Summer is fast approaching and with summer comes graduations, family vacations, pool parties and of course the dreaded summer time heat. That means you’re going to try and keep your home as cool as possible, utilising air-conditioning and at the same cringing at the thought of your Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) bill increasing. There are however simple ways you can be cool and energy efficient which can make a big difference to the cost of your energy bill. It really doesn’t have to be a big investment in time or money.
Seven Ways To Lower Your Energy Bill This Summer
1) Switch off or unplug any chargers or appliances that you don’t need on.
As obvious as it may seem we often times forget to pull the plug. If the appliance has a standy-by light, a display or are hot to the touch they’ll be using energy just by being plugged in. Don’t leave your mobile phone plugged in all night, it’s not going to take that long to charge.
2) Turn off the lights!
When they’re not in use turn those lights off. Lighting accounts for about 15 per cent of a typical residential utility bill. Try to use as much natural light as you can.
4) Use cold water.
Whenever possible, wash your laundry in cold water. Switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save you a pretty penny. Additionally, you can toss a dry a towel in the dryer to significantly reduce drying times. Also, make sure you select the shortest appropriate washing cycle and waiting until you have a full load.
5) Keep it Cool!
Cooling your entire home whole house can be expensive. Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only cool the rooms you spend the most time in. Use external shading, such as external blinds or canvas awnings, to keep the sun off the closing window blinds. Promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun. To reduce your air conditioning costs during the warmer months, use fans and keep those doors, windows, and shades closed during the day to reduce heat coming in. Close blinds, shades, and drapes on the sunny side of your home during the day to help keep the house cooler bringing the temperature to a comfortable level.
It’s really worth noting that traditional Bahamian architecture actually gives consideration to our tropical clime. The earliest ‘clapboard’ houses, one of the most copied tropical styles around the world were usually positioned to receive the trade winds and reduce the need for air conditioning. Large window openings and high ceilings increased airflow, while awning-style push-out shutters shaded against direct sunlight and helped direct breezes indoors.
6) Purchase energy efficient appliances
Check the energy label to make sure you’re buying an efficient product.
Buying an energy efficient fridge and freezer could make a huge difference in energy costs compared to an inefficient model.
7. Insulate your roof.
That’s right, you can make your roof energy efficient. An insulated ceiling makes a huge difference to your energy bills. In many homes insulation is the most practical and cost-effective way to make a house more energy efficient, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.