25 Actionable Steps To Save Money On Your Electric Bill
Electricity. We all consume it, which means that we also all pay for it. And if you pay for it, you’ve probably also complained about the high price that you see when that monthly bill comes along.
So what can you do to save money on your electric bill? This is a great question because who doesn’t love to save money?
There are simple steps that we can all implement to help us to start saving money on our power bill today.
What Is The Average Monthly Electric Bill?
The average monthly electric bill in the U.S. is $121.61 which equals $1459.32 per year.
The difference between the total monthly cost of residential electricity varies greatly from state to state. The state with the highest average cost is Hawaii and the state with the lowest average cost is Utah.
Wondering how your state matches up? The average cost of electricity per month in each state can be found in this chart on Saveoneenergy.com
What appliances use the most energy therefore cost the most money to run?
This infographic from Connect4Climate breaks down residential energy consumption. It also identifies the appliances that use the most energy therefore costing the most to run.
The top 10 energy users in your home:
- Cooling and Heating
- Water Heater
- Washer and Dryer
- Electric Oven
- TV, DVD, Cable Box
The infographic also names the Top 10 “Vampire” Appliances and Electronics, which are defined as those that continue to use energy throughout the day even when they are off or not being used for their primary function.
The top 10 “vampire” appliances and electronics:
- Set-Top Box (Digital cable or satellite DVRs)
- Central Heating Furnace
- Routers and Modem
- Gaming Console
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19 Tips To Lower Your Electric Bill This Month
- Lower the temperature on your water heater
This is an easy tip to tackle. Check to see what temperature your water heater is set at. The default for most water heaters is 140 degrees but decreasing it to 120 degrees can save you money.
Also, if you are going out of town, turn your water heater down to the lowest temperature. Even when you are not using the hot water your water heater is working to maintain the set temperature. So by lowering it before you leave you can be rest assured that your water heater isn’t working overtime for nothing.
2. Call to see if you are eligible for a discount
I always recommend that everyone call your service providers once in a while to inquire about any discounts or to see if you can get a lower rate.
Unfortunately, the electric bill is typically non-negotiable. But there are discounts for those that are eligible. These discounts are usually based on age, income, and military service. So if you think you may qualify for a discount, it is definitely worth calling and asking.
3. Call to see if there are times of the day when there is a discounted rate
There are some service providers that offer discounted rates for energy use at different times of the day, which is known as “off peak rates.”
For example, your service provider may offer a lower rate in the evening and nighttime, so this may be the best time to use those high energy appliances such as the washer, dryer and dishwasher.
4. Use a programmable thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat will make your home more energy efficient.
The thermostat will automatically switch to the settings that you put in so you never have to remember to turn the temperature up or down when you typically leave the house or at night when you are sleeping.
5. Only run appliances when they are full (dishwasher and laundry)
Well this sounds obvious, but running a half load of dishes or laundry instead of waiting, is inefficient. The same amount of energy is used to run these appliances whether they are full or not so you might as well decrease the amount of times you do your laundry/dishes and wait for a full load.
6. Change out your lightbulbs
Changing your light bulbs from incandescent bulbs to LEDs or compact fluorescents will save money over time. LED light bulbs use 80% less energy and last 42 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
7. Use smart power strips
A smart power strip will cut the current of plugged in electronics when they are not in use. They detect when a device is in standby mode and cut power to them completely – no more vampire electronics.
8. Replace your air filter
Changing the air filters for your heating and cooling systems regularly will help them to run more efficiently. When the air filters get clogged or blocked, your heating or cooling system has to work even harder to get the job done.
Check with your manufacturer for recommendations on how often to replace your air filters.
9. Check your windows and doors for drafts
Checking your windows and doors for leaks, cracks, and drafts is essential. Having a home that is properly insulated will help to decrease unwanted air flow in and out of your house.
Weatherstripping, caulking, or replacing seals will keep air from escaping or entering your home, which will keep you from spending unnecessary money on higher energy bills.
10. Buy efficient appliances
If you need to purchase new appliances for your home, look for ones that are energy efficient, which will save you money in the long run. Energy efficient appliances such as a dishwasher will use less water and energy.
