There are minor changes that individuals can make to save electricity and lower electric bills. Some involve changing their daily habits, while others require investment and are more strategic with long-term benefits.
These small-scale changes will help you to save electricity and result in a lower electric bill. While also benefiting the health of the planet earth and the environment.
20 Low Effort Ways to Save Electricity
You can achieve a lower electric bill by changing your daily habits or existing appliances. Here are 20 no-cost and low effort ways to save electricity and lower your electric bill.
1. Turn off unnecessary lights
Turn off lights as you leave the room, rely on natural light or use a lamp instead of ceiling lights.
2. Unplug unused electronics
Did you know that electronics still consume electricity even when they are turned off? So make sure you unplug unused electronics, especially before a vacation or a long time without use. One example is unplugging your coffee machine every morning after use.
3. Turn off your computer and monitors
Turn off your computer, monitors or laptop after use to avoid wasting electricity. The cost of leaving a computer on 24/7 can range anywhere from $50 to $250 annually.
4. Manage your thermostat
Changing your thermostat by only a few degrees can result in a lower electric bill. For every one degree Fahrenheit you turn your thermostat down, you will use 1% less energy. It is recommended to set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
5. Run full loads of laundry
Avoid doing a load of laundry with only a few items inside, wait until you have a full load.
6. Wash your clothes in cold water
Hot water uses more electricity than cold water.
7. Hang dry your laundry
There are so many accessories to help air-dry your laundry, whether it be outside in the sun or indoors. Air drying your clothes can save you over $100 per year.
8. Adjust your fridge or freeze temperature
Changing the temperature by only a few degrees can lower your electric bill. Refrigerators should maintain a temperature of 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers should maintain a temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit for peak efficiency.
9. Open or close the curtains or blinds
Depending on the season, opening and closing your blinds can lower your electric bill. In cooler months, open curtains and blinds to allow the sunlight in to warm your home, and in warmer months, close them to keep the room cooler.
10. Set your water heater temperature
Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The default is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Turning the temperature down by 20 degrees can help prevent scolding, while also saving anywhere from 4% to 22% in energy annually.
11. Change the ceiling fans’ direction with the seasons
In the winter, set the fan to a clockwise rotation to circulate warm air. In the summer, set fans counter-clockwise to circulate cool air.
12. Unplug and defrost your freezer
Excessive ice build-up can make the system work harder to preserve the temperature and keep cool air flowing.
13. Avoid covering oven racks with foil when cooking
Food cooks more quickly when air can move freely around it.
14. Use LED light bulbs
LED and CFL lightbulbs use less energy and also last longer, which means they don’t need to be replaced as frequently and are using fewer resources.
15. Install solar panels
Using solar panels decreases the amount of energy you use on the grid. You can even use solar batteries to power your home during the night. This saves electricity and reduces the amount of your electric bill.
Upgrades You Can Make to Save Electricity
There are several investments that you can make through purchases/upgrades to save energy and lower your electric bill. Keep reading for several recommendations.
16. Purchase energy star appliances
Did you know that appliances account for nearly 20% of the average household’s electricity usage? Upgrading your old appliances can have some serious impacts on your electricity bill.
Energy Star is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. In 2019 alone, Energy Star and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs.
Energy Star rated appliances use 10% to 50% less electricity than non-Energy Star appliances. For example, a dishwater with the Energy Star label is required to use 3.5 gallons of water or less per cycle, while some older models use over 10 gallons of water per cycle.
17. Purchase smart power strips
Electronics continue to draw electricity even after they are turned off. Smart power strips work to ensure that electricity is not wasted by cutting off power to connected electronics when they are not in use. Instead of unplugging your electronic device every time you are finished using it to prevent it from continuously drawing power, you can plug it into a smart power strip. This is a relatively inexpensive way to conserve energy and lower your bill.
18. Upgrade older products with high-efficiency ones
Upgrading older hardware can lead to savings and a lower electric bill. For example, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, replacing your toilet with an energy-efficient model can reduce your toilet water usage by up to 60% per year.
Consider upgrading hardware such as:
- Light bulbs
- Dimmer light switches
- Taps and faucets
19. Install a programmable/smart thermostat
A smart thermostat, such as the Nest or Ecobee, can be used with home automation and control a home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning. One of the major advantages of a smart thermostat is that they are easy to use and can often be connected to your smart devices (e.g. cell phone).
Smart thermostats are programmable, similar to traditional ones, but they also learn and adjust to your schedule. For example, if the smart thermostat knows that you’ve left the house, it will then turn off the air conditioning. You also can control them remotely from outside the home. They conserve energy by keeping the temperature as low as possible for as long as possible and adjusting to the household’s schedule.
Smart thermostats also record temperatures and can notify you when the air filter needs to be replaced, which helps to ensure that your HVAC system works efficiently.
20. Perform maintenance on your HVAC equipment
It might seem like a hassle or waste of money to perform semi-annual or annual maintenance on your HVAC equipment but this can actually lower your electric bill. For example, if you do not change the filters on your HVAC system, including your furnace regularly then the equipment needs to work harder and spend more energy.
Having your HVAC system checked can also ensure that everything works properly and fix/identify any issues before it becomes a larger problem.
Other maintenance includes:
- Cleaning the coils on your fridge
- Removing the lint from your dryer after every load
- Checking plumbing for leaks
- Dusting and cleaning appliances
While these changes might seem small and insignificant, over time they add up, contribute to the conservation of energy, and will lower your electric bill. Month to month the savings might not be huge but annually you will see significant savings. Try out these no-cost and low-effort energy-saving tips for one month and see how much money you can save!
Why it is Important to Save Electricity?
The most obvious benefit of saving electricity is the fact that it lowers your electric bill and helps your pocketbook.
However, there are many other benefits to saving and conserving electricity, such as environmental and health. Small actions always have larger benefits.
Final Thoughts on How to Save Electricity & Lower Electric Bill
By changing a few habits in your day-to-day life, you can lower your electricity bill, while at the same time lower your reliance on fossil fuels. Conserving energy and electricity, you are also reducing the number of resources used, pollution and greenhouse gases emitted into the environment.
Reducing the amount of pollution and pollutants in the air means that the air we breathe is cleaner and healthier for our respiratory systems.
Saving electricity and lowering your electric bill is not only good for the environment it is good for your pocketbook. That’s right, being environmentally conscious has some serious economic benefits.
Related content: Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
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