Serving all of Arizona
Call today to schedule your appointment

(480) 834-7374

ferrin bros. a/c blog

Top Five Ways to Save Money on your SRP Bill.

Aug 28th, 2013 by admin

One of the most frequently asked questions from our customers is, “What are the best and easiest ways to save money on air conditioning during these hot Arizona summer months?” Unfortunately some of the best ways to save money in the long run (such as replacing an old unit with a newer more efficient one, and upgrading insulation in the walls and attic) cost the most up front.  So I thought for this article I would offer suggestions for the least expensive, easiest, and most effective ways to reduce your electricity or SRP bill in the summer.

1. Monitor your daily energy usage.  It is amazing how much you will save on your energy bill once you actually keep an eye on it.  This is the same principle behind Weight Watchers, or having a cash budget – when we take an honest look at what is actually happening we find the strength to be more careful.  It is quick and simple to go online and check your exact usage on SRP’s website.  Set a reminder alarm on your calendar or phone and take a good honest look at your energy usage once a week.

2. Sign up for a time-of-day plan.  Most energy companies like SRP have some sort of a time-of-day program that will help you save money by making sure your air conditioning system and other electronic appliances and devices are off or used as little as possible during the hottest “peak” hours of the day.  SRP has two different plans.  One is called the “EZ-3” plan in which you choose to try to use as little energy as possible from 3-6 pm. The other plan is call the “Time-of-Use” plan in which you choose to try to use less energy from 1-8pm.  With the 3 hour plan you should save around 6% on your energy bill compared to around 7.5 – 8% with the Time-of-Use plan.  Most thermostats can be programmed easily to cool your house during the cheaper “off-peak” hours, and then automatically switch to a higher temperature during the peak hours.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat… get one.  It will pay for itself quickly. You can easily sign up for one of these programs online, and then program your thermostat in less than a minute, and you are done.  If you are like me and you will be paying over $1500 for energy from May until September, then you will put $120 back into your pocket by taking 15 minutes to sign up (not to mention what you will save the rest of the year).  The nice thing is that you still get the lower “off-peak” price for your energy all day long on weekends and holidays. Here is the link to read more about SRP’s programs and to sign up!

3. Understand your cooling system.  In the summertime your air conditioning unit is usually responsible for over %50 of your energy bill!  Cooling systems are all about having good air flow, good air pressure balance, and good humidity levels.  You can easily save $35 – $60 per month by remembering the following things about your home’s cooling system:

  • Change your ac filters regularly.
  • Seal your house.  Make sure that there is no hot air leaking in through your doors, windows and walls.  Weather stripping is easy to replace, and spray-in foam is easy to use.  Make sure you close your chimney damper.
  • Leave your blinds, shutters, and drapes closed.  A lot of heat can come in through windows and doors, and especially if they get direct sunlight.  If you have windows on the west side of the house you may want to consider purchasing window covers or sun blinds that can be easy installed on the outside of the house for the summer months.
  • Leave your air vents open to make sure you aren’t getting weird pressure imbalances.
  • Set your thermostat for as warm as you can stand it – your body can acclimate easily to at least 78 – 80 degrees.  When you leave for long periods of time turn the air up to 85 degrees.
  • Make sure your fan is on “auto” so it is not running all the time, and yet helping with are flow when the air kicks on.  Use your ceiling fans to move air and set them to push air down in the summer.

4. Be aware of the high energy using appliances.  Besides your air conditioning unit, the top three energy sucking appliances are usually your water heater, your refrigerator, and your pool pump if you have one.

  • Water Heater: Make sure your hot water heat is set to heat your water to a maximum of 120 degrees.  It is a waste of energy to keep the water too hot.
  • Refrigerator: Make sure the rubber seals on your doors are working properly, and that you don’t leave the door open often.
  • Pool Pump: Make sure your chemicals stay at the correct levels, clean your filters and traps regularly, and remember that it only needs to run between 8 and 12 hours per day in the summer.

5. Teach and implement energy saving habits and routines in your home.  Below is a list of some small and simple routines and practices which can add up to huge savings over the years.  Teach them to the whole family.

  • Use CFL light bulbs and save hundreds of dollars over the years, while changing the light bulbs far less often as a bonus.
  • Turn of the lights and fans when you leave a room.
  • Only buy energy efficient appliances.  You might pay a little more up front, but some of the newer energy efficient appliances can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars over the years.
  • Chargers, computers, fans, etc.  – don’t leave them on all the time, and charge in the morning instead of all night long
  • Air-dry your dishes in the dishwasher.  The heated drying cycle in most dishwashers uses a ton of electricity.
  • Wash as many clothes as you can in cold water.
  • Use as little hot water as you can for washing and bathing.
  • Short showers save a lot of water and energy compared to baths.
  • Only start the dishwasher and clothes washer when you have a full load.
  • Try not to use extra refrigerators or freezer in the hot garage or on the back porch. (If you have an older refrigerator, you may save as much as $20 per month by unplugging.)
  • Take advantage of the various rebates.  Here is another SRP link to some great rebates, and tips on how to save money.

The sad thing about supply and demand is that when the demand goes up, so do the prices.  So not only are Arizonans using more electricity in the summer, but the price of electricity goes up as well!  This is your official invitation to be wise and follow our simple advice.  If you do, you just might have a little extra cash for some extra summer fun.