Certain expenses are almost unavoidable. Nearly every household has to handle utility costs, so you can’t necessarily bypass electricity bills entirely. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce how much of your budget you have to dedicate to electricity.
Average Electricity Bill Cost
In the United States, the average amount households spend on electricity each month is $117.65, or about $1,412 every year. However, some areas have to pay much more.
For example, Hawaii residents spend an average of $168.13 every month. That’s over $2,000 a year just on electricity. Connecticut comes in at $153.46 a month, or a bit over $1,840 annually.
Even if you live in a higher-cost area, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce this budget line item. You just have to make smart choices. Here’s a look at five ways you can save on your electricity bill.
5 Ways to Save on Your Electricity Bill
1. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
With a programmable thermostat, you are creating an opportunity to better manage your electricity use. Heating and cooling systems require a substantial amount of power. Even small temperature adjustments can result in a significant savings, and making yourself uncomfortable isn’t a necessity.
For example, in the winter, you can program your thermostat to let your home get a bit cooler when everyone’s at work or school. You just schedule it to lower the temperature while you are away. Then, set it to increase the temperature to a more comfortable point right before everyone gets home.
You can use the same process at night in the winter. Let the temperature dip a bit when everyone is snug in their beds and bump it up right before everyone wakes in the morning.
Using this approach, you can reduce electricity costs by using your heating and cooling systems less. Plus, it’s automatic, so you don’t have to make the adjustments manually or deal with an uncomfortable temperature when you are at home.
2. Pump Up Your Insulation
It’s harder to regulate the temperature in a poorly insulated home. Without sufficient insulation, heat transfer through your walls or roof occurs with greater ease. That means, in the summer, it’s more difficult to keep your house cool, and, during the winter, it’s more challenging to keep it warm. This puts a strain on your HVAC system, leading to more power consumption.
If you want to reduce your electric bill, make sure you have enough insulation. Take a look in attics or similar spaces. If you don’t have enough insulation, it’s worth investing in more. Your electricity bill will go down, creating a long-term savings opportunity.
3. Take a Look at Your Water Heater
When it comes to electricity use, a tank-based water heater can be a real drain. It has to maintain whatever temperature you set, so it is near-constantly reheating any water that’s stored, even when you aren’t using any hot water.
By lowering the temperature of your water heater slightly, you can save every month. Just a couple of degrees can make a difference, and you usually won’t feel it when you do use hot water.
Additionally, you can turn your water heater down further if you are going to be gone for an extended period. Consider dropping it down substantially if you go on a lengthy business trip or vacation. Then, turn it back up once you come back home.
You can also consider changing out a tank water heater for a tankless version. They are incredibly capable and require much less electricity to operate.
4. Use Cold Water for Washing Clothes
In most cases, there isn’t a need to use warm or hot water to wash clothes. In fact, hotter settings can be a bad idea in some cases, as certain fabrics can be damaged by higher temperatures, and colors made fade faster.
By switching to cold, you can do more than keep your clothes looking newer longer or extend the life of your clothing. Your water heater won’t be working as hard to provide warm or hot water to your washing machine, so you save on your electricity bill, too.
5. Stop Phantom Power Drain
Many appliances and electronic devices pull power when they aren’t actively being used. Computers, game consoles, and cable boxes are notorious offenders, even if they are in standby mode. Similarly, any appliance with a clock is pulling power all of the time.
By preventing this phantom power drain, you can save big on your electricity bill. Consider unplugging items when they aren’t in use or connecting them to a power strip and flipping the off switch when you stop using the device. It takes only a second to pull a plug of flip a switch, so it can be worth the effort.
Alternatively, if you want to preserve the convenience of standby mode or the plugs aren’t in an easy to reach place, invest in smart power strips. They can shut off the electricity to a device that isn’t actively being used and restore it once you go to use it again. That way, you’ll get a similar electricity-saving benefit without any of the hassles.
Do you have any tips that can help people save on their electric bill? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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