Budgeting to save money is a necessary headache. But when your electric bill comes in way above what you expected, it can throw all your good financial intentions off track.
Summer heat, winter cold, and random power wasters might make it seem like you’re fighting an uphill battle to save electricity. With a few tweaks to your daily habits and a couple of changes in the home, though, you really can win the war!
These five things will help you lower your electric bill and increase the money in your pocket!
1. Get Rid of Unused Electronics
Are you really using everything that is plugged into your walls? The odds are the answer to that is no.
Go around each room and check all your outlets. A charger plugged in all the time but unused isn’t consuming that much energy. But if you have something plugged into a source and it’s just sitting there, it’s still adding to your electric bill.
Don’t use that gaming system anymore? Unplug it! The obsolete alarm clocks when everyone uses their smartphone alarms now? Get rid of them!
In addition to cutting your electric bill, there are sites that will buy your technology from you in exchange for cash or gift cards.
2. Invest in Smart Technology
Are you always running behind everyone and shutting off the lights and television to save electricity? Or leaving the house and forgetting to turn up the A/C?
Imagine the energy you waste just in your own daily stress! Instead of constantly remaining vigilant to the electricity-wasters in your home, why not invest in smart technology to do the job for you?
Programmable thermostats change the temperature settings at your preference. Other smart gadgets give you more control over the electricity in the home.
Preset when appliances and electronics in each room are turned on and off or use your smartphone from the road to make sure you really did turn off the TV!
3. Have Your Insulation Checked
Some power companies offer free insulation checks as a way to help their customers reduce energy consumption. Your insulation is crucial to keeping temperatures in the home where they are supposed to be.
When it’s cold outside, poor insulation lets the freezing temperatures in. This causes your heater to work harder to maintain a comfortable setting.
In the heat, lack of protection from the hot temperatures does the same thing but in reverse. Your air conditioner has to work really hard to keep you cool if it doesn’t have a buffer limiting how hot the air gets in the house.
your insulation is poor, consider having more installed. It may cost more upfront, but the return on your investment will pay for itself quickly!
3. Talk to Your Utility Company
In addition to insulation checks, your power company might have other ways you can reduce your monthly bill. It’s in their best interests for you to be able to pay your statement every month.
Some companies have plans that average out how much energy you used the previous year and split your bill more evenly. That way, instead of a huge spike during the heavy electric seasons, you have a consistent bill no matter how much energy you used that month.
Other companies have partnered with solar companies to give their customers discounts as an incentive switch to these panels. Depending on your situation, solar power might be worth the investment!
4. Upgrade Your Appliances
If you have older appliances and bathroom fixtures, they could be costing you money. Today’s manufacturers have to pass a screening process in order for their products to get the Energy Star designation. This label means that it is eco-friendly, reducing energy and/or water consumption.
You can find Energy Star appliances to replace almost every appliance in your home, like:
- Light fixtures
- Air conditioners
- Water heaters
The next time you plan on buying anything that uses power or water, check for the Energy Star label!
5. Change the Temperature on Your Water Heater
The water heater is one of the highest expenses that adds to your electric bill. It sends hot water to your fixtures and is only really appreciated when it’s not working.
But the water in the heater is stored at a set temperature, and it’s maintained whether you use it or not. Changing the settings to a slightly lower temperature uses less electricity. You probably won’t notice a few degrees cooler in your shower.
When you leave for a trip, turn the water heater off completely. Otherwise, try to keep it set at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Saving money on things like utilities and credit card interest means there is more for us to sock away or use for other things.
If you can reduce your electric bill by a few dollars every month, imagine what you could do with a few years worth of savings! And the satisfaction of reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment is a priceless reward.