23 Amazing Ways To Save On Your Electric Bill
You can save on electricity with ease.
Imagine every penny you save on your electric bill making your lifestyle better.
With so many options now open to you it is incredibly easy for you to do a lot more than just reduce your energy spend.
The various simple approaches you learn here will help you to keep more of your hard earned money for the things you want to to do. In fact, if you follow through fully you will find that you can do more than just save, you can actually start putting money in your pocket instead!
Yes. Whilst saving is great and highly encouraged, you can actually turn the tables further.
Follow to the end and you will see how far!
The Top 23 Amazing Ways To Save On Your Electric Bill
1 Use Energy Saving Lights
Really simple this.
Granted they may cost a little more in the shop, but the efficiency makes them worth it.
They use far less energy and they last far longer than traditional bulbs too.
So let’s look into this somewhat deeper.
As a note the following US Government figures are based on on 2 hrs/day of usage and an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.
A traditional 60W incandescent will last for 1000 hours and burn through $4.80 of your hard earned cash each year.
Take it down to a 43W energy saving incandescent which is 25% more efficient and the numbers move a bit. The life span moves to between 1000 and 3000 hours, and the bulb will burn off $3.50 in electricity each year.
Now the more serious stuff.
A 15W CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) is 75% more efficient in energy usage. It will last for around 10,000 hours and cost around $1.20 per year in electrical energy.
It gets better though.
Use a 12W LED (Light Emitting Diode) and you get to around 75-80% more efficient.
In addition the bulb life extends out to around 25,000 hours. With annual usage costing around $1!
So a 12W LED lasts about 25 times as long, plus it costs 80% less to use than a traditional 60W incandescent.
LED light bulbs offer a serious long term way to save on your electric bill. Say you are using 5 of these in your home for about 4 hours a days each. Incandescents would cost you $48 a year to run. LED lights would keep $38 in your pocket based on the power savings.
A bigger family using 5 LED lights for 6 hours each would keep $57 in your pocket compared to incandescents.
These are serious savings and you are just getting started.
2 Turn Off Lights
Not in the room? Then turn off the lights!
Seriously, if you are going to be out of the room why keep the lights on?
With no-one using the light then it is just wasted energy, even with energy efficient lights it is still a waste.
It is really common. Parents tell kids and teenagers to turn off lights. Yet still in lots of homes people leave lights on which are not needed. That includes adults. Not in the kitchen, turn the light off. Not in the lounge, turn the light off.
2 hours a day using a 12W LED light which is not needed translates to 8766W per year.
For 5 lights that is 43.83kW per year! How many lights are you not using?
How much are unused lights costing you?
3 Get Energy Efficient Appliances
It’s not just lights that are energy efficient!
With changes in regulations, power generation costs and an increasingly green consumer base manufacturers have been getting efficient.
Through all manner of devices, notably with refridgerators, washing machines and TVs a greater ability to save energy is now possible for all.
Think about the changes since these various things have been available. Televisions started out with CRTs (cathode ray tubes), in time plasma and then LCD screens took over before the shift to LED. Existing LED technology has lead to massive reductions in energy usage by television sets.
An old 24 inch CRT television uses approximately 120 Watts.
The smallest Plasma unit at 30 inches uses around 150 Watts.
Shift to a 30 inch LCD and that number drops to approximately 60 Watts.
Whilst a 30 inch LED T.V. Uses around 50 Watts.
Even if you go for a huge 50 inch LED set you would only be using about 100 Watts.
The shift in screen technology has brought massive advantages to you the consumer. Naturally picture quality and screen size have been the main consumer focus. CRT units were incredibly big and bulky, whereas LED units are sleek and compact. The shift in technology has enabled them to do more too. Yet perhaps one of the best things which is so often overlooked is the reduction in energy usage they enable.
Unless you are using a huge screen you can easily halve your energy consumption by switching from CRT to LED.
Even going from LCD to LED has energy saving advantages.
Based on 2 hours usage per day at 11 cents per kWh a 24 inch CRT will cost around $9.64 on your electrical bill. Switch over to a 30 inch LED and the same amount of usage will cost around $4.02. This may seem small, but if you are using more your television for more than 2 hours per day, and are on a tight budget the difference could be very worthwhile. Especially over the years.
