Your energy bill or electricity bill is what you are charged for using electric power. It is difficult to imagine a life without electricity. Many a time, we tend to use electricity when there is actually no need to use it. An air conditioner that is on all the times, a TV that is switched on always and lights left on in rooms where no one is present are some ways where we tend to waste energy. Taking small corrective measures can help you in cutting down your energy bill easily. It is estimated that a family spends $2,200 annually for utilities. Taking simple measures can help you easily reduce your bill by at least 25%.
There are various things that you can do to reduce your energy bill. Here are a few things that you can start doing today to cut down your bill.
- Do an energy audit
Most utility companies offer a free energy audit for their customers. You can contact them to get one done today. In case, your provider doesn’t offer this service, you can do it on your own by looking for resources on the internet. An energy audit involves doing a thorough check on the different ways in which you are using electrical energy. The results of the audit can be used to decide what changes you need to make in your home to save power.
- Reducing energy use on air-conditioning
The air-conditioner is on most times in houses. You can first start by switching off the air-conditioner when it is not required. Many a time, you would forget to switch off the air-conditioner when you leave a room. Ensuring that you use the AC only when it is needed is an effective way to reduce energy use. Keeping the air-conditioner in good condition ensures it consumes optimum energy. Regular maintenance can ensure this. Also, ensure the vents are clean and kept open. Closed vents can increase energy consumption. Replacing the air filter regularly is important to keep the AC in good condition.
- Adjust temperatures
You can adjust the temperature of your air-conditioner as well as the refrigerator to ensure that it is at an optimum temperature. For example, you can set the refrigerator temperature at 38 degrees Fahrenheit, which is optimum for your fridge to work. It reduces the workload for the fridge and ensures optimum power consumption.
- Reduce cost of heating and cooling
Control the thermostat setting to adjust the temperature when you are sleeping. Reducing the temperature by even 10 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours a day can help you save quite a lot of money annually on your energy bills.
- Fill the fridge and ensure the door is shut
When the fridge and the freezer are full of things, it helps in reducing the time needed to cool it. This reduces the load on the fridge and can help to save your energy bill. Also, ensure the fridge door is closed all the time.Check whether the doors are properly sealed. Any gaps lead to more workload for the fridge, thereby increasing energy consumption.
- Keep food in the fridge covered
When food kept in the fridge is uncovered, it causes condensation. This increases the workload of your fridge, leading to higher power consumption.
- Don’t keep hot food in the fridge
This is more like a common sense tip. But many people in a hurry would put a hot dish inside the fridge. This increases the temperature inside the fridge and makes it have towork more to keep things cool.
- Use ceiling and standing fans
If the temperature is not too high, you can consider using ceiling fans or standing fans to ensure a cooling effect. This can help you switch off the air-conditioner or reduce its usage, while still ensuring proper airflow.
- Cool your home down by blocking sunlight
Sunlight can heat up your room and increase the need for air-conditioning. Keeping the sun out by ensuring curtains and blinds are closed is a very simple and effective way to prevent the room from being heated up. You can also consider using tinted windows to block out sunlight. This helps you cool your home naturally and reduce the load on your air-conditioner.
- Use greenery and open windows to cool your home
Try to get natural air into your home to cool down the interiors. Also, use greenery outside your home to provide shade from the sun. All these help to keep your home cooler. It avoids use of the air-conditioner, thus saving energy.
- Use blankets instead of the heater
On a cold day, use an extra blanket or two instead of turning on the heater. Electric heaters consume a lot of energy. Use them sparingly, only when it is too cold.
- Insulate your home
To ensure that you don’t overuse the heater, ensure that your home is well-insulated. You need to do a check of your home to find out any gaps where a draft can get in and reduce warmth. Use weather stripping to close such gaps, so your house is insulated. Making proper use of insulation can help you reduce a lot of money that you spend on home heating. If you live in a cold region, consider using insulating paint that keeps your home warm and reduces heater usage.
- Finish your laundry and dishwashing all at once
When you use the washing machine and dishwasher, plan your work so you use them once to finish all the work. Using the machine multiple timesleads to excess power consumption. Plan your work so you can use energy in an optimum way.
- Don’t overload the washing machine
When you fill clothes into the washing machine, don’t fill them to the brim. You need to ideally leave 25% space. If there is no space, hot air will not circulate easily to dry the clothes. You can increase the efficiency of your washing machine by not overloading it.
