It used to be more common for electricity consumption to peak in the winter, but increasingly the trend is toward summer peaks as we depend more on air conditioners and fans to help us stay comfortable.
Here are a few tips to help manage your energy during the warmer months ahead.
Create your own shade by closing blinds and drapes on windows that face directly into the sun. By limiting the sun’s radiant heat, you can lessen your use of fans, air conditioners or cold baths.
If you are using fans to keep cool, position them near a window open to a shady area, and use it to draw the cooler air in. You can also aim your fan at an open window and use the airflow to push warmer air out of your home.
Hanging your laundry on a drying rack or clothesline is a great way to save electricity and reduce heat in your home. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the scent of clothes dried in the fresh summer air.
Turning off the heat dry function on your dishwasher and letting your dishes air dry can cut dishwasher energy use by 15 to 50 per cent. Also, the dry cycle can heat up your home, and cause you to use fans or air conditioning to stay cool.
During the summer your refrigerator can become the center of the action for your home. Simply setting your fridge’s temperature between 2°C - 3°C and your freezer to -18°C will maintain the ideal chill.
Standby power can add up to 5 - 10 per cent of an average home’s electricity use. Unplug electronics when not in use.
Don’t keep all your energy saving ideas to yourself, gather the people in your home and share ways to cut your energy use. Chat about making sure dishwashers and laundry machines run full loads, or making sure lights and electronics are turned off when not in use. By working together, you could cut your energy use this summer.
Floating rate prices are influenced by demand. So, when we use more electricity or natural gas, like we do in winter, the floating rate can go up.
Our bills are generated based on when we receive meter readings, which means your billing cycle can vary between 26 to 34 days.
It only takes a couple of small changes around your home to bump up your energy use - such as new electronics or working and taking classes from home. When possible, plan for these changes by taking extra steps such as setting timers or unplugging unneeded devices.
Your bill is made up of other fees beyond your energy usage. These can be fees to support infrastructure maintenance or fees collected on behalf of the provincial regulator.
Understanding Your Bill page has a break out of all the items on your bill.
Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).