How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy

Last Updated on August 18, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Have you ever wondered how to lower your electric bill? I know that, in part, it has to do with rising electric costs. But, what other factors go into the bill you receive each month? And, how low can you reasonably get your bill? 

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Have you ever wondered how to lower your electric bill? I know that, in part, it has to do with rising electric costs. But, what other factors go into the bill you receive each month? And, how low can you reasonably get your bill? 


How to Lower Your Electric Bill

First, to set the stage.  We have a 1500sf, two-story house.  We have six people who live here.  My husband is disabled, so he’s home all day, every day.  The two kids and their significant others are at work or home. I work at home, so I am always here. So, there are people here during the day using electricity.

The house doesn’t just sit there unused and empty all day. When the kids are home, they’re your typical power-hungry young adults who think they must be plugged in to be alive.  We have a gas stove and hot water, so we do not use electricity for those two items.

If you want to reduce your electric costs, you must reduce the electricity you use. 


Take a look around your house to see what’s plugged in.  Are you leaving things on that can be turned off? Do you need all those lights on at night? Does the TV or radio need to be on for background noise?

Is the computer or printer on all day whether you’re using them or not? Start with the easy stuff and turn them off and unplug them.

How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy in 2017

Phantom Loads

That’s right. Unplug them.  Many electric items use electricity whether they are on or not. This is especially true for anything with an LED readout (like a clock). 

Your microwave is using electricity all day long whether or not you have it on or not.  The same holds true for your cable box, DVD player, TV, computer, etc. Unplug them when not in use.

Better Bulbs

Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs. Yes, they save you money and last a lot longer. I’ve found that Amazon has good quality CFLs that are inexpensive when purchased in bulk. We have very good luck with these.

Hang it Up

Hang your clothes to dry. Your electric dryer uses tons of electricity.  Get a drying rack or a clothesline in the backyard and hang clothes to dry there. 

If your HOA won’t let you hang a line outside, use a rack over a heating vent or in front of an open window inside instead.  Check out this one.

How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy in 2017

Turn it Down

Turn down the heat! Even if you don’t heat with electricity, your furnace uses electricity to start every time it comes on. 

Turn down the furnace, and it will use less electricity.  It also goes without saying to turn up the temperature on your air conditioner. I don’t use an air conditioner in Vermont, but I know many people who do.

Do it Yourself

Can you do it by hand?  Do you need that electric gadget to do everything for you? Can you open the can with a manual can opener? Can you mix the cookie batter by hand without your Kitchenaid? 

Do you need that electric tart warmer? Conveniences are great, but they all cost money.  If you want to pay it, that’s fine but if your electric bill is inching upward, consider eliminating some of them.

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Wrap Your Heater

If you have electric hot water, consider wrapping your water heater with insulation. It will help keep your electric bill down because it helps keep in the warmth of your water.

This one works well.

Seal Leaks

Seal off air leaks around windows and doors.  They sell plastic that you can put up very cheaply and it will help keep the heat or cool air in your house which will stop your furnace or air conditioner from coming on as often.

Pro Tips

Have you already done all these and you’re still trying to figure out how to lower your electric bill? Try some less common ways to lower your electric bill. 

Invest in a solar oven for cooking on sunny days.  We use a Global Sun Oven during the nice weather. You may want to check out this one.

Check out solar lighting for your outside lighting needs.  We have one near the duck/chicken coops, which eliminates the need for a traditional light source outside on that side of the house.

We need to get one more for the other side of the house. Consider adding a light sensor to rooms you frequently visit.

Hand Power

Replace some of your electric appliances with hand-powered ones.  Did you know you don’t need an electric beater, a Kitchenaid mixer, an electric can opener, an electric frying pan, a George Forman grill, an electric coffee bean grinder, an electric rice cooker, or an electric yogurt maker?

All these things can be done without a separate electric appliance.  Take a look around your kitchen & see what you can do by hand.  People did all these things for hundreds of years without using electricity.

Now that you know how to lower your electric bill share your favorite tips.

6 thoughts on “How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy”

  1. OY! I live in Florida and man, our electric bill this month was just over 400 dollars! So expensive! I am definitely going to use the tips about the dryer, ours is old, and probably wastes a lot of electricity, as well as the information on the phantom loads. Thanks!
    • I bought a drying rack at Walmart (cheap) for underwear, socks and other small things. For very wrinkled items, I place them in the dryer for only about 2-4 min. Give them a little shake and hang things on hangers. For light clothes, I put them on hangers and put them on the shower curtain rod in the bathroom. Don’t put heavy things. Putting clothes on hangers is great bc all you have to do is place them in your closet, after they dry. Towels can go on the rack also. I put sheets, blankets, comforters, etc. in the dryer for 2-4 min., fold in half or quarters and dry them on a rack, near a sunny window. Really cut down my electric bill. Almost forgot - I never use hot water in the washing machine. Put it on the shortest time wash and use the small or med settings. 1/2 capful of detergent is truly all you need. Good luck. When you wash dishes, don’t let the water run. Wash 4-5 things, depending on size and then rinse. No point in wasting water, by letting it run. When showering, wet you body and washcloth, turn off water and turn back on to rinse off. I use a lot of solar night lights from the Dollar Store. There are many things you can do to economize. Freeze as much as you can, if you make a big pot of something. I love my toaster oven! My stove is electric, so why put on the oven, which takes 10 min, just to get to 350. If you are making a frozen pizza or something slightly large, cut it in quarters and put into a toaster oven. Tastes the same. LOL
  2. Borrow a Kilowatt tester from a friend and you'll see just how little electricity many of these items draw. Beating butter and sugar together by hand is an awful lot of work to get to the right consistency. I'd rather spend the 3-5 minutes and use handheld mixer. After all , at only 0.022 kilowatts an hour, it would only cost TWO PENNIES to run it for 24 HOURS. In other words, NOT using the mixer is actually wasting your time, not saving your money.
    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hannah. I guess it's a matter of perspective. My time is free, and we have the time. I like the connection to the older ways of doing things.

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