- Avoid hot water cloth wash
Most washing machines come with a hot water wash facility. Try to use this sparingly as heating the water requires a lot of energy. This is an area where you can save money by using hot water for laundry only if highly essential.
- Use the clothesline
On a sunny day, you can skip the use of the drier after you wash clothes. Instead, hang the clothes out to dry on a clothesline, if possible. This is a small and simple way by which you can reduce your energy bill. Remember that it is a number of such small things that put together makes a difference.
- Use appliances during non-peak hours
Some utility providers have the provision of non-peak hours. This is where the rates charged for electrical power would be less. Try to use appliances like washing machine and dishwasher during such times to save money. Find out what time non-peak rates are applicable and try to do maximum dishwashing and laundry at these times to save power.
- Buy energy efficient equipment
You would be using different kinds of electrical equipment in your home. From the TV to the washing machine, and the fridge to the dishwasher – look for energy efficient equipment. Look for equipment that is energy efficient and would thus help you save energy. This is a good way of reducing your energy bill.
- Cut down on shower times
If you take a hot water shower, try to reduce the total time you spend in the shower by just two minutes. That can help you save a lot of energy spent on heating water. Also, use an efficient showerhead that prevent wastage of water and overheating.
- Adjust the water heater temperature
You may not need boiling hot water for your shower. Try to reduce the temperature of water. A 10 degree Fahrenheit reduction in temperature can save you a lot of money on power consumption. During summer months, you can reduce the temperature and increase it again during the winters.
- Use an on-demand water heater
The conventional hot water heater heats water in a tank and consumes more electrical power. An on-demand water heater would heat and deliver hot water instantly. You can use as much as you need instead of heating a tank full of water. This helps you to reduce your energy bills.
- Go solar
If you live in a place with good sunlight, harness the power of the sun. Installing a solar water heater is a great way to get hot water from the sun. You can reduce your water heating bills to zero on sunny days. This is a great way to reduce your energy bill.
- Use solar lights
Solar lights can be used outdoors in your lawn and even for the garage. These lights would use the power of the sun during day times and provide lighting at night – a good way to save on bills.
- Save power while cooking
Reduce the time you use the oven or electric stove. Switch it off a minute or two earlier, the existing heat will keep the food warm. Every minute of power saved can help you cut down your energy bill. Where possible avoid pre-heating the oven to save costs. Try to finish the cooking and heating jobs at one time to save energy. While cooking, keep the lid on the utensil closed so that heat is retained and it cooks fast, allowing you to save on power.
Try to use the microwave more as it consumes less power, as compared to an oven. When you take out food from the fridge to cook, don’t put it on the stove or oven immediately. Let it thaw out and come to room temperature. Then put it to heat, this way it heats faster and saves power.
- Switch off lights and appliances when not used
This is again a basic common sense tip, which unfortunately many people don’t follow. Doing this religiously, every day can help you save a lot on your energy bill. Keep lights on only where it is needed. Switch off the TV and computer when not used. Don’t keep it on sleep mode, shut it down to save power.
- Keep an eye on the TV
The TV is one device that is on most of the time, even when no one is watching. Keep an eye on the TV and switch it off when not used. Switch the power off to save electricity. Encourage kids to play outside instead of watching TV. Not only is it healthier, you save power as well.
- Use LED lights
LED lights are extremely efficient in saving power. Use LED lights as much as possible to cut down on your power consumption. Check all the lights you are using in a room and try to replace them with a single bulb that can provide more light. Also, use energy efficient lighting through the house.
- Use smart surge protector
You may be using surge protectors for your electrical equipment. Even when the device is on, keeping it plugged in leads to usage of power.It may not be much, but small things count. Use a smart strip surge protector. This would switch off power, when the plugs are not used.
- Use motion sensors for lighting
Instead of keeping the lights on everywhere, make use of motion sensors. They ensure lights are turned off and would automatically turn it on, only when someone enters a room. This is a smart and efficient way of saving energy and cutting down your energy bill.
- Use dimmer switches
Dimmer switches allow you to control the intensity of light on your bulbs. You can use more light only when you are reading or working. Else, you can reduce the light intensity and reduce power consumption.
Hope you found these tips useful. Try them out and we are sure you will thank us at the end of the month, when you see your energy bill.