Ways to save on your power bill

July 16, 2012 2:26:45 PM PDT
Beating the heat is not rocket science - an umbrella, a bottle of water, or just about any other cool beverage helps.

However, indoors, the air conditioner is the weapon of choice against a hot, humid New York summer. That of course, raises another issue: higher electric bills.

"I thought we were being careful about it, so I was surprised that it was so high," said Cobble Hill resident Rose Cobb.

In fact, the average bill is 15 to 25 percent higher during the summer months, though experts insist there are ways to cut those costs.

"Depending on how frugal you are, depending on how well insulated you are, the savings could be anywhere from 20, 30 to 40 percent on your monthly bills if you just take some simple steps," said Mike Clendenin of Con Ed.

Cobble Hill resident Marcus Berardino says that he only uses the air conditioner when he is at home, or when it is hot during the night while he is sleeping.

You could, in fact, call Berardino the poster child for energy efficiency. He is not only selective about when he runs the air conditioner in his Brooklyn apartment, but he also uses the energy saving setting when he does turn it on.

He has also installed ceiling fans, which experts say helps keep cool air circulating. In addition, he also unplugs electronics, like his computer and microwave when they are not in use.

"I have friends who run their air conditioner all day long, and their bills are probably crazy," Berardino adds.

Also, one more thing you may not have thought of - closed blinds or heavy drapes will help keep the sun from heating up the house.

So what makes Berardino so energy conscious?

"I think it was growing up with a cheap father," he says.

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