Summer savings on electric bills
Summer can mean an increase in family activities and trips. Unfortunately, it can also mean an increase in electric bills. The high cost of electricity use in the summer can greatly stress a family’s budget. Fortunately, there are some important actions that can keep costs down. Non-profit Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) has these tips:
* Scheduling a tune-up for your air-conditioning unit can keep things running smoothly and efficiently. If you haven’t used an appliance company before and don’t know which one to use, visit the Better Business Bureau online at www.bbb.org and search for “Air Conditioning Systems – Cleaning” to see what it says about companies in your area.
* If your electric bill skyrockets in the summer time and makes it challenging for you to pay, ask your electric company about levelized billing. With levelized billing you pay the same amount each month instead of having very expensive bills during the summer months.
* If you are considering replacing an appliance, be sure to consider Energy Star products. Energy-efficient products can save a significant, noticeable amount of money on your monthly utility bills.
* People often have strong opinions about whether or not you should adjust your home’s thermostat when you leave the house for awhile: Should you turn the temperature up, or leave it where it’s at? The U.S. Department of Energy says it won’t save you money to adjust your thermostat if you will only be away from home for a few hours. However, if you will be out of your home for half of the day, it should save you money to adjust the thermostat.
* Use ceiling fans, if you have them. Use them alone or along with your air-conditioning to make it feel cooler in the room. Fans cost as little as one-cent an hour to operate, while air-conditioning can cost 60 times more.
* Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilation fans for short periods of time. In just one-hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of cooled air that you paid a lot of money for.
For a free budgeting and credit counseling session, contact CCOA at (800) 889-4916 or go online to www.CCOAcares.com. CCOA’s Debt Management Program can lower monthly payments and lower interest rates to help debtors become debt free.
Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) is an Arkansas-based, non-profit organization that is supported by grants to provide free financial seminars, free and confidential counseling on budgeting, credit, home buying and mortgage delinquencies and a debt management program. Founded in 1995, CCOA’s free counseling is available in-person, by phone and online. CCOA helps over 20,000 people every year with free financial counseling and education. For free and confidential advice, consumers can call (800) 889-4916 or visit www.CCOAcares.com.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.