It’s almost here…we’re done counting down the days and now counting down the hours. Summer is one last bus ride away.
Along with the joys of summer comes the sorrow of our electric bill. If last year was any indication of this year (and I’m praying that it’s not) then we’re in for a scorcher. Water park and popsicle here we come. But what am I to do about this dern electric bill?
Since we signed up for the OG&E Smart Hours program I’ve had the idea of conserving in the back of my mind. I haven’t done too much about it because the spring months have been spectacular and so our heat and air use has been on the low side. We switched a few light bulbs but haven’t changed them all yet because I’m kind of waiting for them to burn out before I toss them for the new, energy-efficient ones. But now it’s time to get serious. With the warmer months come higher energy prices. During the months of June – September the energy price jumps during peak hours (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
Thanks to the Smart Hours program we are able to track our energy use.
I compared April and May of this year to the same months in 2011. Turns out this year has been better than last year. I haven’t made any significant changes in our energy use, yet. However, I’ve decided that just having the idea of conserving energy in the back of my mind has made me more aware of the lights we leave on and the temperature we have the thermostat set at. Maybe those few bulbs we changed out have made a difference and now I’m motivated to change out the rest of them.
OG&E peak hours (when the rate goes up whether you like it or not) are 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. They suggest setting your thermostat to cool the house in the morning hours and then set it for a higher temperature during the peak hours so hopefully the air won’t run as much. Most people are at work during most of the peak hours so their energy use won’t be as a big deal until they get home. Here’s my little dilemma. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m home with my two boys all day, every day. For people like me OG&E suggests I change my energy habits during the peak hours. For example, don’t do laundry, use the oven or run the vacuum during those hours. Here’s what I love about this plan…now I have a legitimate excuse as to why I can’t do housework. Using the dryer and the vacuum use too much energy and if I work up too much of a sweat doing manual labor then I might be tempted to mess with the thermostat. Sitting around reading a book is my short term solution to saving energy. Things look dusty? Then turn off the light so you can’t see it as well. Another energy-saving measure! I’m liking this more and more.
Have you signed up for the Smart Hours program (if you’re an OG&E customer)? It’s free, easy and will help you save on your electric bill this summer. What are you waiting for?!