Save Money on Your Electric Bill: How to Cut it in Half

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Saving money without sacrificing comfort is the key to getting your finances in order and keeping your finances in order.  In this post, we are going to cover easy ways to save money on your electric bill! These tips don’t make you jump through hoops or force you to live without your creature comforts.

These are just some simple tips that will help you to cut your electric bill in half!

The savings tips in this article are all about not interfering with your life or making significant investments to save pennies!  The tips are all low cost and no-cost solutions that help you become an energy-savvy consumer!

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – TIPS TO CUT YOUR ELECTRIC BILL IN HALF

The more that you know about your electric bill, the more you can save.  

  • Getting to know your electric company: Understanding your monthly billing statement is the best way to start saving.
  • Learning how to save money on the big energy users:  Heating and cooling are a few of the most significant opportunities for savings.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR ELECTRIC COMPANY TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR MONTHLY ELECTRIC BILL

Getting to know what your electric company offers is a perfect place to start saving money.  When Rob and I started our journey to pay off our debt, we used the strategies in this post to cut our electric bill drastically!

Related: Pay Off Debt Fast | 11 Things We Did to Pay Off $50,000 6 Months

TIP 1:  ASK YOUR ELECTRIC PROVIDER IF YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT RATE FOR YOUR ENERGY NEEDS

Energy is purchased and sold based on demand.  The greater the need for power, the higher the cost.  To help save money on your electric bill, most electric providers offer Time of Use rate plans to encourage their consumers to purchase energy during the times that the demand for electricity is low.

With Time of Use pricing, you pay premium prices for energy used during high demand periods, on-peak, and deeply discounted prices for electricity purchased during low demand periods, off-peak.

For you to save with Time of Use, you must enroll in the rate plan.  Your utility may also have to install a special meter at your home to keep track of the time of day that you are using power.

Our participation in our utility’s Time of Use program reduced our monthly bill by 15%!

TIP 2: MONITOR YOUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Upgrading the electric grid appears in the news all the time these days.  One of the great things about the smart grid initiative is the Smart Meters.

Nowadays, most electric companies use metering technology that allows it’s consumers to log into their energy account online or via an app to see their energy usage. You no longer have to wait for your bill to come in to see how much energy you are using!

Knowing when you use power in your home and how much you are using is priceless information that allows you to make educated energy decisions.

It is a great way to see…

  • What time of day you use the most power
  • The day of the week that you have increased and decreased to your energy consumption
  • How the outdoor temperatures relate to the amount of energy you use in your home

Whether you are looking at saving money on your electric bill or just becoming an energy responsible consumer, this information is priceless.

Visit your electric companies website today and see if you have the ability to monitor your usage online.



Tip 3: Prepaid rate plan – pay for your power before you use it

We have all heard about prepaying for minutes, but what about prepaying for electric?  Rather than paying for energy after you use it, with prepay you pay for your power before you use it.  It is just like buying fuel for your car.

With this plan, you are required to engage.  You have to be observant of your energy consumption because you do not want to run out of energy.

Prepay is a great tool to turn you into a savvy energy consumer while helping you budget your monthly payments.

LEARN HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON BIG ENERGY USERS

So before you start trying to cut costs, knowing where most of your money is going to power your home is essential.  This bit of knowledge helps you to focus on the energy users in your home that have the largest impact on your monthly bill.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released their 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey which helps identify where residential consumers are using the most power.

Knowing which appliances and devices in your home use the most energy is a great way to focus in on your efforts to reduce your bill.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey

Heating and cooling represents 32% of residential consumption

Since 32% of your energy bill is associated with heating and cooling, this is a great place to start taking charge of your monthly bills.  In this section, we will help you find easy solutions to save energy and money on the largest energy cost:  heating and cooling.




Tip 4: Programmable thermostats are a perfect way to automate your savings

For a small investment, a programmable thermostat is the only way to go!  This handy device makes sure that you are not wasting energy when you are not home or during the expensive on-peak times of the day.

For the average American household, almost half the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings will help you save money and stay comfortable in your home. – Energy Star

Over the years the cost of these handy energy savings tools has become more and more affordable.  Check out Amazon to see the latest and greatest programmable thermostats.

Tip 5:  Ceiling fans can save you a ton!

