10 Best Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer

July 08th, 2024

Homeowner Guides | Life in Raleigh
10 Best Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer

Lower Your Summer Electric Bill 

Are you looking for ways to lower your electric bill this summer? Here are ten great ways to cut energy costs during the hottest time of the year! 

From high humidity to heat advisories, the summer months in Raleigh are known to be very hot and muggy. With this high heat generally comes high energy bills due to the increased use of air conditioning units in the home in order to stay cool. 

Whether you live alone or with family, learning to be efficient is all about being safe and cool while reducing energy use when possible. If you are looking to beat the heat while saving money this summer, there are many great and easy ways to lower your electric bill. 

Not only will these tips help you save money during the hottest months of the year, but they will also allow you to live more sustainably. Keep reading to learn more about these summer-saving tips that you can start implementing now. 

Check out these top ten ways to lower your summer electric bill 

1. Adjust Your Thermostat 

If you set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer, you can lower your electric bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce your energy costs by up to 10% if you turn your thermostat up by seven to 10 degrees in the summertime for eight hours a day from its normal setting.

The smaller the building, the lower energy costs will be, but in the summer, when the air conditioning is blasting, it is a good idea to set your thermostat as high as possible while still being comfortable to lower costs when you are at home and need cooling. 

When a thermostat is set to a cooler setting than is normal, it could result in excessive cooling and can raise energy costs fast. When the thermostat temperature is raised in the summer, a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into the house and will save you money overall. 

While many thermostats are adjusted manually, switching them out for programmable thermostats such as the Google Nest might be a good investment. Programmable thermostats can be adjusted from your smartphone and allow homeowners to adjust the thermostat anytime, anywhere. 

homeowner adjusting thermostat to save money this summer

2. Use a Fan 

Raleigh weather is known for its high heat and humidity in the summer. Instead of blasting the air conditioning during the hottest days, turn on a ceiling fan when you enter a room. 

Ceiling fans are a great way to lower the cost of your electric bill since they are considered energy-efficient and work well to lower indoor temperatures. In general, running a ceiling fan costs very little and will cost a homeowner only a few cents every hour that it is on, which is a lot cheaper than air conditioning. 

Instead of cooling the air around them, ceiling fans move the air around a room to create a wind chill effect. While not meant to replace air conditioning, a fan is a helpful addition to any home that can also help lower your electric bill. 

ceiling fan with the light on in a room at home

3. Close Blinds 

Lots of sunlight naturally makes your home warmer. If you are trying to keep your home cool in the summer, close blinds, drapes, and curtains during the hottest times of the day in order to help prevent the sun from heating the inside of your home. 

Window treatments are not only great for decoration, but they are also known to boost energy efficiency. The right window treatments can help homeowners cut energy bills throughout the year. 

About 30% of a home's heat is lost through windows, and 76% of sunlight that enters through a window becomes heat. Window treatments are great temperature regulators and an important feature in all homes.  

4. Seal Windows and Doors 

Always inspect your windows and doors for air leaks. Adding insulation in attics, floors, and crawl spaces and sealing leaks throughout the home can help you save about 15% on heating and cooling costs

A drafty home allows warm air to easily come inside and cool air to just as easily leave during the summer months. Not only can this lead to uncomfortable temperature conditions, but it is highly inefficient and will cause energy bills to increase. 

Inspect windows and doors for any gaps and cracks that allow drafts to enter. If gaps, cracks, or holes are detected, they are normally very easy to fix with the help of a caulking gun. 

If you are buying an older home, air sealing is particularly important. 

5. Run Appliances at Cooler Times of the Day 

Many common house appliances generate heat while they are working, which can counteract air conditioning systems and, therefore, lead to increased energy costs. 

Some of the worst offenders include televisions, dishwashers, ovens, stoves, clothes dryers, refrigerators, and incandescent and halogen lighting. While some appliances, such as the refrigerator, need to be on all the time, others can be operated at cooler times to limit the heat created within the home during the summertime. 

During the peak of the day, when temperatures are already running high, turning on the dishwasher or the clothes dryer can increase the indoor temperature and cause your air conditioning to work harder to keep the inside of the home cool. 

