10 Tips to Reduce Your Energy Bills
According to the Energy Information Administration, 31% of American households have trouble paying their energy bills.
Do you fall within this group? Does your electric bill seem way too high each month?
We want to help so we've compiled a list of 10 ways to reduce your energy bills. Read the tips below and start lowering your energy costs right now.
1. Eliminate "Vampire Energy"
The Department of Energy estimates that 75% of the electricity used to power home appliances is consumed when they are turned off. These appliances act as "energy vampires," sucking electricity throughout the day and boosting your electric bill higher.
Do yourself a favor and turn off your appliances when they are not in use. It's a good idea to plug appliances into a power strip and turn it off as needed.
2. Review Your Energy Use
Most power companies offer a free energy audit which lets you know how efficient the energy use is in your home. These audits can shed light on where energy is wasted and how you can save on usage in the future.
You can also perform an energy audit yourself, inspecting your appliances, insulation and heating and cooling equipment. Check your ventilation and look for air leaks that put a drag on your heating and air conditioning.
3. Fill Your Fridge and Freezer Full of Food
Mom was right when she told you to shut the refrigerator door. Leaving the door to the refrigerator or freezer allows cold air to escape. As a result, your fridge is forced to use more energy to restore the air temperature.
One little-known tip you can try is to keep your refrigerator full in order to use the electricity more efficiently. That's right, the food and drinks in your refrigerator and freezer act as insulation. As a result, your refrigerator doesn't have to work as hard to keep the temperature cool, which leads to savings on your energy bill.
4. Program Your Thermostat
Heating and cooling are responsible for your largest electrical expenses. What's more, your bill can spike during the summer and winter months if you use the thermostat more often to stay comfortable.
You can reduce these cost spikes and lower your power bill by resisting the urge to adjust the thermostat regularly. Even better, install a programmable thermostat to control the temperature more efficiently.
When you program the temperature, the thermostat changes automatically, allowing you to eliminate common heating and cooling mistakes. For example, you can set the thermostat to more cost-effective levels for times when no one is home. You might also program the thermostat to a better temperature when you are asleep.
5. Wear Seasonally Appropriate Clothing
Of course, you can always give your thermostat a break by wearing seasonally appropriate clothing in your home. In other words, add more layers in the fall and winter and dress down in the spring and summer. Dressing appropriately helps you manage your internal temperature and reduce the need to adjust the thermostat or other appliances to regulate the temperature.
6. Add Extra Insulation
One of the most common factors that allow the cold winter to penetrate your home is poor insulation. Remember, the purpose of insulation is to protect your home and help it to maintain its temperature year-round. If you want to save on energy bills, check your insulation and add extra insulation where it is needed.
Whether it's your walls or your pipes, adding extra insulation helps regulate the indoor temperature which reduces the strain on your heater and water heater.
7. Lower Your Lighting Costs
Lighting is another area that consumers a significant amount of electricity. You can lower your energy usage by switching out your bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs that feature the Energy Star label. These LED bulbs use only 20%-25% of the energy that incandescent bulbs use while lasting 15 to 25 times longer.
8. Use Energy Star Appliances
When you replace an appliance, make sure your new unit bears the Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances must meet specific guidelines ensuring the energy efficiency of the appliance.
The average household in the United States spends $2,000 annually on energy bills. Energy Star claims that appliances meeting their standards can cut those bills by 30%.
9. Do Chores in the Evening
Another way to cut your electric bill is to do your daily home chores at night. That's when energy costs are cheaper, making it the optimal time to wash and dry clothes or run the dishwasher.
Conversely, avoid chores that require electricity during peak billing times, typically in the afternoon.
This strategy only works if your power company offers "dual time" rates. Many companies work off of flat rates. Contact your power company if you are unsure whether your bill is calculated using dual time rates or flat rates.
10. Implement Energy Saving Landscape
So far, we've been covering tips you can implement inside your home to save on electricity costs. However, you can reduce the need for heating and air conditioning with some intelligent landscape design.
You can plant trees that provide shade for your home, for instance, and reduce the energy burden on your air conditioning during the warmer months. Take caution against adding too much hardscape or large pavement projects. Your lawn is much cooler than heat-absorbing hardscape
Final Thoughts on Cutting Your Energy Bills in Half
Each of the tips above will help you lower your energy bills. What's more, using a number of these electricity-saving tips together can catapult your savings significantly.
Get started by implementing an easy tip to get the momentum started. Then work your way through the tips as you tackle larger projects. Just a few changes to your lifestyle can result in a considerably lower energy bill.
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