Outside Temps Affect Electric Bill
...Even if You Don't Touch the Thermostat
With this summer's extremely hot temperatures and high humidity, your AC unit has been working overtime to keep your home at a comfortable 78 degrees or lower, depending on your preference. Your heating and cooling unit is made to function at an optimum temperature of 65 degrees. At the most, it is able to change the temperature inside your home 20 degrees. So when the temperature is in the 90’s with a heat index in the 100's, your HVAC unit is working harder than normal to keep your house at the desired temperature inside. This means you are using a lot more electricity than usual whether you touch the thermostat or not.
We recommend setting the thermostat to 78 degrees but on extremely hot days, if you can raise it even two or three degrees (program it to 80 degrees while you’re at work) it will give your heating unit (and your wallet) a little break. Now is a great time to download SRE's mobile app where you can pay your bill instantly and track your energy use in near real-time! Search the app store for "SRE Mobile" and call customer service at 770-358-1383 to set up your user name and password.
Because of the hot weather we've had in July, we expect to see an increase in power bills. If you suspect you may have a hard time paying your bill, please call the office at 770-358-1383 and speak to a Customer Service Representative as soon as you get your bill to discuss the possibility of making an arrangement. Please do not wait until you are on the cut-off list to call and ask for an extension. We are more than willing to work with our members any way we can but once your account is in danger of being disconnected or we have already dispatched an employee to disconnect it for non-payment, we cannot make an arrangement.
Here are a few statistics from the recent Atlanta Climatological Data produced by the Atlanta Weather Bureau for the months of June and July:
- June required 17% more cooling than May and had 20 days that were hotter than normal.
- July required 39% more cooling than June had 25 days that were hotter than normal.
Here’s a short checklist to help you weather these summer temps:
- Are you changing your filters each month?
- Have you had your heating and cooling unit serviced recently to be sure everything is working properly?
- Are you using your ceiling fans to help circulate the air?
- Are you closing your curtains/blinds during the day to block the heat from the sunlight during the day?
- Have you sealed up all the cracks in your home that may be letting in hot air?
These are just a few things that can help reduce your energy usage but you can find out more detailed and customized information about where you can cut your usage by taking an online energy audit using Touchstone Energy's Home Efficiency Analysis Tool. You might be surprised where your money is going!