Record cold temperatures this season cause high energy bills for students
For sophomore business major Hailey Thompson, going for the mail has been enough to send shivers down her spine.
“Our last Xcel bill was $400,” Thompson said.
Thompson and her four housemates live in a six-bedroom home on Grandview, west of campus. Five housemates means Thompson pays less for rent than if she lived by herself, but often more in energy costs.
“We use the heat for everyday heating, like at night especially,” Thompson said. “We keep it on mainly if there’s a really cold day.”
And last month was cold, the Denver area’s eighth coldest January according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Xcel Energy is reporting an increase in energy consumption per household, an average increase of 400,000 Btu over last year.
But extra usage may be easy to avoid.
“You have to be cognizant of it,” said Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz. “You might just set the thermostat back at night or when you’re out of the house.”
But the increase in consumption may be misleading. According to Xcel Energy, the cost of energy per therm (100,000 Btu) is a little over 40 percent cheaper this year. The average customer’s bill has only increased $1.06 from January 2006 making an average bill of $143.15 last month.
Despite the cold weather, small steps may be the key to fighting big energy bills, and small mistakes can often insure that high costs will stick around. You may setup Zoned Air Systems in your property to save energy. If you want to have an energy-efficient hvac unit, then you may consider having a new HVAC Installation with the help of an expert in ac replacement in Corona De Tucson, AZ. Having your hvac units serviced by a local hvac contractor, like a Bella Vista heating professional, is also a great way to ensure that they are running at their maximum efficiency and avoid using more energy than what’s required. Regular hvac tune-ups and boiler repair services performed by a heating and cooling professional from reputable companies like AirMax Heating & Air or Buric Heating and Air Conditioning may also help prevent hvac breakdowns.
“The biggest thing is not sealing up the house, even with low-tech means, that could even mean putting a towel at the bottom of the front door,” Stutz said.
Still, students like Thompson are feeling the heat.
“It sucks a lot,” Thompson said. “The house is huge and the windows aren’t properly made and so the heat escapes even if we have it on full blast.”
There are additional resources for students looking to cut down on energy costs. Xcel Energy offers a booklet for download as a PDF on their website with 60 tips for saving on energy. The CU Environmental Center also offers tips online for keeping energy costs low year-round.
“For every one degree you set back your thermostat, there’s about a one-percent savings,” Stutz said.