Our house is probably twice as big as a dear older friend’s, yet our energy bill is half of what hers is. We tolerate warmer temperatures in the summer (and have a swamp cooler vs. much more expensive air conditioning). And we keep the house cooler in the winter. When I’m home during the day, I set the thermostat to 68 degrees and I wear a vest or sweater. When I leave the house, I set it down to about 64 degrees. At night we keep it around 59, which is usually pretty comfortable for us. Sometimes I’ll start the night with some loose sweatpants on but will, invariably, find them too hot and shed them during the night.
I know the savings are substantial. Didi’s bills average $160/mo. Ours are under $100 and our house, as I mentioned, is easily twice as big.
Pay attention to the fine print on your energy bill. Most of the year, we pay a “Non-summer rate”. But that changes once a/c season is upon us and summer tier rates kick in. Our May bill, for example, shows that we pay $.046 per kilowatt hour at the “Non-summer” rate. This is the same rate you pay in the summer for “Summer Tier 1”, the first 500 kilowatt hours. After you hit 500, you’re billed at the “Summer Tier 2” rate of $.09 per kWh. That’s almost twice the rate!
In Denver, the summer tiers kick in between June 1 and September 30. If you don’t watch it, your energy bill will kick in big time!