The quest to save money is a never ending battle. And to win, you have to put in a little effort. You have to keep an eye out for waste, and try to get your hands on products that are going to cut costs in the long run.
So if you are wondering how to save money on electricity, then you should know that the rules are the exact same. But you’re probably looking for some more concrete information, so here are the tips which are going to save you the most when it comes to power consumption.
How to Save Money on Electricity with These 12 Tips
1. Switch Off and Unplug Appliances
There are a lot of times when we honestly forget things, but little things can add up, and not always in a good way. When you are heading to bed for the night, it’s very easy to turn off your computer. But there is a good chance that you forgot to turn off the monitor. The don’t use up a lot of power, and many of them have automatic shut off features, but it’s still wasteful. So double check to make sure that you actually turned everything off.
Another though, It’s very tempting to leave everything plugged in. It makes it much easier to use the next time around. But many devices, as it turns out, don’t actually shut down all the way, even when they are turned off. The clock on your coffee pot, those little lights on your entertainment set up, all of them are draining power, even when they are technically turned off. So get used to unplugging them. Or if you want to try and save the wear and tear on your power outlets, then plug them into sockets which are attached to a switch.
Things you can unplug to save power:
- Second refrigerator
- Anything with a clock (e.g. microwave, coffee pot, extra clocks)
- Entertainment systems
2. Turn Off Lights
Leaving a some extra lights on keeps your house more inviting at night, but it’s also a great way to rack up your power bill. Think about this, 1 hundred watt bulb used for four hours a day uses 400 watts. Multiply that by the average number of days in a month, and you come up to to the grand total of 12,160 watts.
Doesn’t sound like much, but I am unlucky enough to live in an area where power isn’t cheap. At 19 cents a kilowatt, that light is costing $2.31 a month. And chances are you aren’t running just one light.
5 bulbs turned on like this every night adds up to $138.62 every year, and that’s just for keeping a few extra lights on. So make sure to turn them off when you can.
3. Replace Lights With LEDs
If turning lights off isn’t within your realm of comfort, then consider switching to LED bulbs. They really do save you a fortune.
LED bulbs on average cost one sixth the power to operate, while at the same time being more durable. One of these bulbs can easily out last an incandescent bulb by 10 times as much. Though they cost more up front, they save you a lot of money in the long run.
To give you an example of how well this works, let’s talk about one of my lights.
I was able to pick up and LED bulb at an overstock store for around $2.40. Which is a great price for an LED bulb, but even at a regular store these only run about 5-10 bucks, so it’s not that big of a deal. This particular bulb however, is my hallway light, which I keep on for about 12 hours a day. That’s a bit excessive, but there’s only one switch in the hallway, so if I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night I can’t hit the switch.
Anyway, so 12 hours. Now I used to run a 60 watt incandescent bulb on that light, but the new one only takes about 10 watts. So let’s go ahead and multiply that out. 10 watts times 12 hours, equals 120 watts a day. Then we times that by the average number of days in a month, which is 30.4. Which means this light bulb is using about 3.6 kilowatts a month. Now I pay 19 cents a kilowatt, so it comes out to 69 cents.
The interesting part here is that the normal bulb was using six times the power so it would have used $4.15 worth of energy. In other words, the light paid itself off within a single month!
Even if you bought an expensive 10 dollar bulb then it would only take 2 and half months to recover the cost of the upgrade, and from then on it helps you save money on electricity without further cost or effort. That’s one heck of a deal.
4. Get a Better Deal
Speaking of deals, you might not know this, but there is a good chance that you can get a better one by changing companies. Over at EnergyMadeEasy, you can compare the offers of your local power suppliers.
Doing this is great, because once you make the simple switch, there is nothing left to do but reap the savings. Think about it, the average house uses 897 kWh a month. If you could save even 1 cent per kilowatt hour, that would be $8.97 dollars a month in savings, for doing nothing different. And that is only if you don’t get a very good deal.
5. Save Money On Heating and Cooling
I admit that I am in love with the idea of living in the perfect temperature, and I’m obviously not alone. According to the Department of Energy, the average household uses around 48% of their yearly energy consumption for the sole sake of heating and cooling. Which is astoundingly high.
