In most parts of the United States, the average household spends around $100 a month on their electric bill. Of course, with the extreme temperatures that come during both the frigid winter months and the sweltering summertime, those monthly energy bills can really skyrocket and cost families a pretty penny. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to save money and make your home more energy efficient.
Lower Your Energy Charges
- Negotiate for a better deal – Your electric supplier may be willing to negotiate on price, terms, or other services in order to keep you from switching to a different supplier.
- Consider switching electric suppliers – Just like you shop around for the best internet service provider, you can easily shop for electricity. Many states have websites dedicated to helping you find the utility supplier with the best deal and the best service for your needs. For example, the website for Texas is powertochoose.org.
- Look into sales tax exemptions – Most states offer some sort of utility sales tax exemption. To qualify for the exemptions, you need to be using the electricity for an exempt purpose (e.g. residential, manufacturing, agriculture, etc). In some cases, you’ll need to hire a consulting firm to do a predominant use study.
Be More Energy Efficient
- Keep your vents open—If some of the vents in your home are closed, the AC or heater will have to work harder to circulate air and make your home comfortable. Save money on your electric bill by checking to make certain all the vents are open throughout your house.
- Adjust the temperature before you leave—You don’t need to have the air conditioner or heater going full blast while you’re gone at work all day. Instead, adjust the temperature before you leave you home for a long period of time to save money. However, don’t turn your AC or heater off altogether as it takes more energy to recondition a room completely.
- Shut the doors—When you know you’re going to be in a room for an extended period of time, such as at night when you’re sleeping, it’s a good idea to shut the doors in that room to keep the cold or hot air locked inside. This makes your home a little more energy efficient and cuts costs on your electric bill.
- Check doors and windows for leaks—Did you know one of the biggest wastes of energy in the home comes from leaky, drafty doors and windows. Do a thorough inspection of all exterior doors and all windows in your home to make sure they are sealed properly and keeping drafts out. You may need to go to the hardware store to get some weather stripping to repair any leaks.
- Dress for comfort—It’s pretty simple, really. If you’re cold in your home, put on a comfortable sweater or robe so you don’t have to crank the heater all the way up. Likewise, if it’s a little warm, make sure you’re dressed in shorts and other appropriate attire.
- Don’t be in the dark about your lights—A large part of your electric bill comes from using the lights in your home. One simple step to making your home more energy efficient is to swap out any old lights with new bulbs (e.g. LED bulbs). They use a fraction of the energy of a standard light, helping you save money. Also, make sure to turn off the lights when you don’t need them.
- Update your appliances—Old refrigerators, dryers, electric ovens, and other appliances can suck up a ton of power and drive your electric bill sky high. Updating your appliances to newer, more energy efficient models might seem like a big investment up front, but over time, it will save you money.
- Unplug unused wall chargers—With all of the tablets, smart phones, laptops, and other devices in homes these days, it’s fairly common to have charges plugged in at all times. However, when chargers aren’t in use, they are still drawing power and causing your energy bill to climb. When you’re finished charging your device, simply unplug the charger and save money.