Running a ceiling fan is cheap.  With an average cost per hour of one cent, you cannot find a more economical way to cool you off or circulate the warm air in your home.

Cooling:  By using a ceiling fan, you can raise your thermostat by 4 degrees in the summer and not give up any comfort according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Just remember, a ceiling fan cools a person and not a room so be sure to turn it off when you are away.

Heating:  Save money in the wintertime by running your ceiling fan clockwise on low to bring the warm air down where you are.

Tip 6: BARBECUE in the summer

By taking your cooking outdoors, you make sure that your home does not heat-up and cause your air conditioner to work extra hard to cool it down.

Tip 7:  Open your windows at night

Opening your windows at night is a perfect way freshen up your home while you cool it off.  A box fan works perfectly in the window to cool off your place for pennies.

Tip 8:  Put on extra clothes or grab a blanket

Throw on your favorite hoodie and your psychedelic toe socks.  Get cozy as you save money on your crazy winter heating bill.




Change the Air-filter

Tip 9: Change your air filter

Your HVAC system requires air to operate at its maximum efficiency.  To keep it running like a champ, make sure that you change your air filter every other month.

Changing your filters is a low-cost solution that will keep your system working optimally while helping you control your heating and cooling expense.

Amazon has great savings on their filters.  You can buy a years supply for under $40 from Amazon.com.

Water heating accounts for 14% of your energy bill

Water heating is your second largest single energy user.  The tips below are just some quick and effective ways to save.

Tip 10:  Set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Turn down the temperature on your water heater and start saving on this high energy user.  The default manufacture setting for a tank-based water heater is 140.  Since most dishwashers boost the water temperature the Department of Energy, recommends adjusting your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

This small change will:

  • Slow down the corrosion of your water heater and pipes
  • Save money on stand by heat loss ($36-$61 annual savings)
  • Prevent Scalding

Tip 11:  Wash your clothes in cold water

Wash in cold! To put in perspective how wasteful hot water is, washing your clothes in hot instead of cold for a year, wastes more electricity than leaving the refrigerator door open 24 hours a day for a year.  – Mr. Electricity

When it comes to washing your clothes, 90% of the energy is used just to heat the water.  If you are looking at reducing your electric bill, wash and rinse your clothes in cold water.

Source: The U.S. average cost per kWh is 12.47 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).  With the assumption of two loads of laundry a week. kWh required per load comes from Mr. Electricity’s site.




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54% of your electric bill is made up of other energy users

Now on to the energy users that add up.  It is our day to day routines that make up most of our energy consumption.  It is a true representation of how small things add up.

Tip 12: Dry your clothes quicker with Wool Dryer Balls

Save time and money with wool dryer balls!

Dryer balls are a perfect solution for you to cut the dry time in half!  These dryer balls are a great solution to save money on electricity and fabric softener.

Wool dryer balls separate your clothes during the dry cycle and circulate the warm air through the spaces created by the dryer balls, helping the whole load dry faster!  Since the dryer balls are wool, they will soften your clothes naturally with the gentle friction created as they come in contact with your clothes.

Find out more about Dryer Balls on Amazon.com.

Tip 13: Clean the lint filter – every time  😉

Just like your furnace, your dryer needs air too.  Make sure that your dryer is functioning optimally, remove lint after every load and clean the vent ducts annually. Making sure that your dryer is clean not only saves energy but it is also a time saver too as your clothes will dry faster!

Tip 14:  Let nature do all the work

When the weather is warm and dry, you can cut your energy costs by drying clothes outside on a clothesline.  If drying your clothes outside is not an option, you can always use a stand-alone drying rack or hangers inside.

If you are worried about wrinkles you can always remove clothes from the dryer and hang them to dry while they are still damp. They’ll dry without wrinkles, thus avoiding the need to iron.

This will save energy and your clothes!




Tip 15: Use a power strip to make sure your appliances are not using power when you are not using them

The U.S. Department of Energy found that 75% of the energy used by your appliances occurs when the appliance is turned off which can represent 10% or more of your electrical bill!

With the big push for efficiency and renewable energy, it is unfortunate that our appliances waste is still so high.

What can you do?  Use a power strip or unplug your devices when you are not using them.  Here are the top ten appliances you need to target to get your electric bill under control.

Source: PG&E Wants Customers to Save Energy and Drive a Stake through Vampire Appliances This Halloween

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