You can keep your house as cool as you like this summer and save at least 30 percent on your electric bill. In fact, you can keep it downright cold if that’s how you like it.
The trick is to tap your electric utility’s “off-peak” rates—the rates it charges during times of the day when demand for household electricity is low, like when everyone is sleeping at night or at work during the middle of the day.
Of course, it would take a computer to regularly figure out which rate applies to which time of day, because most utilities have more than 30 rates for different customers and different day parts. Those rates can range from 3.5 cents to 21 cents per kilowatt-hour.
It’s called an energy management computer. It costs around $3,500 and is installed in your home, where it keeps tabs on your thermostat and automatically raises it—just slightly, and never higher than you want—when the high “peak” rates kick in every day. Likewise, it lowers it again when the “off-peak” rates take effect.
You don’t have to do anything but have the computer installed and “tell” it the minimum and maximum temperatures that make you feel comfortable. It keeps your home within your comfort zone while juggling the cheapest rates throughout the day.
The cooler you keep your home, the more you’ll save. It seems contrary to conventional wisdom, which says the less energy you use, the less you’ll pay.
But it works. Here’s why: When you keep your home at a consistently cool temperature, everything in it cools off: your carpet, drapes, furniture, walls. Those things “store” cool air. So when a peak rate kicks in and the computer raises the thermostat a few degrees, it takes a long time for your home to warm up. Before you notice a difference in temperature, the computer has lowered the thermostat again.
Your air conditioner doesn’t have to work extra-hard heating up and cooling down the home like it does when you crank the thermostat way up before you leave for work in the morning and then back it way down when you get home so you’ll be comfortable. Instead, the temperature stays fairly constant—and you don’t get stuck paying expensive peak rates.
Advanced Home Systems designs its computers to take advantage of the same kinds of rate fluctuations that big businesses have used to save money on their electricity for more than 70 years. Those rates are available to homeowners, but few know about it—or can figure out how to work the rate system to their advantage without a computer.
Contact Advanced Home Systems and ask if you can try out an energy management computer for three months. If you don’t see 30 percent savings over three electric bills, or if your home feels too warm, you can return the computer and get a full refund.