Potentially even more rewarding is changing your fridge.
Refridgerator technology has come on leaps and bounds since 1976.
An old pre-1976 fridge used around 2200 kWh, by 2001 that had dropped to around 600 kWh, a 72.727% reduction.
Carry that through to a CEE Tier 3 model and you are looking at around 425 kWh of electricity demand on your bill.
In more understandable terms this means that if you changed a pre-1976 fridge for a new CEE tier 3 one then you would change from spending $706.64 to $136.51 based on an energy cost of $0.11/kWh cool your perishables.
That’s $507.13 in savings.
Even if you switch from a 2010 era 600 kWh to a CEE tier 3 you would gain an approximate $56.21 saving on electricity per year.
These are seriously worthwhile power savings.
So it is very much worthwhile to get a good energy efficient refridgerator as a part of your how to save on electricity drive.
Washing machines are another massive energy user.
So much so that via its EnergyStar website the US government has made the following statement:
“If all clothes washers and dryers sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR certified, we would save more than $4 billion each year and prevent more than 19 billion pounds of carbon pollution annually. This is equal to the emissions from 1.7 million vehicles.”
Obviously this is fairly weighty for society and it combines millions of homes to generate the effect.
But what about for you in your home and your own desire to save on electricity?
Well this depends a great deal on how you use your clothes washer. Hot washes (60 degrees C) use a great deal more energy than cool washes (30 degrees C). This is based on the need to heat the water. Regardless of whether you are using water from a hot water tank or the unit itself to heat the water it is generally quite wasteful.
Detergent technology has come a long way and most stains and dirt can easily be cleaned at 30 degrees Celsius now.
That said clothes washer technology has shifted too, motors have become more efficient and the units themselves, not withstanding water heating requirements, use less energy.
As for specific examples, everyone has a different usage profile.
The main advice is to move to an energy efficient model and use a good detergent that performs well at low temperatures.
This will lead to some quality electricity savings.
4 Check For Energy Settings In Manuals
Most people never read manuals.
For the most part that is OK, generally you can work out everything you need to relatively easily.
The issue comes with optimizing energy settings so that your devices are running at best efficiency.
Manuals are created for a reason. Every year consumer devices and white goods become more complicated. Consumers desire ever more settings and devices that can do ever more things. This leads to devices needing computers to run them rather than a simple dial and a start button.
Though with the inclusion of computers in almost all devices now the option has been created for better efficiency controls too.
Read your manuals and check what those settings are, they can seriously save.
5 Keep Water Heaters Set To “Warm”
Do you really need your hot water at 60 degrees C?
At 60 degrees Celsius water will scald and cause damage to skin and other tissues.
When you fill the bath or have a shower you mix hot with cold to get a usable temperature.
This is a huge inefficiency. It is one which costs you a huge amount. Generally most people will have a shower or bath at around 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. So heating and storing it at 60, only to then mix with cold back down to 38 – 40 is a bit crazy really. Right?
Keep your water heaters set to warm instead and you will save on electricity in a good way.
A solid how to save on electricity efficiency tip.
6 Go Solar
Depending on your home and location this is worthwhile.
Granted if you are in an inner city apartment it is likely a no go for a number of reasons.
If you have a house that gets plenty of sunshine though then you could start some quality savings.
It is of course difficult to quantify savings here. The chief issue being the variable nature of the weather in different locations and seasons. Plus the variation in climate that has come in recent years. Yet despite this having solar panels fitted to your home still gives you the ability to produce your own power.
That is something that can lead you to draw far less electricity from the grid.
In turn leading to good electricity savings on your bill.
7 Grow Trees?
Yes trees can help you save on electricity.
If you live in a house that gets bright sunshine they can really help with efficiency.
When placed so that during the summer they shield your home from the sun then you home stays cooler.
Because of this your A/C or HVAC unit needs less energy to cool your home. As such you end up reducing your energy bill and saving money. Then when fall comes the leaves drop off, providing the tree is not evergreen, and you get sunlight coming in during the winter months which helps warm your home. The exact energy saving depends on how far north or south you live in relation to the equator, they can provide value wherever though.