11. Replace your showerhead (low flow showerheads)
A low flow/energy efficient showerhead can reduce your water bill by 2700 gallons per year.
12. Inquire about an energy audit from your utility provider
A home energy assessment will determine what the energy efficiency is of your home. It identifies opportunities for savings as well as potential risks.
This audit can highlight opportunities for upgrades as well as simple changes that you can make to help lower monthly and annual costs.
Contact your utility provider to see if they offer an energy audit. Oftentimes it is free!
13. Use window curtains
Curtains are an inexpensive way to keep heat in or the heat out. They act as an instant barrier and are an easy way to help control the temperature in your home.
14. Plant trees in your yard
If you live in a very sunny and warm area and are looking to reduce the amount of heat in your home, try planting some trees in your yard. Trees provide instant shade that will reduce the amount of sun and heat.
If you are unable to plant trees you could look into installing some type of awning to provide some shade.
15. Use solar lights outdoors
An easy way to light the outdoors for less money is to use solar powered lights. They are low maintenance (you may have to clean the solar panel once in awhile), easy to install and eco-friendly.
They are great for gardens, walkways and areas when a really bright light is not needed.
16. Fix leaky faucets and toilets right away
That dripping noise is not only annoying but it’s costing you money. Fixing a leak right away will ensure that you don’t have any wasted money going down the drain.
17. Install ceiling fans
A ceiling fan can make a room feel cooler in the warmer months. They can also be used to push heat down into the room in the winter time when the heat is on. They are a lower cost way to get air circulating.
18. Keep your fridge and freezer full
Keeping a well stocked refrigerator or freezer helps to regulate the temperature inside.
19. Keep your refrigerator’s coils clean
Dust ridden refrigerator evaporator and condenser coils makes the unit work harder, which takes more energy.
Looking for a way to keep track of all of your home maintenance tasks? Try using a planner and checklist to keep yourself organized.
6 Habits To Adopt To Lower Energy Costs In Your Home Today
Sometimes all it takes is a few habit changes to save a few extra dollars.
- Take shorter showers
There’s nothing better than a long hot shower, but there are two things wrong with them. The energy needed to create hot water and the amount of water being used. Changing to a low flow shower head will help but it would help even more if you get into the habit of taking a shorter shower once in a while.
2. Shut off the lights
Anyone else having flashbacks of being a kid and your parents
yelling telling you to shut the lights off when you leave a room?
Well, as an adult, I’ve definitely turned into the light police and am constantly walking around the house shutting off lights that are not being used. It definitely can’t hurt and every little bit of energy saved helps.
3. Shut doors to rooms that are not being used
If you are running the air conditioner or heater, you should close off rooms that are not being used, even closet doors.
4. Wash clothes in cold water
There are obviously times when hot water should be used, but under normal everyday circumstances washing your clothes with cold (or warm) water is perfectly fine.
According to energystar.gov “water hearing consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer.”
5. Hang clothes to dry
While I was growing up, my mom actually hung clothes out to dry on a clothesline in the backyard.
I personally don’t want all of our neighbors seeing our unmentionables blowing in the breeze. But I do own a clothes rack, which I use for items that need to be air-dried. I also occasionally use it to dry items that are heavier and take more time (and energy) in the dryer, such as jackets, jeans, etc. You can always throw them into the dryer for a few minutes to fluff them up and soften them afterwards.
6. Unplug unused items
Something that we don’t usually think about is unplugging unused items when they are not in use or at night while we are sleeping.
As stated previously, there are “vampire” electronics and appliances that continue to use energy even when they are off or are not in full use.
An easy way to do this is by using power strips. If you have a lot of electronics that get plugged in in the same area then put them all on a power strip. Then it is easy to turn them all on and off as needed.
Final Thoughts on How To Save Money On Your Electric Bill
There are so many ways to save money on your electric bill.
Whether you are trying to bring your monthly average down in the winter or just looking to save a little bit of money over the course of the year, all of these steps will help.
Some of these recommendations may seem small and insignificant but they will add up over time.
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