There are a lot of ways to save money without making a big difference in your life. With just a few small adjustments, you can lower your bills enough to make a difference. Your electricity bill is no different.
Most of us don’t really think through how we use our electricity. We think that we can turn off the lights when we leave a room, and that should do it. But there are tons of small ways that we use electricity without even thinking about it, even without actually using it like we’d like to. Seems like a total waste, right? It is. Here’s a few ways you can stop wasting energy and lower your bill.
Watch Your Thermostat
According to the department of energy, controlling the air temperature in our homes makes up 48 percent of our electricity bill. No matter how much you sit in the dark, you can’t cut much of your electricity bill without addressing your heat.
To save money, you don’t have to sit around, sweltering in the heat or shivering in the cold. Just a small adjustment can mean saving tons of money. The Department of Energy says that you can save up to 1 percent of your energy costs by adjusting your heat by one degree for eight hours. When the average bill is $112 a month, you can save a lot for just 8 hours of cooling.
It’s super easy to save when you have a smart thermostat. You can program it to do all the work for you. You can program you heat to drop a few degrees in the winter when you’re at work. The thermostat will automatically turn it up when you’re on your way home. You don’t even notice the difference, and it can save you a wad of cash.
Use A Space Heater
Heating your entire home is usually a big waste of energy and hard earned cash. Using a space heater like this one can save big on your electricity bill without sacrificing warmth in the cooler months. There’s also a sale going on to save a good amount off the normal price.
Vampire energy sounds a bit like a monster movie, but it’s much more benign than that. Sometimes it’s called “phantom load” (Booo!) or more boringly “leaking energy.” Vampire energy happens when you leave your electronics on standby, and they quietly drain power while they’re not working.
You know the light that’s always glowing on your TV? What about the computer that you leave in sleep mode all night long? Do you leave your chargers plugged in, even when you’re not charging? All of that is vampire energy, and it wants to suck your wallet!
The National Resources Defense Council estimates that up to 25 percent of power consumption comes from what they call “idle draw.” You can save a lot of money just by turning off the things you aren’t using.
Here’s a few tips to help you save some money:
- Use a smart power strip that turns off when you’re not using it.
- Unplug your electronics when they’re full, and remove chargers when they’re full when you’re not using them.
- Buy a smart charging power cord that turns off when your device is full.
- Shut down your computer, video game consoles, or streaming devices when you’re not using them.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Back in 2012 and 2013, the Energy Independence and Security Act started to phase out light bulbs that didn’t meet certain energy standards. On a practical level, that meant that incandescent light bulbs were on their way out. Still, some people use those old energy wasters.
If you’re still one of the holdouts, you’re wasting a ton of energy. Those old bulbs use 90% of their energy for heat. Switching out incandescents for energy efficient bulbs can save the average house $45 a year.
What if you don’t use incandescents? You can still find bulbs that are more energy efficient. If you buy lights that have an energy star rating, you can save even more money. They might cost a little more, but they’ll save you money in the long run.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Your water heater is a huge energy suck. It takes a ton of electricity to heat up gigantic vat of water up to the 140 degrees that we usually use. It gets worse the more water you use. If you take long showers or let the hot water run while you do your dishes, your electricity bill will go up even higher.
The Department of Energy estimates that you can save 3 to 5 percent off your electricity bill for every 10 degrees you turn down your water heater. If you drop it down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, that’s a lot of money.
Here’s a quick, and frequently painless, way to save money. Many utility companies offer discount programs to lower your electricity costs. Just sign up and you can start saving. You don’t even need to mess with turning off your Playstation to get it.
For example, ComEd has a number of discount programs for your home. Here’s a few examples:
- Rebates for buying energy efficient equipment
- In-store discounts for energy efficient home goods
- Rebates for installing a smart thermostat
- Rebates for weatherizing your home to make it more energy efficient.
It’s not hard to save a ton of money on your electric bill. All you have to do is try a few of these simple hacks, and you’ll be able to save without missing anything. Think of all the extra fun you can have with just a few bucks.