I just got our electric bill for last month and we were able to shave $60 off of it despite the constant 100 degree temperatures! Here is how we did it:
1. Take advantage of the long summer, sunny days. Use your blinds/curtains!
I now rarely use lights. In fact, days can go by before I turn on a light. The girls wake up with the sun and are asleep before it gets too dark out. When it gets so dark that I cannot see, I take the hint and go to bed! It did take me a little bit of retraining to walk over and open the blinds when I walk into a room rather than to reach for the light switch (and to remember to close the blinds when I leave a room to keep the sun from heating up the room), but why pay for light when the sun gives us plenty of it on most days.
2. Hang your laundry to dry.
This is quite possibly my favorite change, for I just love when I can be productive while the girls play. "M" will either help me, splash in her pool, or run through the sprinkler and "Boo" will happily swing while I work. Everyone's happy!
3. Turn the thermostat up.
We used to keep the house at 78 degrees during the day, and 76 degrees at night. Well we got a letter from our eletric company with a statistic (which I forget what it is now) about how much money you save per degree you turn up your thermostat. So I changed to to 79 degrees during the day and 77 at night. Then it sort of turned into a game to see how high I could set it and how much money we could save. Now we set it to 82 degrees at the lowest during the day (sometime as high as 85) and 78 at night. It is amazing how your body adapts and now 84 degrees is often a comfortable temperature (unless I am doing heavy housework or running around with the kids and then I'll lower it to 82). I have found that the girls do not sleep as well at night if it is warmer than 78 degrees at night.
4. Get outside!
Amazing things happen just by going outside. For starters, you are not running electronics like the TV or computer. Second, your body adjusts to much warmer temperature so when you come inside, 85 degrees feels cold! Plus, it is healthy to get outdoors, soak up some Vitamin D, relax, run around, and have fun!