During the summer months when children are home from school and families are pumping their air con 24/7 to keep the heat at bay, it’s not surprising that bills have increased dramatically. Air con in particular is reported to account for 60%-70% of electricity bills in the Cayman Islands. In order to try and help residents get through the summer without the CUC bill breaking the bank, Cayman Resident has rounded up some suggestions for trying to keep your electricity bill under control.
Monitor Your Electricity Usage
To track and manage your energy consumption, sign up for a MyCUC/PowerPay account. Select the bar for each day and display what time your consumption increases and decreases. You can also track your costs, day by day or week by week. Monitor your usage and aim to cut back during peak periods. Alternatively, CostWatch, a third party utility management service, provides monitoring and automation capabilities that allow you to track and control utilities and other systems in order to keep costs within budget.
Free / Low Cost Tips
- Turn up your thermostat one degree, this can help reduce your energy consumption by up to 5%.
- Turn on fans rather than lower the air con temperature. But make sure to turn them off when you leave the room.
- Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full, and use energy-efficient programs. Use cold water rather than hot water.
- Dry your washing outside, rather than using your tumble dryer.
- Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use including laptops, games consoles and TVs.
- Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, not only are they more energy efficient, but they last around five – seven years.
- Remember to turn off lights when you are not in a room.
- Close your curtains and draw down the blinds during the day to help keep the heat out.
- Reduce shower time, shorter showers will cut down on the electricity needed to heat the shower's hot water. It will also help your water bill.
- Use your fridge and oven smartly by implementing these energy saving tips.
Long Term Tips
Read more about the following energy saving tips on the CUC website.
1) Air Con Maintenance
Regular maintenance will help your air con unit run more efficiently. Once a quarter is recommended, and filters should be cleaned or replaced at each visit.
Adding insulation can cut your cooling costs anywhere from 15% to 45% depending on original amount of insulation, house size, air leaks and your energy use and living habits. The best places to insulate your home is your attic, walls and windows.
3) Water Heaters
One of the largest energy users next to air conditioning, it can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home. Try using less hot water, turn down the thermostat, add a timer, unplug the water heater when not in use, insulate it or buy a more efficient water heater.
If you can, purchase energy efficient appliances for long term savings. You can also save money by using your current appliances smartly.
5) Switching to Propane
Propane gas is non-toxic and an efficient energy solution for powering your home
appliances. By using propane, you can save up to 40% on your energy bill and reduce your carbon emissions by 85%. For more information on the benefits of propane, and to find out how you can get a propane system installed, speak with Home Gas.
Eliminate or dramatically reduce your CUC bill by installing solar panels. With 365 days of sunshine, harvesting energy from the sun should be the solution for home and business owners who want to reduce the money they spend monthly on utilities. While the initial investment isn't cheap, with the high cost of electricity in the Cayman Islands, they should pay for themselves in six to eight years.