As prices continue to climb across the board, we must find ways to cut costs, survive on less, and save more.
Everyone needs to be able to turn on the lights, watch TV, and heat (or cool) the house. But if people learn to save money on electric bills, they can fight off some of the higher costs. Thinking about ways to save money on electric bills can help us save more.
If you want to cut down your electric bill, there are plenty of ways to save money. These tips can help you learn how to save money on electric bills. That means more money in your pockets – and less financial stress.
How Much Energy Does the Average Home Use
The average American home consumes around 11,000 kilo-watt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, which is 13 times more than it used in 1950. On average, Americans can be spending anywhere from $900-$2,000 on electricity per year. However, that amount will rise as prices keep going up.
Most energy used in a home comes from heating and cooling systems. A typical American household will have 42% of its energy from heating the house, using air conditioning, and having hot water for clothes or showers.
If you can reduce these items, install energy-efficient appliances and follow some tips, you can start saving money on energy uses.
Here are 14 tips on how to save money on electric bills.
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14 Tips on How To Save Money on Electric Bills:
Each of these tips can help you save money on your electric bills. Take notice of the things you can do, and make it a habit to check how you can be more efficient.
1. Turn Off Lights
Turning off the lights is a great way to save money on your electricity bill. According to energy.gov, “Turning off fluorescent lights for more than 5 seconds will save more energy than will be consumed in turning them back on again.”
Most people think having better light bulbs is the best way to save money. That is true, but leaving the lights off will help save more money than the consummation that takes place when we turn them on.
Harness natural lighting to make significant savings. Don’t forget to turn off any lights once you leave a room.
2. Do an Energy Audit
If you want to see how much energy you may be using, you can ask your utility provider to do an energy audit. They can then determine different ways to save money on your utilities. Some of these audits are for free, saving you money.
It is always a good idea to get fresh eyes from professionals to help show you efficient ways to save on energy costs. These people can help guide you to help you save the most energy.
3. Buy LED Lights
Besides turning off lights, you should use LED lights. Did you know LED bulbs use 75% less energy than regular bulbs? Did you know they also last 25 times longer?
The best part about LED lights is their longevity. This helps you save even more money since you don’t have to purchase so many bulbs.
If you want to save more, go and buy some LED lights.
4. Air Dry Dishes
Many people throw dishes in the dishwasher and then use the heat drying function to get them nice and dry.
Why not air-dry them? Air drying is as efficient as opening the washer door and letting in air. Some dishwashers have an air dry function that can help make it easy for you.
The California Energy Commission says that you could save anywhere from 11-50% of your energy costs by air drying your dishes.
Technology is great for many different purposes, but letting your dishes air dry is a great way to save some money.
5. Use Power Strips
Many people use power strips to protect their devices, but did you know it can save on electricity? It is very accurate. Most devices are plugged into the wall and can consume electricity.
A power strip can solve plugging issues. Power strips have switches to turn off multiple devices and appliances simultaneously. Instead of unplugging appliances, flip the switch and turn them all off. It is a simple way to save on power.
6. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
We find that smaller devices save energy. Better air conditioners and heating units can help save on power. Light bulbs make it even better.
All these items and appliances are great solutions to reduce power consumption. Turning things off helps to save so much, but having better appliances that do not use as much energy help even more.
Don’t just buy an appliance based on price – go for energy efficiency. The savings alone will pay for it in the long run.
7. Programmable Thermostats
It is time to adjust that temperature. Most of us are way at work during the day. At those times, there is no need to heat or cool the house to a comfortable temperature. It is best to adjust the temperature for a time when you are away. Energy.gov says that if you lower the temperature by 7-10 degrees for eight hours, you can save up to 11% on your energy bill.
That means you can adjust before work and even when you sleep. Many people can do this manually, but having a programmable thermostat can help automate the function and even allow you to adjust the temperature from your smartphone.
