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The average household spends seven cents of every dollar of after-tax income on energy bills, including electricity and fuel. With the prospect of rising electricity rates, residential customers like yourselves may struggle with how to save money on electric bill, relief starts with understanding what makes up the bill. Ultimately, it’s about how much energy, measured in kilowatts, you use during a billing cycle.
You can Save on Electric Bills If You…
As you search for how to save money on electric bill, take stock of the appliances in your home, the nooks, and crannies in the house and your daily activities. The tips below can help you identify changes in habits and other strategies to shorten how long you run those items that use electricity.
1. Run the Heater Less
Nearly 29 cents out of every dollar of your electric bill goes to heating.
Blocking the cold air is an answer to how to save money on electric bill. Seal gaps around windows, doors, utility cut-through for pipes and unfinished spaces in your cabinets and closets. Insulate attics and crawl spaces.
Set the thermostat to as low as you can without becoming uncomfortable and to between 10 and 15 degrees lower for eight hours when you sleep or leave the house. While you run gas logs, set the thermostat between 50 and 55 degrees. Open blinds to let sunlight in the house.
2. Rely Less on the Air Conditioner
In the summer, set your thermostat as high as your comfort or health will allow. Raise the set point or temperature at which the air conditioning comes on when you leave. Close blinds during the day to repel sun rays.
Ceiling fans and whole house fans can offer cooling in most weather regions. If you rely on a whole house fan, rubber or felt gaskets can reduce noise.
For homes in dry regions, evaporative cooling systems may prove viable. These “swamp coolers” pass outdoor air over water-saturated pads and evaporate it to 15 to 40 degrees cooler. Energy use can drop by 25 percent.
3. Plant Trees
How to save money on electric bill also is answered by landscaping. Tree placement can shave indoor temperatures by three to six degrees and energy use by up to 25 percent.
Plant deciduous trees of six to eight feet high in generally the south and western portions of your property for optimum daytime shading. When the leaves fall in cooler months, the sunlight can afford some natural heating. For more density and longer shading, employ evergreens and shrubs.
4. Use Your Dishwasher – Wisely
Hand-washing your dishes may use more hot water than a dishwasher because of the frequency of cleaning. Fill, but don’t overload, your dishwasher. Unless the food is burned or stuck, scrape or wipe off the dishes rather than pre-rinsing or soaking. The “rinse-hold” option on a dishwasher consumes three to seven gallons of water, so save it for large loads.
Dishwashers with “booster heaters” can raise the temperature to the recommended 140 degrees for washing. These units generally are more energy-efficient.
5. Take Short Showers Rather Than Bath
When you reduce water usage in the bathroom, you save on water bills and electricity bills because the water heater will run less.
Take a short shower rather than a bath. A typical bath consumes up to 30 gallons of water. With a low-flow shower head, a ten-minute shower will use 25 gallons. Low-flow mechanisms release 2.5 gallons per minute, so you can save even more water and energy with shorter showers.
Consider an electric shaver so that you don’t use water. If you employ the traditional razors, minimally fill the sink for rinsing.
6. Light Your Home With Different Bulbs
The traditional incandescent light bulbs spend as much as 75 percent of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. CFLs generally last ten times longer than their incandescent counterparts.
Depending on where you buy, compact fluorescent bulbs run from $2 up to $15 for specialty bulbs. However, each CFL yields at least $30 in energy savings or the bulb’s life.
You might feel safe by constantly keeping on porch lights. To maintain security and lower energy use, install motion sensor lights. Solar-powered landscaping lights can keep front yards visible.
Recommended read – How to Save on Rent
7. Cook Less on the Stove
How to save money on electric bill also involves kitchen habits. Cooking on a stove not only uses energy but also heats your kitchen or other rooms.
Cook smaller meals with slow cookers, toasters or microwaves. Find recipes such as roasts, soups, and chicken-and-dumplings that can readily go in slow cookers. Smaller appliances such as electric fryers can prepare fried foods, bacon, pancakes, sausage and ham as readily as a stove. Use your outdoor grill some.
If you need the stove, keep the oven door closed. Each instance of an open door means a loss of 25 to 75 degrees in the oven. This means your stove runs longer.
8. Control the Laundry
Hot water results in 90 percent of the energy devoted to the clothes washer. Here, you can wash most clothes on either cold or warm settings. Save the hot water for oily stains or extremely dirty towels.
Knowing how to save money on electric bill means less use of the dryer. Run the washer on the high-speed spin to lower the dampness of the clothes. With many clothes, especially 100-percent cotton items that might shrink, air-dry them on a clothes line or clothes horse. As for running the dryer itself, activate the moisture sensor so that the dryer will automatically stop. Clean the lint for more efficient and safe use.
9. Unplugging Electronics
Many home electronics – your television, stereos, computers, and DVD players – are “vampires.” They feed on electricity even when you power down because of clocks, internal memory or mechanisms, and charging. Plug these devices to a power strip which you can switch off when you’re not using these devices.
With computers, turn off the monitor if you’re not using the computer for at least 20 minutes. For idle time of two hours or more, power off the entire unit. Operate your computer in low-power mode to conserve energy and keep the unit cooler.
Unplug your tablets, smartphones, and laptops once they are fully charged.
10. Buy More Efficient Appliances
Water heaters and appliances with an “ENERGY STAR®” label meet various standards for energy efficiency. These typically save water and consume less energy. For example, refrigerators with this qualification expend as much as 40 percent less than conventional units sold before 2001 and 15 percent below non-ENERGY STAR® models that actually meet federal standards.
As a set, ENERGY STAR® appliances carry savings of as much as $80 per year in energy costs over standard appliances.
Natural gas on-demand and tankless water heaters apply direct heat. With these models, you can conserve up to 30 percent more energy over standard natural gas. Heat pump water heaters operate on half the energy of conventional electric water heaters. Savings also result from solar water heaters.
What and how much you use are critical factors in driving your energy bill. Some of these tips require minor lifestyle changes or simple home maintenance. Appliance upgrades lead to smaller energy consumption and over time to less money to the power company.
At some point, perform an energy audit of your home to see how you save money on electric bill.