So during the summer the trees help to cool your home, then with their leaves gone they allow through sunlight to warm it in winter.
Plant in a good position and trees can really help you.
8 Tax Incentives!
The government does do good things for you.
Whilst you may dislike tax time you will certainly like what comes from tax incentives.
These are well worth checking in to. Different states and locales have different schemes and you can get great benefits in places.
We have already mentioned getting energy efficient appliances as a great way to reduce consumption and save on electricity. It is well worth knowing that various Energy Star rated appliances also attract tax credits too.
This is just one way in which the government helps you.
Another great opportunity is gained when you use solar panels.
Note that in order to qualify you have to be the home owner, though both principle and second homes attract the incentives. These credits are only available until December 31, 2021 for US residents though. Plus they are on a diminishing rate as the closing date approaches. For other countries please check with your local tax or city office.
Please note that we are NOT tax advisors, so to get in depth advice please contact a professional tax /financial planner at the IRS or whichever government body is responsible for your taxes.
Do so and you could be very pleasantly surprised.
8 Stop Using Standby Turn Things Off!
Everybody likes things to be easy.
As a result people generally hit what they call “the off button” on remotes and leave it at that.
All that does is put things on standby though. They are still on and using electricity, hence the light being on.
In standby mode an appliance is still drawing power so that it can come on quickly and easily when you tap the on button on the remote. So while on standby your TV may appear to be off as there is no picture, it is actually not. Actually turning things off with the hard switch on the unit itself turns them off properly.
This may seem like just a small thing yet it seriously adds up, especially as things tend to never be truly off now.
As of 2010 regulations limited standby power to 1W, seems small but over an entire year, well.
Over 365.25 days at 24 hours a day this sucks up 9kWh.
Now if you have 10 devices, very easy in a modern home with cell phones, tablets, TVs, DVD or Blu-Ray players, PCs and more, that figure multiplies.
With 10 devices on standby you suck up 90kWh of energy each year. More than 10 and naturally the figure goes up.
All money you could have easily saved on your electric bill.
If you want to start getting a handle on wasted energy it is well worth checking the government Standby Power website.
It will give you a clearer picture on what is using what in your home.
13 Unplug! Chargers And Other Appliances
Actually unplugging things is even better.
Whilst plugged in, even if off an appliance still draws energy.
Granted the amount is much lower than on standby, but it is still wasted energy you pay for.
At the end of the day. At times when you are not needing an appliance for sometime. Just unplug. Turn things off at the hard switch, then unplug them. It saves even more energy. This is especially true for cellphone, tablet and notebook chargers. Chargers consume power even when not changing a device, note that little LED light on them!
This may seem trivial in comparison to earlier reductions, it does still help reduce your energy spend though.
Everything adds up and over a year that makes a difference.
9 Only Boil The Water You Need
An average mug of tea or coffee is 350ml.
It takes 972W to raise the temperature of 350ml of water in 125 seconds by 83°C.
So when you put a liter of water in your kettle to make a single cup of tea or coffee you are wasting around 1.8kW.
How many times a day do you do this? How much energy are you wasting? Fill the kettle and you waste even more. So many people just start pouring in water and pay little to no attention as to how much they really need. All it does is waste energy. When you make a hot drink you know the size of the mug or cup you are using. You know how many drinks you are making too.
365 drinks a year with 1.8kW wasted per drink is 657kW of wasted energy just from drinks.
So just pour in the amount that you need and enjoy the savings you gain as a result.
Just use what you need, anything more is waste.
10 Use The Washing Machine Less
Efficiency is king.
A quick load of just a couple of things wastes masses of energy.
Keep to full loads and you hit a good level of efficiency, with both electricity and water usage.
Every time you run a cycle on your washer you have energy going on the motor to spin the load, heating to get the water to the right temperature, plus energy for the computers that run the whole show. So by doing just a couple of things you are introducing huge inefficiencies, all of which just cost you more of your hard earned cash.
