the less you need to be blasting AC and fans. The DC area boasts some really beautiful parks and trails. If you have outdoor space at home, create shaded areas using natural vegetation or shaded coverings. Make the most of the long summer days and cook your dinner on an outdoor grill rather than inside. You could also consider installing solar-powered outdoor lighting to enhance the ambiance of your outdoor spaces without increasing your energy consumption.
Consider Solar Panels for Your Home
With IRA tax credits in place for another ten years, it's really never been a better time to install solar panels on your home! With long days in the summer, you'll be happy to see higher electricity production and low electricity bills. Between the strong local and federal tax incentives, the DC Solar for All program, and a multitude of financing options - regardless of your budget - there's a solar panel option for you. Find out more about your solar solution options by requesting a free quote from Solar Solution here.