Check Your Electric Bill

Summer is fast approaching, June 21, and if you're paying monthly tuition for your child's education like I am it's a welcome absence from the checking account. However, the summer means more paid out in electricity to keep me and my family cool during the lazy summer days.

I've never really paid attention to utilities before accept when visiting a new friend's home last spring. I noticed how chilly it was in the mornings—and so chilly that I had to start wearing a jacket. Brrrrrrr!

Well, it wasn't long after that I started the same routine when moving into a more spacious home with high ceilings. Now before breakfast I crank the air-conditioning on to an uncomfortable cool until just before lunch. The unit works quite a bit, but after that it gets a needed seven-hour break until after dinner. Meanwhile, the house slowly heats up as the day progresses, and only towards the last hour do we start to feel overheated.

The purpose is using ample amounts of electricity at an hour when it's at a lower kWh rate rendering a substantial savings each month. Our first full monthly bill showed that 14% was on-peak use. What?! We paid 86% off-peak use in the midst of summer when our temperatures reach high 3-digits and remain that way. It's all expected for desert weather.

Off-peak rates are certain times during the weekday, which you may be able to choose from. Not randomly, but they may have two set times, and you'll make that decision depending on your family's needs and activities. It also includes all day Saturday and Sunday and certain holidays.

The fact is that during the summer we tend to use more power because we're home more with television and small electronics, but being comfortable and making wise choices has been a win-win for us. What could be a burdensome summer electric bill is now manageable.

It takes a bit of adjusting realizing any laundry or dishwashing cycles are to be done in the evening or early morning. Again you can regulate that according to your calendar and commitments.

When implementing the new set-up for coolness at your abode let your children in on it. It's a great conversation to have over dinner, explaining that budgeting and being good stewards over our finances are commendable traits—being fiscally responsible.

Tip: Don't implement without a warning.

A related article:
Ten Strategies For A Fiscally Responsible Life

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