7 ways to conserve energy and save money this summer

It’s hot out — and with climate change upon us, it’s bound to get even hotter.

This summer’s surge in heat may also mean big and unexpected surges to your monthly energy bills. According to Energy Star, heating and cooling accounts for half of a home’s yearly energy bill — nearly $900!

Luckily, there are some ways to keep cool this summer while saving money and protecting the planet. Here are a couple easy tips and tricks to try right now.

Adjust your thermostat

  • Keep the temperature in your home to a level that is warm but comfortable and provides some humidity control, but not so cold that you use excessive energy.
  • Increase the temperature when you leave so that you’re not using extra energy to cool your home when no one is there.
  • Consider purchasing a programmable or smart thermostat, which can help keep your home comfortable and adjust the temperature at night or when you leave. For models that are connected to WiFi, you can even adjust the temperature from your smartphone away from home.
  • The U.S. Dept. of Energy suggests consumers can save up to 10% a year on their energy bills by turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

Install window coverings

  • The sun can really heat up a room so consider shutting your curtains or blinds to keep out the heat during the day or installing window coverings to keep heat at bay.
  • Here’s some great energy saving information about choosing the right energy efficient window attachments.

Use a ceiling fan

  • Traditional air conditioning uses a lot of power. Ceiling fans are more energy efficient. Running AC can cost 43 cents an hour compared to 1 cent an hour to run a ceiling fan.
  • However, fans don’t lower air temperature; they merely run moving air across your skin to make you feel cooler, helping to evaporate sweat.
  • Make sure to turn off the fan when you leave the room to save more energy.


  • If you’re a homeowner, consider improving the weatherization of your home to keep heat out and the cool in, by insulating your attic or crawl spaces, and sealing around your doors, windows, outlets and switches, and other areas that may be prone to outside weather.
  • Schedule a home energy audit with a professional.

Turn down your hot water heater

  • According to the Dept. of Energy, heating water accounts for roughly 12% of your home’s energy bill.
  • If your hot water heater is set too high, you may be wasting “$36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses.”
  • By reducing your hot water heater’s temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, you could save anywhere from 2% to 22% in your energy bill annually.

Install energy efficient lighting

  • The average household spends around 11% of its annual energy bill on lighting.
  • If you’re still primarily using inefficient incandescent lighting, consider purchasing LED lights and/or fixtures. These lights may have a slightly higher upfront cost, but they are more efficient and last much longer.
  • By upgrading your home’s lighting, you could save between 50% to 75% on your household’s lighting energy use.

Bonus tip: Join CREDO Energy

  • Consider joining CREDO Energy, our amazing energy program in partnership with Energy Rewards to enable you to power your home with 100 percent renewable wind energy while powering the progressive causes you care about. 
  • Learn more at CREDO Energy, check availability in your area and sign up to be notified when it’s coming to your state.