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Electricity

Cut your electric bill each month by following these great ways to save. Check out advice from experts and organizations dedicated to helping you get smart about how to reduce electricity usage.

Don't know where to start? Check out our quick guide on How to Save Money Every Month

TIPS


  • Light up with fluorescents to lower your electric bill
    Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use only 1/4 of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs. They will rapidly work to reduce your energy costs, plus they last much, much longer (8,000 hours as opposed to a meager 750-1000 hours). That means [...]
  • Install a programmable thermostat to save 10-20% on the heating bill
    Programmable thermostats can be found at any hardware store and are easy to install. You can set them to automatically adjust the temperature according to time of day. For example: you can program it to turn down or off for the hours you are at [...]
  • Wash clothes in cold water to save $150/year
    Washing clothes in cold water is a huge money saver. Almost 90% of the energy used to clean clothes can go towards heating the water. This is a simple tip to remember each time you do a load of laundry, and an immediate cost saver. Over the [...]
  • Stay cool for less, with a fan
    Ceiling fans are an extremely efficient way to cool a house, circulating cooler air while using less energy than air conditioning. Plus there are even more ways to stay cool with strategic use of fans, plus winter benefits as well.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer full to conserve energy
    Did you know that the freezer functions best when it's close to full? This is true for both deep freezers and regular ones. If your freezer has a lot of empty space, it has to work harder to keep the food cold. As a goal, try to keep the freezer at [...]
  • Unplug your electronics & appliances
    A surprising amount of energy is used by appliances and electronics staying plugged in even when they are not in use. These include computers, stereos, VCRs, DVD players, cell phone chargers and most kitchen appliances. The most simple solution is [...]
  • Switch to ENERGY STAR rated appliances to save money on bills
    ENERGY STAR rated appliances are one great way to save on electricity costs. They can occasionally be more expensive than their inefficient counterparts, but will more than pay for themselves in cheaper energy costs, as they use up to 50% less [...]
  • Be sure to get the right meter reading
    Read your meter yourself each month to check your actual power consumption. Then, compare it will the electric company bills. Sometimes utility companies send bills based on estimated meter readings, rather than actual readings. In this case, you [...]
  • Turn off TVs and lights when they are not in use
    Leaving an unwatched television turned on is one of the largest energy-wasters in the world. When no one is watching, make sure to shut it off. Likewise, turn off lights when leaving a room. It doesn't seem like a big money saver for a few minutes [...]
  • Keep to a constant 65-70 degrees
    Keeping the house at a constant temperature is a good way to maximize savings on heating costs. Turning it up or down too much means it will just have to work harder to get the house back to the ideal temperature. A good guideline is 60 to 65 [...]
  • Lower the thermostat at winter parties
    For winter party time, lower the heater one or two degrees an hour before people arrive. Body heat generated by people will quickly get the temperature back to where it was.
  • Keep the heat away from thermostats
    Avoid placing temperature-effecting devices near the thermostat. Heat from lamps or televisions will give a false reading to thermostat, causing the air conditioning to work harder than it needs to. The same rule applies with sunshine - keep the [...]
  • Choose higher efficiency ACs for lower bills
    When shopping for air conditioning units, go for high-efficiency units, even if they cost a little bit more up front. For central air conditioning, go for one with seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13 or better, or 14 and higher for warmer [...]
  • Clean AC filters and coils
    Dirty air filters and condenser coils will cause air conditioners to work harder and cost you more money. Dirty air filters reduce airflow, while dirty condenser coils retain heat. Change air filters monthly during peak cooling and heating seasons. [...]
  • Cut your AC bill by up to 30% with a little home make-over
    Lower your electricity bill in the warmer months with a little home-makeover.  Consider planting trees outside of bright windows, adding drapery or shades, or even applying window tints or exterior awnings to block some of the sun's direct [...]
  • Evaporative coolers are a great money-saver in dry climates
    If you live in a hot, arid climate, an evaporative cooler is a great alternative to air conditioning. It uses a combination of moisture and fan circulation to cool a home, and can reduce cooling costs by up to 80%.
  • One or two window ACs will do for an apartment
    Window air conditioning units do consume a good amount of power, so try to limit their use. For a small apartment, one unit is usually fine, with a fan or two to supplement the air flow. For larger dwellings, just use one for the bedroom and another [...]
  • Keep the AC out of the sun
    When direct sunlight falls on air conditioning units, they have to work much harder and use more energy. Try to place window units in a shady spot. For central air conditioning, plant shrubs or trees near the outside unit for shade, but don't block [...]
  • 1 degree = 3% savings: turn down the A/C!
    Turn the thermostat UP a few degrees in summer. The smaller the difference between inside and outside temperatures, the less work the air conditioner has to do to maintain a constant temperature. Each degree higher cuts cooling costs by around 3%, [...]
  • Go for a small air conditioner
    Smaller air conditioning units are a smart buy, whereas oversized units will use more energy without properly dehumidifying. Get professional advice before buying a new unit, to make sure it's the right size for your home size.
 
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