How Can I Lower My Electric Bill?
All the talk about energy shortages and high gas prices certainly doesnt’t seem to help things, but there are some things you can start do now to start paying less.
We’ll go over a few easy, simple actions you can take to reduce your electricity bill.
- Limit Your Use of Electricity – Start with the room you are in right now. Are lights or electronics on that don’t need to be? What if you were called into another room by a family member, would you turn off the lights? Small steps like these soon turn into habits that the whole family can use to make the energy bill a little more friendly.
Make sure you are aware of all things that consume electricity, not just the obvious things like lights. Every TV, computer, and radio plugged in may be draining electricity, and dollars from your pocket every month.
- Make a few smart investments: You may have seen compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs at the grocery store, and noticed how expensive they are compared to your incandescent bulbs.
Good news: these CFL bulbs are coming down in price, and they last up to 7 years! The best part? They use far less energy than traditional light bulbs.
- Use appliances wisely: It’s not the number of appliances that you have that’s draining your pocket, it’s how you use them.
- Thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat and set it 10 degrees cooler at night. You can save up to $100 per year! Check your thermostat, it might already be programmable.
- Clothing: if it’s cold, wear socks and a sweater while indoors. You’ll be able to lower your thermostat by a degree or two!
- Unplug electronics when you are done using them. Even if you turn them “off,” they still use up electricity when they’re plugged in.
- Rooms: if they’re not frequently used, close the vents and shut the doors.
- House: Add another layer of insulation. If you have less than 12 inches of insulation, you could use a little more
- Refrigerator/Freezers – If they are old, they may be inefficient and run constantly. Consider buying new ones (or slightly used) to actually save money over the long run.
- Call Electric Company for tips. Usually they will come out and give you tips. See what discounts they offer during non-peak hours, ask about light bulbs, sometimes they give them away for free!
Here are some tips to make better use of your appliances:
- Use the dryer only with a full load of clothes
- Switch off the computer monitor when you leave the room
- Do not leave the DVR on your TV “paused” for extended periods of time. Turn off your TV.
- Make a habit of always turning lights off when you leave a room.
While it may seem hard to start these habits, it will only take a few days until they are second nature. Remember that you will not only save money, but influence those around you (family and friends) and help the earth at the same time! It’s win-win all around, and hopefully you won’t be asking “how do I lower my electric bill?” anymore.