Electricity costs are a big expense for many Americans. Whether you live in an apartment or own your home, there are simple ways to lower your bills.
Try these tips to save money on your energy plan.
Look at Your Usage
You can make a big dent in your energy bills by considering how much you use. The best place to start is heating and cooling, which account for a huge percentage of your home’s energy usage. Try to reduce your consumption in this category by installing energy-efficient appliances and doing an energy audit to pinpoint losses.
It would be beneficial to switch to a plan with alternative pricing structures with resources like EnergyPricing.com, such as a time-of-use option that would provide you with power at a lesser cost during off-peak hours. Additionally, you might benefit from bill credits on fixed plans based on your consumption habits.
Be aware that various plans are available in deregulated areas, from month-to-month contracts to three- or six-month options. The length of your contract should be a major factor, as it will determine how long you’re exposed to fluctuating market and commodity prices. You can also save with a credit card, often earning cash or rewards on your utility bills.
Change Your Thermostat
If your thermostat isn’t working well, your home could waste energy. An old or inefficient thermostat will allow cold air to escape, forcing your system to work harder and longer to get it back to your preferred temperature.
A new, high-quality thermostat can help save you money. The newest models even offer smart capabilities that make monitoring and controlling your heating easy from a smartphone app.
When replacing a thermostat, please take a photo of the wires and their connections before disconnecting them (or write down or label which wire goes with each terminal). This will ensure that you connect the new one correctly and avoid rewiring your home.
The simplest way to save energy is by turning off your thermostat when you’re not home. It’s also a good idea to use smart power strips that turn off devices when they aren’t being used rather than leaving them on standby. This will reduce your energy bill and protect your electronics from heat and damage.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
The right appliances can help you reduce your energy consumption and save money. For example, a dishwasher or clothes dryer that uses less energy will decrease your utility bills. In addition, they are better for the environment because they do not generate as many greenhouse emissions. Energy-efficient appliances are also a great investment because they can increase the value of your home and provide additional comfort.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and water heaters. These appliances meet new energy efficiency standards and can save up to 30% on your energy bill. You can also ask your power company about time-of-use rates to lower electricity costs. These rates are usually lower during lower usage, like early morning or late at night.
The most important thing is to do what you can to keep your energy costs down. Changing your thermostat, using energy-efficient appliances, and doing laundry at off-peak times can all be simple ways to save your electricity bill.
Turn Off Appliances When Not in Use
Many electronic devices continue to use power even when they’re switched off. Known as vampire power, this electricity usage can increase over time and cost you money.
It can be easy to forget that TVs, coffee makers, and printers still use power when they are turned off. However, unplugging these items will save you money and energy.
This tip also helps reduce carbon emissions and lower the demand for fossil fuels. Consider investing in an electricity monitor to get a clear picture of how much electricity an appliance uses.
You can easily find a power strip with a convenient switch to turn on/off, making it easier to fight energy vampires. For more convenience, consider buying a smart power strip that cuts off the current of appliances when they aren’t being used. If you want to go a step further, try placing “Please Turn Off Electrical Devices When Not In Use” signs in common areas of your home. These can promote accountability and encourage a culture of energy conservation among family members.
Change Your Light Bulbs
The lights in your home are one of the biggest energy consumers. That’s why changing out your traditional light bulbs to energy-saving ones can have a big impact on your bill.
Lighting accounts for about 18% of the average home’s energy use, and most homes have about 40 light sockets. Upgrading to energy-efficient LED or CFL light bulbs is an easy way to cut your home’s energy costs and lower your power bills.
These newer bulbs also last up to 10 times longer than traditional ones, making them a smart investment. When shopping for light bulbs, look for the ENERGY STAR label. CFLs have undergone a makeover in the past few years and are now smaller, cheaper, and more reliable than ever. They still use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they produce very little heat so you can save on cooling costs, too.
LED bulbs are the best choice for your home because they have the highest energy efficiency and longest lifespan. They are also mercury-free, so they don’t release toxic mercury if broken.