Getting your utility bills can often leave you feeling blue. But what if by making a few simple changes you could save money on electricity bill, and maybe help save the planet too? With just a few common sense changes, and some new technology you could find yourself looking forward to your next electric bill. Seriously.
If you are looking to reduce your utility bills even more, check out our article on how to save money on water bills the smart way.
Do the Easy Things First
I have to admit I am horrible at turning lights off. I leave the closet, bathroom and even kitchen lights on when it’s day time. It took me a while to learn that by turning them off, I can save money on my power bill. Another thing you can do to save even more is to replace your old light bulbs with new fluorescent bulbs. Not only are they brighter they also save you money. They do take a moment to come on, but as long as you aren’t in a hurry, you should be okay.
Another simple change is to raise the temperature on your AC, if you are wearing a sweater in your house in August you could probably go up a few degrees and still be comfortable. Unless you are a polar bear, making your home a little warmer should be an easy way to save you a few bucks. Also, make sure that you maintenance any landscaping around your air conditioning unit, it will create better airflow and make your AC more efficient.
Closing curtains and lowering blinds on the side of your home that gets the most sun can also save you money. Additionally, it will keep you from having an awkward conversation about your dance skills with the neighbor across the street.
It is good practice to unplug things when you don’t need them. When you turn off things like your TV, laptop or gaming system, they are still using a small amount of power. And if they are plugged in 24/7 you may end up adding seven dollars or more a month to your power bill, for items you even aren’t using. By unplugging these items, you can look forward to a little extra money to spend at the end of the month on something special, like dance lessons.
Washing your clothes in cold water can save up to six dollars a month, which is a nice way to save on your electricity bill. Also, cleaning the lint trap in your dryer and making sure your dryer vent is clear and clog-free will help your clothes dry more quickly, add to your savings.
The added benefit of reducing your footprint is that even if you don’t want to, you are still helping the environment. So not only are you making decisions that save you money, you are saving the planet. All you need now is an energy efficient cape!
Smart Ideas that Save You Money
Now that you are managing your power usage like a boss, you are ready to look at how you can save even more money on your electric bill, while still being a superhero for the planet. Using these smart devices in your home will allow you to lower your expenses while making your life simpler and more enjoyable. And who doesn’t enjoy extra money to spend or save?
1. Learn More about Your Usage Patterns
One of the smartest things you can do is to evaluate how much energy you are using; this will allow you to make better decisions regarding your future energy use. Smart meters and sensors can send you information on what devices and appliances in your home are eating up the most energy. They can also send data on what times of day you are consuming more power.
Meter sensors can alert you to a variety of issues that may reduce efficiency, they send alerts when something is clogged, like an air filter, which allows you to change the filter to lower power usage. Knowing when and what is affecting the amount you are spending each month will make it easier to know how to adjust your lifestyle to help save money on your electricity bill.
Your electric company or cooperative can provide you with smart meters that allow data to be shared with both you and your power company. This allows your energy company to offer suggestions on how you can better manage your usage to reduce costs even more.
The Amphiro A1 Self Monitoring Water & Energy Smart Meter can be installed in the shower and monitors your energy and water usage. They have reported an average 440 kWh of energy and 2245 gallons of water saved each year!
2. Timers and Motion Detectors
One way to ensure that your lights are out when you don’t need them is to connect them to a timer or motion sensor. You can set a time for your lights to turn off each night, or add a motion sensor that only turns them on when someone is in the room. Another way to save is to use a light dimmer; it will reduce the wattage used, and also create a romantic moment if you are in the mood.
Timers can also manage outdoor lights, and even the holiday lights you put up each year to show off to your neighbors.
The Honeywell Econoswitch offers a 7 day programmable switch to ensure that you only use your lights (and energy) when you actually need them.
3. Pool Management
Having a pool can be a wonderful thing, but letting your pool pump run all day can make you want to drown your sorrows when the power bill comes. There are some ways you can get your splash on and still save money on your electricity bill.
Using a timer to regulate the amount of time your pool pump operates can help manage costs and still leave you with a sparkling pool. Cutting the amount of time your pool runs can provide significant savings each month. Also, pool time also means sunny days, so use the sun to heat your pool, there is no need to run a pool heater when you can just use the power of the sun to keep your pool warm.
4. Get a Smarter Thermostat
For most of us, summertime means higher energy bills as we try to keep our homes cool. But you can still beat the heat and save money. Adding a smart thermostat can help you keep your home comfortable and still help you reduce your overall power bill. These new smart thermostats, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn about your habits and adjust the temperature in your home to keep you consistently cool. They can also reduce the temperature if you aren’t at home, and adapt to changes in the external temperature due to weather events.
5. Look for Smart Powerstrips
Don’t let the energy vampires take all of your power and leave you with a high monthly bill. Using smart power strips can help stop the vampires in their tracks, and they don’t leave you smelling like garlic. These updated power strips such as the Smart Strip SCG-3M Energy Saving Surge Protector, come equipped with their own motion detection sensors that can shut off power to your electronics when you aren’t around. They can also tell when your system is in sleep or standby mode, which allows them to cut the power and save you even more money.
6. Invest in Updating Items in Your Home
It’s like that old adage sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Energy efficient appliances can be found everywhere now, and can help you to save money on electricity bills straight away. As we become more aware of the energy we use it makes sense to replace your older devices with ones that use less power. You could lower your bill annually by $70 just by adding one new energy efficient appliance. So if your dryer goes caput, try replacing it with a new energy friendly one that not only dries your clothes but also saves you money.
Getting an insulation jacket for your water heater is another way you can make your home more efficient. The water heater is usually the largest consumer of electricity, so by giving it a nice warm jacket you can keep your water warm and your bill low.
While you are insulating your water heater, you should check all of the insulation in your home and update if needed. You want to make sure that the insulation is keeping the cold or warm air in, like your mom always said, you aren’t cooling down the neighborhood.
You should also regularly check your house for air leaks; air leaks are relatively easy to remedy, you just need caulking or weatherstripping to seal them up. Your leak sealing efforts will be well rewarded, as they can lower your electric bill by almost ten percent.
7. Consider Going Solar
Solar panels can seem costly at first, but the investment pays off handsomely. Adding solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electric bill. They can provide a savings in the tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your solar system. And the sun is pretty reliable unless you live in a place where there is no sun for months on end, then solar may not be right for you. But if you get a fair amount of sun each day your solar panels could be a viable solution when compared to the monthly cost assessed by your power company each month.
Go Smart and Save!
There are a lot of great reasons to look at how you can use smart options, and some simple ones too, when trying to reduce your energy consumption. Managing your energy footprint can increase the value of your home and help you save money on your electricity bill.
Even if you start simple, it’s still a start.