It’s good news if you are looking for a way to save money though. Imagine cutting your energy bill in half each month. Well that isn’t likely, especially if you live in a area where the weather gets pretty extreme. But still, there is a lot of room here to save money on electricity.
6. Seal Up Your House
The first thing you should take care of is sealing up your house. The more holes you have leading to the outside, the quicker the temperature normalizes with the outdoors.
Here’s the deal, weather stripping is cheap, and easy to install. If yours it torn up, then make sure to replace it immediately. Orchard has a video that covers just how to do this if you have any questions.
You can do more than that though, check under your sink, there’s a good chance that the holes where the pipes go into aren’t fully sealed. If you go get yourself a can of expanding foam, a few quick squirts will seal that right up.
7. Practice Zone Heating/Cooling
How many rooms do you actually use? Because that is the number of rooms to keep the temperature nice in. Any spare room is going to cost you a lot of money to keep it suitable, but if you don’t go in there, then what is the point?
There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first is to switch off the vents in those rooms. The second requires a bit of investment. A window unit AC or a space heater works wonders for keeping one room in check, and if you can plan to just be primarily in that one room, then the savings are unreal. Some of the smaller window ACs are extremely efficient, and are estimated to only cost 56 dollars a year to operate.
8. Turn on Fans First
If it’s is particularly hot, then don’t reach for the AC knob just yet. Fans cost a tenth the amount of power to operate, and make it feel about 10 degrees cooler. It’s true that you do have to be sitting under the fan in order to reap it’s benefits, but if you are planning to spend a long time on the couch, or even at your desk, then set up a fan.
9. Don’t Use the AC/Heater as Much
I’m not exactly a fan of this tip to save money on electricity. Don’t get me wrong though, simply turning off your AC or heater is going to save you a bunch of money on electricity.
In the summer, you are really out of options with this tip, the only thing you can do is simply be hot. In the winter however, you can easily get used to wearing a coat inside. For the sake of saving, I often find myself fully clothed indoors. And what do you know, my power bill is rarely over 50 bucks a month. Of course at the time of writing this, I am the only one here. So bigger families may not be so lucky.
10. Install New Windows, or At Least Cover Them
Glass is an excellent heat conductor, which would be great news if you were trying to match the outside temperature. But since that isn’t the goal, then it’s unfortunate. Though there have been some major advances in their design to increase their efficiency. New dual-pane windows keep a layer of air trapped inside, and this reduces the amount of energy bleed substantially.
The only real downside to these, is that they are costly. A full house installation car range in the thousands of dollars, so getting them to pay you back for what they do can take years.
Another good option is to grab some cheaper window insulators.
Like these: Trasparent Window Insulation
The thin layer of plastic doesn’t seem like it would do a lot to conserve energy, but you would be wrong. They effectively transform your standard windows into dual pane counterparts by just sticking them on. And if you already have upgraded windows you can use these with them. So double savings!
11. Go Solar
I am not going to recommend this to everyone who wants to save electricity, because if you have looked at the prices of solar, then you already know that it’s a long term investment. One that takes years to pay itself off.
Nevertheless, solar power is extremely efficient, and cost very little to maintain. Installing a solar system will save you a lot of money over time.
If you are still interested in getting a solar power set up on your house, then make sure to take advantage of all the rebates and tax breaks that come with it.
12. Check The Energy Use of New Appliances
It wasn’t common in the past to label just how much energy that any given appliance used. Today is a different story however. Going shopping reveals a bounty of power consumption information. You can not only easily find out just how much power something is going to use, but also what the estimated cost of that is going to be for a year’s typical use.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the Energy Star paper that is usually tapped to the front of new appliances, or printed on the box. This is where you are going to find the breakdown of that information.
Take the time to consider what it says, because even if a new fridge might cost a hundred more dollars, it could pay itself off if it uses half the power as other models.
Following these tips is sure to help you significantly save money on electricity, but if you are looking for more ways to save money every month, we’ve got that information too.