Lower my Electricity use – a few questions

Lower my Electricity use – a few questions

I purchased a new house in November and I'm trying to get a good feel for what how much the electricity bill averages out to be. So from June to October electricity cost around 15 cents a kilowatt when temperatures here are reaching 107 degrees and last month my electricity bill reached it's highest amount ever so this month my husband and I are trying a few things to see if it will help. One thing I thought of trying was placing a timer on my water heater. This idea came up through researching ideas on various website but I see mixed reviews on whether doing this will save any or much electricity consumption. One website says that more modern water heaters run on average 3 hours a day so they don't use much electricity. Another website says timers help because the cost of using a water heater is where the water heater tries to maintain the temperature of the water but not the initial heating. My father says he's heard turning off and on a water heater can shorten it's life span so the money saved in electricity eventually is wasted buying a new water heater. So I'm wondering. Do any of you turn off the water heater to save electricity and what are your opinions? Also on top of this. My husband I want to purchased a 12,000 BTU window AC unit which has 9.7 SEER rating and temperature controls. My central AC has SEER rating is up to 16. From what I understand the higher the SEER the better the energy efficiency is. Our idea is to turn off the AC at night and only run the Window Unit in our Master Bedroom. I assume the electricity needed to cool down one room is much less than cooling down an entire house but I could be fooling myself. The other idea I have come across is turning off air conditioning vents in other rooms to direct the air only to rooms we use. Any opinions on the three ideas? Any experiences? Thanks!
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