To say that Americans are addicted to electricity is an understatement. According to a 2021 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average electric power consumption per person in the United States was 4,437 kilowatt hours in 2020. The world average electricity use is 3,105-kilowatt hours per person.
This dependence on electricity is costly. The average American family spends more than $2,000 a year on electricity bills. The good news is that many simple and easy ways to save money on utility bills exist.
Here are our top 5 ways to lower your electric bill.
5.) Turn Off the Lights and Electronics
By following these simple tips, you’ll reduce your energy usage and lower your electric bill.
Turn Off the Lights
Your mother was right: you should always turn off the lights when you leave a room, especially when you are leaving for a while.
You could save $274 a year by simply turning off five 100-watt light bulbs—or their equivalent—that would otherwise be on 10 hours a day. Turning off one 100-watt light bulb that would otherwise be on could save you $131 a year.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
You can save approximately $100 a year by swapping your lightbulbs for compact fluorescent, halogen incandescents, or LED bulbs that have an Energy Star label. These types of bulbs use less energy, saving you money.
Use a Smart Plug
Many of our household electric appliances never switch off. When in standby mode, an appliance still uses a small amount of power. These small amounts of energy used by different devices add up and contribute to your electric bill.
A solution to this problem is to use a smart plug that can be programmed to turn a device on and off and cut the current when the device isn’t in use.
4.) Use Less Water
By using less water and making a few adjustments to your appliances, you can make a significant difference in lowering your electric bill.
Take Shorter Showers
Cutting two minutes off your shower time each day will make a significant dent in your water usage and reduce your electric bill.
Replace the Showerhead
By replacing a standard shower for a more efficient, one can reduce your water usage by 2,700 gallons per year.
Any shower that is marked with the WaterSense label meets efficiency criteria from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Turn the Water Heater to a Lower Setting
The water heater has a default temperature of 140 degrees. Lowering this temperature to 120 degrees can lower your electric bill by 10%.
Top Tip: When on vacation, turn your water heating to the lowest setting to conserve energy.
Don’t Wash Clothes in Hot Water
The process of washing clothes uses a large amount of energy. The hotter the water you use in your wash cycle, the more power a water heater needs. Therefore, try to use warm or cold water when doing your laundry to save and lower your utility bill.
Top Tip: Do full laundry loads rather than smaller loads more often to make a dent in your energy usage.
Dry Clothes on a Clothesline or Rack
According to the same report, allowing your clothes to dry the old-fashioned way — on a clothesline or rack — instead of using a dryer could save you 65 cents a day, which adds up to $237 a year.
Top Tip: Wash and dry your dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher to help lower your electric bill.
3.) Insulate Your Home
Unless your home was designed to be energy-efficient, adding more insulation can likely help you save big bucks on your utility bills.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost of adding insulation to your home is a smart investment, because it will pay for itself in lower utility bills.
Add Extra Insulation
In the winter months, the bitter cold of the outside temperature can threaten the comfort within homes. Insulation saves energy that would usually be used for heating or keeping your home cool in the summer.
Add extra insulation around pipes to prevent them from freezing during winter and give your heater a little helping hand and stop it working overtime to keep your home warm. Adding extra insulation to your heater can lower your electric by up to $30 a year.
Check Doors and Windows are Sealed Correctly
Regularly check doors and windows for leaks, broken seals, or openings. This air leaks overtime small air leaks can affect your electric bill.
Weatherproof, caulk, or replace any seals that are broken. This will keep cooler air from getting in and any hot air escaping and in turn, stopping you spending unnecessary extra dollars on electric that you’ll need to use to heat out cool your home.
A typical family in the Northern United States could save 12 percent in utility costs by sealing air leaks and adding insulation.
2.) Use Smaller Appliances
Small appliances can save money by using less energy.
Use Space Heaters
Instead of spending money on warming empty rooms, use space heaters in the rooms you are occupying. Space heaters are not practical for all households, but they can provide significant savings for those who make the switch.
If you do decide to buy a space heater, the Department of Energy recommends that you buy only models with the latest safety features. As many as 25,000 home fires are linked to the use of space heaters each year.
Use Fans in Place of Air Conditioning
Go retro and do things the way they were done in the good old days. For example, switch from air conditioning to fans. According to a 2011 report by Forbes, using ceiling fans instead of air conditioning can save you about $438 a year.
Another great option instead of using air conditioning to cool the entirety of your home is by using a tower fan. A tower fan can be used to cool only the room you are in, meaning you are using less energy and saving you money.
Tune Your HVAC System
Many HVAC systems get neglected and as a result, they don’t function correctly. If the HVAC system isn’t running smoothly due to faults or broken parts, it will use more energy for it to perform properly.
Regular maintenance and check-ups of your HVAC machine can lower your energy usage and reduce your utility bill. A well-tuned HVAC machine will last longer and run more accurately.
1.) Analyze Your Energy Usage
Do an Energy Audit
A professional energy auditor will go through your home room-by-room to examine and access your household energy usage.
The final energy audit will be a detailed report of your home’s energy use. Energy audits can be analyzed alongside your previous utility bill to find the best way to lower your energy bill.
Top Tip: Contact your utility provider to see if they offer an energy audit as part of your package. Many of these audits are free and will help identify ways to lower your electric bill.
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