When possible, choose to run these appliances early in the morning or at night when temperatures are cooler to keep your energy bill down. You can also run these appliances less often or on different days to further cut costs. 

To do so, it might be a good idea to have a cleaning schedule so that you are washing clothes one day and cleaning dishes the next. 

renovated kitchen with updated appliances

6. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting 

While closing your blinds, curtains, and window treatments does a great job of cutting costs by keeping the warm sunlight out of the home, choosing to turn off the lights during the day and take advantage of natural lighting does just as good of a job of lowering your electric bill this summer. 

The sun is stronger in the summer since UV intensity is higher in the summer than in the winter. The sun's track is also longer in the summer, meaning sunrises are earlier and sunsets are later, meaning more hours of natural lighting. 

Instead of turning on lights during the middle of the day, open your blinds and let the sun in. Mirrors and light-colored walls also do a great job of reflecting more light throughout the home. 

7. Turn Off and Unplug Unused Appliances 

Appliances left plugged in even when they are not in use quietly drain energy every day. Accounting for up to 10% of monthly residential energy use, turning off and unplugging unused appliances can help you save both energy and money. 

While you may not want to unplug every appliance in your home, kitchen appliances such as the toaster and the air fryer are great places to start. If remembering to unplug appliances that are not in use seems too hard, using a power strip with switches can also make a huge difference. Simply switching the power strip off after use can make a huge difference. 

8. Cook Outside On a Grill

The stove and oven are appliances that generate the most heat. Instead of waiting to cook during the cooler times of the day, choose to cook outside on a grill. 

Not only will you be taking advantage of the nice summer weather, but you can lower home energy costs. Keeping heat out of the kitchen and the rest of your house will mean you are using less energy to keep the inside cool. 

Cooking outside on a grill is fun and energy efficient, making it one of the easiest ways to save money during the summer. What a great reason to have a cookout. 

homeowner grilling vegetables in the backyard

9. Switch to LED Bulbs 

Traditional incandescent light bulbs use a lot of energy and are known to get very hot to the touch when powered on. LED lightbulbs, which stand for Light Emitting Diode, are increasing in popularity and are responsible for phasing out incandescent light bulbs due to their energy efficiency. 

LED lighting uses about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 25 times longer, making them a great investment. Saving the average U.S. household about $225 per year on energy costs, it is no wonder that families are replacing their old lightbulbs with LED. 

It is estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that by 2035, the majority of lighting installations in the country will use LED technology, which will lead to lots of energy savings in the country. 

LED lights are available in a wide range of products and are offered at affordable prices in industrial and commercial lighting, under-cabinet lighting, recessed downlighting, replacement bulbs, and holiday lights. 

homeowner putting LED lightbulb in light fixture

10. Switch to Energy Star Appliances 

Energy Star products are designed to be better and more energy efficient than regular appliances. Meeting strict criteria from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star appliances are worth the investment because they are of amazing quality, use less energy, and save money on your electric bill. 

Designed using innovative technologies to improve air circulation, precision controls, and insulation, homes that have switched to Energy Star Appliances are 10% more energy efficient than homes that have not made the switch. 

From refrigerators to dishwashers, there are many Energy Star appliances on the market to choose from. Check out this article to learn more about the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit and how you can use it to make energy and water-saving home improvements. 


We used data and information from many different sources to determine the best ways to lower your electric bill this summer including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duke Energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy


Why is electricity so expensive in the summer? 

Higher temperatures often lead to increased energy use since HVAC systems need a lot of power to operate. Since energy prices fluctuate with supply and demand, electricity tends to be expensive in the summer because more power is needed to cool your home. 

What runs your electric bill up the most? 

The home HVAC system accounts for about 45 to 50% of the total monthly electric bill for heating and cooling. Central air conditioners and heaters are the largest electricity consumers, followed by water heaters and lighting. 

What month are electric bills the highest? 

June through September are known to have the highest electric bills since these are often during the hottest time of the year and will increase energy use. 

Best Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer - Final Thoughts 

From adjusting your themostat to switching to Energy Star appliances, these summer saving tips will help lower your energy bill fast. If you are ready to call Raleigh home, read this article about life in Raleigh. 

Contact the experts at Raleigh Realty to find your new home in Raleigh. We are ready to help and answer any questions. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!

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