What can I do to lower my bill?

“My winter electric bills are through the roof. What can I do to lower them?” asked a member recently.

One of the top culprits of high electric bills during the winter months is plugging in. It’s pretty convenient to plug in your car when you get home from work and not unplug it until you leave again in the morning. But that’s not good for your electric bill.

Let’s say you plug in 12 hours each night. A typical engine block heater for a small car uses 800 watts while a large car or truck heater can consume 1250 watts or more. Plugging in a small car for 12 hours each night for a month would add almost $50 to your electric bill.

If you drove an SUV or truck, the cost would be higher: $78 for the month. And these figures are just for one vehicle. How many cars does your family plug in?

If you don’t already use timers, we highly recommend you get one for each car. Outdoor timers cost around $20 and are available at many local stores. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Also remember a car takes about two hours to cool down. If you are going to leave in the next two hours, it’s probably not necessary to plug in the car.

We created a short video outlining the most energy efficient way to plug in a car. You can find it along with several other short videos on GVEA’s YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/GoldenValleyElectric.

Bottom line: When it comes to plugging in your car, a timer will save you time and money. Everyone should use one.