With energy costs increasing rapidly, you must do everything you can to reduce your electric bills. Even small changes can significantly affect how much you pay for your energy every month.
One of the simplest ways to save money is to run appliances and electronics only when you’re using them. This can help you reduce so-called vampire loads—electricity wasted when devices are off.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Turning down the thermostat is an easy and effective way to lower energy costs. By finding the lowest electric rates in Texas, you can save up to 1% per degree if you reduce your temperature.
It can also help reduce the carbon pollution created by heating your home, as it’s one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Changing your home’s thermostat by just one degree can impact your annual carbon footprint of up to 340kg.
If you want to save even more, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. These can automatically lower your home’s temperature when you’re sleeping or away from home and raise it before you get up in the morning.
While it’s true that lowering your home’s temperature can lead to savings, there’s some bad advice out there. For example, many people mistakenly believe that cranking the heat up will save them money – but this is untrue.
Turn Off Electronics
Turning off electronics can help lower your electric rates, especially when vacationing. Even when devices like your TV, printer, coffee maker, or phone charger aren’t used, they suck up power and cost you money.
These are called “vampire appliances,” responsible for a significant portion of the phantom load you see on your bill. The worst culprits are laptop computers, televisions, microwaves, and VCRs that still draw power when plugged in.
This is phantom power, a significant energy waste source that costs money. You can combat phantom power by unplugging devices you don’t use often or using a power strip that you flip off when not in use.
Another way to reduce electricity use is to install an electricity monitor in your home. This device can let you know exactly how much different power items consume and will help you adjust accordingly. It’s also a good idea to disconnect your computer, laptop, printer, scanner, and modem after you’ve used them. This will also protect them from damage during power surges and short circuits.
Install Dimmer Switches
Installing dimmer switches is one of the most affordable and effective ways to reduce energy costs. Dimmers decrease the amount of light you use by changing the electrical flow to your lights. This can help you save up to 98 percent of your lighting and energy costs over time.
Dimming your lights is also a great way to create ambiance and add interest to any room. For example, you could cover your kitchen lights to separate the space from other areas of your home.
You can even dim your living room or den lights to transform them into a theater. It’s easy to do, and a dimmer switch will make it quick and convenient to change the mood in any room.
When installing dimmer switches, you should hire an electrician to do the job. The installation process should take at most an hour or so.
Run Appliances at Night
Running appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher, or tumble dryer during the day can add to your energy bill – but running them at night is cheaper. These are known as ‘time of use tariffs, and they encourage households to use electricity when power demand is lower.
However, some experts have urged people not to leave their home appliances on standby at night, which could cause fires. They said it attended a spate of ‘white goods’ fires in recent months and recommended that people turn off their appliances before they go to sleep to prevent a blaze from starting.
Another way to cut your energy bills is to unplug the devices that suck the most power. These include everything from a computer to a TV and air fryer, as well as small standby appliances that suck up energy even when not used.
These devices are part of what’s known as ‘Phantom Load,’ They can account for around a third of your average energy bill. Switching these off will significantly affect your overall power usage and help you save money on your electric bill.
Turn Off Water Heaters
Water heaters are one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home. They use about 18 percent of the total amount of electricity you use.
Even a tiny change in hot water usage can help reduce your electric bill. For instance, reducing your shower time by a couple of minutes can save you about $2 on your monthly bill.
Turning off your water heater at night is another way to reduce your electric bills. This will help your utility manage its load better.
In addition to cutting down on your overall energy costs, this can also help you lower your carbon emissions. Gas water heaters are more environmentally friendly than electric ones because they use natural gas instead of electricity.
Many people are surprised to learn that they can cut their water heating costs by up to 10 percent by lowering the temperature of their water heater. Typically, manufacturers set their heaters at 140 degrees, but most homes can reduce this to 120 degrees to save 3%-5% on energy bills.