There are a number of simple measures homeowners can take around the house to consume less energy during the summer months.

Smart dishwashing
— use your dishwasher overnight instead of during peak hours (peak hours are approximately 6 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.) This takes stress off the grid at peak times and cuts down on costs.

Turn off the lights
— lights generate heat, so turn your lights off when not needed. Your air conditioning unit will thank you for it as it will have less hot air to contend with.

Close doors and windows
— don’t let the warm air in and the cold air out. Additionally, keeping your drapes and blinds closed on sunny days can save on electricity costs.

Run exhaust fans
— use exhaust fans to reduce heat in the kitchen when cooking and in the bathroom when showering. Ensure exhaust fans are turned off as soon as you’re finished using them.

Shade the windows — awnings, trees and shrubs can also help to reduce air conditioning costs. Shade trees are best planted on the south and west sides of a house.