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and how old is the home.
how big is it?
Do you have oil suppliers in the neighborhood?
So what can you do with what you have? Well, it is probably true that your summer heat will eat into your pocket more than other seasons. Remember, your A/C is cooling the air in your house, but sunlight will heat objects in your home, which is harder for the cold air to offset. Keep drapes closed, or plant shady trees or awnings. At least then, when you spend money, you‚Äôre getting something nice to look at as well.
Also, keep the temperature as high as you can take. If it cools off nicely in the evening, open windows and get a breeze. Closing unused rooms used to work, but many newer units work better when the whole house is being circulated. Ceiling fans are a good feature if you have them. If not, adding them becomes part of the cost/benefit equation. Cook outdoors more.
Have your A/C unit serviced regularly. Necessary evil. Badly tuned units will cost more to operate, and will fail sooner. When they go out, buy a more efficient unit. The extra investment will give a return sooner. At 12 years, your heat-pump is past it's prime. Average life expectancy for units made back then was 8-15 years. Keep the filters cleaned, and vents un-blocked. Same for winter, but there you want to keep it as cold inside as you can live with, and open drapes to the sunny side of the house.
My electric water heater runs on a special off-peak meter. The rate is about 1/3 the regular one. Find out if you have this option with your electric utility. Sometimes they will install it for free. There are rules, so don‚Äôt think you can move every appliance on this service. For one, the meter shuts off at peak times, like 1:30 - 7:30 weekdays in the summer, and 3:30 - 6:30 in winter. This is fine for a water heater since no-one is home then to use hot water, and if so, the tank is well insulated, with an extra blanket wrapped on it. If you don‚Äôt have a water heater blanked on yours, get one at a hardware store. Our water heater costs about $15.30/month to operate. We have 2 kids and a 3700sf house.
Finally, consider becoming proficient at DIY. Many of the suggestions can be carried out yourself for a fraction of the cost of professional installation. And always figure in the cost versus benefit.
I hope I was able to help.