What was your last electric bill? Has it gone up since last summer? Where do you get your electricity from – is it your utility company of from alternative energy? Whether you are concerned about the environment, want to save money or both, you are probably looking for ways to reduce your electric bill. Here are some suggestions and tips to reduce your utility bills while shrinking your carbon footprint.
1. Hang your clothes up to dry, either indoors or out.
2. Cool your home with fans and open windows in the summer.
3. Check your home’s insulation, and seal any cracks as necessary. Apply weather stripping to doors and windows, and insulate your attic if it is not already.
4. Turn your refrigerator down (but not so far that you find food spoiling too quickly – that, of course, is also wasteful).
5. Turn your thermostat down (in the summer) or up (in the winter) before you go to bed and when you leave the house.
6. Invest in compact fluorescent light bulbs. If you are able, have skylights or sun pipes installed.
7. Turn off lights during the day and when you leave a room.
8. Have dinner (and other meals!) by candlelight.
9. Cook outside whenever possible. Patio grills are relatively inexpensive. Or you can go to a local park or forest that has public grills or fire pits.
10. Open the curtains and shades and let sunshine warm and light your house during the cold winter months. Close curtains and shades in the summer to keep hot sunlight out, or use sheets of removable window tinting. This will cut your electricity use by reducing the need to run your central heat or air conditioning.
11. Use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time and stove-top temperature, thereby reducing the time your stove is on.
12. Use a crock-pot on low to cook long-cooking foods like roasts – it takes less energy to run a crock-pot than a stove, unless you have a gas stove. Gas stoves are more efficient.
13. Use timers on your lamps.
14. Sweep whenever possible instead of running the vacuum cleaner. You can also use a dust mop.
15. Make sure you change the filters in your heating and cooling system once a month.
16. Look into alternative energy sources for your home – you may be able to install solar panels, a small wind turbine, or, in the near future, a magnetic generator to generate electricity.
17. Landscape with trees and shrubs that will shelter your home from the wind in the winter and provide shade in the summer.
18. Insulate your water heater. Your local home building supply store would have the bubble wrap-like insulation for your water heater.
19. Turn your water heater down to 120. This is also a good protection against accidental burns. A hot water heater burns up your electric bill so reduce that temperature.
20. Unplug electrical devices when they are not in use, especially those electronics that have a rechargeable battery (if it’s blinking, it’s using electricity).
Lower Electricity Bills
This list is not conclusive but my hope is to get you thinking about your electricity usage. When you cut you usage, you cut your electric bills. When you cut those bills, you save money. During the hot summer months, your air conditioning unit burns the most energy. If you can raise your thermostat a few degrees, it will lower your electric bills. Isn’t it better to have the money in your pocket rather than in the pockets of your utility company?
Take one tip from the list above and apply it today. Which tip is easy for you and your family to start implementing?