Electricity is an essential part of modern life, but it can also be a significant expense. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average residential electricity bill in the United States is $117.65 per month. While you can’t eliminate your electricity bill entirely, there are several steps you can take to save energy and reduce your monthly costs.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective ways to save energy and reduce your electric bill. We’ll cover everything from simple, low-cost solutions to more complex, long-term strategies.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
One of the simplest ways to save energy is to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat, which can drive up your electricity bill. Energy-efficient LED bulbs, on the other hand, use up to 80% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer.
LED bulbs are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and they’re widely available at most home improvement stores. While they may cost a bit more upfront, the long-term savings can add up quickly.
Unplug Unused Electronics
Many people don’t realize that electronic devices continue to draw power even when they’re turned off. This is known as “vampire” or “phantom” power, and it can account for as much as 10% of your home’s total electricity usage.
To eliminate this unnecessary energy usage, unplug any electronic devices that aren’t in use. This includes chargers, televisions, gaming consoles, and other electronics that have a standby mode. Alternatively, you can use power strips to turn off multiple devices at once.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Heating and cooling your home can account for a significant portion of your electricity bill, especially during extreme weather conditions. Using a programmable thermostat can help you reduce energy usage and lower your monthly costs.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to automatically adjust based on your schedule. For example, you can set it to turn off the air conditioner or heat during the day when you’re at work and turn it back on before you return home.
Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks in your home can cause your heating and cooling systems to work harder, which can drive up your electricity bill. To reduce energy usage and save money, take the time to seal any air leaks in your home.
This can include sealing gaps around windows and doors, adding weatherstripping to doors and windows, and insulating attics and crawl spaces. These fixes are relatively inexpensive and can provide significant long-term savings.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Older appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers, can use a lot of energy and drive up your electricity bill. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can help you save money and reduce your energy usage.
Look for appliances that are Energy Star certified, which means they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While these appliances may cost more upfront, the long-term savings can make them well worth the investment.
Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Most water heaters are set to a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be hotter than necessary. Lowering your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can save energy and reduce your monthly electricity bill.
Not only does this save energy, but it can also reduce the risk of accidental burns and scalding. Most water heaters have a temperature control dial that can be easily adjusted.