How to Save Money on Electricity

by Guest Contributor · 10 comments

Winter is when utility bill balances head up for most people. For those using electric heat, saving on electricity will be critical, as the weather gets colder. There are several easy ways to trim that sky-high electric bills of course, and this article will lay them out for you.

Use Local Resources

Almost every utility company runs an energy savings program. They will send someone out to evaluate your energy usage and wastage and help you design a plan that will reduce your energy needs. With this plan, you might have to invest some money, but the final expenses will be lower since you will be using less electricity over time.

Cutting Costs

There are numerous ways you can cut costs with simple day-to-day actions too.

  1. Dry your clothes on the line. This is how generations of people dried their clothes before dryers were so popular. A dryer takes a ton of electricity to run, and not using it may mean less shrinkage at the same time.
  2. Wash clothes and dishes with cold water. Many dishwashers electrically heat water internally to a higher temperature and most dishes just don’t need it. The same is true for most of your clothes. Save the hot water for sheets and towels.
  3. Start replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. While these bulbs cost more up front, they save a great deal of electricity. If changing them all seem like a huge cost, make the switch gradually so it won’t feel so overwhelming.
  4. Used appliances may seem cheaper, but remember to replace them with ones that are at least semi-recent that is Energy Star qualified..
  5. Turn off and unplug computer equipment and accessories. Many such things drain power constantly, even while off. Removing them from the plug keeps them from drawing power.
  6. Clean the filters and keep up with maintenance. Heaters and air conditioners, even window units, have filters that keep the circulating air clean. When these filters are filled, the unit has to work harder to pump air, resulting in a greater energy drain. Filters should be cleaned monthly.
  7. Use passive solar energy. Open those curtains on the sunny side of your home and let the sun shine in. The sun can warm up an entire room very effectively without using a drop of electricity. During the summer, you can close the same drapes and reduce the load on your air conditioner.
  8. Consider using space heaters and only heat the room where people are. Drop the temperature at night and add a blanket or two to the bed, and keep the daytime temperature lower while wearing a sweater.

Shop Around

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where the utilities have been deregulated then call all the local companies and compare the rates. Be wary of introductory rates that will change in a few months, once you have signed on. It isn’t unusual to have some up front costs when changing utility companies, so you want to avoid frequent changes.

Finally, if you can’t avoid the expense, at least ask your utilities company about a budget plan. Many will anticipate your usage for the year and have you pay a set amount each month, so at least you can plan your budget more easily.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chip February 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

Our electricity bill usually a neglected part of our budget. We keep forgetting to turn the light off in rooms that we’ve been to and I bet we can conserve so much more energy (and $$$) if we are just aware of how much we are wasting.

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Vincent February 27, 2010 at 12:22 pm

To add to the passive solar energy, you can actually save a ton of money by being in different rooms during the day depending on how your house faces. For example, being in the room facing south/west is going to be warmer in the afternoon, so it’s a good place to be during winter since you can save yourself some heating costs.

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MoneyNing February 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Good tip Vincent.

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Alcoholic Millionaire February 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Good Ideas. I am lucky to be in south florida so our electric heater isn’t runing much, although it’s in the 40’s tonight, brrr. I recently decided to only use my laptop instead of my big powerful computer system. It’s saving me a few bucks a month. Also our electric company has an “on call” program where you give them permission to shut off your ac or hot water heater during peak usage times (they can only exercise this option for like 15 minutes in a 4 hour period, and only do it maybe 3-4 times a year). In exchange for this permission they take off $8 a month on my bill. Every electric company is different but check with yours to see if that will help.

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basicmoneytips.com February 28, 2010 at 5:15 am

A lot of good points in this article. Our utilities are one item where we usually do not have a chance to be selective with the provider so we need to maximize efforts to save on our end.

One thing I would add is insulation. It is important in your home’s heating and cooling. Attic insulation is relatively cheap and is something that you can probably do by yourself relatively easily. If your home is older, and is not well insulated, you are better off to just turn off your heat or AC when you are not there. Then run it as need while there, and dress for the weather. If it is winter, wear sweat shirts in the house.

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Shaun McGowan February 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm

The basic figures contained within a monthly or quarterly electricity bill do not give you much information as to where your electricity is going – they just tell you how much you have used in total during that period. Therefore it is well worth considering purchasing an electricity usage monitor and using it to see exactly where all your hard-earned money is going.

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Marie March 1, 2010 at 2:40 am

These are good ideas and tips on how to save money on electricity bills. Side from the things mentioned, another great idea to conserve energy is through the use of window tints. While most window films are for reducing solar heat gain in the summer, low-e films both block summer heat and improve winter heat retention. For each degree you raise or lower your thermostat, you can save anywhere from 1 to 5 percent on your cooling or heating bills depending on where you live. Learn more about window tints at http://www.TintBuyer.com. They provide relevant information about window tints such as its types, quotations and will help you locate the best professional tinter near your area.

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Sarah April 5, 2010 at 4:53 am

Nice article – I am always looking for ways to save money on electricity – Monster Cable just came out with a green power piece that has really saved a few pennies around my house. http://hubpages.com/t/134bc7

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Sari April 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

If one really wants to save electricity 365 days in a year, especially if you have a provision of renovating your home, change your windows into a tinted windows. Nowadays, remodeling of one’s own home or buildings is what people are getting busy about. As part of the renovation http://www.Tintbuyer .com wants to accompany you in your renovation especially ones that involves window tints and window films. These window tints and films can save you enough money, energy and above all help conserve the environment which is mostly our concern nowadays.

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Doug November 4, 2010 at 9:50 am

When doing monthly cleaning chores, don’t forget about the condenser coils on refrigerators. These are rarely cleaned and not doing so can not only burn up more electricity, it can burn out the compressor from the added load.

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