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Let’s admit it, our energy bills are soaring as high as the temperature in peak summers. Climate change isn’t helping and leaves us experiencing waves of unusually hot or cold seasons. A direct consequence of this change is our higher energy consumption and thus, steep electric bills. How to reduce your electricity bill? While there are some eco-friendly alternatives like solar panels, they can be very expensive to purchase and install. The goal of this article is to show you some ways to reduce your electric bill without spending a fortune.
1. Find Out More About How Your Electricity is Charged
It is not uncommon for utility providers to offer discounts on electricity rates at certain days of the week or certain times of the day. If you can find out when the rates are lowest, you may be able to schedule your highest electricity usage during the hours that offer the lowest rate.
It is best to inquire about these discounts and try to schedule your laundry and other tasks that require high energy consumption during these times. In Southern California, our electricity company Southern California Edison, offers a Time-Of-Use electricity rate plan, for example, that allows residents to save on electricity.
Take some time and find out what incentives are offered in your area and whether or not you can make them work. You could wind up saving hundreds of dollars a year on electricity.
2. Check the Seal of Appliances & Doors
We often ignore the sealing of appliances like the refrigerator, freezer, etc. While you may think that this is a minor issue, you will be surprised to know that a lot of energy is wasted is the sealing mechanism of cooling equipment is faulty. Your freezer will consume a lot more electricity if it isn’t able to maintain a perfect seal.
Likewise, the seals in your home can be of great importance to stay cool or warm depending on the season. Check the seals on your entry doors, are they intact? Any gaps leave to leakage and make it harder to maintain the temperature in your home.
Likewise, before starting the heat or air conditioner, make sure windows and doors are closed all throughout the house. Running the heat when your teenager has left their window open is not very efficient. A quick check can help save money.
I love YouTube for things like this. This is a great video on how to check the seal on your refrigerator:
3. Inspect the Thermostats
Because thermostats work to maintain a desired temperature in the house, they should be regularly inspected and maintained. Faulty thermostats account for high energy consumption and thus, a high electric bill. In addition, you should make a habit of turning the thermostat to a lower setting when you are away from home, for example, at the office or on vacation.
While you are at it, optimize the temperature on your thermostat. Can you go higher? I remember when I was a kid visiting my mom in Phoenix, Arizona. We had a swamp cooler but usually, it only kicked on to keep the house right around 80. When it’s 105 outside, 80 is pretty darn nice!
If electricity is a concern, you may need to reevaluate temperature settings in your home.
4. Take Quick Showers
You may not realize it, but the longer you are in your hot shower, the faster the energy meter runs. Hot water consumes a lot of electricity and can make up a large part of your electricity bill. The more people needing to shower, the more water that needs to be heated.
If you are looking to save money on electricity, encourage members of your household to use a timer in the shower. Start out at 15 minutes and work your way back to an amount of time that is reasonable. 5-7 minutes is the general rule in my house.
5. Alter the Wash Cycle Settings of Your Washing Machine
This step is pretty simple. Check the default temperature settings of your washing machine and adjust it to wash clothes at a lower temperature. This simple step has the power to cut down your electricity bill hugely.
6. Try Air-Drying Clothes
The dryer consumes a huge amount of energy in the house. Whenever the weather permits, try to air-dry your clothes, and you may be able to save on your electric bill that month. Of course, this is not practical during winters and rainy season but it is worth trying on other days.
7. Make a Habit of Unplugging
We might think that letting the fan or air conditioner run for five extra minutes is no big deal. Well, it becomes a big deal when these five minutes accumulate to generate a high electric bill.
Whenever you are the last person to leave the room, make sure that you turn off all appliances that are not required. This includes lighting, fans, and air conditioning.
If you have kids that can’t seem to remember to turn things off, consider occupancy sensors. We use these in our laundry room and they are great. Occupancy sensor switches can turn lights on automatically when you enter a room or they can be manually turned on like a switch. In either case, they will turn off automatically after a set time if they detect no movement.
Having an automatic on/off is great for areas like the laundry room where you are probably entering with your hands full. The manual on the setting is great for bedrooms. You can turn it on and off manually, but if you forget and leave the switch on, it will turn off once you leave.
As you have just seen, there are plenty of simple ways by which you can make a huge difference in your monthly electricity consumption. Most of these ways are extremely simple and won’t require any expenditure at all. Which of the above-mentioned ideas are you going to incorporate in your lifestyle?
Have you found a way to save that I haven’t mentioned here? Let me readers know what is working for you by leaving a comment below!
If you are looking for more great ways to save money, check out these money saving articles:
- Best Way to Save Money From Your Paycheck
- 11 Ways to Save Money at the Movies
- How to Budget and Save Money on a Small Income