So, picture this. It’s the first of the month. That dreaded stack of bills arrives in your mailbox. You go into your house, rip open the electric bill, and almost pass out from what you see. Another electric bill this high…again? You told your significant other to turn off the lights before leaving the house. You even shut off the air conditioner when no one was home. How does this keep happening?
If any of that seems like you, we’re here to help. We understand how frustrating it is when things like high electric bills get in the way of your financial goals. So, if you’re ready to say goodbye to insanely pricey electric bills, check out our twenty ways to save electricity below!
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1) Research other electric companies
First of all, the best way to reduce electric bills is to make sure you are signed with the cheapest electric company. Believe it or not, every company charges a different price per kilowatt-hour. And while some areas of the country, unfortunately, don’t have the luxury of picking their electric company, many do.
2) Ask about additional savings
Alright, so you’re sure you’ve got the cheapest electric company…now what? The next best way to reduce electric bills is to call up your electric company and ask about other savings opportunities. Can you save more money if you opt-out of paper billing? Maybe if you enroll in autopay your monthly bill will go down $10 or $20? Do they offer discounts to household members in the military? These are all great questions that will probably save you hundreds of dollars each year!
3) Use your electricity during off-peak hours
Did you know that after 8 pm, many electric companies lower their rate per kilowatt-hour? That’s right because this is considered an “off-peak” time of day, you can actually save hundreds of dollars a year by simply using electricity at night.
4) Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Guess what? Purchasing devices that come with the blue “Energy Star” or “HE” (High Efficiency) logo don’t just save the planet, but they save electricity too! Replacing appliances like your washer, dryer, and refrigerator with energy-efficient products is a long-term investment to reduce your electric bill.
5) Unplug devices that aren’t in use
Done watching TV? Unplug it. The phone’s finished charging? Unplug it. Haven’t used the toaster in three weeks? That’s right…unplug it! While it may not seem like a big deal, items that are powered off but still plugged into the wall are called “energy vampires.”
This is because they continue to suck energy even when they’re off! Therefore, if you have appliances or devices that you aren’t using, unplug them. Or, better, yet, invest in a power strip and plug multiple cords into it. That way, when you’re ready to turn that device off, simply flip the power strip switch and you’re good to go!
6) Help your appliances run more efficiently
Want to know one of the most overlooked ways to save electricity? Make sure your appliances operate as efficiently as possible. What exactly does this mean? Keep them well maintained!
First of all, when it comes to the refrigerator, make sure it is not overflowing with food. If it is, the door may not close properly, or the vent might be blocked. Also, for the air conditioning, make sure ducts are cleaned and filters are replaced regularly.
7) Separate heaters and cold producing appliances
If your home requires a heater in colder months, then make sure your heater is placed thoughtfully. Putting your heater next to a refrigerator or freezer can cause these appliances to work harder, therefore causing a spike in your electric bill.
8) Check your home for proper insulation
If you’re living in a house or renting an apartment where you require a heater and/or air conditioner for part of the year, then this is crucial! Electricians estimate that about 20% of cold/warm air is lost through the attic or poorly sealed windows and doors. That’s like literally throwing money out of the window!
To prevent this, seal windows with caulking and replace weather strips underneath doors. Perhaps even consider insulating your attic or basement with fiberglass. Your wallet will thank you later.
9) Turn off the lights!
You probably heard this as a kid five billion times…and now you’re the one torturing your household with this cry for help. While it’s true this is one way to save hundreds of dollars a year, there are some other ways too!
Consider switching your current outdated light bulbs for more efficient ones like LED or CFL. Or, if you’re ok with less lighting in your house consider getting bulbs that have a lower wattage or install dimmer switches in your home.
10) Use cold water as frequently as possible
So maybe cold showers aren’t the most pleasant, but they surely are the most energy efficient. One of the most noteworthy household electric costs come from heating water. And for that reason, the less water you heat, the more money you save. So the next time you hop in the shower, make the water a bit cooler and get out a few minutes earlier.