Saving money on your energy bill can be as easy as automating your thermostat.
8. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Every week people wash clothes, and sometimes you want to clean certain items in warm or hot water. It is time to change it up and use cold water.
Some 75-90% of the energy used to wash clothes comes from water heating. That choice can be simple if you have a choice between saving energy or washing your clothes in warm or hot water.
Washing your clothes in cold water can dramatically reduce your energy costs. Eliminating the use of heating the water can not only help you save money but help to save the environment too.
It is an easy choice to make. Save that money by only washing in cold water.
9. Hang Your Clothes To Dry
Many people do not have the luxury of having a dryer. Maybe that is good because dryers suck up a lot of energy.
Did you know a regular clothes dryer uses anywhere from 1800 to 5000 watts of energy every time you use it? Have you ever thought of just hanging them outside to dry? If you can take your clothes and hang them outside, you will not only be saving money because you are not using a dryer, but you will not need to buy a dryer.
Little hacks like these can help people save money because they are not using electricity.
10. Take a Shorter Shower
People love their showers. The flowing hot water and rising steam can leave you feeling so relaxed and satisfied inside, but are showers really necessary? A short cold shower can save you big bucks on your energy bill. Water heating is the second largest household energy expense; it takes up 18% of the energy bill for homes.
Many finance gurus on Twitter joke about taking cold showers to save money. The savings are no laughing matter, though – if you can take shorter cold showers, you can dramatically reduce your water and energy bills.
Next time you think about taking that long relaxing hot shower, think about making it shorter (and possibly cold) to save more money.
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11. Check for Air Leaks
Heating and cooling a home can be one of the most energy-consuming activities. Living in a hot or even cold climate will heighten energy consumption in the extremes of weather.
During the summer, with the high heat waves in many parts of the world, energy consumption rises, bringing about higher prices. One of the best ways to save is to ensure your house is well-insulated. Many homes could have places where air escapes causing your heating and cooling systems to work harder.
If you can check your home for any air leaks in windows, walls, air ducts, or any other place, you can save by not heating or cooling the outside.
Parents often tell their kids not to leave the door open because they are not cooling down the outside world. The same thoughts should be applied to check your home for any cooler or warmer air escaping the house.
Then seal those leaks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that Americans can save 15% on energy costs by insulating their attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
Look for these leaks around your home, and ensure you are losing out on potential energy savings.
12. Use Solar Panels
Many people do not realize how much solar panels can save energy costs and increase the value of homes.
“The mortgage payments are only $25 more than our current electric bill,” one church pastor told me. “Once the mortgage is done in 7 years, the bill will be $25.”
Even more impressive is that solar panels can absorb enough energy to support a home or business without using any electricity from the grid.
If you were to go solar, you could use the savings to one day know you will not have to use much more energy off the grid.
13. Ask About Discounts
People love getting discounts and sales on items. Did you know that some utility companies offer discounts? It is always a good idea to ask your utility company if there are any discounts or incentives. Many companies will give discounts for going paperless. There can be other opportunities for deals and discounts.
Remember, if you never ask, you may never get anything. Take some initiative and ask for additional discounts.
14. Lower Temperature for Your Hot Water
Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you lower the temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit that can save 10% on energy costs.
We all like a good warm shower, but making these adjustments will save more money in the long run.
To make it even better, lower the temperature to the lowest setting when you are out of town; that way, there is unnecessary energy use.
As we think about ways to save money, there are many actionable tips you can do right now to start saving. These tips can help you save money on your electric bill. That saved money can be invested into good funds to help grow wealth.
It can be anything from taking a cold shower to ensuring your house is well-insulated. Now is not the time to be too scared to benefit from investing, but a great time to invest for the long run.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
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Steve Cummings is the founder of the personal finance blog The Frugal Expat. As a traveler and expat, he has learned a lot about how to save money, live frugally, and invest for the future. His mission is to help people in saving, investing, and reaching financial independence.