It is usual for many U.S. families to stare astonishingly at $300, $400, $500, and sometimes even $600 utility bills each month. That goes even worse to digest when the financial crunch hits you. You look for ways to lower your electric bill and the internet bombards you with many pathetic solutions.
According to Energy Star, half of all the energy we consume inside our home goes toward cooling and heating. Another significant part is consumed by water.
This information highlights critical areas we need to focus on- Heating and Cooling, Water, Power, and Lighting. Follow these 10 steps to lowering your electric bill effectively and affordably: immediately-
1. Add Attic Insulation
Most of the heat inside your home escapes from the attic, as per the U.S. Department of Energy (USDE) report. Ever wondered Why? Heat, being lighter, rises. And most homes do not have proper insulation to prevent the escape of heat.
Fiberglass insulation is cheaper than its counterpart, and you can install it without taking any professional help. Does it make a difference in the electric bill? I bet you will notice a downshift in your monthly bill. Energy Star estimates you can save up to 20% on electric bills by adequately insulating your home.
You don’t know if you saved that much, but if you compare your current year’s bill with that of the previous year, we are confident that you saved at least 10% on utility bills this year. Moreover, adding insulation to the attic was way easier to do.
If you are not sure how to install attic insulation yourself, just do a quick research online. Hundreds of DIY tutorials will guide you through the process.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Ignore this part if you already have a Programmable Thermostat in place. The USDA estimates that you can lower your electric bill by 10% with the help of a programmable thermostat.
This step is a little more involved than just insulating the switch plates. Still, it’s not something too difficult to perform. Moreover, every thermostat comes with a detailed user guide and instructions so you won’t feel lost.
Saving electricity using a thermostat is all about maintaining the temperature up and down during winter and summer, respectively. For instance, if you keep the night at 54 degrees, and 65 degrees during the day time, you can save a considerable amount on your bills.
Is your house empty during the day, and you return home at night? Adjust your thermostat to drop the temperature further in the winter months. Consequently raising the temperature in the summer months. Also, program it to return to a more comfortable temperature before you enter your home.
Installing a thermostat needs an investment of nearly $70. According to USDE, an average home spends $2200 each year on the electric bill. Investment in the thermostat will give the best ROI (Return On Investment).
3. Apply Weather Stripping
Did you ever feel cold wind coming from the bottom of the doors and windows? Well, to stop the entry of outside air and the exit of warm air inside, we use weather stripping. The usage does not end here. During the rainy season, weather stripping keeps the rainwater away from entering the house through small crevices.
Weather Stripping is an inexpensive and super easy project that can help lower your electric bill significantly. Not to mention, you don’t need a professional to put the strips. Even an average person with zero home improvement skills can easily handle this work.
4. Do your Laundry after 8 PM
It may sound irrelevant, but we strongly recommend you try this. Many power companies offer discounted energy rates during non-peak hours. However, the hours and times differ slightly, and that depends on which part of the country you’re in.
Moreover, each plan is set up slightly differently. So, how about shifting the heavy energy work during those non-peak hours? You will undoubtedly save some money on your utility bills.
Check out your power company regarding the non-peak discounts and the time slot. Most probably the hours begin at 8:00 PM. You can do your laundry and dishes during this time slot. I am sure you are looking forward to this non-peak timing as a great deal to lower your electric bill.
5. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Are you aware that almost 90% of the energy your washer consumes goes straight to heat the water? Yeah, it’s quite surprising, and most American families do around 400 loads of laundry every year. So, imagine washing 400 loads with cold water, it will add up.
Ever wondered, what makes the difference between hot and cold water?
To give you a rough idea, washing every load with hot water for a year is equivalent to burning about 185 gallons of gasoline in a car. An average car delivers 19.8 miles per gallon. It means you can cover 3663 miles.
What happens when we prefer cold water for washing?
Using cold water means you just utilize energy to run the machine. Say, your machine consumes .24 kWh. That .24 kWh translates to approx .41 pounds of CO2 for each load.
Doing it for a whole year accumulates around 162 pounds of CO2 in a year. That’s about 8 gallons of gas or almost 158 miles of driving.
Isn’t it a huge difference? From 185 gallons using hot water to 8 gallons using cold water.
6. Insulate your Water Heater
According to USDE, a water heater consumes a fair share of energy each month. Insulating the water heater with jackets can reduce heat loss by 25-40%.
This implies you can save 5-10% on your monthly electric bill. You’ll be heating the water more efficiently by wrapping up the hot water tank with an insulating jacket.
This small act requires no prior experience and can pay off big over the longer run.
7. Pack the Dishwasher
The dishwasher is one of the appliances which consumes huge energy. Make sure you run the dishwasher to the brim next time. Want to save more on electricity, turn off the manual “heat dry.”
Expose your washed utensils to air. It will take time to dry, but you will save some serious energy.
8. Buy Star-rated Appliances and Use LED bulbs
Energy Star-rated appliances like washers, furnaces, refrigerators, water heaters, etc. use a fraction of the energy as compared to their non-rated counterparts. It’s a one-time investment, but you can reap the benefit by paying lesser energy bills throughout the year.
Planning to replace your old appliances with new ones, look for the energy star logo when buying the appliances.
Similarly, replacing all the bulbs with LED and fluorescent bulbs will lower your electric bill significantly. Moreover, these bulbs are available everywhere, and that too at a very affordable price tag.
We can’t ignore the contribution of air conditioners to the overall high electric bills. AC consumes the most significant part of your monthly energy usage.
To minimize the usage without any discomfort, you can use a fan to spread the cold air. This way, you can get the same temperature in every corner
9. Switch off Appliances and Electronics When not in Use
Appliances and electronic gadgets like cell phones, laptops, and speakers consume less power and have a minimal impact on the overall electric bill. However, some devices have a considerable effect on monthly utility bills. A few of them are:-
1. Video Game Systems:- Xbox One X, PS4
2. Desktop computers
3. Electric Kettles
4. TV (plasma-based displays)
These gadgets and appliances draw a considerable amount of energy even when not in use but plugged in. Also, shutting them off regularly gets annoying. Looking for the most straightforward solution?
Connect every gadget on a power strip and turn off the power strip when the device is not in use. The desktop computer draws a lot of energy even in sleep mode. So the best way is to shut them off and disconnect them from the socket completely.
10. The Effortless Option to Lower Your Electric Bill
Right from points 1 to 9, we discussed various ways to lower the electric bill. Either we need to spend money upfront or compromise with the current lifestyle.
However, there is a unique way by which you can lower your electric bill without any hassle, product upgradation, spending money to insulate the roof, water tank, etc., etc.
The best part is- you don’t even have to take a single step outside your house or lift a finger. Yes, it sound’s like a dream for you know.
But as soon as I tell you “HOW,” You will be like- Why the heck on Earth was I unaware of this till now?
No Prize for Guessing- We are talking about BillTrim. As the name suggests, we trim your bills to the tune of $1000+ every year without you putting in any extra effort.
As we know the difficulties in compromising with the current lifestyle. Intending to address this pain, we came up with an idea to take the bills from our loved customers and negotiate them.
BillTrim analyzes your bills with the database of 100,000+ customer’s bills, and if any one of them is paying lesser than you with the same usage and in the same locality, we fight with your service provider on your behalf.
Note:- We don’t charge you unless we save some money on your bills. If we successfully lower your electric bill, we take 25% as our service charge, and the rest 75% goes back to your account.