In DC, the weather is finally getting a lot nicer out and people are starting to go out a lot more. When the weather gets really hot outside and all you want to do is stay indoors to avoid the heat, you can rack up a lot of utility bills from your electric company. The good news is, I’ve learned from my mistakes and found some ways to save money on utilities during the hot summer months. I have personally done some of these very simple things that can help you save money and have more fun.
Find Relaxing Venues with AC Nearby
Think about how many free venues there are within a 3-5 miles radius of where you live. You should also consider if they have any admission costs and if they would be cool with you sitting on your laptop relaxing there. Those are places that you should go in the summer if you’re looking to relax and stay cool; not your apartment! These places include, coffee shops, libraries, recreational centers, museums, fancy hotel lobbies, indoor parks, and university campuses if they allow non-students in their buildings.
Look into an Energy Saving Company
My friend recently interviewed with a company that helps consumers save money each month on their daily energy bill. At first I didn’t believe him but I looked them up. They are called OPOWER and they offer their service for helping people track their daily energy usage and advise consumers where they can save. Many companies use their services, too! I have heard great things about their product and if you’re looking for a small investment to help save long term, this is a great option.
Minimize Your Time at Home
If your goal is avoid keeping your utilities on at home, then you should also consider spending less time at home. This summer you should consider spending more time outside with friends, more time exercising outside, or pick up a new hobby that requires you not to be home. Whatever you do, it’s important to remember that the summer is the time to relax and have great memories. Staying at home is usually not a great memory. Last summer, I spent most of the time at work and with friends and would only be home for about 6-7 hours a night to sleep. I ended up having a great time and kept the AC costs down to about 40% for what they would have been had I spend most of my free time at home.
My math was very simple. If there are 100 days of summer and you stay at home 10 hours a day, that’s 1000 hours of utility services. If you only stay at home 6.5 hours a night, then you are only using 650 hours of utilities.