You’d be surprised by how easy it is to cut down on your electric bill.
But we’ve all been there: the sacrifices, the hassle, the endless penny-pinching. You’re always so careful about it. You turn the lights off every time you leave the room. You only ever wash full loads of laundry. Yet, still, the end of the month rolls around, and you once again find yourself emptying your pockets and pulling out your hair.
Stop singing the blues. There’s no need to pour over that electric bill again with a pencil and a calculator. You don’t need a degree in applied mathematics to cut down. Here are some easy tips you can implement today to save money on your energy costs.
1. Remember To Unplug Your Appliances
Computers, HD televisions, Xboxes, Blu-ray players, home stereos – these days the gizmos never stop piling up, and they can be a huge drain on your pocketbook.
According to the US Department of Energy, household electrical appliances account for 6% of the average home’s energy consumption, even often consuming up to several watts on standby mode. It’s not enough just to flick a switch when you leave the room. Unplugging appliances when you’re not using them can ensure that no unnecessary power is wasted.
To save time, try plugging your electrical appliances into a power strip. Then all you’ll have to do is turn off the power strip when you leave the room and enjoy the energy savings.
2. Check Your Energy Supplier
Electricity is just like anything else you spend money on. You wouldn’t buy a car without first checking out a few different models, would you? In many states, consumers are restricted to buying their energy from a single utility provider. However, there are some states in the US, such as Texas, where the energy market has been deregulated.
Be a smart consumer. Don’t get taken for a ride. If you live in an area where you have a choice of your energy supplier, then it’s important that you make sure that you’re getting the best deal available. Do your due diligence, compare rates, and count your savings.
3. Change Your Old Light Bulbs
Every two-bit blog lists it. Every local news report talks about it. We know you may be tired of hearing the same old line. Frankly, so are we. But, new energy efficient light bulbs do work.
The initial costs may appear a bit greater than those of normal incandescent bulbs, but you can save significantly more in the long-term by using halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). You won’t need a calculator to see how much you’ll be shaving off your energy costs.
4. When It Comes to Your Central Air Conditioner…
The temperature’s rising, and you’re at home baking. You’re itching to touch that thermostat down the hall, but you fear the toll it’ll take on your electric bill. Well, worry not. There is a cure for the summertime blues. You can enjoy the splendid comforts of central air without spending an arm and a leg, if you take the right steps.
First, try purchasing an energy efficient model. The price tag in the store may seem a bit higher, but new energy efficient central air conditioners can trim serious dollars and cents off your electric costs. Check the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating on advertised models to find the most efficient unit.
Second, be sure to choose an air conditioner that is the correct size for the space being cooled. An over-sized air conditioner will consume more power than is necessary. Ask a qualified heating contractor to determine the size of the equipment needed for your home or living space.
Third, move any sources of heat in your home, such as lamps and televisions, away from the thermostat. Household appliances that generate a lot of heat can cause your thermostat to read the room’s temperature as being higher than it truly is, which would in turn lead to unnecessary cooling and energy consumption. Positioning such devices away from the thermostat will help ensure an accurate temperature reading.
5. Lower The Thermostat On Your Water Heater
It may be easy to forget about, sitting all alone out there in the cold garage, but your water heater can often be a big drain on your energy bill. According to the US Department of Energy, water heating accounts for 18% of home energy consumption. Lowering the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F is an easy way to cut down on your power consumption.