20 Aug How Climate Change Is Affecting Your Electric Bill
As the battle over the existence of climate change and what is to be done about it is waged, we here in our houses, apartments, and mobile homes just have to do the best we can to adjust. But, unfortunately, one of the problems becoming increasingly apparent is our electric bill – a bill that will only get more expensive in the foreseeable future.
It isn’t hard to imagine why and thus doesn’t require much explanation. When things get hotter out there, our AC systems have to work harder and longer to keep things cool inside. But your AC is not the only thing that’s going to suck up all of that electric energy, and it has to do with the reason why the official name of this phenomenon changed from “global warming” to “climate change.”
The warming of the globe is only one side-effect of what is happening to our environment or only one way of explaining what’s going to happen over the next few years. The weather, in general, will become more erratic and dangerous. Yes, droughts will become more frequent, and heat waves will become more deadly. But in addition to that, hurricanes will become more frequent and increasingly powerful. And if you’ve ever been in a hurricane and thought it was rough, you might have only seen a windy day compared to what’s expected.
So what does that mean for energy consumption? Well, assuming you’ll have access to electricity at all after a hurricane, that electricity might be at risk on a consistent basis. In addition, as sea levels rise and heavy rain becomes more frequent, the changing environment will put electronic equipment at more and more risk. With this risk, and with the increase in demand as it becomes more and more valuable (aka necessary for human life), electric companies will likely increase their prices to maintain or buy more equipment.
The complete flip side of the coin, and another reason we’ve moved from “global warming” to “climate change,” is that the winters are expected to get harsher. With colder winters comes the increased need for heat. Many of you have heaters as part of your air conditioning units. This will drive up your electric costs because your main AC and heating unit will need to run longer during the winter to keep you warm. But even those with gas heating that is not part of an AC will experience more power usage as the fans necessary to blow heat throughout the house will be running more often.
Instead of continuing down the path of doom-and-gloom, let’s consider what we can do about it. What changes can we make to keep the electrical bill reasonable and our electricity sustainable? Sure, it would be nice if a few of us could band together and stop climate change from happening, so none of this is a problem. But in lieu of that, we can do a few things to make this all bearable.
First off, there are the usual things one does to save on electricity: turn off lights when you’re not using them, use a programmable thermostat, balance power usage, open your windows instead of using the AC at times when it’s appropriate, etc.
But what else? Well, there are backup generators, but those can be really expensive at the outset. You could also do the cool thing, set up your own solar panel rig grid, and power your house using the sun’s energy. However, some solar panel systems are also pretty expensive. However, the upfront cost is probably going to be worth it in the long run. In addition, there are plenty of government and other private industry monetary incentives for setting up your home with solar panels.
Alternatively, you could move to Sudan, one of the cheapest places on Earth as far as electricity goes. Or, if you’re not leaving the US any time soon, you could move to Louisiana instead, the cheapest state for energy. Actually, scratch that, move to Oklahoma. It’s the second cheapest state and has the pleasure of not being in danger of sinking due to the rising sea levels.