Energy Efficiency Experts Share Money-Saving Tips for Summer


Yes, you can reduce your energy bill, even in the sweltering summer heat.

That’s according to John Keever, Lead Energy Services Specialist, and Alan Miller, Energy Advisor, both with ElectriCities of North Carolina.

Keever and Miller conduct energy audits for public power customers throughout North Carolina.

When it comes to saving energy, they say small actions can add up to big results. With these tips, you can beat the heat this summer and reduce your risk of getting scorched by a high electric bill.

Close the window shades. Blocking the sun is a simple way to cool your home, especially during the hottest times of the day.

Set your thermostat to 78°F. For every degree above 78°, you’ll save 3-5% on cooling costs. The reverse is also true, so for every degree below 78°, your bill will increase by 3-5%.

“It surprises people when I tell them that their cooling system is not designed to stay at 68° in the summer,” Keever says.

Use a ceiling fan along with your AC. A fan can make you feel 4° cooler and only costs pennies.

But, Miller says, “Remember: Fans cool people, not rooms. For more savings, turn them off when you’re not around.”

Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows. Try the dollar test. Close a door or window on a dollar bill and try to pull it loose. If it slides out easily, you need to replace your weatherstripping. A 1/8-inch gap around a door or window lets out the same amount of air as a 2 1/2-inch hole in your wall.

Change dirty air filters. Dirty filters make your HVAC unit work harder. That means it uses more energy to get results. And using more energy means a higher bill! Ditch the dirty filter and swap it for a fresh, clean one each month.

That doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. “Cheap filters work just as well as the more expensive kind,” Miller says.

Clean up around your HVAC unit. Don’t let foliage or debris pile up. It forces your unit to work harder to pull in outside air.

Get your central AC system checked by a professional once a year. An improperly running unit can bump up your monthly bill.

Ask your electric provider for an energy audit. Unlock personalized tips for using electricity efficiently by inviting an expert to inspect your home.

“Concerns over high bills drive most energy audits, so we focus on reducing your utility bill, increasing energy efficiency, and improving comfort in your home,” says Keever.

For more ways to use less energy and reduce your electric bill, visit