11) Do larger loads of laundry, less frequently
When it comes to washing and drying clothes, do as big of loads as possible. Because bigger loads mean less loads, this is a great way to save electricity and reduce your electric bill. Or better yet, don’t even run the dryer. Just hang your clothes up outside, like your grandparents did!
12) Check out how you heat your home
Likewise to what we said before, heating can be one of the most noteworthy costs that probably stops you from saving electricity. To make this a little less costly, check how your home heats for the reason that oil, propane, and gas are far cheaper options than electric. And this doesn’t just go for your water heater, but for your stove and oven too!
13) Get a programmable thermostat
Have you heard of a “programmable thermostat?” While initially purchasing one of these may seem like a big cost, it can literally save you thousands of dollars every year. Why? Because it will properly adjust the temperature in your home for you.
That means at night and when no one is home, your heater or air conditioner will automatically run at a lower level. And consequently, you’ll have an amazing and efficient way to reduce electric bills.
14) Use your AC’s power-saving mode
As you may or may not know, air conditioning is certainly the most expensive cost when it comes to electricity. Some say to save money you should turn off the AC before leaving the house.
Believe it or not, this actually costs you money. Because every day your air conditioning will have to work to re-cool down the entire house, there is a more efficient option. So instead, to save electricity, simply turn down your AC to “energy saving mode” or to a lower setting while you’re out. This way you still come home to a comfortable temperature and your air conditioning doesn’t have to work so hard.
15) Don’t let AC escape through windows and doors
Because air conditioning is America’s biggest electric cost, we have a couple more tips to keep your house cool and your electric bill low.
When the AC is on, make sure all doors and windows are closed. This even means doors leading to the upstairs of your home since heat rises. Also, if you have curtains in your home, close them! This keeps the cool air in and the sun (and nosy neighbors) out.
16) Whenever possible, use countertop appliances
Odds are even if you have an oven, you probably also have a toaster oven. And even though you have a stovetop, you probably still have a crockpot and electric kettle. As you might have guessed, these smaller countertop appliances certainly use less electricity than your stovetop and oven. Use these appliances when possible, and make sure to unplug them when you’re done!
17) Don’t let heat escape your oven
It may sound crazy, but even the way you use the oven can cost or save you money! If you have got a job too big for the toaster oven and must use the full-size open, keep two tips in mind.
First of all, open the oven door as little as possible. Every time you open the oven door, heat is escaping…and so is your precious electricity! Also, turn off the oven 10 minutes before your food is ready. So long as you don’t open the door the heat stays inside, your food keeps cooking, and your electric bill is less!
18) Use the tiniest pots possible
The least amount of heat you can use on the stove, the better it is for your electric bill. Boil the least amount of water you need in the smallest pot possible. Keep pots covered as much as possible. Small changes like these will make the most efficient use of your stovetop’s heat and therefore electricity.
19) Use your dishwasher more efficiently
Certainly, washing your dishes by hand is the best way to reduce your electric bills. However, if you must use the dishwasher, do it on the coldest water setting. Also, don’t run the dishes through the heat dry cycle. This is a waste of electricity and time. So instead, open the dishwasher and let the dishes air dry after they’ve been cleaned.
20) Cut down on refrigerators and freezers in your home
Does your household have multiple freezers and refrigerators? We get it. You like food. But remember, that each of those appliances costs you around 400 watts of energy per month. With the average American paying 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, an extra refrigerator or freezer could cost you probably almost $35 more each month. Yikes!
In Conclusion, we hope you found our twenty tips to reduce electric bills practical and actionable. We promise you that with a few small changes, you can see some BIG savings! And, if you don’t know where to start, divide up the savings responsibilities in your home. Maybe make it a game. Put someone in charge of the laundry room and another person in charge of the kitchen. As a result, see who can make the most energy-saving decisions.
Therefore, however you choose to cut down your electric bill, we applaud you and can’t wait to hear what exciting purchases you make with all that money you saved! Good luck and happy saving!
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