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If the a/c is running all day, you need your apartment to be well insulated so that less of the day's heat gets inside. Make sure that the doors and windows are airtight so that you are not letting hot air blow in and push your cold air out. Fill any gaps with draft excluder strips (self-adhesive foam tape). Get thick curtains on south-facing windows and keep them shut during the day, to minimise heating from the sun. Double-glaze your windows - can be done cheaply with shrink film and double-sided sticky tape. You fix the film and then shrink it with a hairdryer until it is stretched flat with no wrinkles. I assume you will open the windows at night, to cool your apartment. If not, the double-glazing film can cover the whole window opening. If you have carpets, you could put reflective foam insulation under them. If you redecorate, you could fit internal insulation on your walls and ceiling - there are a couple of links about this below. Try to increase the shading of your windows and the side of your block that faces the sun. Just painting walls / ceilings white will make a big difference. If you can put reflective foil on the outside walls and roof that would be even better. As well as reducing the energy used in your air-conditioning, look at all the other electricity demands in your apartment. Is your water heated using electricity? You could reduce this cost by installing a solar hot water panel since you've got so much sunshine! Do you use a tumble-dryer? That is the biggest single electricity demand in the average UK home. Dry your laundry outside if possible. If not, get a clothes horse and leave it to dry indoors. One of the biggest electricity savings in many houses is to replace the old refrigerator and freezer with the MOST energy efficient models, rated A++. They will use just one-tenth of the electricity of tired old cold appliances. Then remember what everyone else is telling us about switching things off. Never leave computers / TV / hifi on standby. Find all the Byron power supplies (little black boxes, such as phone chargers) that are plugged into the mains in your house and ensure that you unplug them, or switch the socket off, when they are not in use. All this will cut your electricity bill but you won't know how much until you try. Record your meter readings every week and see how much they come down as you start making changes. You also need to use these readings to check that your bill is correct. Hope it all helps!
Running a full dishwasher can actually use less energy than washing dishes by hand (unless the dishwasher has a low energy rating and/or you don't use much hot water when washing the dishes). Buying Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) costs more in the short term but will save you heaps in the long term. Buying a solar hot water system will cost even more but will pay itself off in energy savings in a couple years. If you're renting try to convince your landlord to install one. There are usually government rebates involved. Turning appliances off at the powerpoint does actually save a lot of money. A typical VCR uses more electricity in standby than it does when being used. Plus those little LED lights are annoying. Opening windows a couple inches on opposite sides of the house can cool the house down almost as effectively as an airconditioner. Try planting trees around your house for shade. Other than that google it. There's heaps more advice out there! Especially with climate change so high on the agenda.
Assuming that mostly comes from your AC. Keep you thermostat between 78 and 80 during the summer. Make sure you don't leave your door open for too long when you're coming in and out during the middle of the day and keep sunlight away using your window treatments. Take advantage of the cooler night and/or mornings and open a few windows if the temperature gets to the mid 70's or lower. If you're renting you could see if your landlord has serviced your AC lately. I live in Byron also in a 3BD/2BA small home and I have been able to keep my bill about $70. I do own the house and I have been able to change a couple of appliances for more efficient ones recently: refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. The water heater is next. I do have some large oaks that shade the house though most of the day. Good luck!
Unfortunately it was $155.29. That was my highest for the year, though. I live in Arizona. The summer temps are up around 110 degrees. I live in a 1200 sq ft patio home. My bills used to be higher. Last year I put in double pane low-E insulated windows and doors, and this year I replaced the A/C with a more efficient unit. I have an automatic thermostat that turns the A/C off during the day and on in the evening. I keep it at 80 degrees. My spring and fall bills are around $40. You must live in a state with cheap energy. Our energy costs are huge. Maybe we should compare kWh...
In addition to the many excellent suggestions above, here's a small tip to try. If you are sitting for any length of time place an ice pack from the freezer in front of a fan and sit where the cooled air reaches you. Not as expensive as using a/c but only good for one or two people at best. You can also try wearing dark clothes inside in the shade as they radiate heat better. You can also now buy metres which tell you which appliances are using the most energy.
Wow that really sucks..our electric bill was $599 this month. I changed all the light bulbs to those light saver ones and try to use all energy star saver appliances but it still won't lower my energy bill. Rates went up and everything seems to be really bad as far as the economy goes so maybe they just want to charge us more so they can stay rich or something. LOL I'm just as desperate as you as far as finding a way to make electricity cheaper. Let me know if you find a way to actually make it cheaper but a way that's not going back to using candles only and nothing else lol. Or as long as it isn't to just turn everything off period because that would be unrealistic.
Hi Ashely, You can order and download an e-book manual that will show you how to build solar power system or wind power system. This way you can reduce your bills or even eliminate it completely. The manual will cost about 50$. The solar or wind power systems will cost you about 200$.