A year ago when I moved from Minnesota to Houston, the idea of selecting an electric provider was new to me. I had never needed to select a provider before but I was pretty excited to experience the process in order to better understand how myTrueCost.com
would be able to aid me in selecting the right plan for how I use energy.
After making my plan selection there really wasn't much else to do. That was until I realized that I could receive daily or weekly updates on my usage! Did you know that?
As a TrueCost user, you can receive updates on your profile screen. I would suggest this to anyone who uses the site. The tool is intuitive, easy to comprehend and, most importantly, it can help you understand what time of the day you are using the most electricity if you are trying to save money.
Below is a snapshot of my weekly overview as well as a three day window. I decided to begin taking advantage of this FREE
tool because I am moving in a month to a new apartment and wanted to better understand when/how I use my electricity so I could select a new plan.
Below is the weekly usage and what really caught my eye are the peaks highlighted by the red arrows. I saw the multiple spikes in the afternoon as well as the large one around 10 p.m. every day and this made me wonder - what could this be?Daily Analysis
Well, being from Minnesota I will be the first to admit that the Texas heat doesn't treat me so kindly. Because of that I keep my temperature set at about 75 degrees during the day and as soon as I return home from work each night, I drop the thermostat to 72 degrees.
What I was seeing during the afternoon is the result of my central air cycling to keep the temperature constant. My apartment faces to the east so I receive direct sunlight most of the day.But what about the spike at 10 pm?
Well, like I said - I like things cool, and there is nothing better than sleeping in a cool climate. At about 10 p.m. every night I lower my thermostat even further to 68 degrees - therefore causing the central air to go into overdrive to lower the temperature throughout the entire apartment.
While I could probably combat this by removing the down comforter, I am fully aware of the financial implications this will cause - however, I simply like to sleep in cold temperatures!
Lessons learned from this? If you are trying to cut electric costs, try using an overhead fan to cycle the air in your home thereby allowing you to keep the thermostat a few degrees warmer.
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