AS the summer heat continues, many people are feeling it hit their pockets more than anything, but one person was able to cut his energy bill in half with three simple changes.
Abhay Padgaonkar, an Arizona resident, was the expert witness in a 2018 complaint against Arizona Public Service.
The complaint alleged the utility was making more money than it was allowed.
Padgaonkar said he analyzed close to “10million bills, residential bills” as part of the complaint.
Now he’s using what he’s learned to help APS customers pay as little as possible.
“I am thoroughly familiar with how the bills work, what different rates there are, and more importantly, what one needs to do to save money,” he said.
First, you need a programmable thermostat, which Padgaonkar says are very cheaply available on the APS marketplace.
Then, you have to find out which of the three rate plans you’re on.
The first is the fix-rate plan, which Padgaonkar says doesn’t change at all night, day, summer or winter.
“Doesn’t matter. It’s the same rate,” he said.
The other two plans are Time of Use and Time of use with a Demand Charge.
Both of these plans have a premium charge during on-peak hours between 4pm to 7pm Monday through Friday, but with demand, there’s an additional fee during peak hours.
Padgaonkar says customers can save on the demand plan if they are diligent.
Demand charge is calculated by using one hour of the month during peak times that you used the most power and multiplying it by $16.87.
To keep the charge as low as you can, Padgaonkar says to only use major appliances during off-peak hours.
However, this also means no major appliances from 4pm to 7pm.
“Including the air conditioner,” he said. “That’s the hardest in Arizona.”
Padgaonkar gets over the feat by supercooling his home.
“I start cooling at 6am. And I set the temperature to 66 degrees.”
By 4pm, Padgaonkar raises the temperature to 90 degrees to keep the AC off and by 7pm, his home is at a tolerable 80 degrees.
The average bill for his 2000-square-foot home is less than $200 per month.
“I’ve done that for five years so I have practiced what I’m preaching,” he said.