While it’s a comfortable 70°F outside, you may not have energy bills on your mind. Think back to those scorching September days, however, and you may recall having a hefty energy bill that you wanted to cut in half! We’ve rounded up a few ways you can increase your home efficiency to do just that, regardless of the weather.

Get an Energy Audit

energy efficiency

Tucson Electric Power has a list of contractors that will perform an energy assessment on your home for free. They will provide suggestions for improving your home’s efficiency. You can find more details on their website at https://www.tep.com/efficient-home-program/. Although TEP no longer provides rebates for this service, you can still get a tax credit for certain efficiencies.

Reduce Standby Power

Standby Power is responsible for a shocking 10% of your monthly power bill according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Also called ‘phantom loads’ or ‘vampire power’, a simple way to stop this energy usage is to plug your appliances into a power strip that you turn off during non-usage.

Standby Power
New York Times journalist Tatiana Schlossberg tested some common appliances and discovered these surprising energy drains.

Use Efficient Light Bulbsenergy efficient light bulbs

Most people already turn off lights they aren’t using, but consider the type of light bulbs you use. Traditional incandescent lights use about 60 watts per hour, while LEDs use only 12.5 watts. They can be pricy, but they last about 25,000 hours – that’s 25x more than incandescent lights and over 3x more than fluorescents.

Master Your Thermostat

thermostat

There are really only a few months that require heat here in Tucson, and the rest of the year we have our air conditioners blasting. Cut your energy usage by setting your thermostat colder in the winter (62° during the day and 68° at night, for example), and setting it warmer in the summer (82° during the day and 76° at night). It is estimated that for each degree, you can be saving 2 to 3 percent.