Your electricity bill is one of your biggest on going monthly costs. It’s one of those costs that is literally costing you every second of the day. If you have anything plugged into an outlet, chances are you are paying money to keep it charged through out the day. But there is good news! There are so many easy ways you can save money on your electricity, many of which you can do in the next 10 minutes. Let’s make sure that you are not paying for what you aren’t using.
Not only is it better for the environment but it’s great for your wallet too! Let’s go see how we can save you money on your electricity bill.
Watch Out For Phantom Power
Before we start you should know about phantom power (which sounds like an evil cartoon character).
Phantom power is the power that an appliance draws when it’s turned off but still plugged in.
While some are easy to acknowledge ( like the oven with a clock that runs all day long). Others aren’t as obvious.
There are many appliances and gadgets that can suck power when they are not being used, costing you more money every day.
Ok full dork confession, about 2 years ago I got really motivated to cut down my electrical bill. So I picked up one of these.
It measures the amount of electricity that an appliance uses.
You can enter in how much your cost per kilowatt of electricity. Then leave the appliance plugged in for a day or two and see how much electricity it uses.
Some items will surprise you.
For the price this gizmo saved itself and then some in the first week.
For instance, to charge my phone uses less than $2 a month, based on charging it once a day. I thought it would be waaaaay more.
My remote control docking station uses $0.75 a year when it’s in charging mode.
Our TV system that wasn’t turned on uses $17 a year to sit idle.
And no one ever uses it…. Ever!
So we unplugged it. Simple savings. There are some smart monitors on the market now so you can see about them. The nice thing is you can monitor their usage throughout the day.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
This should be the biggest thing if you don’t already have one.
Pick up a programmable thermostat so that you aren’t heating (or cooling) your house when no one is around.
You can set it to turn on right before you wake up. Turn to a lower temperature when you leave. Then warm the house up again just before you get home.
Plus with smartphones, you can get a smart thermostat like Nest that learns your habits and does this for you automatically.
The savings on your heating bill can be huge!
Get Your Computers to Turn Themselves Off
This is honestly the easiest place to save money on utilities. You set it once and then you are done. If you have a computer in the house (and you most likely do), do you leave it on all day and night?
That means there is probably 8-16 hours a day where it isn’t being used but still using power.
Bonus points: By not having your electronics running constantly it should extend the life of your devices!
By doing this you will cut 33% of your power consumption on this once gadget now turned necessity device.
One last thing, use sleep mode too, the longer that screen is on the more power it sucks. Stop it and start saving money.
Turn Off Appliances When You Aren’t Using Them
Simple, but effective.
Like I mentioned earlier, that power meter showed how much phantom power each appliance drew.
Some of them surprised me. If you aren’t using something for months and months, unplug it.
From coffee makers to lamps many things draw power even when you aren’t using them.
Make sure to unplug them and keep the extra money.
If you are looking for something more tech-based to turn off your power for you. Here are some smart plugs you can get.
Ditch the Extra Fridge
Speaking of phantom power, that 1970’s beer fridge is sucking a lot more electricity than you think.
We got rid of ours this year. Our hydro company had a program where they take it away and pay you $50 for it.
Getting paid to save money, I love it!
The 1970s fridges weren’t very efficient to today’s standards. I’m guessing we are saving an extra $50 to $100 a year from getting rid of it. Even downgrading to a smaller fridge could save you money.
Skip the Oven on Small Things
Ovens are great when you are making a big meal. But if you really want to save money on electricity use a toaster oven on the smaller foods.
It can do the same thing at a fraction of the cost. The toaster oven will offer you the same heat in a smaller container, giving you some nice savings.
Fill Up The Dishwasher
This is a must. Always wait for the dishwasher to be full until you use it.
They take up a ton of energy to run.
Doing a half-load isn’t worth it, leave it until it’s full, or wash them by hand if there are only a few.
Switch To Air Dry
Dryers suck up a huge amount of power. If you have the time and space, hang up your clothes and let the air dry out your clothes.
It will help you to save money on your utilities.
Lower the Heat on Your Hot Water Tank
You know how your water burns you every morning in the shower?
No? Just me?
Well if you do have burning hot water that means your temperature on your hot water tank is too high.
Turn down the tank and watch your savings go up!
When you have kids you know that your batteries are always getting replaced.
Pick up some rechargeable batteries and enjoy the savings over the next few years.
Use the “Free” Freezer
If you live anywhere that goes freezing in the winter, outside is basically a freezer. Animal concerns aside, make use of the cold climate when you can.
Hah! Finally found a good use for cold weather.
Get an Energy Audit
If you are serious about getting your electricity costs down getting an energy audit can be a great way to find out where your house is leaking money… err… electricity.
Air Dry Your Clothes
Another huge electrical suck is your clothes dryer. When it’s possible, use the clothesline outside or hang your clothes to dry.
It takes a little longer but the savings add up.
How to Save Money on Electricity: Lights
Replace your lights with LED
LED Bulbs. I wrote about LED bulbs here. They are more expensive than traditional bulbs but they cut your costs dramatically compared.
Simply put LED lights save you a ton of money and you can recover the cost in a few short years.
The cost savings over their 23 year lifetime is huge!
Bonus: These lights last forever. Which is awesome. Because it means only switching lights every other decade rather than every year.
Which isn’t big, but changing light bulbs is a nuisance.
Turn Off The Lights!
And in that one sentence,prgram I became my parents. 🙂
Now that I own a house I realize why. Every second that the lights are on, and you aren’t using them, it’s sucking money out of your pocket.
Stop the madness!
Install Dimmer Switches
If you want to cut down your lighting costs even more than LED you can install dimmer switches. They use less power when you go to lower light settings.
Stack that with the L.E.D. lights and you are going to see some nice savings over the years.
If you use an electric furnace to heat your home consider getting a programmable thermostat.
The cost of these has gone way down in price and there are even smart thermostats that learn your habit program themselves accordingly. All of this is designed to heat your house when you need it and leave it idle when you don’t.
This one item could be the biggest factor in you cutting your electricity bill.
Home cooling can be just as costly as heating in some areas.
Consider getting blinds and closing them during the day to prevent the sun from heating the house. In the evenings open your windows and make use of the cooler air temperatures to cool your house over night. Then close up the house in the morning when your home is at a lower temperature.
Small Savings On Electricity Add up
When you think of saving money, bigger items always tend to rule the day. But whittling down your electricity bill can have savings that add up big time over the year. Start implementing these ideas and watch your bill shrink and use that money for doing something you enjoy!
It’s Time To Put More Money Back In Your Pocket By Saving Money On Electricity
Here’s a quick recap of all the things you can do :
- Watch Out For Phantom Power
- Use a Programmable Thermostat
- Get Your Computers to Turn Off Themselves
- Turn Off Appliances When You Aren’t Using Them
- Ditch the Extra Fridge
- Skip the Oven on Small Things
- Fill Up The Dishwasher
- Switch To Air Dry
- Lower the Heat on Your Hot Water Tank
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Use the “Free” Freezer
- Get an Energy Audit
- Air Dry Your Clothes
- Replace your lights with LED
- Turn Off The Lights!
- Install Dimmer Switches
- Electric Furnaces
- Air Conditioning
- It’s Time To Put More Money Back In Your Pocket By Saving Money On Electricity
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