So let the washing pile up till you have a full load and give yourself an efficiency advantage.
Washing efficiently saves on your electric bill in a great way.
12 How Cold Does Your A/C Need To Be?
Do you need Arctic conditions in summer?
If you are cooling your home or office to the point you need a sweater then you are cooling it too much.
Cooling to a point of comfort where you can relax or work easily is enough, when you start needing more clothes it is too far.
Every degree you cool is more energy needed. Keeping close to the ambient temperature uses far less energy than dropping inside conditions from 28 down to 20. Keep things within a few degrees, so if it is 28 outside then go for about 24 or 25 inside. If it is 35 then cool to 31 or 32. Drinking hot tea like the Bedouin or Chai like they do in India can help cool you down.
Cooling just a few degrees or less, yet reducing the localized humidity can make a real difference.
Both in terms of the feel and the reduced electrical usage.
Natural light saves you money on electricity.
When you have a good amount of natural daylight coming through you need less electrical lighting.
Having the light coming down to your work or living area is best. So skylights are absolutely ideal.
Light tubes are similar and have proved really popular in Australia. As with a skylight they allow light into the building from above. The difference being that the tube takes up less roof space and can also channel light to anywhere it is needed. So instead of just a single skylight lighting one room, you can channel sunlight anywhere in a building.
Skylights and light tubes mean you need less light bulbs working during the day.
So they can seriously stack up your electrical savings.
15 A Lighter Paint Job
Dark colors suck in light.
By having a lighter paint job you reflect more light around creating greater light efficiency.
In addition to this the lighter color can also serve to lift your mood and create a positive space too.
Even just going a few shades lighter can produce a noticeable difference around the place. Dark colors can look cool when coordinated right, but they do increase the need for artificial lighting. Switching to a lighter palette is beneficial for energy efficiency plus when using certain warmer colors you also feel more positive too. As such gaining benefits across your life in general.
This is one of the easiest changes to make. Anyone can handle a paint brush or hire a decorator.
Lighten your paint and lighten the load on your electric bill.
16 Hand Wash And Dry Dishes!
As with kettles and washing machines, dishwashers use a lot of energy.
Dishwashers heat water, dry dishes and suck in electricity in a great many other ways too.
Granted they can be great time savers, though if you do things little by little you can save a great deal on your power bill.
In a similar way to clothes washing people often run small loads of dishes too. Again this leads to even greater wastage. Running several small loads a day uses a lot of energy, more than a single big load. Yet when you can do things by hand you can save a huge amount in terms of electricity.
Cleaning things quickly just after you have used them takes little time and far less energy than running the dish washer.
It can also help increase rapport with family or co-workers too.
17 Maintain A/C and HVAC systems Regularly
Efficiency is also dependent on maintenance.
As cars get older they get less efficient. The same is true for many appliances, especially HVAC and A/C units.
Keeping things properly maintained helps them to use less power as they work smoothly, the way they were designed to.
When dust builds up, oil dries out and various other things happen, then appliances have to work harder to produce the desired results. That extra work means less energy doing what you want them too due to inefficiencies that have built up in the system. By getting things maintained, cleaned out, and brought back to optimum condition they regain efficiency.
That regular preventative maintenance brings in efficiency that helps keep your electric bill lower.
Working hard uses a lot of energy, so maintain and keep things efficient.
18 Summer Heat In Winter?
Do you need to walk around in a T-shirt in winter?
Arctic conditions in summer, Saharan in winter, neither are needed. You can wear another layer if it’s cool.
As long as the room is warm enough that your hands, head, feet and body feel comfortable enough that you can work efficiently or relax then you are good.
You can easily keep your core temperature up using sweaters and fleeces. If you are wearing a shirt or a T-shirt and feel cold then add an extra layer so that you feel warm. Turning up the heating is unnecessary and will suck up a lot of power. Using HVAC units and doing space heating is hugely inefficient. The energy dissipates over time and the more heat you add in the greater the inefficiency becomes. Even in an energy efficient space.
Warm things to a stable temperature which removes any chill and use clothing to do the rest.
Wear a sweater and save power in a noticeable way.
