Little changes that you make every day can have a big impact on your life and your finances over time. The longer you maintain a positive change, the more you will save over time.
Reducing your electricity bill is one way to save money every month of the year. If you combine your efforts to save on electricity with your efforts to reduce your heating bill and water bills, you could save quite a bit each month, adding up to significant savings over a lifetime. If you are tired of paying too much for electricity, here are 10 tips to reduce your electricity bill:
- Turn off lights when not in use. This sounds obvious, but many people have a habit of leaving light on as the go from room to room. If you have children remind them to turn off the lights as well. Send them back to the room to turn off the lights. This can apply whether you are in the house, or not. If you aren't in the room, the light doesn't need to be on.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Many of them still draw electricity, even when turned off. There's a phenomenon called “electricity vampirism.” The only way to completely avoid a flow of electricity, turn off electronics. Use smart strips to make this easier. While you can't unplug the refrigerator, there's no reason to leave the TV, computer, and other power drains plugged in.
- When possible, use a fan instead of your air conditioner. The fan uses less energy, so it will save you money.
- To help with the above, use blinds on windows to block the the heat from sunlight in the summer. You can also open the windows at night to cool the house down. However, in order to keep the cooler air in longer and the warm air out, close the windows in the morning. You might be surprised at how this, combined with fans, can reduce your need for the air conditioner.
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking. This will save from not using the microwave or extra cooking time. It's a small thing, but when you think about how much use your microwave for defrosting items, you might be surprised at how much you can save.
- Configure your computer for sleep or hibernate mode, or shut it off when not in use. Computers can draw a lot of power, so using settings designed to reduce power consumption are a smart move.
- Don’t open the oven door if you can check through the window. When you open the oven door while cooking, the oven has to work harder to make up for the decreased temperature from the escaped heat.
- If you are making a smaller meal, use a toaster oven or slow cooker instead of a full size oven. Both of these appliances use much less electricity. On top of that, you'll find that they don't heat up the house, either. This is important in the summer, when having the oven on can trigger the air conditioner… and a higher power bill.
- Keep the refrigerator at 2 degrees and the freezer at -18 degrees. While this will ensure food safety, lowering the temperatures further only wastes power. You don't need these very cold temperatures for adequately cold food. Also, don't leave the doors open. When you let the cold air escape, the fridge or freezer has to work harder to cool things off. Also, let leftovers cool a bit before putting them in the fridge. If they are too hot when you put them in the fridge, it can force the fridge to draw more power to cool it down again. Be mindful of situations that result in higher temperatures in your fridge or freezer.
- Only wash full loads in your dishwasher. This will save electricity and water, reducing your overall utility bills. Air drying the dishes will reduce the amount of energy used as well. There really is no reason to have the heat dry on for your dishwasher.
Finally, you can boost your home's energy efficiency by purchasing appliances that are rated as energy savers. When you buy new appliances, check them for efficiency. These days, some of the newer appliances don't even cost that much more when they are more efficient.