The average family in the U.S spends more than $1,400 per year on utilities according to the Energy Department. In my apartment, I have to use electricity for air conditioning, furnace, and hot water heater.
During the months of quarantine, you might have noticed how much the electric bill skyrocketed. Keeping the lights on, or heat for that matter can be expensive. Luckily there are some tips that you can try to give yourself some more wiggle room in your budget.
All of these tips I’m going to share actually help you reduce your electric utility bill. I’ve listed () ways to lower your electricity rate and spend less on your electric bill.
Power and Lighting
Switch to LED Bulbs
You may not know this, but LED bulbs can help you save up to 75% on your electric bill. With the average household spending more than $1,400 a year on electricity bills, this makes it an investment that is worth pursuing.
If you want to see real results on your electric bill reducing, switching out LED bulbs is the first step. Swapping out your five most-used light fixtures with Energy Star labeled LED or CFL bulbs that will at least cut your bill down 75$ a year.
Install dimmer switches
Dimmers are great for flexibility in room settings, choosing the level of brightness to suit your needs, and energy saving.
Install Timers for Lights
Timers are very important for installing because they will help you keep track of whether or not you turned off the lights. It is all about being responsible and being sure that the lights are off when it is time for them to be.
The first step to installing a timer is to turn off the light that you want to control. Once this is done, then move on to installing the timer. Make sure that you have an outlet nearby so that all you have to do is plug it in once it’s set up.
The rest of the steps should be fairly similar until it comes down to programming what time your lights come on and what time they go off.
Turn off the Lights
If you might not have the time or money to get a timer installed but another simpler way to save money is to turn off the lights. I should make sure everyone puts in more effort into not forgetting. As a family, work as a team to make this a goal.
Leaving the lights on for no reason is a real drain on your electricity. It will quickly make your electric bill rise. Take advantage of sunlight, and switch to lighter weight and color curtains. Set a time for when the lights can go on, and communicate it to everyone.
Make it a habit to turn the lights off in a room you’re traveling from, then turn on the light in the room you’re using. Monitor this for a month and see how much you can save.
Save Energy by Using smart power strips
Did you know even if you turn some electronic devices off they are not really powered off? They still use power and electricity while they sit in standby mode. The small amount of energy they accumulate can increase over time, especially if you have a lot of gadgets.
I recommend plugging those devices in a powerstrip. Something like your desktop would be in that category. A smart power strip will automatically cut the power off when the electronics are not on. Most of them have a website or app where you can track your usage online.
Electronics and Appliances
Use Solar Powered Devices
Solar power is important for our environment. We can be conscious about it by using solar-powered devices.
These devices are not only good for the environment, but they also help us save money. With these devices, you can charge your phone anywhere at any time without worrying about finding an electric outlet or paying high electricity bills every month.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances:
If you’re looking for a new washer, dishwasher, or water heater, it’ll help you save money in the long run if you buy an energy-efficient model. Leaving dishes dirty is a major time drain, so an Energy Star-rated dishwasher will help with this.
The average model needs at least 3.5 gallons of water per cycle, whereas older models use over 10 gallons. Put the appliances that are used more often, like the fridge, HVAC system, water heater, dehumidifier TV, washer, and dryer on one side of your home.
Speaking of appliances, the one large appliance sitting in your kitchen, your fridge can be set to use less electricity. Try adjusting the temperature of your fridge and freezer to say on energy cost.
Your fridge puts in a lot of work trying to stay cold to the temperature that is set. Instead, add the temperature to 38 degrees F, and the freezer can be between 0 degrees F. Your food will still stay fresh and have less energy usage.
Heating and Cooling
Home heating and cooling account for the majority of costs in your utility bills, so it’s important to find opportunities to save money on these things. For example, Fix and Repair leaky ducts to save you money during the season changes.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are an easy way to save money on heating and cooling costs. They can typically save 10% to 25% on energy bills without the need for any alterations in their lifestyle.
Energy Saving Tip for Programmable Thermostat
You can save a lot on your heating and cooling bills by turning your thermostat back 10-15 degrees when you sleep or leave the house. For eight hours, this would be enough to lower your annual heating and cooling costs by about 10%. Most people need a programmable thermostat. That’s because it does more of the work for you.
Install Insulation in your Home or Business
Installing insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce heating and cooling costs in your home or business. The typical homeowner can install insulation themselves for about $1,000, while businesses typically spend about $4,500 per unit of space – resulting in an average savings of up to 40%.
Check seals on windows, doors and appliances.
Always be sure to seal your fridge, freezer, and doorways. You want to keep the cold air contained in these areas so they don’t spill over into the rest of the home. A poor seal can cause energy to seep out, in the process costing you money.
Invest in a ceiling fan
If you have a ceiling fan already, you are definitely in luck. Opt-in for turning on your ceiling fan before you cut on the A/C. The ceiling fan will automatically make your room feel at least 10 degrees cooler and uses less energy than the air conditioner.
According to the US Natural Resource Defense Council, a fan uses 10 percent of energy than central air. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, consider this an investment with a guarantee of return.
Do an energy audit
If you’re a homeowner or renter that is looking to save on your monthly expenses, your utility company may help you improve on energy savings. Some utility companies offer to conduct a free home energy audit where they will identify any changes or updates that can help reduce your energy usage.
Don’t hesitate to contact your utility company for an energy audit. If you are afraid or nervous about what happens during an audit, let me go a few things. When an auditor first arrives they might ask you what concerns or areas of your home you feel should be inspected.
During the audit, they will run a few tests, including checking your home for any air leaks and your insulation quality. After its completed, they will hand over a list of recommendations to fix any issues.
Decrease your Showering time a little bit
Trimming two minutes from your shower can save up to five gallons of water a day.
Change your Showerhead to Save Energy
The right showerhead can help you reduce your water consumption by as much as 2700 gallons per year. When selecting a showerhead, look for one that is certified as efficient and has the WaterSense label.
This means that the showerhead meets the criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and can save you money and energy down the line.
Use Cold or Warm Water for Laundry
Take advantage of the cold or warm water in your home to do your laundry and you can significantly reduce your energy waste. Besides laundry, there can be other areas where you can cut back on some hot water usage.
Think about cutting back in the shower, dishwasher, or if you hand washing your dishes. Hot water uses more energy and these cutbacks help you save money on your monthly electric bill.
Adjust the temperature on your water heater:
The current temperature setting on water heaters is 140 degrees. How can you change it so you don’t have to pay more for heating your water? One way is to lower the temperature to 120 degrees.
For most people, this would reduce their water heating costs by up to 10%. Leaving town for a few days? Lower your water heater setting to save energy while you’re away.
It seems easier to waste energy versus spending the time to work towards saving electricity. When the lights stay on, and the appliances run on autopilot, electricity slowly increases like a money robber.
It may take some work but the effort is worth it. Try some of these tips we have discussed above, by switching your light bulbs, watching your appliance usage, and opting for using less hot water.
Watch the savings roll in and lower your electric bill. Challenge yourself to try one energy-saving tip at a time and compare your electric bills every month.