It is more important in some places than others to know what typical energy consumption is before buying or renting a home – and Las Vegas is one of them.

The main issue is the Las Vegas’ climate – with typical summer highs of over 100 and winter lows that can dip below freezing. Worse than that, though, is the impact of how dry things are. Las Vegas averages only five inches of rain in a given year. This results in a day / night variance of about twenty degrees – quite pleasant when you are hitting those over hundred degree days, but a strain on your home’s cooling and heating systems.

Because of this it is worth looking into the past usage rates of a property that you may be considering either purchasing or renting, and the typical costs of energy in the region. As a starting point, the average residential electricity rate in Las Vegas is currently 12.15 c/kWh, which is 2.7% greater than the average for Nevada and 2.27% greater than the national average. Of course, this does not take usage into account, but you can do quick and dirty calculations based off of a 12 cent rate once you have that information.

The next step is getting the past usage rates for the home you are looking at. Las Vegas gets its energy from NV Energy, Inc. You may have to call them to get the past rates for a house, and you will have to demonstrate that you have a legitimate reason to need the information. If you already have an account with them, you may be able to get the information online. In some cases you might have difficulty getting it until you have scheduled a hookup or set up an account. If necessary, talk to your realtor – who may also be able to assist with getting this information during the research or purchase phase. Its recommended to review at least a year’s worth of bills, due to the large seasonal variances in usage. Most sellers are also willing to provide information on power consumption, though you should remember that their goal is always going to be to make the house look good. But if for any reason records are not available from a utility company, the seller may be your only source.

When you are viewing the property, its also a good idea to make a note of the kind of appliances the existing people have. If they are using dated equipment, then that might push their bill up above what you can get with more efficient, Energy Star appliances. Household size can also make a difference, as can household composition. Are there lots of computers or continuously running appliances? Is the home fitted with modern, energy efficient lighting? These are the kinds of things which can help you gauge overall efficiency and whether you will be able to reduce power consumption upon move-in.

Another, slightly more expensive option, is to get a home energy audit. If you are committed to buying a property, it is definitely worth getting an audit so that problems can be found and fixed, ideally before you move in. The professionals at Penny Electric may also be able to inspect the condition of the electrical prior to a potential purchase and help identify improvements that could reduce energy costs and save money.

It is very likely that there will be things you can do to your new home that will reduce energy consumption and thus, utility costs. However, if you live in a desert climate, you will have to accept that your summer cooling costs will always be higher than in most of the nation – and budget accordingly. As a result, if you are looking for ways to improve your home’s energy consumption, cooling is a good place to focus.

If you need the help of a professional electrician to improve your home and minimize energy waste, contact Penny Electric today.