About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Tiffany Spence is an energy expert at Florida Power & Light Company. She’s conducted thousands of energy audits at homes and businesses, helping customers find new ways to make their bills even lower.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: July 1, 2017 by Bernice W., Coral Springs
Why has my energy bill increased the past few months?
Hi Bernice, this is the age-old question, and is asked time and time again during the summer months as temperatures continue to rise. It’s plain and simple – your A/C is one of the largest energy users in your home and can account for more than half of your energy bill. So when your A/C runs longer, your energy bill is going to be higher.
There is a direct connection between outdoor temperatures and your energy usage. Your bill increases the hotter it gets outside because you’re consuming more energy due to your A/C running longer to keep your home cool. During the summer your A/C runs twice as long as it does in cooler months to keep your home at the same temperature, which can result in higher than normal bills.
For example, if the outside temperature is 80 degrees and you have your thermostat set to 78 degrees, your A/C will need to cool your home just 2 degrees. However, when it’s 90 degrees outside, your A/C will need to cool your home 12 degrees, running longer to keep the indoor temperature at 78 degrees.
Easy ways to save:
Here are some ideas to help you keep your energy consumption under control and help you save:
- Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or warmer with the fan on "auto" and raise the thermostat setting to 82 degrees while you're away. For every one degree you increase in temperature, you can save about 5 percent on your monthly cooling costs.
- Use a fan to cool the room you’re in, but turn it off when you leave.
- Close shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun’s heat out.
- Grill outside instead of using the oven or stove to help keep your kitchen cool.
- Maintain proper airflow by keeping interior doors and vents open to help air circulate.
- Clean or replace your A/C filter regularly to help your unit run more efficiently.
- Consider buying a new high-efficiency air conditioner and you may qualify for a $150 rebate when you purchase your A/C system through a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC).
Visit FPL.com/EasyToSave to learn how you can save up to $250 on your energy bill by taking our Online Home Energy Survey and view your personalized Online Energy Dashboard where you can see how the outside temperature and other factors impact your bill by month, day and hour.
Thanks again Bernice and stay cool!
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