19 Tablet Vs Laptop Vs Desktop
What do you actually need your computer for?
For most people this is just internet surfing, social media and emails. All of which can be done on a tablet.
If you need to write or do spreadsheets then a notebook or laptop PC is easily enough. Desktops are only needed for more serious workloads.
Note that on a desktop 600W power supplies are incredibly common, and they use a lot of energy whatever you are doing Plus you have to power a monitor too. A notebook PC’s power usage is dependent on screen size.
On average a 15 inch notebook uses around 60W, that’s 10% of most desktops energy usage.
Tablets by comparison use 10-25W depending on size, so between 16-41% of what a 15 inch notebook uses.
What do you really need your computer for? Scale down to a device that fills your need and save accordingly.
Using a tablet to surf and mail can seriously save on electricity.
20 Hang Your Washing Out!
Clothes drier energy usage varies between 1.8kWh and 5kWh.
So for a 45 minute cycle they use between 1.35kWh and 3.75kWh, or between $0.16 and $0.45 of electricity.
The average drier runs at 3kWh, so uses around 2.25kWh or $0.27 of electricity per cycle you run it.
How often do you run your drier? Once a day? Well for an average 3000W drier that equates to $98.55 per year! Even if it is every other day you still use the equivalent of $49.41 of electrical energy per year. You could save all of that and use it on something else if you really wanted too.
If you hung your washing out to dry, letting it dry naturally, you could save all that with ease. Your clothes also last longer when dried naturally!
So you save on energy and clothing costs!
21 Check Your Fridge
Your fridge is in constant use.
So any reduction in efficiency leads to much higher power bills for you.
Even simple things like ill fitting seals that leak cool air can bloat electrical bills.
A simple test you can do is to put a piece of paper between the seal and the door frame when it is open. Then when closed see how easily you can pull it out. If it comes out easily, or moderately easily, then changing the seal would be wise. It will save you money on electricity.
There are of course other things too, pumps become less efficient over time and other parts and things such as coolant degrade too.
Degradation = Inefficiency = Excessive Power Consumption
Maintenance brings efficiency and power savings!
How much energy do your windows cost you?
Old single glazed widows leak energy like crazy, heat in during summer and heat out in winter.
Double or even triple glazed windows help to reduce those effects. But there is more to it than just glass.
Your windows have seals too. Few people every really check or even think about the seals. Or the frames either. Glass is just one thing that can leak energy. As with fridge seals the seals on your windows if ill fitting can leak a lot of energy. As can the frames if they are poorly made, warped, degraded or made of poor materials.
That energy leakage is all power that has gone through your A/C or HVAC unit to heat or cool your home or office.
Get rid of leaks and save energy by keeping it inside.
23 Switch Energy Supplier
The final and potentially the most impactful on your life.
With deregulation of the power industry the opportunity has come to switch electrical supplier and save.
Some retail suppliers offer you far more than others though, and you could gain a huge amount on this.
Almost every new electricity supplier will offer you savings. They will vary in amount too. Some charge setup fees, some have done away with setup fees. There are variable rates and flat rates. Fixed terms and open contracts. There is a massive amount to consider and you need to consider what is best for you!
When considering change assessing company reputation and dependability is critical. So dig deep when sizing up a new supplier.
Get it right and you could be getting a huge amount back.
Potentially your new supplier could end up paying you.
How To Save On Electricity Or Achieve More From It
Obviously there is a lot to work with here.
Getting energy efficient lights and appliances, plus lightening your paintwork are quick wins.
Maintaining appliances, and doing things like an energy audit are seriously worth doing too.
Pulling everything from above together will help you get a really energy efficient home. Some things can be done sooner and some may come later depending on your budget. Remember that various things come with tax incentives and that contacting a professional financial planner or tax specialist at the IRS could seriously help you get things done sooner.
The other seriously good thing to do is consider switching your energy provider too.
Better deals can do more than just help you save on electric bills, they could actually provide a better income for you. If that sounds good then feel free to get in contact with us and our consultants about the opportunities available.
Learn more than just how to save on electricity now, learn how to create a better life for yourself and others.