With temperatures going up heading into summer, Dominion Energy says don’t be surprised to see your energy bill go up too.
That’s because the utility says cooling systems have to work harder to keep homes at a comfortable temperature, but there are some things you can do now to minimize the impact on your bill:
- If you’re doing laundry, dry clothes in the evening when it’s cooler. Drying clothes can heat up your home, forcing your system to work harder, especially during the daylight hours. The same goes for washing dishes.
- Keep your refrigerator set between 35 and 39 degrees.
- Unplug electrical appliances when not in use. (i.e. televisions, phone chargers, video games, etc.)
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees. From there, every degree you raise your thermostat can help save up to 3 percent on your bill, Dominion Energy says.
- Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows add heat to your home and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
- Check and clean filters. Cleaning and replacing air conditioning filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
- Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing down.
Those are just some of the suggestions from Dominion Energy. Click here for a full list.
Dominion says it knows not everyone will follow all of these tips; it just depends on what you’re willing to pay for.
“Like your shower. You might want to take your hot water heater and turn it down a bit. You might not mind putting it at 120 degrees because in the summertime you might be willing to take a cooler shower. I like hot showers and I like it really cold at night, but I’m willing to pay for that so you have to decide how to price your comfort,” said spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris.
Billingsley Harris says the utility gets calls every year from customers surprised to see their bill increase. They’re expecting to start getting those calls again in June.
Dominion has programs for low-income families and military families. Some might be eligible for a weatherization expert to come to their home and do an “energy audit.”