March 20th officially marks the first day of Spring, and if you’re like us (headquartered in Syracuse, NY), you know that even though there may be snow on the ground, the prolonged winter season is coming to an end. With high hopes of warm weather just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about you can save energy around the house for the upcoming Spring and Summer months.
Take a closer look at your energy bills. Spring and Fall usually include the milder months of the year, and in the energy industry, we like to refer to them as “shoulder months”. We like to emphasize that these months are great times to look at your energy bills and explore your energy options. An alternative energy supplier, like BlueRock Energy, can provide the option to lock into a fixed price plan, allowing you to pay the same rate for electricity or natural gas supply for one, two or three years. This gives you the potential to avoid rate spikes in the summer or winter months, where we generally see prices and usage increase.
Start cooking outside. It may be time to start pulling that grill out of storage once the mild weather of Spring rolls in. Cooking outside on the grill as opposed to cooking inside in your oven will help to keep your air conditioning from running unnecessarily.
Check your water heater temperature. The Department of Energy recommends having our tank-based hot water heaters set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve never adjusted the temperature on your hot water heater, it’s probably set to 140 degrees because that is the default setting from most manufacturers. By turning down the temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit on your hot water heater, you can save 3 to 5 percent on energy costs – a and drop from 140 F to 120 F can save you 6 to 10 percent. Also be sure to check your water heater for rust and erosion and make sure it’s insulated well.
Get a System Check. Hire a heating and cooling professional to come out and check out your heating and air conditioning system. Make sure you change your filters regularly (or have them do it for you). Better yet, hire a home consultant who will do an audit of your entire home to see where you could make changes to save yourself some money.
Think Green. Spring inspires a feeling of renewal, so why not take this time to think about renewable energy? If you’re interested in solar energy powering your home, but don’t want to put expensive rooftop panels on your roof, check to see if there’s a Community Solar farm located near you. Tapping into a Subscription-Style Community Solar project allows homeowners and renters to access clean energy that is sent to the local utility company, and is credited on subscriber’s electricity bills. There are no upfront costs, long-term investments or credit checks needed. Subscribers simply sign contracts as short as one-year, and receive credits on their electricity bills for the solar power they use. Our project in particular comes at a 10% discount off of the local utility company’s electric rates. If you’re interested in learning more about a Community Solar project or how to subscribe to one, visit bluerockenergy.com/solar or call us at 800-836-4923.